well, it depends…
What do you like doing?
Do you want to get to know the city, nature or both?
Here’s some suggestions:
Must see places (more tourist-oriented) include:
- The Panama Canal, of course
- Panama Viejo
- Casco Viejo
- Biomuseo – The only Frank Gehry-designed museum in Latin America – It is not finished yet (2012), but you can tour the construction area.
- The malls: Multiplaza (high end), Multicentro (high end), Albrook Mall (all ends), Metro Mall (all ends), and the new Westland Mall (in Arraijan, about 30 minutes away from the city)
- Other shopping centers: El Dorado Mall is another smaller mall option, Los Andes, Los Pueblos (across the street from Metro Mall)
- If you want real deals and a more Panamanian experience, go to any place where you see many Panamanians going to, like Saks, Titan, Costo
- To get a feel for how many Panamanians shop, you can visit Avenida Central (Central Avenue) and La Gran Estacion (The Grand Station) de San Miguelito
Outdoors in the City
- Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park), Parque Soberania – An interesting fact is that Panama City is the only capital city with jungles in it.
- Cinta Costera and Causeway de Amador – great places to walk, run, and bike
- Parque Omar – nice central park where you can walk and run
Near the water
- There are many beaches within an hour and a half of the city. Veracruz is the closest, but some advise not to swim there. However, I have swam there before without a problem. On the Pacific Side, there are Gorgona, Coronado, Palmar, Punta Chame, San Carlos, Riomar, Corona, Santa Clara and Playa Blanca to name a few. On the Atlantic side, you can visit Portobelo and Isla Grande.
- For island visits, the closest ones on the Pacific side are Taboga and Contadora. If you visit Taboga, make sure to check my friend, Cynthia’s B&B, B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical. Make sure to tell her Marvin sent you. 🙂
- [shameless plug] make sure to visit BurnedIt Fitness Center, our gym in El Dorado (very close to El Dorado Mall), for a great workout in Panama. Refer to this post and get 2 days free!
This is just the beginning. I’ll probably be updating it later. If you have specific questions, feel free to email me marvin-at-burnedit-dot-com.