Last Minute Vacations To Panama City
Panama City is the capital of the Republic of Panama and is located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. This city seems to have it all: a high standard of living, a Pacific coastline, tropical jungles nearby, and a rich history dating back to 1519 when the Spanish settled on mainland America.
Getting There & Other Transportation
Flights arrive at Tocumen International Airport which is located 25 km from Panama City and is the busiest airport in Central America. From the airport, as well as around the city, there is certainly not a shortage of taxis. Taxis are a safe and inexpensive way to get around the city. One benefit is that sometimes the driver will stop and pick up another person if they are headed in the same general direction (ie: costs become even lower).
You will not need to rent a car in the city as it may become more of a nuisance than anything. The city is relatively small when compared to other Latin American cities and much of the city can be covered by foot.
Hotels & Places to Stay
Most hotels are concentrated in the central area of ‘El Cangrejo’. These hotels include:
Best Western Las Huacas Hotel and Suites
Courtyard Inn & Suites
Crowne Plaza Panama
Four Points by Sheraton
Hostal La Casa de Carmen
Radisson Decapolis Hotel
Riande Continental hotel
Sheraton Panama Hotel and Convention Center
The Bristol Panama
The Panama Marriott Hotel
Veneto-A Whydham Grand Hotel
Visitors who are planning to stay for an extended period of time, or those traveling with families, might want to look into ‘Aparthotels’. You can rent these apartment style hotels by the night, week, or month. Here are some good options:
Coral Suites Aparthotel
Las Vegas Hotel Suites
Dining & Nightlife
Traditional Panamanian food is served at many restaurants in the city. Some local dishes include ‘hojaldras’, which is fried bread, as well as tortillas. Main courses are accompanied by a combination of rice, beans, and plantain. Panama City is known for its wide range of cuisine types, so don’t be afraid to get out and taste exceptional food from around the world.
Many dining choices are also found in the central area or ‘El Cangrejo’ which is a melting pot of cuisines.
Beirut (Middle Eastern cuisine)
Cafeteria Manolo’s (Latin American cuisine)
Caffe Pomodoro (Italian cuisine)
El Trapiche (Latin American cuisine)
Las Barandas (Latin American cuisine)
Madame Chang (Chinese cuisine)
Martin Fierro (Steakhouse)
Restaurante 1985 & Rincon Suizo
Restaurante Jimmy (Mediterranean)
The financial district has many great choices as well:
Café Balear (Spanish/Portuguese cuisine)
Greenhouse (International cuisine)
La Posta (International cuisine)
Palms (Eclectic cuisine)
Sushi Itto (Japanese cuisine)
Panama is the most exciting city in Central America in terms of attractions, tourist sites and historical landmarks. Within the city lie the historical ruins of Panama Viejo, charming streets in Casco Viejo, and the Natural Metropolitan Park. Day excursions are also available that take tourists boating through the canal, trekking, and visiting Embera Indian villages. Tours are recommended when visiting the city. Ask your hotel concierge for more information, as booking can be done from your hotel. Here are a few options:
Bayano Lake Caves
Bona & Otoque Dive
Canopy Crane & Metropolitan National Park
Canopy Tower Birding Tour
Canal Boat Tour
Diablo Rojo City Tour
El Valle Market
Gatun Lake Canopy & Hiking Trails
Mamoni White Water Rafting
Panama Canal Jungle Tour from Panama City
Sport Fishing on Gatun Lake
The Sister Island Dives
Tour of Portobelo & Isla Grande
Currency, Culture and Language
The official language in Panama is Spanish.
The official currency in Panama is the Panamanian balboa (PAB).