Chivas Parranderas: Panama Party Bus

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Friday, 13 October 2006 10:48
Riding a Chivas Parrandera in Panama City has all the safety of lunch with a blind contract killer. “Um, excuse me” the hit man would say, running his hands over my face. “Are you about five foot eight, one hundred and fifty pounds?” I spent my last birthday on a beach wearing stupid linen pants, sipping champagne from a glass that had my initials etched into its stem. That was great, but too yay-yay for me. This year I wanted to do something different and raucous. Something wild and mischievous. While many people who come to Panama are familiar with our techno-spray-painted public busses dangerously called Diablo Rojos, it is their deranged vehicular siblings, the Chivas Parranderas, that are truly a force to be reckoned with.

The side of a Chivas bus is crafted entirely out of wood, completely open but for a few ropes which serve as guard rails for overexcited riders. The inner confines have no semblance to a normal bus, as there are long wooden benches that sort of resemble pews in a church, except in this case instead of a bible, there's vodka, ice, and cranberry juice in front of you. You see, the point of a Chivas Parrandera, against all laws of civility and decency, is to cart you around the city and get you wasted. A party bus, for lack of a better moniker.

After meeting up at a pre-determined starting point and handing over the dinero, you board the bus and the mayhem begins. Contrary to everything you were taught in grade school, the next few hours are spent hanging out the door of a fast-moving vehicle, drinking poisonous fluids with strangers, and running across the street without holding hands. When the bus is in crowded areas, the on-board mariachi band starts humming away on their saxophones and trumpets, and the hostess encourages all riders to scream out to onlookers as if to say, “we're having a better time than you are, and you know it.”

The only thing the bus is missing is an area in the back to pass out.

The hosts and hostesses are very good at what they do and are well-versed in the touchy art of controlling drunken people without pissing them off. They will, for example, stop on the side of the highway for the light-bladdered of the group to use the bathroom as well as take any special route you request: perhaps through your neighborhood or along the Panama Canal where you can call out to tugboat captains, “I'm having a better time than you are, and you know it.”

The bus costs a double sawbuck which entitles you to all the liquor you can drink and a dinner buffet of small greasy goodies and gumdrops. You can sign up at their office or over the phone (the information which I have listed below) and I believe they do it every Friday and Saturday night, depending on demand. Try it out. It's my birthday.

La Chiva Parrandera

Calle 46 Bella Vista

Edif. La Exitosa

Planta Baja

Tel: 225-8500

I have also listed some options and additional information that could be useful:

1. Public Chiva: $20 per person, for a minimum group of 15 people. It includes Open Bar (Ron Abuelo and Seco Herrerano with mixers), Ice, Bartender, hostess, live music (Murga) and typical food snacks.

2. Private Chiva: Ranges from $480-$560. Set rate, no minimum required.

Changes depending on requirements. These are the options:

a. Full Chiva Parrandera, up to 32 max: Includes everything described above, $560.

b. Full Chiva Parrandera, up to 32 max: Does not include snacks, $520

c. Chiva Parrandera w/out booze, up to 32 max: Does not include alcohol, $480

d. Chiva Parrandera w/out booze, up to 32 max: Does not include alcohol or snacks, $450

e. Chiva Parrandera w/out murga, up to 40 max: Does not include live music (Murga), $480

� The set amount of time is always 3 hours

� The bus tours through the main streets in the city, those being, Calle 50, Via Espana and Ave. Balboa. The itinerary is the following:

� Pick-up group at place of choice (near Calle 50, Via Espana or Ave. Balboa)

� Tour around town

� Head to the Causeway

� Stop to have the Snacks

� Head over to Iemanja, free entrance but not free drinks

� Stop at the Flag Plaza as you head out of the Causeway

� Back to the meeting point, or drop-off place

� The snacks are mini typical Panamanian fritters, such as hojaldres (made out of flour), tortillas (made out of corn) and yucca.

� You choose the pick-up place, could be anyplace within the main streets of the city.

� It will drop you off any place you request within the city, most people have it drop them off at a club or bar so they can continue partying.

This article was co-written by Matt Landau and Aliza Elbert

Panama Culture

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Precios
written by Astrid , September 19, 2007
Cuales son los precios si yo quiero hacer un cumpleaños en una chiva parrandera?
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My sweet sixteen! in A party bus!
written by Tanzie , October 05, 2007
I can do my party in the party bus? is so cool, and amazing, I wanna know this please tell me.
Bye
XoxO smilies/wink.gif
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written by Carlos , October 09, 2007
Cuales son los precios si yo quiero hacer un cumpleaños en una chiva parrandera?1 para el VIERNES
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caroo
written by Caroo , December 11, 2007
Nesecio los precios paraa celebrar mi cumplee en una chiva!
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caroo
written by Caroo , December 11, 2007
Nesecio los precios paraa celebrar mi cumplee en una chiva!
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Caro..
written by Caroo , December 11, 2007
Hola me podriaa dcir los precios y tarifas para hacer una fiesta en una chiva parrandera
Gracias! smilies/wink.gif
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precios...
written by Mateo , December 11, 2007
puede ver los precios aca: 1. Public Chiva: $20 per person, for a minimum group of 15 people. It includes Open Bar (Ron Abuelo and Seco Herrerano with mixers), Ice, Bartender, hostess, live music (Murga) and typical food snacks.

2. Private Chiva: Ranges from $480-$560. Set rate, no minimum required.
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cual es la cantidad maxima!!!
written by CELESTE , June 04, 2008
me gustaria saber cual es la cantidad maxima de personas q entran en el party bussssss porque tengo un grupo de baile y kiciera hacer una chiva!!! respondeme rapido plssss!!!
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precios!!
written by massiel , July 04, 2008
olaa necesito los preciosssss kiero celebrar mi fiesta d cumple en una chiva pero kiero los precios xfisssss smilies/wink.gifahh y las tarifass smilies/grin.gif
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chiva
written by Mario , July 07, 2008
querremo saber si hay disponibilidad para una chiva parrandera para el sabado 19 de este mes y cuanto seria por persona.
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Any one else?
written by Mateo , July 07, 2008
Does anyone else find it amusing that there's a slew of Spanish-comments on this article? All of people who must think we are a Chiva Parrandera rental service or something. It's really funny. "We would like to know availability for July 19th" and "can you inform us as to how many people you allow on a bus?"

Maybe this is a business we should get into!
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birthday
written by veronica , July 10, 2008
necesito saber si hay alguna chiva disponible para celebrsr mi cumple y el de mi amiga mas o menos para el 9 de agosto porfavor necesito una reapuesta rapida precisa y consisa smilies/cheesy.gif
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written by schedy , September 26, 2008
me gustaria q me mandaran los precios para una fiesta de 30 a 35 pasajeros, q incluye,cuantas horas, etc, cualquiera otra informacion q me puedan brindar al respecto
gracias smilies/wink.gifcomo para el 19 de octubre
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Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 23:18