It’s the high season in Panama, which means clear skies and good breeze for the next several months. We asked one team member from each of our offices for activities they recommend for anyone touring their area. Read below for their responses!
High Season in Coronado – Karyn Saunders
Welcome to Coronado the ultimate destination for sun, sand and sea. If you are looking for adventure and a day away from the salt water and sand there are a host of activities to choose from. Here are our top three adventures:
1. A morning or afternoon trip to El Valle. El Valle is the second largest crater city in the world and boasts incredible flora and fauna. While in the Valley, you can choose form a Zip Line tour that takes you over a 100-foot waterfall. Or soak in the natural spring mud baths or simply enjoy a lunch or dinner at La Casa de Lourdes restaurant at Los Mandarinos Boutique Hotel that will satisfy not only your taste buds but you eyes as well – the views are picturesque.
2. An overnight or two-night adventure to the famous island of Contadora. Hop into my six-seat, private plane and travel 60 miles out into the pacific to enjoy the crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches of The Pearl Islands, recently become even more popular by the Survivor Series. If you enjoy snorkeling, fishing, bird watching or simply enjoying one of the many beaches Contadora has to offer, then this is your adventure.
3. Coronado and the surrounding area is known for its incredible surf breaks. Surf enthusiasts and those that have always wanted to try their hand at this fun sport can try their hand at surfing at El Palmar beach with a lesson from Flor. Panama Surf School has classes for kids and the kids at heart. If you are simply looking to get out and enjoy the waves rentals are available.
If you need more information on any of the above Beach Adventures please respond with interest and we will be able to coordinate and put you in contact with our adventure specialists. We look forward to seeing you in Coronado.
You can reach Karyn by her e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
High Season in Boquete – Ryan Braasch
Boquete is a playground with several fun activities, but if I have to narrow them all down to the three most popular tourist attractions, they must be:
1. Hiking some of the many trails that pass through lush rainforest in the area. You can stop by cascading waterfalls, or make your way to the top of Volcan Baru, where you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea at the same time.
2. Bird-watching over 400 species including the Resplendent Quetzal, Emerald Toucanet, Collared Redstart, Sulfur-Winged Parakeet, and over 12 types of hummingbirds.
3. Coffee Plantations are plentiful and there are many in-depth tours to choose from. Enjoy the beauty of one of these mountain farms with rich, volcanic soil that produce some of the world’s most sought-after coffee varieties.
Other popular tourist attractions include mountain biking, rock-climbing, river rafting/kayaking, zip-lining, horseback-riding, and more. I am happy to refer the guides I prefer for each activity.
You can reach Ryan by his e-mail, email@example.com
High Season in Panama City – Andrea Cooper
You can do a crash-course tour of most of Panama City’s tourist destinations in two days. While I generally recommend you take your time and enjoy exploring the city, here is a detailed list of destinations for those of you looking to fit your exploration into a shorter timeframe:
Miraflores Locks: Panama’s raison d’etre is the Canal, and no trip to the country would be complete without a visit to the Miraflores locks. Go mid-morning and purchase the full access pass ($8), which includes admission to a fascinating museum (with exhibits on the history of the canal, the biodiversity in the watershed, the current operations and the future of the canal) and a 3-D movie. From the museum, you can access an observation platform to watch ships passing through the canal. The lunch buffet at the museum can be a bit pricey, but you get a front-row seat on a deck overlooking the Miraflores locks and the food is quite good. I often bring friends to the balcony to have a drink in the late afternoon as we watch the ships roll through.
Amador Causeway: This breakwater joins three islands (Flamenco, Perico and Naos) at the entrance to the Panama Canal and is a favorite of Panama City residents and tourists alike. Rent a bike or roller blades and enjoy six kilometers paved sidewalks, from which you can take in panoramic views of the Panama City skyline and watch ships transiting the Canal. You will find plenty of restaurants, bars and ice cream stores along the length of the Causeway to keep you fed, hydrated and happy along the way.
Ancon Hill: If time permits, have your driver take you up Ancon Hill between your visit to the locks and the causeway. This peak is home to largest flag to fly in Panama and also offers unbeatable panoramic city views.
Casco Viejo: Spend the morning you wandering through Casco Viejo (sometimes called “Casco Antiguo”), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Top attractions include the Cathedral, the National Theater, Palacio de las Garzas (presidential palace) and the oceanfront walkway at Plaza Francia, where you can buy beautiful “molas” (tapestries created by Guna Indians). There is a great ice cream shop called “Gran Clement” that is not to be missed! Bring sunscreen and a hat, as it will be hot.
Nightlife: Take an afternoon siesta and prepare for an evening on the town! Head into the Calle Uruguay districts for some of Panama’s best restaurants and nightlife: La Posta, Cafe Chic, Tomate y Amor are all highly recommended dining establishments, whereas popular bars include Hotel Manrey’s rooftop lounge, AltaBar and the Londoner Pub. If you’d like venture further out of the downtown core, try the rooftop terrace at the new Hard Rock Megapolis hotel, with its 360-degree views of the capital city, or the trendy Isabella night club in Panama’s most upscale mall, Multiplaza.
Transport tip: Taxis are cheap and plentiful, but make sure you negotiate your fare before getting into the vehicle or you will likely be charged the “precio gringo”. Your hotel concierge can advise you on standard rates for most destinations. Alternatively, most of the city’s tourist attractions can be easily visited by purchasing a 24-hour pass on Panama’s new “Hop on, Hop off” bus service.
You can reach Andrea by her e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org