Panama travel story and advice

Travelogue Panama. Experience, opinions, information and advice on what to do and what to see.

Panama travel story and advice

Panama what to see

I want to tell you about this beautiful one travel experience in Panama.

The first day passes by visiting the Old Town, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco: a beautiful area colonial buildings in the classic colors of the tropic.

Many of these have been restored and the Neighborhood, once considered rather "at risk" and with a strong popular imprint, it is transforming into a quiet and luxurious area.

We can then walk in the streets enjoying the atmosphere and enjoy the breeze that comes from the ocean on the old ramparts to dissolve the heat.

Panama travel story and advice

On the main square, near the cathedral, there is the beautiful canal museum, in the building that had been the seat of the company that built it, about a century ago; an extremely interesting and well organized place not to be missed.

Too bad there are no hotels in this part of the city: one of the two charming but decadent hotels colonial buildings that existed have been transformed into a luxury condominium and the other is closed for renovation.

Isola Contadora Panama

The new part of Panama it is still pleasant, perhaps above all thanks to its small-town size, capital of a small state, lively without being chaotic, full of modern buildings and skyscrapers that are neither aggressive nor vulgar, with a tropical vegetation ready to reappear from any corner where space is allowed.

Panama travel story and advice

There are Yala Panama

After two days in the capital at dawn we take the flight to the autonomous province of Kuna Yala. most of this territory consists of the archipelago of San Blas 365 islands and tiny islets, of which only a little over forty are inhabited.

La Kuna tribe who lives here, has a largely autonomous statute, an administration independent of the Panamanian government, its own laws and a very strong cultural identity that make it an extremely interesting and unique population.

They are the lowest ethnic group in the world after i Pygmies and the one that has the highest percentage of albino individuals in the world.

The beauty and originality of the Kuna women's clothing strikes me from the airport where I meet a small family group who board theplane with us to return to the village.

Panama travel story and advice

Playon Chico Panama

After just over an hour of flight we arrive at Playon Chico, and from there a launch takes us to an islet a little larger than a football field where we will stay in one of the cabañas del Sapibenega Lodge.

The hotel is very charming: it seems to live in Robinson Crusoe's hut but basically there is no lack of comfort and the waves of the Caribe arrive a meter from my door.

All the hotels of thearchipelago, which aren't many, are run by the Kunas themselves by law, and this lodge is perhaps the best.

Panama travel story and advice

Panama useful tips

Our stay passes pleasantly by going to sunbathe on islets that seem to come out of a cartoon: a tuft of webbed in the center of a micro-atoll of white sand on which only the castaway is missing.

We then go to the island inhabited by the Kunas, where women sit in front of the huts to chat and sew the "molas", a kind of colorful tapestry with which they decorate their clothes that have become almost a symbol of the country.

Another very interesting place is the cemetery on the nearby mainland, where the deceased from all the surrounding islands are brought here.

The burials are on the top of a hill, protected by palm leaf canopies, where women and children often go to pay homage to their missing relatives and keep the "family chapels" in order.

The place is so beautiful, the view that sweeps over thearchipelago so fascinating, that you understand why they spend whole days here swinging in hammocks, sewing and cooking, with the result that the cemetery is as lively and animated as the village.

We stay three days in almost complete solitude in the lodge, then we take off again.

Panama travel story and advice

Panama blowjob

A Panama City just in time we catch the connection for David, a city to the north, towards the border with Costa Rica.

All 'airport itself we find a taxi that takes us to Boquete, about fifty kilometers away, and in just over half an hour we pass from the suffocating heat to the cool climate of the mountain tropic.

We are in fact over 1000 meters in a very green valley, overflowing with trees and flowers.

Boquete It is a place loved by the richest Panamanians and by VIPs from all over the American continent, who own villas and various properties in the surrounding area.

People come here for walks at hot Springs, birdwatching in search of the mythical ones quetzals, trekking to the neighbor Barù volcano.

Panama travel story and advice

The town is small and pleasant, there are various hotels and pensions and we stop at the Panamonte, a delightful blue-painted wooden building that is almost a hundred years old and has a lot of atmosphere. We spend four relaxing days here, taking walks and excursions in the valley.

Not to be missed is the Park of the Path of the Quetzales, also because on the head of this place of moving beauty hang very serious threats.

The park, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco, is crossed by 15 kilometers of dirt path that arrive at Serra Punta da Boquete: a road that crosses without damaging a rainforest landscape with tall trees, lianas, flowery undergrowth, rocky streams and waterfalls, frequented by an infinity of birds and other animals.

It seems that the government has decided to expand and pave this path to increase tourism, with tragic consequences for the environment.

Gonzalo Miranda, an ardent ecologist who guided us in the park, said that he and his friends are ready to do anything to stop the project and asked for help to make this mess known to the whole world.

Panama travel story and advice

Another very interesting thing to do in the valley is to go and see one coffee plantation and all factories for the processing of the product.

Here the famous mountain coffee is grown, perhaps the best in the world, and if you are lucky enough to have a smart person as a companion as it happened to me, the experience will be surprisingly valid.

Even more valid if, after having listened to the bell of those who work for a large "cafetalero" owner, you can listen to the version of those who know the life and fatigue of Indians who work as seasonal workers for the coffee harvest.

For my part, every time I drink a cup today I have many thoughts and images that come back to my mind.

Panama travel story and advice

Bocas del Toro Panama

Again a short flight in plane takes us to an archipelago in the Caribbean, Bocas del Toro.

Mouths it would be a nice and pleasant place, if it had a different climate.

It can't be said that I wasn't prepared for a rainy place, but not up to this point.

Under an almost constant rain, even the wooden houses dai bei tropical colors they lose much of their charm, and the sky and sea take on an almost indistinct leaden color.

And yet Mouths it is the most touristic place in this country, there are many Americans who come to live here without fear of rheumatism.

We resist for two days, but after one evening in which to return to the hotel which is two hundred meters from the hotel restaurant we have to take a taxi to survive the wall of water that overturns us, we decide to flee in search of other skies.

Panama travel story and advice

Arrived at the capital this time we decide to rent a car, and we move along the road that runs along the Pacifico.

Finally the sun! On the coast there are various beaches and Resort frequented by the people of the capital on weekends.

Panama travel story and advice

Santa Clara Panama

We decide to stop at Casa Particular in Santa Clara, after a hundred kilometers.

Here the beach is of White sand, long and almost deserted; behind immediately explodes tropical vegetation.

A few tens of kilometers further on there are a couple of village hotels of large international chains, the ones that can be found on all tourist brochures, but here we are in another planet, fortunately.

the veraneras it is a peaceful group of cabañas bordering the beach on one side and the forest on the other, with a beautiful swimming pool in the middle. We decide that it is the ideal place to stop for a bit of sea and from which to move to get to know the province.

Panama travel story and advice

So we spend a few days alternating the sea with excursions to villages on the hills of the hinterland: penonome, the graffiti, Valley.

We go to the latter on Sunday, market day.

The country is at the center of what was once the crater of a volcano, and is now a lush valley, with a cool climate and a profusion of flowers.

The market is lively, colorful and orderly, different from those in Mexico or Guatemala, frequented mainly by Panamanians who come to buy plants and wooden handicrafts.

They also sell the hats that are produced in the region, but they are very different from what we call "panama", and which are actually made in Ecuador.

Panama City

When we return to the capital we stop for a couple of nights in the city to have time to see the canal and its locks, an experience that I recommend to do after visiting the museum in the old city to understand what the canal is like and all the problems related to its realization.

Go to taxi at the Miraflores lock, where there is a building with large terraces from which you can watch the passage of ships.

Inside still a museum, also very interesting, with even a simulator in which you can try the experience of driving a ship through the lock.

One more flight takes us to the last of the archipelagos of this island-studded journey, to Contadora.

Panama travel story and advice

THEArchipelago of Pearls it is located in the gulf it overlooks Panama City, Contadora it is only 15 minutes from the capital.

The island is only 13 kilometers long and inhabited by 350 people, there are no cars, but about ten beautiful ones beaches and wonderful vegetation.

The proximity to the capital and the beauty have meant that many rich people, Panamanians and non-Panamanians, built their villa there.

There are a couple of hotels, quite expensive for the average in the country, and two or three restaurants.

We stop at Punta Galeon (the other is an all-inclusive, a kind of hotel I'm allergic to) where we find ourselves practically alone, with all the staff, the beach and the beautiful swimming pool at our disposal.

The other hotel is also nearly empty, save for the French version of Survivor TV crew who have stayed here for months and are now packing their gear.

The days pass quickly on the island and when we leave after a week I seem to know everything Contadora, person by person, and even the dogs and the birds, and I will miss them all.

One more day a Panama, one last lap in the Old Town, a few purchases, one last excellent dinner, and then it's back home.

Panama travel story and advice

In conclusion, a consideration: often while traveling I happened to find a nice place but already quite "beaten" by international tourism and to talk to the inevitable Italian who ran the omnipresent restaurant.

Each time I have been told “If I had seen this place when I arrived ten years ago…”.

But in Panama no. Never like this time have I felt in the right place at the right time.

To have all the information about Panama consultation:

  • Panama useful tips
  • Panama guide and information 
  • Isola Contadora Panama

Panama pictures and photos

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

Panama travel story and advice

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