View the Panama Photo GalleryView Gallery
The lures have changed The experience is first class
Panama's Newest Fishing Resort • Opening 2011
While in Panama City, Panama
Guaranteed you will run out of time before you do everything in this electrifying, dynamic city! Panama City is full of history and modernity intertwined with colonial beauty and giant skyscrapers just a short distance away from dugout canoes and wild jungle adventures.
We are happy to arrange a specially tailored tour of the city for your visit. Please don't hesitate to ask us for advice or other recommendations!!
Here are some not-to-miss highlights
THE PANAMA CANAL AND MIRAFLORES LOCKS...The Waistline of America!
At the heart of the Americas, and stretching from the Atlantic coast near the city of Colon across to the Pacific coast near Panama City. The 80 km Panama Canal joins the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the North to the South. Called the 'Eighth Wonder of the World', the Panama Canal is surely one of mankind's most impressive accomplishments.
Only 20 minutes from downtown Panama City, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace of the restaurant at Miraflores Locks while you watch the big ships squeeze down the surprisingly narrow canal. Miraflores Restaurant is the only place in the world where you can relax with a cocktail in your hand while you watch 4 million ton vessels pass silently by through the canal locks! The restaurant is also is part of the Panama Canal Visitors Center. There is no better way than to watch the action on the canal to appreciate the Herculean efforts and ingenuity involved in this engineering marvel.
AMADOR CAUSEWAY AND ANCON HILL
The striking panoramas of the city from the causeway are a bonus to the amazing people-watching on this long breakwater promenade. Lined with palm trees and with the city's most luxurious yacht clubs on either side, this is a great place for spectacular views of the city skyline and the Panama Canal.
Swept by pleasant sea breezes, there are bicycle and jogging paths (bicycles available for rent) restaurants, and ice cream shops. Many restaurants have ocean and canal views by both day and night. Some patios offer close views of the Panama Canal with ships passing under the Bridge of the Americas connecting North and South America.
Ancon Hill is known as an island of jungle in the middle of the city. Reach the top by hiking up narrow trails through lush vegetation - home of many protected animals and birds (sloths, coati, armadillos, tamarins, and deer!!). From the top you have a panoramic view of the entire city, Panama Bay, the canal and the surrounding landscape. Breathtaking!
Bridge of the Americas
THREE CITIES OF PANAMA
Casco Viejo: One of the most fabulous and most fun parts of Panama City, Casco Viejo - the colonial old city - is a kaleidoscope of life and architectural beauty with incredible restored buildings and crumbling tenements side by side. Located on a small promontory, sea breezes and ocean views compete with 17th century churches, 16th century dungeons, and one of the most beautifully restored Spanish colonial cities of the new world. Don't miss a stop at Granclement for an ice cream, and a mojito at Vieja Habana!!
Panama Viejo: Built in 1519 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Panama Vieja was the first Pacific Coast city built by the Spanish. In 1671, the English pirate Henry Morgan (yes, of the rum fame!) destroyed the town. The ruins are located on the eastern edge of Panama City. It was the first city on the west coast of the Americas serving as the gateway city for the Spanish conquest of Latin America. All the loot sacked from the Inca empire went through here!!
LADY LUCKPanama City is famous for its lively night life. Few cultures can rival the fun-loving nature of Panamanians, where partying is a national pastime - a fact reflected in the proliferation of casinos and nightclubs. The action takes place in three sectors of the city: the business district in and around Calle Uruguay, the Amador Causeway, and Casco Viejo. Three of the best casinos are The Veneto, The Fiesta at El Panama Hotel, and the Royal Casino at the Marriott Hotel.
SHOPPINGDon't leave Panama without an authentic souvenir most made by one of Panama's seven living Indian tribes. The most popular handicrafts are "molas," intricate reverse appliqué embroidery sewn by the woman of the Kuna Indian tribe. Other handicrafts include the hand-woven baskets of the Embera Indians of the Darien jungle, and tagua nut sculptures, which are tiny figures skillfully carved from the tropical tagua nut.
Handicraft markets can be found near Panama Viejo next to the visitors center at the Mercado Nacional de Artesanías, and also at the YMCA Handicrafts Market in Balboa near Amador. The Kuna Cooperative features Kuna handicrafts a little farther east from the YMCA market. For a high-end mola, visit Flory Saltzman Molas. You'll pay top dollar for the intricate designs, but the labor involved deserves every penny.
Flory Saltzman Molas
Calle 49 B Oeste
If you have always dreamt of an authentic Panama hat, you might be surprised to learn that Panama hats did not originate in Panama but in Ecuador, and were traditionally made by the Ecuadorian indigenous group from the Manabí Province using fibers from the toquilla palm. The hat was first popularized by Ferdinand de Lesseps during the French canal effort, and later during the canal building by the U.S., when thousands were imported from Ecuador and given to workers for protection from the blistering tropical sun.
A great place for handicrafts shopping in Casco Viejo is the Galeria de Arte Indigena, a gallery and shop with an extensive selection of indigenous handicrafts from the Panamanian rainforest (Kuna molas, Embera baskets, Tagua carvings, decorated gourds, hammocks, imported Panama hats,kids toys, and embroidered cloth and shoes made with local Panama designs and fabrics.
Galeria de Arte Indigena
Calle 1, Casco Viejo
Reprosa designs and makes wonderful jewelry reproductions of pre-Columbian art as well as Spanish colonial jewelry. We have some designs from Reprosa available on the ship, but for the full collection visit them in Casco Viejo.
Avenida A, between Calle 4 & 5, Casco Viejo
Panama City is brimming with excellent restaurants. Here are our top favourites:
This fabulous restaurant in Casco Viejo is the perfect way to spend an evening after strolling the historic streets of the area. The quirky Andalusian chef-owner plays with traditional Panamanian dishes using many ingredients sourced from his own farms. Food is delicious and fun. Menu is set, so you will get a series of small plates for everyone to share. Good wine list.
One of the most exceptional dining experiences in Panama. Run by an excellent chef trained in Spain, Mario Castrellon, this gorgeous restaurant is surrounded by swaying bamboo trees and celebrates local ingredients with creativity and skill. Don't skip making a reservation, this restaurant is often booked solid. Food, service, and wine list excellent.
This is an Argentine-style steakhouse specializing in, you guessed it! Big delicious steaks. Charcoal grilled steaks come with house-made chimichurri and you can choose between Panamanian or imported beef.
Specializing in 'Cocina Tipica', which is 'Typical Cuisine', you can find every classic Panamanian dish on the menu at this casual restaurant. Always packed with Panamanian families, this is a great place to taste some real Panamanian food washed down with an icy beer. A great place to go for lunch or breakfast as well.