A quick guide to visiting Panama

With its strategic location and booming economy, Panama is a destination to visit for both pleasure and business.  It’s capital, Panama City is Central America’s most developed capital city and following the footsteps of Miami but with a mixture of old Spain and modern America.

In the last ten years, Panama City has expanded massively with foreign investment in real estate and banking. This has directly contributed to the modernization of infrastructure and roads which in turn has increased worldwide tourism.

Language

The official language of Panama is Spanish but due to it’s long lasting relationship with the United States, almost everyone speaks perfect English.

Currency

The Panamanian Balboa has pretty much the same value as the U.S. Dollar so unless you’re buying small items on the street you will be fine with paying with U.S. Dollars.

Accommodations

You will find the full spectrum of lodging options ranging from hostels to luxury hotels to private apartments and homes for short term lease. Pricing varies based on your budget but overall it is economical.

Getting there

Panama City has become a Latin American hub so you can fly there via many routes including direct flights from Miami, Houston, New York and Los Angeles.

If you’re flying elsewhere in South America and don’t enjoy extended flight times, a connecting stop in Panama may be your solution. Look into their national airline Copa Airlines for options.

What to do

Panama City is your typical metropolitan capital city with the exception that Ecotourism begins right on the outskirts of the city. Thus, you can enjoy your city like vacation or conduct your business during the week and head out during the weekend to explore one of these # must see sites.

Panama Canal – Inaugurated in 1914, the Panama Canal raises ships up via three sets of locks from the Pacific and through Panama and lowers them in the Caribbean Sea. The most common visitor center is located in Miraflores locks which is just outside Panama City. You can enjoy a tour, short film and lunch while you watch enormous ships go by you.

Amador Causeway – Just outside of Panama City and built from excavated rocks from when the canal was being built; Amador is an amazing location that you can walk or bike as you admire the canal entrance on one side and the scenic city skyline on the other. There are plenty of restaurants throughout the almost 4 miles of route.

Casco Viejo –  Founded by French colonists in 1673, this original settlement has a unique blend of architectural styles, including Italian, French and Spanish styles. You can admire ruins of convents and churches; see military buildings, bridges and colonial palaces that tell the story of this city’s grandiose past.

Coronado Beach – Jump in a car and head one-hour north along the Pacific Coast to the beautiful, expanding town of Coronado Beach. Although not far from the city, it has its own personality with amazing golf courses, marinas and restaurants.

Summary

Panama is a must visit for business and pleasure.  It is safe enough to take your families to vacation while you conduct business during the day.