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... Casco Viejo

Panama: Best of Casco Viejo

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    Panama (City): Old town charm, tropical heat and the famous canal

    Varied though Central America is, Panama (City) stands well and truly apart. The cosmopolitan capital is easily the most developed and wealthiest in the region, but it is also a city of mind-boggling contrasts. The centre soars with skyscrapers befitting a truly modern metropolis largely thanks to the Panama Canal, which remains one of the most important shipping passages in the world.

    But staring back at the high-rises from across the bay is Casco Viejo, a charming Old Town of pastel-coloured buildings that became a World Heritage Site in 1997. Fringed by slums, the chaotic metropolis was long riven by crime, but has been cleaning up its image in recent years as it welcomes growing numbers of tourists.

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    Top 10 sights in Panama (City)

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    Panama, Lufthansa Travel Guide, Reiseführer, Südamerika, Top Ten Sehenswürdigkeiten, Fischmarkt

    Parque Natural Metropolitano

    Avenue Juan Pablo II final
    0843-03129 Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel: +507 232 5552
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0800-1700
    Sat 0800-1300

    Not many a capital city can boast a tropical rainforest on its environs but just 2km north of Panama (City)’s centre lies this enormous nature reserve with dozens of animal species including deer, monkeys and sloths; after all, the land bridge between Central and South America is historically one of the most biodiverse in the world. There are several well-marked trails to try.

    Mercado de Mariscos

    Avenida Balboa and Calle 15 Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0600-1700
    (Closed on the third Monday of every month)

    For some of the best seafood in Central America, head to this fabled fish market. Full of sellers serving up the daily catch kept on ice, the mercado is an essential slice of local Panamanian life. Take a seat at one of the tables outside overlooking the bay and dine on the Caribbean-style dishes while drinking down the view.

    Palacio Presidencial

    Calle 5a Este/Av. Eloy Alfaro
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Wed-Mon 0800-1700

    Originally built in the late 17th century, the gleaming white presidential palace as it currently stands was largely rebuilt in 1922. It sports the elegant neo-Moorish style that was popular at the time, and is famed for its Darién herons.

    Plaza Bolívar

    Avenida B/Calle 4a Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Dedicated to the great Latin American liberator Simón Bolívar, this square is amongst the most beautiful in Panama. A couple of blocks east of the Palacio Presidencial, it features a statue of Bolívar, who came here for the first Panamerican Congress in 1826, and a handsome museum dedicated to the legend. There’s also the glamorous 17th-century Church of San Francisco.

    Museo del Canal

    Plaza de la Independencia,Calle 5a Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 0900-1700

    The Panama Canal was one of the 20th century’s greatest engineering feats, but it was also a source of enormous controversy, with the US effectively running the Canal Zone until 1999. This museum tells the whole story behind the vital waterway, with exhibitions including the original canal treaties.

    Catedral de Panama

    Plaza de la Indepencia/Calle 7a Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    The highlight of the whole Casco Viejo, as the Old Town is called, is probably the cathedral of Panama. It was consecrated at the end of the 18th century, though work began more than a century before. It has a classic colonial facade, but its two mighty white bell towers make for a striking contrast.

    Museo Afroantillano de Panama

    Av. Justo Arosemena/Calle 24 Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sat 0900-1600

    Once a church, the Afro-Antillano museum celebrates Panama’s Caribbean community – who play an important part in Panamanian culture. Dedicated largely to the black workers who built the canal in dreadful conditions, there are photographs and tools from the period on display in the old wooden building.

    Iglesia de San José

    Calle 8 Oeste / Av. A
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    In 1671, Sir Henry Morgan raided Panama (City), leaving no treasure behind except the glorious gold altar of this church, which was disguised so that the daring Brit wouldn’t plunder it. Plaza Herrera next to the church is also worth a look for its pretty 19th-century architecture.

    Iglesia de Santo Domingo

    Calle 3a Oeste
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    One of the first buildings to be constructed in Panama, this former church and monastery was built in the late 17th century. It’s now a ruin, but the Arco Chato – an unsupported arch spanning the church interior – is famous for having been cited as evidence of Panama’s seismic stability while the US was considering building the canal here.

    Isla Taboga

    Isla Taboga
    Panama
    Show on map

    Taboga Island is also known as the Isla de las Flores (Island of Flowers): A blaze of tropical color and gloriously quiet beaches await visitors here – just 20 kilometers or so from the big-city noise. Day trippers will enjoy the leisurely boat ride, which takes roughly one hour and offers incomparable views of the city’s skyline and the Bridge of the Americas. The ferry makes the crossing several times daily from Calypso Dock on Isla Naos, on the Calzada de Amador causeway.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Think Panama and what springs to mind? The canal? Cigars? Straw hats? Probably all three. However, for those in the know, this slender Central American nation is much more than that; it is a land of wildlife-rich rainforests and remote indigenous communities; Miami-esque promenades and paradisiacal beaches; verdant volcanoes and the impenetrable wilderness of the Darien Gap.

    Firstly, the canal. Though considered to be the star attraction (thousands flock here to watch container ships passing through the locks) the wild landscapes it scythes through are an altogether more exciting prospect. Here you can hike volcanoes, zip-wire over forest canopies, raft down rapids and meet one of the country’s largest indigenous groups, the Kunas.

    Geography

    Panama forms the land link between the North and South American continents. It borders Colombia to the east, Costa Rica to the west, and the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean to the north and south. The country forms an S-shaped isthmus, which runs east-west over a total length of 772km (480 miles) and is 60 to 177km (37 to 110 miles) wide. The landscape is mountainous with lowlands on both coastlines cut by streams, wooded slopes and a wide area of savannah-covered plains and rolling hills called El Interior between the Azuero peninsula and the Central Mountains. To the east is the Darién province which is a humid area of swamp and forest with few inhabitants. The Darién Gap is the missing link in the Panamerican Highway, as extending the road through the dense jungle would be costly and environmentally destructive.

    The Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean are linked by the man-made Panama Canal, cut into a gap between the Cordillera de Talamanca and the San Blas mountain range and stretching for over 65km (40 miles); the length of the canal is often referred to as 80km (50 miles) as this is the distance between deep-water points of entry.

    Only about a quarter of the country is inhabited.

    The majority of the population live either around the canal and main cities of Panama City and Colón (the two cities which control the entrance and exit of the canal) or in the Pacific lowlands and the adjacent mountains.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 3.9 Million (2015)

    Population Density (per sq km): 44

    Capital: Panama (City)

    Language

    The official language is Spanish, but English is spoken in Panama (City).

    Currency

    Balboa (PAB; symbol B/.) = 100 centésimos. There is no Panamanian paper currency; coins exist in denominations of B/.10 and 1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 centésimos. US currency was adopted in 1904 and exists alongside the Balboa coinage: B/.1 = US$1.

    US Dollar (US$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of US$100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of US$1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.

    Electricity

    110 volts AC, 60Hz (in Panama (City) 120 volts). North American-style plugs with two flat pins (with or without third grounding pin) are standard.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0800-1700

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2016 – December 2017 period.

    2016

    New Year’s Day: 01 January 2016
    Martyrs’ Day: 09 January 2016
    Good Friday: 25 March 2016
    Labour Day: 01 Mai 2016
    Old Panama City Day: 15 August 2016
    Independence Day (from Colombia): 03 November 2016
    Colon Day: 05 November 2016
    Anniversary of Los Santos Uprising: 10 November 2016
    Mother’s Day: 08 December 2016
    Christmas Day: 25 December 2016

    2017

    New Year’s Day: 01 January 2017
    Martyrs’ Day: 09 January 2017
    Good Friday: 14 April 2017
    Labour Day: 01 Mai 2016
    Old Panama City Day: 15 August 2017
    Independence Day (from Colombia): 03. November 2017
    Colon Day: 05 November 2017
    Anniversary of Los Santos Uprising: 10 November 2017
    Independence from Spain 28 November 2017
    Mother’s Day: 08 December 2017
    Christmas Day: 25 December 2017

     

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Panama (City)

    ListMap

    Panama (City) has a lot to offer after dark, from sweaty local bars in Casco Viejo to swanky cocktail joints in the central business district.

    Ego y Narcisso

    Plaza Simón Bolívar
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Part swanky restaurant, part café-bar, this two-faced locale is a favourite with Panama (City)’s trendsetters.

    Altabar

    Calle Rogelio Alfaro
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Whether it’s Wednesday or Saturday, international DJs keep the punters pulling shapes all night long at this popular dance club.

    Danilo's Jazz Club

    Calle José D. de la Obaldía
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-211/20 00
    Show on map

    This poky venue is one of the local favourites for live music, named after Panama’s jazz legend, Danilo Pérez.

    Habibi's

    Calle 48/Uruguay Bella Vista
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Hit the terrace of this Lebanese bar-restaurant for a drink and a spot of people watching. Hookah smoke clouds the venue most evenings, shrouding the nightly belly-dancing acts in an atmospheric wispy veil.

    Teatro Nacional

    Avenida B/Calle 3a Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-262/35 25
    Show on map

    For something a little different, spend an evening at the Teatro Nacional, a glamorous 20th-century national theatre that puts on classical music performances and traditional Panamanian productions.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Panama (City)

    ListMap

    Panama (City)’s restaurant circuit is varied, with fine-dining options catering for the rich visitors here on business, as well as numerous charming local joints and musical spots.

    Manolo Caracol

    Calle 3/Avenida Central
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-228/46 40 und +507-228/01 09
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Sporting a minimalist design adorned with abstract artwork, it’s the food here that really inspires – Panamanian-influenced with a modern twist.

    La Casa del Marisco

    Av Ricardo Arango
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    One of the finest restaurants in Panama (City), not only is the seafood spectacular, but it’s also a great spot for indulging in a bit of stargazing – this is the local celebrity hangout.

    Las Tinajas

    Calle 51, Nº22
    Bella Vista
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel: 263-7890 / 269-3840
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    For an authentic Panamanian dining experience with a luxury tilt, head to ‘The Jars’, where exceptional seafood, tortillas and tangy tropical fruits are served up with a side of live entertainment.

    Maito

    Calle 50 final
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Prepare to have your mind blown by this stylish restaurant that mixes Latin, Caribbean and Far-Eastern influences. The sea bass and garlic shrimp dishes both come highly recommended.

    Parrillada Jimmy

    Via Cincuentenaria, near ATLAPA
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    A laid-back option in a rustic setting, this renowned grill-house offers Panamanian sausages, Argentinian-style steaks and plenty more. If it’s meat you’re after, look no further.

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    Calendar of events

    Festival Internacional de Música Alfredo de Saint Malo

    2 – 12 June 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    The annual Alfredo de Saint Malo Festival is a huge celebration of classical music, named after the famous Panamanian violinist who played for Mussolini, President Roosevelt and Pope Pius XI, who apparently blessed his Stradivarius. If you are a classical music fan, this is a great time to be in Panama (City).

    Panama Restaurant Week

    15 – 30 September 2016
    Website

    Venue: Various venues

    Twice a year, the best restaurants in the city break out the special offers during Panama Restaurant Week, and for 15 days in March and September, the decadent eating takes over.

    Panama Independence Day

    3 November 2016

    Venue: Various venues

    Every year Panama celebrates its independence from Colombia with a colourful parade, with school bands and dancers often dressed in flamboyant traditional clothes. It’s a bright and lively occasion culminating with a great fireworks display.

    Panama Jazz Festival

    14 – 19 January 2017
    Website

    Venue: Ciudad del Saber and other venues

    The annual Panama Jazz Festival hosts a gamut of international and local jazz musicians. The concerts take place in various theatres and venues across the city.

    Carnaval

    25 February – 1 March 2017

    Venue: Cinta Costera and other venues

    The biggest event of the year: during the five days preceding Ash Wednesday, the entire capital shuts down, and some serious partying takes place. On Friday, the festival begins with a small coronation ceremony for the Carnaval queen, though the real party starts on Saturday with a small parade. By Tuesday, Panama (City) has already descended into madness, and the party doesn’t let up until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. After the sun rises, residents sober up enough bury sardines in the beach – this gesture officially marks the end of Lent.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Panama (City)

    ListMap

    There’s a wide range of accommodation in Panama (City), from big-name 5-star properties to charming guesthouses based out of old colonial houses.

    The international chains are found amidst the skyscrapers of the city centre, while the more boutique options predominate in Casco Viejo.

    The Bristol Hotel

    Avenida Aquilino de la Guardia
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    For a bit of that 007 mystique, stay in the hotel that hosted the crew and cast during the filming of James Bond flick Quantum of Solace. Rooms are decorated with wondrous indigenous craft.

    American Trade Hotel

    Calle 10 Oeste/Plaza Herrera
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    The finest property in Casco Viejo is probably the American Trade Hotel, set in a spacious, palatial colonial house.

    InterContinental Miramar

    Avenida Balboa 56
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This well-regarded business hotel has views of Panama Bay and a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool.

    Tántalo Hotel

    Calle 8 Este con la Avenida B
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    With just 10 rooms, each individually designed with custom artwork, this edgy boutique hotel is one of the city’s best. The rooftop bar is one of the elite party spots in Panama (City), and gets very busy on the weekends with live DJs.

    The Saba Hotel

    Via Argentina/Andres Bello Park
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Comfortable, handsome and boasting a tranquil setting overlooking Andres Bello Park, this boutique hotel is an oasis of calm in the centre of the bustling city.

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    A tour of the old town of Panama (City)

    ListMap
    Panama: Best of Casco Viejo

    The old town of Panama (City) occupies a rocky peninsula and is protected by a mighty defensive wall facing the ocean. Its narrow streets are lined with mansions and palaces, churches and monasteries that have defied pirate attack for 300 years and testify to the mastery of their Spanish architects. After the Panama Canal opened in 1914, Casco Viejo was too small to accommodate the growing population. Panama (City) expanded eastwards and the exclusive commercial and residential districts of the nouveaux riches grew up. The old town degenerated to become a kind of slum that just 20 years ago was considered a no-go area for tourists, so high were the crime rates at the time.

    Casco Viejo finally appeared to be lost. Then a miracle happened: In 1997, UNESCO declared the old town a World Heritage Site, while the Panamanian economic boom brought in cash – and the government began to restore it. Ministries and public agencies, restaurants and cocktail bars, galleries and corner shops moved into the newly renovated buildings. Now, aside from the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo is the country’s biggest attraction, drawing hordes of tourists eager to learn about Panama’s culture and art.

    Plaza de la Independencia

    Casco Viejo
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    This vast square, in which the declaration of Panama’s independence from Columbia was pronounced in 1903, hosts a bustling flea market and an array of food stalls on the first Sunday in the month. Several venerable buildings surround the square, of which the cathedral, which has an incongruously plain interior compared with its ornate facade, was completed in 1796 – after 108 years under construction. Since 1997, the Canal Museum has occupied the former headquarters of the French company engaged in building the canal, while the History Museum of Panama can be found in the Municipal Palace.

    Café Coca-Cola

    Avenida Central y Plaza Santa Ana
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. + 507-228/76 87

    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0700–2300

    This modest café on Plaza Santa Ana is possibly the only café in the world bearing the name “Coca-Cola.” Since one of the first bottling plants for the popular beverage outside of the USA was built in Panama 110 years ago, the café, which opened in 1875, has been serving the brown lemonade.  The café has always been especially popular with workers and retains its character to this day: no frills, plain tables, a menu of hearty meals, and soccer on the TV screens. Its most illustrious guests include the revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara and the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

    Relic

    Calle 9
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-262/15 40
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue–Sat from 2030

    The Relic bar is the most popular nighttime spot in the old town, and located in a cellar room beside the old city wall. It attracts a mixed crowd of young and old, including many foreigners, and features live bands on the weekends. Every Thursday, an artwork is created here live and later auctioned off.

    Habana Panama

    Calle Eloy Alfaro y Calle 12 Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-212/01 51 und +507-6949/71 39

    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Wed–Sun 2000–0300

    The city’s most famous dance hall. The decor – red velvet curtains and armchairs – is very 1950s. Local salsa bands play here on weekends. If the dance floor doesn’t appeal, you can always take a seat on the first-floor balcony, order yourself a cocktail and watch the dancers in action.

    Plaza de Francia

    Casco Viejo
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    It was the French, who – inspired by the success of the Suez Canal – in 1881 began building the canal through the Isthmus of Panama. They underestimated the financial requirements and technical challenges involved, however, and these drawbacks were compounded by the fact that at least seven laborers working on the canal died of malaria or yellow fever every day. After eight years of construction and 22 000 deaths, the French gave up on the project. This square commemorates their endeavors with a single obelisk topped by the French rooster.

    Right next door, in the dungeons of the old fortress, there’s an excellent French restaurant, Las Bovédas (Mon-Sat 1800-2330), and a couple of meters further down, the National Culture Institute and the French Embassy. The ocean view is, however, impaired by the highway built on stilts just off the coast.

    Weil Art Gallery

    Avenida A, between Calle 4 & Calle 3
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-264/96 97

    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon–Fri 0900–1900
    Sat 0900–1600

    The owner, Carlos Weil, collects and trades in the pictures and sculptures of well-known artists from Panama and the rest of Latin America, and he also exhibits the traditional crafts of ethnic Indian groups.

    Teatro Nacional

    Avenida B/Calle 3a Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-262/35 25
    Show on map

    The Neo-Baroque national theater, which was built in 1908 on a former monastery site, shared the fate of the old town – a slow and steady decline over decades. Following elaborate restoration, the theater reopened in 2004 and the operas, plays and ballets staged here are generally well frequented. For the audience, however, it’s not just what’s on stage that’s interesting; the ceiling frescoes of Panamanian painter Robert Lewis are also definitely well worth a look: He has angels and cherubs flying through a sun-filled heaven.

    Danilo’s Jazz Club

    American Trade Hotel
    Plaza Herrera
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507 211 2000
    Show on map

    The Panamanian pianist and composer Danilo Pérez, 49, has played with a host of jazz greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis and Wayne Shorter and received a Grammy for his work. Although he lives mainly in the USA these days, the musician has not forgotten his roots. In fact, he set up a foundation that has been supporting talented Panamanian musicians for many years and stages the annual Panama Jazz Festival, too. Danilo has also opened a jazz club with his name at the fine American Trade Hotel, where he provides a stage for top jazz musicians.

    Mercado de Mariscos

    Avenida Balboa and Calle 15 Este
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Every morning, the fishing boats bring fresh seafood to the fish market on the edge of the old town. Crawfish and prawn, fish and squid line the vendors’ booths. All around, dozens of open-air restaurants serve specialties, such as ceviche, vinegar-marinated seafood, grilled langostinos and frittered lulas. Tables and chairs are usually plastic and the plates a little scratched, but the food is fresh, the portions are large and the prices low. Very popular at lunchtime and early evening from around 6 to 9 pm. Best of all, you can enjoy views of the old town and the ocean while you eat.

    Platea Jazz Bar

    Calle 1 Oeste, Edificio 13
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-228/40 11 und +507-228/39 41

    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon–Fri 1730–0200
    Sat 1600–0300
    Sun 1600-0200

    Musicians and bands from all around the world have been performing here for ten years. Friday is Salsa day; rock music generally features on Saturdays. The bar is in the basement of an old colonial building that’s a good century old. The choice of cocktails is large and they are served with tapas from the S’cena restaurant next door.

    Souvenirs La Ronda

    Calle 1 Oeste
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900–1800

    All that Panama has to offer in the way of souvenirs can be bought at this small store: lovely Embera baskets from the Darien rainforest, brightly colored mola scarves made by the Kuna Indians of the Caribbean coast, and also carnival masks and wood carvings. Although they are usually made in Ecuador, the traditional white Panama hats enjoy pride of place here. They are so closely woven that not a drop of rainwater reaches the wearer’s head.

    Restaurant Manolo Caracol

    Calle 3/Avenida Central
    Panama (City)
    Panama
    Tel. +507-228/46 40 und +507-228/01 09
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1200–1500 and 1830–2200

    The boss here, Manuel Madueño, is actually Spanish and hails from Barbate in Andalusia. Before opening his restaurant in Panama (City), he worked as a porter, cook and art dealer. He established his culinary realm in a colonial building and filled it with old pictures and artworks. The menu offers ten courses and changes every day. Classics include tuna sashimi, Andalusian gazpacho, Caribbean sea bass, prawn in coconut sauce and lots of tropical fruit.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Saturday, 10.12.2016 15:00 UTC

    sunny

    temperature


    32°C


    wind speed

    8.75 mph

    humidity

    13%

    7 days forecast

    Sunday

    11.12.2016

    29°C / 24°C

    Monday

    12.12.2016

    29°C / 24°C

    Tuesday

    13.12.2016

    29°C / 25°C

    Wednesday

    14.12.2016

    30°C / 24°C

    Thursday

    15.12.2016

    29°C / 25°C

    Friday

    16.12.2016

    30°C / 25°C

    Saturday

    17.12.2016

    29°C / 24°C

    Climate & best time to visit Panama

    Temperatures are high across the whole country throughout the year, though cooler at high altitudes. The rainy season lasts from May to November, but even at this time of year rain rarely lasts all day – just take an umbrella for the downpours; the sun will be out again soon. There are fewer people around at this time, too, and so prices drop for the low season. Rainfall is twice as heavy on the Pacific coast as it is on the lowlands of the Caribbean coast.

    If you are planning to take a boat trip from Panama to Colombia, avoid travelling from December to February, as at this time of year the seas are rough, trips get cancelled and everyone gets seasick.

    Surfing is possible and decent all year round on the Pacific side, but the best months are from November to April. For hiking, the dry season (December to April) is most comfortable. The dry season is also good for diving, because you’ll be able to see far better, but the rainy season means the rivers run high which is great for rafting.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    36 °C

    18 °C

    38 °C

    18 °C

    39 °C

    17 °C

    39 °C

    18 °C

    36 °C

    20 °C

    35 °C

    21 °C

    36 °C

    21 °C

    34 °C

    20 °C

    35 °C

    20 °C

    34 °C

    19 °C

    36 °C

    19 °C

    34 °C

    18 °C

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    29 mm

    15 mm

    16 mm

    76 mm

    203 mm

    200 mm

    185 mm

    194 mm

    193 mm

    263 mm

    255 mm

    135 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    8 h

    8 h

    8 h

    6 h

    5 h

    4 h

    5 h

    4 h

    5 h

    4 h

    5 h

    6 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    75 %

    72 %

    70 %

    73 %

    83 %

    86 %

    85 %

    87 %

    87 %

    88 %

    87 %

    81 %

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    27 °C

    27 °C

    26 °C

    27 °C

    27 °C

    27 °C

    28 °C

    27 °C

    27 °C

    27 °C

    27 °C

    27 °C

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan36 °C18 °C31 °C21 °C75 %29 mm48.6 h
    Feb38 °C18 °C31 °C21 °C72 %15 mm28.7 h
    Mar39 °C17 °C32 °C22 °C70 %16 mm28.3 h
    Apr39 °C18 °C32 °C23 °C73 %76 mm66.3 h
    May36 °C20 °C31 °C23 °C83 %203 mm165.6 h
    Jun35 °C21 °C30 °C23 °C86 %200 mm164.3 h
    Jul36 °C21 °C30 °C23 °C85 %185 mm155.0 h
    Aug34 °C20 °C30 °C23 °C87 %194 mm154.8 h
    Sep35 °C20 °C29 °C22 °C87 %193 mm155.3 h
    Oct34 °C19 °C29 °C22 °C88 %263 mm204.8 h
    Nov36 °C19 °C30 °C22 °C87 %255 mm185.0 h
    Dec34 °C18 °C30 °C22 °C81 %135 mm126.8 h
    year39 °C17 °C30 °C22 °C81 %1764 mm1416.1 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +507

    Telephone

    Calling home is easiest either via Skype in an internet cafe (plenty have it on their computers and headsets) or using International Phone Cards. Hotel phone rates are typically expensive.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. If you will be making a lot of calls within the country then it might be worth buying a local SIM card for your mobile phone. Make sure your phone is unlocked.

    Internet

    Internet cafes exist in main urban areas. Many hotels are Wi-Fi enabled and you can occasionally piggyback on open networks.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Panama (City)

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Most of the shops catering for tourists can be found in El Cangrejo and Casco Viejo, while the city centre has all the typical luxury brands and international chains. There are also a number of gigantic malls around the city, befitting its stature as one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Markets

    Those keen on locally crafted goods and precious wares hard to find outside Central America should head to the Centro Municipal de Artesanías Panameñas. The colourful market’s wares include hammocks, clothes, bags and of course Panamanian hats, as well as beautiful textile art by the indigenous Kuna.

    Shopping Centres

    For a good deal, head to the so-called people’s mall of Albrook. The Avenida Central pedestrian mall near Casco Viejo, meanwhile, is a lively place to browse clothes, jewellery and electronics.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Handshaking is the normal form of greeting and dress is generally casual. The culture is a vibrant mixture of American and Spanish lifestyles. The mestizo majority, which is largely rural, shares many of the characteristics of mestizo culture found throughout Central America.

    Only three indigenous tribes have retained their individuality and traditional lifestyles as a result of withdrawing into virtually inaccessible areas.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 911

    Food & Drink

    Mains water is normally chlorinated and safe, especially in the larger cities. However, if you know you have a sensitive stomach and might react to water which you’re unused to, it is safer to drink bottled water, which is widely available. Drinking water outside main cities and towns may be contaminated and sterilisation is advised. Consider this especially along the Caribbean coast, in such places as Bocas del Toro and Kuna Yala; here, if you have no chance to buy bottled water, you should either boil the water for one minute or use iodine pills to disinfect the water.

    Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat. In Panama City, many of the restaurants are of an exceptionally high standard and their hygiene standards match; however, if you are eating at one of the seafront restaurants where there are many excellent seafood places, try to pick one which looks busy and popular to ensure that the fish is very fresh.

    When buying street food and snacks in more rural areas of Panama, take the usual precautions: don’t buy meat unless you can see it being cooked right in front of you. If you find yourself buying snacks out of a bus window, avoid anything with meat in it and try to go for fruit that you can peel.

    Other Risks

    While a Yellow Fever vaccination is not required for Panama, there have been instances of the disease in the Darién province, the San Blas islands and the east of Panama, so if you plan on visiting any of these areas it is as well to be up to date with the vaccine. Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended.

    Malaria and dengue fever are also fairly common to some regions of Panama, so taking precautions against mosquito bites by using DEET and covering arms and legs in the evenings is wise.

    An estimated 0.9% of the population of Panama live with HIV; travellers should take the usual precautions against infection.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Gomez, Jose
    Consultorios America
    Via Espana
    99999 Panama City
    Panama
    Tel. +507-229-4388

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.
    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre