Panamá City Travel Guide

  • Afro-Panamanian Beauties
    Afro-Panamanian Beauties
    by mikey_e
  • Panamá City
    by mayadoc
  • The locks and containers
    The locks and containers
    by mikey_e

Panamá City Things to Do

  • Paseo las Bóvedas and Plaza de Francia

    Around the southern point, on top of the defensive wall built by the Spaniards, is the Paseo las Bóvedas, a walkway lined with souvenir sellers at some stretches. Towards one side you can see the skyscrapers of Panama City and to the other side, in a distance, the ships lining up to enter the canal. Below Paseo las Bóvedas is Plaza de Francia, a...

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  • Cinta Costera

    Cinta Costera is the coastal strip along the Bay of Panama, constructed for recreation. There are several green areas, playgrounds for children and basketball courts, and there are bicycle lanes and roads for pedestrians and joggers.

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  • Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial and...

    Museo de Arte Religioso Colonial is housed in a small chapel next to the ruins of the Iglesia y Convento de Santo Domingo. The museum only consists of one exhibition room (the old chapel) where there are religious paintings (most of them from the 17th century), bells and other religious artifacts. I visited in the morning and there were no other...

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Panamá City Hotels

Panamá City Restaurants

  • Mercado de Mariscos

    Mercado de MariscosOutside the Fishmarket there are several stalls seling Ceviche. I sat down by a stall were there was no TV, as it was quite crowded at some places where football (the world cup) was shown. You can buy different sizes of ceviche, served in plastic cups and with some biscuits. The small “vaso” was $1.25 and the larger “pinta” was...

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  • Don René Café

    Even though it was evening (18.30) Don René Café had lunch offers for $10 (+tax). I sat down at one of the outdoor tables and ordered the “lunch”. First I was served a vegetable soup and then the main dish. I chose chicken (there was also beef and fish) which was served in a sauce, and with a salad and vegetable rice. As dessert there was a small...

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  • Santé Casco

    There are not too many restaurants with outdoor tables in Casco Viejo so when I was hungry one afternoon when I passed Santé I decided to eat there. There are just a few tables on the pavement outside the restaurant and during the week days there are lots of cars in Casco Viejo, so the view is not very nice. I ordered chicken in mango sauce with...

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Panamá City Nightlife

  • Tántalo Bar

    Tántalo is a hotel and restaurant in Casco Viejo. They have a roof-top bar which is open 17 – 02. I visited quite early so it was quiet, but it gets busier in the night. It is a nice place to sit in with a cold beer. The view is great and the breeze nice. Downstairs the restaurant was very busy.

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  • Cheap drinks and good company

    Ok,Apparently there was once more to this place till a fire burnt the area down. The "Club" is next to the Country Inn and Suites at the entrance of the canal. This is a great place for a drink and some decent eats. Nothing fancy but reasonable bar food (burgers, etc....the deep fryer is well used here. You can watch the sunset here or listen to...

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  • Karaoke Night in Panama

    Karaoke SHOT is a fun place when you can sing your favorite song, drink a variety of drinks, price are very affordable, beer, Rum and Vodka drinks in $3 each.The speciality of the house are the shots ask for SATANAS or the local Karaoke SHOT.They alternate the Karaoke sessions with dance sets, very fun place. Casual or sport is accepted, but some...

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Panamá City Transportation

  • To Islas San Blas (Kuna Yala) by car

    I had booked a 3d/3n stay on Coco Blanco in Islas San Blas with the company Panama Unlimited. The transportation to and from Cartí was included in the price. I had been told that I was going to be picked up at 5 – 5.30, but the car didn’t arrive until 6am, maybe because the two people already in the car had been picked up outside Panama City. We...

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  • Bus to Soná and Santa Catalina from...

    From Casco Viejo where I had been staying I took a taxi to Albrook Terminal. It was $3 (June 2014), At Albrook I bought a ticket for the 8.20 bus to Soná (the first buses to Soná leave at 8.20, 10.20 and 12.45). The ticket was $9.70.At Albrook you must also pay $0.25 to go through a turnstile, but you can’t pay with cash. As I didn’t have the card...

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  • Diablos Rojos

    Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) are old American school buses that have been imported to be used for public transportation in Panama. They are often colourfully painted and decorated. The drivers are known to drive as maniacs and many accidents occur. The Diablos Rojos have been used for over 40 years, but now the bus system in Panama is modernised and...

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Panamá City Shopping

  • Shopping Malls

    There are some big shopping Malls in Panama City and I have visited Multiplaza and Albrook Mall. When I visited Multiplaza I saw some shops that I wanted to visit, with nice cloths in the windows, but I was not there to buy clothes. After visiting Parque Natural Metropolitano one morning I went to Albrook Mall. It was not so far away so I walked...

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  • Island

    the city has many places where you can buy things, one of them is "DUTY FREE" a mall where you can buy souvenirs without taxes, if I remember I meet some guys there that I don't know if they where half Panamanians and Americans or fully Americans. Souvenirs are very common here but also PCs and laptops with no taxes from $10 to 50

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  • Local crafts

    While we were visiting with the Embera tribe one of the demonstrations were the crafts that they sell. You can find them at souvenir shops in Panama City but usually with an extremely high markup, it seemed like it was 2-3 times more expensive to buy at many of the shops in town. Casco Viejo had a better selection and lower prices than the shops...

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Panamá City Local Customs

  • Litter, litter, everywhere

    Panama City and most of the places we visited were covered in litter, you'd go out into the jungle and the amount of litter is amazing, along the roads there are piles of trash. One of our guides explained to us that in some areas trash collection is free and in some areas you have to pay for it. Contrary to what you'd think, the areas with free...

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  • Kuna Culture

    Panama has several indigenous groups and, like in Guatemala and other Central American nations, these groups preserve their language and culture, in the face of the Spanish language and a globalized culture. In Panamá, the two main groups are the Kuna, who live on the Caribbean coast, and the Emberá, who live in the Darién region and towards the...

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  • Panamanian Beers

    OK, I´m a beer connosuer, I have to check out the local brews wherever I go. Panamainian beers were unknown to me before I moved here. I have found them to be a pleasant surprise.They have an award winning beer now, Cerveza Panama was given a gold medal at the International Brewers Contest in 2008. It is my prefered local beer, but the others are...

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Panamá City Warnings and Dangers

  • Internet Cafés

    There are many places with wi-fi in Panama City and it is not expensive to get Internet on the phone if you have a Panamanian SIM-card. I think I paid $5 for unlimited Internet for one week. But sometimes it is difficult to check things on the phone and you want to sit by a computer with a larger screen. Then it can be a problem. I stayed in Casco...

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  • Driving in Panama

    As someone who has family ties to Panama, I am happy to see how the country is modernizing. With the recently added Metro train and their previous conversion to an organized inner city bus system, significant progress has been made. Now with the addition to the newly added Cinta Costera, another beautiful facet is evident. Although I would like to...

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  • Using credit cards

    The first two transactions I made in Panama were for my airline ticket with Copa Airlines and my excursion with Jungle Land Panama and both were marked for fradulent activity. This was easy enough to solve while still in the US and fortunately it did not happen while we were in Panama but we didn't charge much having read that Panama was a place...

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Panamá City Tourist Traps

  • Miraflores lock

    The panama Canal, was so big, also it has inside there are a museum about the history of the canal, however there so crowd of people around the world and there no air so its very hot, you can see the ships and the stuff in a balcony up of the building. Try to get comfortable clothes and something against the mosquitoes in the third floor Stay...

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  • Overcharging by Taxis

    Be sure to get exact charges before entering a taxi as they often charge non spanish speaking fares twice the amount. Often even after having agreed on a price, they will try to squeeze more out of you. Just be firm, get out at destination and refuse to pay more than agreed upon.

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  • Casco Viejo

    Lonely Planet and local tourist guides describe this as a gentrifying area of interesting old buildings and historical sites emerging from its past as a slum. Historical sites there may be, but I found it very hard to spot the gentrification. This is a developing county urban slum, nothing more. As urban slums go, its a relatively clean and orderly...

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Panamá City What to Pack

  • Packing for Panama City

    Water shoes, I used them on two of the excursionsSwimsuit, I wished I had packed two as nothing seemed to dry in Panama.Hat to keep your head from burning Sunscreen is an absolute must for me in tropical climates, bug spray is another good item to pack if you are heading into the jungle Credit/debit cards are not as widely used as they are in...

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  • Climate

    Panama's climate is hot & tropical (@ 85-95 F) all year round. It also has frequent rains from March till November. Pack light and bring rain gear.

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  • Bring your US dollars

    Although the balboa is the currency of Panama, it iso nly so by name. Do bring your US dollars here, Balboa banknotes do not exist. Often you will be told a price in Balboa - but what they mean is dollars. 50 balboa=50 USD.The balboa is divided in 100 cents... and at least here you can find Panamanian balboas, as well as US cents. The Balvoa...

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Panamá City Off The Beaten Path

  • Some Experience

    For a week of reading glossy magazines on Panama and its diverse cultural life,primeval forests and convoluted history, I never got the chance to be privy toone of the most interesting moments in Panama's existence. Fortunately andmagically it happened on the last day when travelling to the Tocumeninternational airport, the taxi driver chose the...

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  • Iglesia del Carmen

    The Iglesia del Carmen along Via España is one of the new city’s large churches. Surrounded by modern office and apartment buildings, as well as the busy lanes of the Via España, the church rises up and provides a bit of importance to an otherwise unremarkable commercial area. It is not done in the typical Baroque style of Spanish colonial...

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  • Calle Argentina

    Calle Argentina is one of the new city’s most visited restaurant zones, and with good reason. In fact, much of the area here just north of Via España is well-developed as a zone of entertainment and dining, with restaurants offering patrons a wide variety of cuisines. The main strip of restaurants and bars is along Calle Argentina (including some...

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Panamá City Sports & Outdoors

  • Volleyball

    I was surprised not to see people playing (beach) volleyball on the beaches around Panama CityMaybe somebody knows the good spots ? Please let us know ! We are very enthusiastic and would like to play as often as possible, or at least on week-endsArt77Email: artour_a@yahoo.com We do a have volleyball and a net

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  • Kayaking-White water-Mamoni

    I signed up for white Water Rafting in Feb when i booked it Javier said water level is low and will be using inflatable Kayaks. The water level was so low we had to work hard and paddle more because the water level was so shallow we got grounded on top of rocks and boulders most of the time and had to walk around area because too many large...

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  • RUN THE CAUSEWAY

    The place to run here in Panama City is the Amador Causeway. Start either at the Country Inn Hotel at the base of the Puente de las Americas or out on Flamenco Island. The course is four kilometers one way. The great views will help you forget your plodding speed brought on by the torpid heat. We increased the length of the run by a few kilometers,...

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Panamá City Favorites

  • Movie featuring Panama

    "The Tailor of Panama" was filmed in Panama including Panama City, Lake Gatun and Gamboa. It's an adapatation of a John Le Carre novel and stars Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis. I'm sure the Panama tourism bureau isn't promoting this film, while it does show some of Panama's beauty it also shows a bit of Panama's seediness. Watch...

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  • When to go

    We visited at the end of March, it was extremely hot and humid during the day but being near the water on a couple of the days made it feel slightly less hot. One of our guides said the rainy season would be starting soon and that would be a time when you wouldn't want to visit, he said that the roads sometimes flood and become unpassable.

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  • Money matters

    Panama seems to still be a largely cash society, some of the restaurants did take credit cards as did some of the tours but mostly we paid cash for things including the Embera tour and most of our meals. The US dollar is the legal currency, sometimes you will get back Panamanian coins but they have equal value with the same US coins.Credit cards,...

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