I’m sure you understand that this is just my opinion, but I feel like having traveled often and having sent clients all over the world I can be somewhat trusted when I say you should seriously consider visiting Panama on your next vacation. Here’s why…
#1 – It’s easy to get to!
If you live in Las Vegas like me, there are actually non stop flights to Panama City! It’s almost unheard of to find a non stop flight to a tropical destination out of Las Vegas. I love traveling to places like Jamaica, Mexico, Hawaii, etc., but there aren’t non stop flights, or they are extremely difficult to find. Copa Airlines has non stop flights out of many locations straight to Panama City. Copa Airlines provides meals, drinks, free luggage, and has great staff! Score!
#2 – You could spend your entire vacation right in the city and have an amazing time!
Panama City is beautiful! Their capital, lined with gorgeous shining sky scrapers, is located on the Pacific Ocean. There are a ton of different hotels to fit anyone’s style and budget that overlook the beautiful bay. I had my favorites, and thankfully I spent my last night in Panama at one of them- the trendy Hard Rock Panama Megapolis. You can’t really go wrong with Hard Rock, but there was something really special about this one. The view from my huge suite was outstanding overlooking the bay, and while I was exhausted from a long day of site inspections and all I wanted to do was sit out on that balcony and stare at the sea, I knew I had to make the most of my last night. Our group headed down to Ciao for some tapas and cocktails in the comfort of super plush sofas. After a few hours (and many drinks) we made our way to the 62nd floor rooftop lounge called Bits. The spectacular panoramic 360º views with the delicious drinks, fun DJ, and large dance floor made for a very fun night that I will never forget!
#3 – History is abundant!
Casco Viejo is Panama’s “Old City” or historic quarter. It originated in the 1600’s and was once attacked by pirates, literally! It’s old world charm immediately drew me in, and I couldn’t get enough photos. We strolled around the city blocks stopping at little shops, and eventually ended up at an outdoor restaurant with swinging chairs that were calling my name. After lunch we went shopping on the seafront where you could see the “New City”.
#4 – The obvious…The Panama Canal!
When I was first asked if I wanted to attend this trip to Panama the only thing I really knew about Panama was that the Canal was there (I know, I’m a travel agent, I suck). I think this is probably the knowledge that the rest of you share as well. Just visiting Panama to see the Canal would rob you of so much else there is to offer, but WOW was the Canal fascinating! To watch the precision of the overall operation of the Canal with those enormous boats was almost even hard to comprehend. I could have sat and watched it all day!
#5 – The beaches!
I got to see several different beaches and all of them were so different. There was one that had black sand, another had glitter in the sand, and one that was more pebbly, but still OK to walk on barefoot. All of them were fabulous, and none of them were very far from each other. Panama is on a peninsula so you get both the Caribbean and the Pacific which is not necessarily unique, but what is unique is that Panama is long and thin so you could visit both oceans in one day. One of the other great things about the beaches is that they make for gorgeous wedding locations and there are several resorts that I toured that I would highly recommend for weddings.
#6 – The wildlife!
There’s a freakin’ sloth sanctuary you guys! Gamboa Tours took us to the Gamboa Rainforest Reserve where we saw crocs, turtles, fish, sloths, ant eaters, butterflies, colorful frogs, and monkeys! We started in the rain forest and then took a boat ride through the waterways of the Panama Canal. It was a day I will never forget and the nature lover in me can’t wait to get back there to explore some more!
#7 – It’s a new place you’ve probably never been to, that 90% of the people you know haven’t been to either!
For vacation goers there are the popular destinations such as Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic…you get the idea, but most folks haven’t been to Panama. Go explore a country that’s new to you. Experience the culture, meet the people, eat the food, swim in their ocean, and feel that AMAZING feeling you get when you travel. I get it every time I travel and I am addicted.
I am so blessed that I get to go experience these places and share them with you. I want nothing more than for you to get to experience them too. Travel changes you in so many ways, but it’s always good.