Known as the Crossroads of the Americas, Panama is not only the geographical point where North and South America meet but also where the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean come together in the world-famous canal. It’s a cultural melting pot, forged by various traditions that consolidate to create unique ethnic diversity.
This vibrant metropolis is the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America and a nice gateway to tropical escapes. The city is a regional hub of trade and immigration where many worlds co-exist. The historical neighbourhood of Casco Viejo (Casco Antiguo), also known as San Felipe, is a site of great historical and architectural importance. This UNESCO World Heritage site has buildings from the beginning of the last century, narrow cobblestone lanes with ancient ruins and crumbling colonial convents.
Visit the National Theatre and the Church of San Jose, with its famous golden altar that was saved from the greed of the pirates. Admire views of the splendorous skyline, enjoy the big city nightlife and don’t miss the Avenida Balboa that stretches along the waterfront. There is a great jogging path alongside. Go to the Bridge of the Americas and enjoy the terrific view of Panama City from the Amador Causeway, which connects the three islands by the entrance to the Panama Canal to the mainland.
How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Panama:
- SUMMER: Fly from Luxembourg to Panama for €348 >>
- SUMMER: Brussels or Luxembourg to Panama from only €329 >>
- XMAS & NYE: Paris to Panama for €414 >>
- Italian cities to Panama from only €405 >>
- Summer, Xmas and NYE: Dublin to Panama for only €290 >>
- Amsterdam or Luxembourg to Panama for only €311 >>
- Fly from France to Panama from only €336 >>
- From UK to Panama or Costa Rica from only £303 >>
- Brussels to Mexico or Panama from €375 >>
Where to stay:
In Panama City, we encourage you to stay at 4* Sercotel Panama Princess with good reviews. This fantastic hotel has a 4-star rating, and is conveniently located in the heart of the financial district, close to both the historic Old Town in the city center, as well as to the Panama Canal. It features a full-service spa, a casino, and a restaurant. Free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a 24-hour fitness center, and a bar/lounge. All 128 individually furnished rooms feature free WiFi and 24-hour room service. Guests can enjoy private spa tubs, and other standard amenities include separate bathtubs and showers and plasma TVs.
In Boquete we recommend you to book 2* Hotel Central Boquete. This top rated hotel is offering a balcony and a sun terrace with hot tub and hammocks. Hotel Central Boquete is situated in Beautiful Bajo Boquete in the Chiriqui Provence. The rooms come with a flat-screen TV. A terrace or balcony are featured in certain rooms. Every room includes a TV with cable channels and a private or shared bathroom with free toiletries. There is a shared lounge at the property. A full American breakfast is offered for rates that include breakfast.
What to do:
Hiking is one of Boquete’s main attractions. There are three nice trails relatively close to town: the Quetzales Trail (Sendero Los Quetzales), the Pipeline Trail and the Lost Waterfalls. Sendero Los Quetzales is not only a nice hike through cloud forest in Volcan Baru National Park, but the best place to spot the resplendent quetzal, well-known for its colourful feathers.
In Bocas archipelago you can learn how to scuba dive or go fishing, snorkelling and surfing. Rent a bicycle and cruise around the main island of Bocas del Toro, to Paki’s Point and Punta Bluff. Visit the Sea Turtle Nesting Booth on the northwest corner of the park in Bocas Town and get involved in sea turtle conservation.
The San Blas Islands are one of the best tropical paradise destinations in Central America. The archipelago is controlled by the inviting indigenous population known as the Kuna. The Indians protect the archipelago against massive tourism expansion and have been able to keep the islands and reefs relatively untouched.
Playa Las Lajas extends for more than 13 km (8 miles) along the Gulf of Chiriqui on the Pacific Coast. With little current and perfect water temperatures, the beach is ideal for swimming and bodysurfing. Santa Catalina Beach, surrounded by lush rainforest, offers world-class surfing.
Isla Taboga is a perfect escape out of Panama City to relax in its sandy beaches, ride a jet ski or speed boat and go fishing.
The Pearl Islands feature lush forests surrounded by white sandy beaches. You can charter a private yacht to cruise and explore the islands.
The Coiba National Marine Park is home to more than 800 species of marine life. The park is known as one of the best places to enjoy snorkelling and scuba diving on the Pacific Coast.
In Panama City you can spend some time jogging, riding a bicycle or rollerblading down the Amador Causeway.
Buy traditional local products, such as carved tagua nut, ceremonial masks, artisan pottery and molas. Mola is the most sophisticated handmade textile art within Latin America. The colorful, intricate, reverse embroidery is a needle work with geometric or local animal designs. The mola art forms part of the traditional outfit of a Kuna woman.
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