Ooooh how beautiful.....
but Janosh is right.
Panama is a very diverse country. On the Pacific coast you will find wild beaches that are perfect for surfing and white, idyllic, caribean beaches on the Atlantic coast. The special thing about Panama City is the canal along the city, which connects the Atlantic side and the Pacific side.
Panama City, as a huge cargo handling center, offers the freshest fish in Central and South America. To see the variety of the daily catch, you can visit the fish market (best before noon), which is located near the metro station "Cinco de Mayo". On the 1st floor of the market there is a restaurant where you can order freshly served fish and seafood
directly from the market. Try the Ceviche!
An absolute must is the old town (casco viejo). With its beautiful colonial architecture, the impressive city wall and many hidden bars and restaurants you can enjoy a perfect afternoon walk and dinner.
Don't miss the city's best ceviche at Red Dragon Cevecheria and the best mojito to go with it.
Looking for a great and cheaper hotel with nice rooms with view and a pool on the roof, check out the Best Western Hotel ($50 per night).
Bocas del Toro
A fascinating small group of islands in the northeast of Panama near the border to Coast Rica. With beautiful Caribbean beaches and many hidden quiet places to relax. The town of Bocas del Toro on the Isla Colon is the starting point for most visitors' day activities. The very touristic main street contains several hostels, restaurants, bars and travel agencies.
This is the right place for nightlife and getting to know people. The Marabella Hostel in Bocas is our top recommendation for a residence, when staying in town. From there you can make one-day boat trips to the neighbouring islands or a simple boat transfer to them ($10 per trip).
Staying on Isla Colon, take a trip to the beaches of Playa Bluff and Starfish. (Do not take the taxi boat there - you can walk). It is highly recommended. Palm trees leaning over the turquoise ocean, beautiful white sandy beach surrounded by jungle.
For some really quiet privacy in the middle of stunning nature check out Villa Red Hill on the island Solarte. A private landing stage, only a handful of other visitors staying there, self-catering in a huge luxury kitchen on top of the hill and a lot of activity like stand-up paddling, kayaking and snorkeling.
A true surfers` paradise in Central America is Playa Venao at the Pacific coast with 8 foot high, constant tube waves, dark sandy beaches and a rough jungle nature around it. At the 2 km long beach there are several hotels from luxury to reasonable price. The `Eco Venao` hostal in the north is perhaps the quiet and romantic highlight on the beach.
Lifestyle & Food
In general Panamenas are very unfriendly and do not welcome you. The more south you go in Latin America, the friendlier the people get. The food usually consists of rice with Arepa and fried fish or grilled meat and is heavy and fat. Ceviche and Empanadas are an inviting, typically Latin American meal for in between.