If it is your first time in Central America, Panama offers a lot of activities - from city to adrenaline activities. We have traveled extensively through the region, just missing El Salvador, so ours was only a short layover on our way back home.
3 Day ITINERARY
Panama Canal Panama Causeway Casco Viejo
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FLIGHTS + VISA
We flew with the Panamanian national carrier, Copa Airlines. It's always on time though some people later said they didn't have the best time - guess it's always hit or miss with any airline.
As with any country in Central America, you can enter and a visa on arrival free of cost with a valid US visa (as with any on arrival visa, the US visa validity has to be over 6 months)
Spanish is the primary language but given how touristy it is, you can find certain parts of the city where people speak good English
BEST TIME TO VISIT
In this part of the world, December to April is the dry season. We went in early July. It was cloudy but it never rained. You can expect a few afternoon showers though.
We used dollars, and you can use cards for all purchases.
WHERE WE STAYED Since our trip was short, we stayed for 3 nights at the Tryp by Wyndham. There was so many marts and restaurants nearby. It was perfect for us.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The city has a decent subway and bus system. We used that to get around.
SOLO TRAVEL + SAFETY
Much safer than a few of the counter Central American countries. However, there are certain areas to avoid, which your hotel concierge will point out to you. Just avoid those.
VEGAN + VEGETARIAN FOOD
For a change, we got to try some delicious local food and we loved every bite.
As you would imagine, this is the main attraction in Panama. Right at the Miraflores Locks, watching those massive ships pass through with such precision, we couldn't help but feel awestruck. Witnessing a marvel of engineering unfold before your very eyes.
Our local guide shared captivating stories about the canal's history. It was almost surreal to think about the sheer amount of planning and effort that went into making this engineering wonder a reality. And guess what? I even got to see the new expansion project in action.
It was mind-boggling how they managed to increase the canal's capacity to accommodate even larger ships. It's amazing to feel a sense of connection with the past and present – knowing that this incredible feat connects two vast oceans and plays a pivotal role in global trade. If you love history, engineering marvels, and breathtaking sights, the Panama Canal should definitely be at the top of your travel list when in Panama.
This is a scenic road flanked by the Pacific Ocean on one side and lush greenery on the other. We went on a leisurely stroll along this iconic causeway, the sea breeze gently providing some respite from the scorching heat. The panoramic views of the ocean, dotted with sailboats and yachts, and the Panama city in the background was quite stunning.
The enchanting district of Casco Viejo instantly captivated us with its picturesque charm. As we meandered through its cobblestone streets, our senses were treated to an array of colors, fascinating architectural wonders, and tantalizing aromas wafting from the quaint cafes and eateries lining the avenues.
Casco Viejo, with its historical significance dating back to the 17th century, effortlessly transported us back in time, and we couldn't help but marvel at its preservation and cultural authenticity.
It was like stepping into a living history book, where every building, plaza, and street told a story of the past, and we felt incredibly lucky to have embarked on this remarkable journey.
We spent hours exploring the district's myriad of art galleries, boutique shops, and local markets, immersing ourselves in the works of talented Panamanian artisans. If you are seeking an authentic encounter with Panama's past and present, this is the place to be.
After a whirlwind trip in Honduras, we just wanted a quick stop over before flying back home. Despite our time constraints, it was entirely possible for us to dive into the vibrant culture, indulge in delectable cuisine, and explore the engineering wonders that Panama had to offer.
If you are a well-seasoned traveler who has experienced the essence of Latin America, then this three-day itinerary is enough time for you to grasp the essence of Panama city. If you find yourself with a short window of opportunity, don't hesitate to seize the chance to embark on a trip to Panama.
Thanks for reading. Leave your questions and comments below.
Lots of love,