Central America

Gluten-Free in Panama

Panama is suddenly on my vacation radar. I had been searching for a warm trip for this winter and came across a dual-country tour to Costa Rica and Panama. Then, I met a new friend who spoke really highly of Panama saying it’s less touristy country-side was much more appealing to him than Costa Rica. Then, the NY Times put out The 45 Places to Go in 2012 and guess what was #1? PANAMA. The travel stars were quickly aligning and I started my research.

If you know me, you know my research started with cheap flights and gluten-free eats. This is how I start planning all of my trips. Through a little bit of a cumbersome search (too many Panama City Beach, FL results!) I found a link through Celiac.com to the Fundación de Celiacos de Panamá. The entire site is in Spanish, but with the help of Google translate I was able to navigate around and learn more about being gluten-free in Panama. I also found an email address and immediately emailed the group.

Valeria Lara, of the Fundación de Celiacos de Panamá wrote me back in less than a couple of hours. I am always excited to hear back from global gluten-free folks and was thrilled at this quick response. Here are some of the tips from Valeria about being gluten-free in Panama.

  • Panama does not have gluten-free restaurants, so you might want to think about cooking your own food while traveling.
  • The Gamboa Rain Forest Resort in Gamboa that can offer a gluten-free menu when ordered in advance.
  • In the city, it will be easier to find gluten-free products especially at the Organica Store.  (There are two Organica Stores in Panama and two in Guatemala. Good to know!)
  • The Riba Smith supermarket and the Super 99 might have gluten-free products, although not always.

For those of you visiting, living, or staying long term in Panama, please bookmark the Fundación de Celiacos de Panamá website and attend their future events.

As I do more research, I will post more links. For now, I think this is a very helpful start. Thank you Valeria!

Central America, Costa Rica

Gluten-Free in Costa Rica

This trip came across my desk the other day and I thought I would share it with my readers. It is always nice to travel and let someone else take care of all of the gluten-free details. Read on for more information…

Gluten Free Travel
November 3-8, 2011
“You Focus on the Fun, We Focus on the Food!”

Stress free travel for the person with gluten and dairy free sensitivities
5 Nights at the JW Marriott Guanacaste Hotel

Palo Verde National Park & Guatil Pottery Tour
All Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner-Gluten Free/ Dairy free meals with selections!
Round Trip Hotel/Airport Transfers Express Check-in, Complementary Wi-Fi
Skycap, Maids and Bell Boys Tips, Daily Turn Down Service, Guide on site

$1680per person in a Deluxe Garden view room all rates based on 2 people per room
$1727per person in a Deluxe Pool view room all rates based on 2 people per room
$1807per person in a Deluxe Ocean view room all rates based on 2 people per room

Single Supplement by Room Category (We offer room mate matching service)

Optional Add-on Tours Available:
$175 Adventure Combo Excursion at Hacienda Guachipelin
$49 half Day Shopping Trip to Tamrindo

For Additional Information

Air not included
NOT included: Items of a personal nature, $26 Departure Airport Tax or Insurance

Ellen Morse Travel & ETC Design present Gluten Free Travel-US

Ellen Morse Travel, a specialist in boutique, customized travel itineraries since 1998, has now partnered with Estelle Chandler, gluten free consultant, to form a new company called Gluten Free Travel – Us (www.glutenfreetravel-us.com) (website under construction). Ms, Chandler is also a trained epicurean cook, certified in national food safety services, author of two Gluten Free cookbooks as well as Hostess of “The Matt and Estelle Show”, the only interactive Gluten Free cooking show.

Both Estelle and Ellen are Gluten Free (Ellen is also Dairy Free). They understand firsthand how difficult it is to travel gluten free and dairy free. How to eat, where to eat or even just how to communicate what one can eat or cannot eat, is almost an impossible task. The challenges are enormous. Gluten Free Travel -Us has been created to eliminate those issues. Keep in mind, Gluten Free travel is not just for Celiacs, but for those who have allergies, sensitivities, intolerances or are simply looking for a healthier lifestyle.

Gluten Free Travel – Us brings a new dimension to the traveling public. Already in place are partnerships with hotels, resorts, cruise ships and overseas suppliers, Gluten Free Travel -Us is able to offer trips to places such as Panama, Costa Rica, Spain, Argentina, Italy and beyond. This year there are already two short land based trips- one to Panama and one to Costa Rica. – information on this site.

For those of you who do not wish to go on group trips , Gluten Free Travel-Us can create individualized, custom itineraries that work with hotels in cities around the globe as well as provide recommendations of restaurants that offer gluten free options. They also offer resources to provide you with translations to the local language with which to inform your hosts that you have special needs. It is really a complete, stress free travel package for the gluten free traveler.

YOU FOCUS ON THE FUN, WE FOCUS ON THE FOOD! Gluten Free Travel-Us looks forward to seeing you on one of their stress free, gluten free adventures!

Contact Ellen and Estelle at info@glutenfreetravel-us.com