I would recommend Option 2. It will be the best $850 you ever spent.
Colombia has way more riding options than Panama because it's a much larger country. It's much cheaper to stay and live there. You will find beautiful scenery and nice friendly people everywhere. Two coasts, high mountains, deserts, jungles, the coffee zone, amazing little villages everywhere, and world-class large cities. It's a very biker friendly country. You will find out why so many travelers who planned to ride through Colombia ended up staying there for a much longer visit, many permanently.
Originally Posted by Eclecticmale
I am currently in Panama City, and I am trying to learn the lay of the land. My current dilemma is trying to find a 1 bedroom fully furnished apartment for about $400 – $600 per month. I know that is going to be hard to find in a city as modern as Panama City. I am hold up in a hostel/housestay in the Ancon/Bsalboa area, and I must say I am having a great time, but something is missing. I am missing the open road and the wind in my face. I am contemplating three options:
1. Staying in Panama for the next year (if I find a place I can afford)
2. Heading South to Columbia (it will cost $850 oneway)
3. Heading back North to visit all of the places I missed on the way down (my favorite choice)