Panama

Where to go

Panama is a small country situated at the southern end of the Central American isthmus.  Famous for its impressive 82 km ship canal running from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean, Panama’s economy is booming and it is a country which truly offers something for everyone.  Experience a dynamic city life with superb hotels in Panama City, enjoy an idyllic tropical island stay on the Caribbean coast and explore some of the country’s pristine rainforest with abundant wildlife and nature.

 

Highlights include: 

  • Panama City - known as three cities: the old city, “La Vieja”, the “Casco Antiguo”, the second city, and today’s very contemporary city of iconic skyscrapers.
  • Bocas del Toro – Panama’s Caribbean jewel. The Bocas archipelago of islands boasts clear, calm waters and huge tracts of virgin hardwood and rainforest. The diversity of birds, coral and aquatic life is rivalled by few other places in the world.
  • San Blas Islands – an archipelago of islands in the Caribbean, inhabited by the indigenous Kuna tribe.
  • The charming town of Boquete, 30 minutes from David, in the highland province of Chiriquí, renowned for its near perfect weather and fertile soil creating an ideal setting for floral exportation and coffee growing.

 

What to do

  • Make the Panama Canal transit from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic, experiencing the series of locks along the way.
  • Stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and explore the 100 hectares of rainforest and go hiking in Soberania National Park.
  • Relax on the palm-fringed white sand beaches of Bocas del Toro and go swimming or snorkelling in the turquoise waters amidst the coral reefs.
  • Take a canoe trip in the San Blas Islands and meet the local Kuna people.
  • Trek through the cloud forest near Boquete amidst lush tropical forest with its tropical flowers and exotic birds.



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When to go

A year-round destination with tropical, humid weather throughout the year with temperatures between 25-30 degrees Celsius.   In the mountains of Chiriquí, it is cooler with lovely fresh, crisp air.  The dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October although it is worth remembering that during the wet season the rain tends to come in short showers and you will still have plenty of sunshine!

 

Currency and money

Technically, the official currency is the Balboa, however, the US Dollar is the standard currency in use (Balboa coins are used interchangeably with US coins).  ATMs are easily available in Panama City but outside the city, generally, cash may be needed.

 

Cuisine

Panama’s seafood is hard to beat, especially the lobster and ceviche marinated in lemon juice.  Try the sancocho, a popular spicy stew with chicken and plantain.  Panama’s cuisine is influenced by its diverse mix of ethnicities with many restaurants serving international dishes as well as traditional Panamanian cuisine with Afro-Caribbean, indigenous and Spanish touches.

 

Hotels

Choose from a tremendous range of luxury hotels in Panama City as well as small boutique hotels and ecolodges and rainforest resorts.

Where to go next

We recommend combining Panama with a trip to Costa Rica.  The Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro is just a 25 minute transfer to the Costa Rican border.  International flight schedules combine well, enabling you to fly into Panama City and fly home from Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose.   Another good combination is Panama and neighbouring Colombia.  It is just a one-hour flight from Panama City to Cartagena. 

 

Links

Saspo’s partner office in Panama is Ecocircuitos.  For further information on the country and its highlights and destinations please see Ecocircuitos’ website www.ecocircuitos.com 

Contact:    TEL: +44 20 8123 1827   Mobile: +44 7989 982 210   Email: Info@saspoUK.com