Cell # 954-610-5121
I was born and lived in Panama until I was 15 years old and visit Panama regularly. I am constantly receiving current news on Panama from the internet and friends living in Panama.
The Isthmus of Panama forms a bridge between South and Central America, and borders Costa Rica to the west and Colombia to the east. Panama City has flights to and from all Central American countries and both North and South America. Major US airlines such as American, Continental and Delta fly to Tocumen Airport in Panama City on a daily basis; COPA Airlines is the national airline.
Panama uses the US dollar as its currency. Don’t be confused by its official name, the Balboa—bills are exactly the same. Panamanian coins are of the same value and size as US coins, which are also accepted.
The climate in Panama varies very little throughout the year. There are only two seasons: the dry season, from January to mid-April, and the rainy season, from mid-April to December. Temperatures usually range between 70°F and 90°F, but it can get a little cooler in the highlands, especially in the province of Chiriqui.
Spanish is the official language, but many people speak English as a second language. The country’s population of almost 3 million reflects a history of mixed ethnicities, due largely to the significant influx of immigrants that arrived during the construction of the Panama Canal. In terms of religion, the Isthmus is predominantly Roman Catholic, but there are some small groups of Muslims, Protestants, Hindus and Jews.
The capital of Panama is a modern, thriving metropolis, with plenty of restaurants, shops and entertainment. Among its main attractions are the Casco Antiguo (or Old District), Panama Viejo (or Old Panama, dating back to the 16 th Century), the Calzada de Amador and, of course, the Panama Canal. For shopping, head to Via España or to one of the new shopping malls, if you want to avoid the heat.
Panama 's economy is based on the service sector, which accounts for three-fourths of the country’s GDP. Besides the Canal, Panama City boasts an important international banking center, while Colon City, on the Caribbean coast, is home to the one of the largest free zones in the world.
The Panama Canal:
The canal was built by the United States beginning in 1904 and was opened in 1914. It consists of three sets of double locks that are 1000 feet long and 110 feet wide. Today a new set of locks are under construction that consist of three lock chambers that will be 1400 ft. long, 180 ft. wide and 60 ft. deep, with each lock complex measuring more than a mile and a half in length on each side of the canal.
Panama, Where the world meets (Panama canal)
Panama, Where the world meets (Adventure)
Panama, Where the world meets (traditions)
Panama, Where the world meets (history)
Some Panama organizations:
U.S. Navy League: PTY Navy League: http://navyleaguepanama.org/
American Society of Panama: http://www.amsoc.org/
ExPats in Panama: http://www.expatsocials.com/
Panama Historical Society (No website)
Canadian ExPats in Panama: internations.org/expats/…canadians
Panamá Hotels & B&Bs
Inn on the Canal B&B, La Boca/Balboa, franzWald@cwp.net.pa 314-0112
Esplenador Hotel, Banking District, esplendorpanama.com/site/home/en/the_hotel
Av. Samuel Lewis y Calle Gerardo Ortega ( NULL)
RESERVATION +507 209-9696
Front Desk 507 209-9600 firstname.lastname@example.org
### La Estencia B&B: Ancon Hill-Quarry Heights (old Southern Command HQ)/Balboa email@example.com
***Hotel Las Vegas firstname.lastname@example.org 507-300-2020
***Torres de Alba Apartment Hotel, El Cangrejo see: http://www.torresdealba.com.pa/english.htm email: email@example.com
***My favorites in Panama City, El Cangrego area, convenient to good shopping, casino, restaurants/cafes, supermarket, drug stores, etc.
###My favorite Bed & Breakfast in the old Canal Area located on the old U.S. military Southern Command Headquarters area on Ancon Hill. Owned by a great Asian couple in an old U.S Mil NCO quarters building converted to the best B&B in the area. Great animal watching at breakfast from their balcony.
Casita Margarita, Pedasí: www.pedasihotel.com email firstname.lastname@example.org phone 995-2898
Coronado Bay Hotel/Condos: http://solaniumpanama.com
Liz Larroquette-General Manager
DeCameron Resort, Playa Blanca-Farallón tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g298431-d301154…
Gaviota, Coronado www.hotelgaviotapanama.com/index-1.html
Playa Venao-El Sitio Resort & Surf Club Azuero Peninsular 6.5 hour drive west of Panama City, site of annual surf competition Email email@example.com Phone (597)-832-1010 Web info: leisureresortliving.com/category/197/Resort-…
Rio Mar Surf & Skate Camp, Owned by canal tug captain Alan Barnes, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web info: www.rionarsurf.com Phones: 240-9128 or 6675-2526
Hotel Ladera http://www.hotel-ladera.com/
Oasis B&B http://oasisboquete.com/
Washington Hotel, Colon, …trvlclick.com/cuidad-de-colon-hotel-pa-0301… Email email@example.com Phone: 441-7133
Gamboa Rain Forrest Resort http://www.gamboaresort.com/
Balboa Inn B&B firstname.lastname@example.org 314-1520
B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical, Isla Taboga,
Owner/operator: Cynthia Cudmore Mulder
Taboga Blog: http://www.cerritotropicalpanama.com/blog/
Hotel Don Tavo www.volcanbaru.com/hoteldontavo/index.html
Cielito Sur B&B : located between the towns of Cerro Punta and Volcan in the Province of Chiriqui.http://www.cielitosur.com/
My favorite places to eat in Panama City:
Balboa Yacht Club, Amador beside Country Inn & Suites & FGI Fridays on the Panama Canal (typical Panama food +), great for sunset drink, week end live live music with local groups.
Costa Azul Restaurante (typical Panama food +), on side street from Via España between the Continental Hotel & the Marriott Hotel, Banking District
Jimmy’s Parrilla Restaurant (typical Panama food +), , two locations Banking District & San Francisco, see: http://www.parrilladajimmy.com/
Lung Fung (Chinese) Restaurant, Betania area, Vía Simón Bolívar (Transístmica) and Calle 62 C. Oeste Take a taxi, parking is tight under the building, but there is a parking lot up the street. Taxi drivers know the name.
Manolo’s Cafes (buffet-cafeteria style), several in the city, Via Veneto, Via Argentina, etc.
Martin Fierro (Argentine cruise), El Cangrejo, Calle Eusebio Morales, down the street from the Las Vegas Hotel
Mi Ranchito (typical Panama food +), on the first island on the Amador Causeway, see: www.restaurantemiranchito.com/en/home.html
Napoli Italian Restaurant, original off Avenida de Martes near the old Canal Zone & the new one south of Via España on a side street in Obarrio
Niko’s Cafes (buffet-cafeteria style), all over Panama City & Balboa, see: http://www.nikoscafe.com/
Pomodoro Restaurant Italian cuisine in a bohemian cafe atmosphere, located on the left side of the entrance to the Las Vegas Hotel on Via Veneto see: http://lasvegaspanama.com/en/restaurant
Pangea Restaurant & Club (International cuisine, El Cangrejo, www.pangeapanama.com
Rino’s Italian & International cuisine, Banking District, Ave Federico Boyd & Calle 49.
Tinajas Restaurant, (typical Panama food with typical Panama dance shows most nights), one block off Frederico Boyd & one block north of Calle 50 beside Rincon Aleman Restaurant, see: http://www.tinajaspanama.com/en/about-us
Wine Bar, on the right side of the entrance to Las Vegas Hotel offers cheese varieties, pizza's and other gourmet choices mixed with live music of local groups. See bottom: http://lasvegaspanama.com/en/restaurant
U.S. Chain restaurant:
Outside of Panama City:
Los Camisones, PanAmerican highway (typical Panama food +), 1.5 hour drive west of Panama City or about 15 kilometers past the entrance to El Valle, KM 104, north side of the Pan Am Hwy, look for a small sign, it’s easy to miss. The restaurant is on s short one lane road up a hill. http://loscamisones.com/
Las Ruinas Restaurant (typical Panama food +, American chief & owner), Boquete, Chiriquí province, see: www.boqueteguide.com/?tag=las-ruinas-panama
Calle Uruguay has many good restaurants, clubs and bars, it is like the “South Beach“ of the city. Located one block east of Frederico Boyd & south of Calle 50.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Panama City.
Me gusta Comida Vegetariana is off via España on the side street between the Continental Hotel & Marriott Hotel (across the street from Restaurant Costa Azul on the “rounded“ corner).
There are other vegan restaurant in the city, but not being one I do not have names or locations.
Coronado Golf & Beach Resort, 1.5 drive west of Panama City, see: http://www.coronadoresort.com/
DeCameron Golf Course, located at the DeCameron Resort, Farallón Beach, 2 hour drive west of Panama City.
Panama City Golf Course: Panama City, San Miguelito area, see: http://clubdegolfdepanama.com/
Santa Maria Golf & Country County (Future/Planned), Costa del Sol, between Tocumen International Airport & Panama City, see: www.santamariapanama.com/eng/location.html
Summit Golf Course, located about 35-40 minute drive north of Panama City on the road to Gamboa & by-past to the transmission highway, see: www.larsenoutdoors.com/html/golf_panama.html
Tucín Country Club & Resort, west bank of the canal, see: http://www.tucancountryclub.com/
Vista Mar Golf Club, 1.7 hour drive west of Panama City, see: www.vistamarresort.com/Default.aspx?tabid=55
Internet cafes all over the area for 50c-$20/hour & international telephone service, calls to the U.S. between 10-20c/minute. Phone calls are charged by the minute, cell phone call are more expensive. Cell phone numbers have 6 digits, others have 5 digit numbers. Best way to use phone to make local calls is to use a Cable & wireless plastic credit card looking item that fits in a slot on the front of pay telephone. These cards can be bought from vending machines in $5, 10 & 20 denominations.
Many casinos in the city at all major hotels, clubs/restaurants on Via Veneto & the near the Marriott Hotel, Via Uruguay, Via Argentina, Balboa (Amador) Yacht Club & on the islands at the end of Amador Causeway (Panama’s South Beach). Pangea’s off Via Argentina, see www.pangeapanama.com , Casco Viejo (Antiguo)
Tour guide & van service:
Jesus Deleon Cell # 6754-3378, Jesus has a van/taxi/tour service, I met him when he was a security guard (suit) at the Marriott Hotel. He had player minor league base ball in the U.S. and his English is good. He charges $15 per hour for his service which includes taking you to tourist areas & $30 or 40 to & from the airport.
Things to see & do:
Panama City area:
Old Panama (Panamá Viejo) destroyed by the Pirate Capt Morgan.
New old town: Casco Viejo: city build after the destruction of Panamá Viejo by Capt Morgan. This is the combined “barrios” of San Felipe, Santa Ana & El Chorrillo. Central Avenue is the a close street-“walking mall” for shopping, Ave B is the Asian shopping street with bargain shops. “Sale se Puedes” is a side street close by vendor with shops in the middle of the street, warning “Sale se Puedes” translates to “get out if you can”, good bargains and I’ve never personally known of anyone not to get out, but “¿quien sabes?”
Amador Causeway: including Mi Ranchito Restaurant first island on the right, best view, prices & view. Balboa (Amador) Yacht Club before the causeway by the TGI Friday/Town & Country Inn.
Shopping at the Artisan Center back side of the YMCA building in the old gym for gifts & souvenirs.
Miraflores Locks tourist center: museum, viewing area of the locks operation & restaurant
Summit Gardens Zoo & Gardens just past the “Y” to Gamboa on Gamboa Road.
Canopy Tower Bird Watching Sanctuary: Gamboa Road, between Summit Gardens & one-way bridge to Gamboa: http://www.canopytower.com/error.lasso
El Valle: Volcanic area 1½ hour drive west of Panama City, week end flee markets, mud bathes, Zoo & a number of excellent B&Bs. Also a number of great B&Bs (see my website: http://panamalou.com/ )
Beaches-west of Panama City 1-2 hour drive, beaches include Chame, Gorgona, Coronado, San Carlos, Rio Mar, Santa Clara & Farallon. The PanAm highway “dips” down along the coast in this area & the beaches in this area stretch for about 40-50 kilometers. Hotel Coronado: Gaviota Hotel, Coronado www.hotelgaviotapanama.com/index-1.html Coronado phone 240-4526, Panama phone 224-9056 Also the DeCameron & Breezes all-inclusive resorts are located on these beaches.
including Las Tablas, Pedasi & the beaches in this area. This area is a 5-6 hour drive west of Panama City. Best B&B Casita Margarita email email@example.com website www.pedasihotel.com
David, Boquette, El Volcan & Chiriqui Province:
Very popular for the higher elevation & cooler temperatures to the north of David. My favorite hotel in Boquete: Hotel Ladera email firstname.lastname@example.org website www.hotel-laera.com This area is a 6-61/2 hour drive west of Panama City.
Canopy Tower Bird watching: near Gamboa, see: http://www.canopytower.com/error.lasso
Eco Tours: http://panamatraveltours.com/about_us.html
Embera Village, see: http://www.emberavillagetours.com
Gamboa Rain Forrest Resort: see: http://www.gamboaresort.com/
Panama Railroad, Though not eco itself, you will see a lot by riding the train. see: http://www.panarail.com/home.html
Playa Venao: Azuero Peninsular, El Sitio beach & surf resort, see: http://elsitiopv.com/
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Ancon, see: http://www.stri.si.edu/
Taboga Island: see: http://www.tabogaislandpanama.com/
Torti, Panama: about 2 hour drive east of Panama City toward the Darien includes the Hotel Avicar and Restaurant Avicar. The hotel, is a 10 room hotel with swimming pool. Prices ranges depending on the occupancy (beds) from 35.00 to 50.00 US Dollars. The food at the restaurant is a la carte and it ranges from 3.00 to 5.00 US Dollars (steak with rice and salad). Bird watching & jungle tours, for more information contact Luis Gonzalez Nelson at email@example.com or see: www.hotelavicar.com
Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge: Bocas del Toro, see: http://www.tranquilobay.com/home.htm
Whale Watching: www.WhaleWatchingPanama.com