Four Great Ways to Enjoy Panama on a Short Trip

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If you’re looking at relocating to Panama, retiring in Panama, or investing in Panama, you’re going to want to check out the country for yourself first. Panama is easy to get to from anywhere in the Americas, as well as Europe, and makes for a great “research” trip, as well as a vacation. But if you’re a busy person, like most of us, you may not have too much time. That’s fine, because with a little planning, you can actually see a lot if you just have one week. You may find it easier to focus your trip based on what you want to get out of Panama in future endeavors, and that’s a great start. However, there are lots of things to do, and places to see, that can offer lots to experience and learn, for practically any need. If you’ve got just a week to spend in Panama, here are our top four favorite things to do.

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1. Spend some time walking around Casco Viejo.

The most popular tourist neighborhood in Panama City also happens to be one of its most walkable. Due to its size and density, you can see pretty much all of Casco in just about 2 hours. This can be a morning event, afternoon stroll, or a night on the town. Either way, you can do it in just part of a day, and still enjoy most of what the area has to offer. Also, with a week, if you love it, you can plan a few afternoons there, as long as you’re still in Panama City. Even if you have a late flight, you can tour Casco day-of, and not miss a thing.

2. Schedule at least 2 full days on the beach.

If you’re moving to Panama, chances are you either love the tropical climate, love the beach, or both. So, it makes sense that at least some of your week be spend on the beach. Your best bets (with limited time) are San Blas Islands, Coronado, Pearl Islands, or Bocas del Toro. Each of these beach areas are reachable by flight (recommended) except Coronado, which is close enough to Panama City (1.5 hours) to make it not necessary. Even if you don’t plan on living on the beach, getting to know the beach area will give you a good slice of life of the Panamanian people. It will also give you a good idea of how accessible beaches and leisure areas are to you, even if you live in the city. Worst case scenario, you get a small vacation. What’s not to love about that?

3. Take a Panama Canal tour.

One of the many wonders of the world is the Panama Canal, and if you’re staying in Panama for a week, it’s a must see. The great thing too, is that it’s an easy day activity, or half day activity, and you won’t miss out on the important historical areas, or natural beauty. You can take a taxi up to Lake Gatun (around halfway through the Canal) and do a lake tour for about 90 minutes, or start on either side, and traverse it. Our recommendation, if you’re short on time (and staying in Panama City), is to do a boat tour of half the Canal, starting in Balboa. You go as far as the lake by boat, including the locks, and can be there and back in under 4 hours. This gives you the essentials of the Panama Canal, without taking up too much of your time.

4. Spend a day in El Valle.

Panama’s mountain towns are becoming more and more popular with both expats and tourists, and are a unique way to see a very different side of an otherwise tropical, beach-famous country. The two big attractions as far as mountain towns go are Boquete and El Valle. Boquete is a flight and a bus ride away from the city, so for a short trip, we recommend El Valle. You can reach El Valle in about 3 hours by bus or car from Panama City. And while it’s just a drive away, the climate, architecture, lifestyle, and natural surroundings will make you feel like you’ve traveled thousands of miles away. El Valle has mud springs, a weekly Sunday outdoor market, artisan craft stores and food sellers, and an average temperature that’s about 15 degrees (4C ) colder than Panama City. It’s a stark contrast between the city and the beach, and when combined with the two, makes for a fully diverse experience while visiting Panama for a week. Enjoy!

About POLS Attorneys Staff Writer

As one of the leading Panama Law Firms, and one of the regions most reliable offshore service providers, POLS Attorneys brings a wide range of professional knowledge to our clients needs. Our staff is made up of professional offshore consultants, Panama attorneys and immigration specialists who are experienced in offshore business, understand international investment and asset protection strategies, and are experts in providing a seamless Panama immigration process.

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