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Old 07-26-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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I've read that English is widely spoken in Panama, even though it's not the official language. It could be a deciding factor if you don't know Spanish.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:48 PM
 
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Panama
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:05 PM
 
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Panama is safer and more American friendly than Colombia but, it's also more like the USA. Colombia feels more like a foreign country and it has more of a non-American culture. Panama City is like Miami, many people have told me. Panama also has more of a Caribbean Anglophone culture because of the Jamaican and Bajan descendants around the canal zone. So what kind of experience are you seeking?
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:46 AM
 
578 posts, read 712,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rootzdread View Post
Panama is safer and more American friendly than Colombia but, it's also more like the USA. Colombia feels more like a foreign country and it has more of a non-American culture. Panama City is like Miami, many people have told me. Panama also has more of a Caribbean Anglophone culture because of the Jamaican and Bajan descendants around the canal zone. So what kind of experience are you seeking?
Much of the Jamaican descendants and Bajan descendants left Panama to immigrate to the USA.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:56 AM
 
578 posts, read 712,080 times
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Originally Posted by ctr88 View Post
Which one would you choose for a 3 week vacation in the winter and why?
I would love to travel to both Panama, and to Colombia***. the only thing I'm worried about with Colombia is that Colombia has a still ongoing internal civil war and the paramilitaroes are very violent and kidnap individuals and travelers, foreignors, and tourists have to be extra careful. I hear that towards the Pacific side of Colombia is where paramilitaries are big in numbers but also in the capital. The Atlantic/Caribbean side of Colombia I heard is much more safe but even still it makes me nervous. Any thoughts?

Panama I would definitely want to visit all aspects and parts of the country. The Pearl Islands seem very interesting. Darién I hear is very risky.

Also important to note. Panama was a state/province/department/region in Colombia until very recently. It was only separated from Colombia and made into a new nation in 1903/1904 and 1921/1922 because the USA stole Panama from the Colombians. Panama is still included in many Colombian governmental agendas and documents and institutions.

Panama and Colombia still share many mutual similarities when it comes to culture. Cumbia originated in Panama. Panama has a lot in common with the Pacific littoral and coasts of Colombia as well as the Atlantic and Caribbean littoral and coasts of Colombia especially when it comes down to the accents, foods, traditions, mannerisms, culture. In fact Panama historically extended further into some areas now associated with Colombia. Panama is still legally entitled to and allowed to claim many of these lands.

Colombians have always been and still are the largest foreign/foreign born and immigrant population group in Panama.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Glen Rock, NJ
667 posts, read 1,438,041 times
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Originally Posted by ObscureOpulence View Post
I would love to travel to both Panama, and to Colombia***. the only thing I'm worried about with Colombia is that Colombia has a still ongoing internal civil war and the paramilitaroes are very violent and kidnap individuals and travelers, foreignors, and tourists have to be extra careful. I hear that towards the Pacific side of Colombia is where paramilitaries are big in numbers but also in the capital. The Atlantic/Caribbean side of Colombia I heard is much more safe but even still it makes me nervous. Any thoughts?

Panama I would definitely want to visit all aspects and parts of the country. The Pearl Islands seem very interesting. Darién I hear is very risky.

Also important to note. Panama was a state/province/department/region in Colombia until very recently. It was only separated from Colombia and made into a new nation in 1903/1904 and 1921/1922 because the USA stole Panama from the Colombians. Panama is still included in many Colombian governmental agendas and documents and institutions.

Panama and Colombia still share many mutual similarities when it comes to culture. Cumbia originated in Panama. Panama has a lot in common with the Pacific littoral and coasts of Colombia as well as the Atlantic and Caribbean littoral and coasts of Colombia especially when it comes down to the accents, foods, traditions, mannerisms, culture. In fact Panama historically extended further into some areas now associated with Colombia. Panama is still legally entitled to and allowed to claim many of these lands.

Colombians have always been and still are the largest foreign/foreign born and immigrant population group in Panama.
You're obviously a rep for Panama but I'll still bite. Colombia is a huge country. And yes, it still has some dangerous areas that you should not visit. Very rural border areas around Vzla and Ecuador and distant Amazon forests where FARC can hide and still roam. Very few tourists (both domestic and foreign) ever really go to these areas. Even without the human dangers there is very little infrastructure and not much to do for the avg tourist who is usually on time and date constraints. Mind you, FARC and the Colombian govt are in deep peace talks in Cuba. So this is coming to some end, which is + news.
The paramilitaries existed primarily to fight off the FARC/ELN strongholds in the 90s but were eventually disbanded. But flagrant kidnapping in the cities by FARC/paramilitaries targeting tourists is just not likely to happen especially if you're wise and don't do what you're not supposed to (ex:buy drugs). No different than avoiding specific areas in any part of the world. Of course crime is still there so exercise caution but no different than Panama would be. But no, this isn't the same violent Colombia circa 1980-2002. It's safer and much more wise if you will. Much safer, beautiful and fun. And so are it's people. Very few countries will make you feel as welcome. This is not to say that there isn't a ton of work to do (for ex: paramilitaries disbanded but some have just reformed as smaller gang units with no purpose other than drug trade). But a city like Bogota alone in the 90s was a city of 60+ murders per 100k habitants in the 90s. That's now closer to 18. Not perfect but a much better environment, especially given it's population of 8mm +.
The country has hosted/hosts major film festivals, concerts (Gaga, Madonna, Rolling Stones, etc), hosted u20 world cup (soccer) 2011 and a ton of other tourist friendly events. And the cities are going thru a major hipster/creative vibe with food, which to me was always lacking.

Don't get all your info from Wiki . Talk to people that actually live and travel to the areas you want to go.

Return to Colombia: Prosperous and Safe in 2013 - GoNOMAD Travel
10 things to know before visiting Colombia - CNN.com
http://travel.nytimes.com/2013/01/20...anted=all&_r=0
Is Colombia Safe for Travelers? - Johnny Jet
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:56 AM
 
143 posts, read 308,852 times
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Originally Posted by Slam4444 View Post
No offense, but id choose panama because at least you can spell it correctly. Colombia is not the same as columbia...
Oh, so quick to judge. Maybe OP is considering vacationing at Columbia University in NYC, or Columbia, Maryland or Columbia, South Carolina. The misspelling is very, very, very common. At least I know where Panama is (it's a city on Florida's gulf coast).

Which place I'd choose (Colombia or Panama) would depend on my budget (including flights), interests, etc. Presumably OP isn't planning on seeing the entire country of Colombia, so a notation of places to be visited would be helpful.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:02 AM
 
4,776 posts, read 7,499,422 times
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Colombia is named after Cristobal Colon.

The irony is that in English Cristobal Colon is Christopher Columbus, so a place named in English after Columbus should naturally be Columbia, not Colombia.

Colombia is a Spanish-speaking country so naturally they named it Colombia, but that's the Spanish version of Columbia.

So who is misspelling what?

Colombia and Columbia means the same thing in two different languages.

Heck, for many years Columbia was one of the nicknames for the USA (hence our nation's capital is named Washington District of Columbia.)
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:35 PM
 
344 posts, read 832,722 times
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Originally Posted by AntonioR View Post
Colombia is named after Cristobal Colon.

The irony is that in English Cristobal Colon is Christopher Columbus, so a place named in English after Columbus should naturally be Columbia, not Colombia.

Colombia is a Spanish-speaking country so naturally they named it Colombia, but that's the Spanish version of Columbia.

So who is misspelling what?

Colombia and Columbia means the same thing in two different languages.

Heck, for many years Columbia was one of the nicknames for the USA (hence our nation's capital is named Washington District of Columbia.)
great. I don't spend my free time memorizing history facts. Good luck with that though. The country is still spelled "Colombia", and by deliberately spelling it incorrectly, you're just going to be stereotyped as one of the ignorant Americans that assumes it's "Columbia" and doesn't bother to notice.

Nobody's going to be like "wow that guy sounds so sophisticated and must know his history". you're going to come across as an idiot 99% of the time.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I would love to go to both countries. But COlombia is bigger and has more cities and places to visit. So, i would go to Colombia.
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