A few weeks ago, we hit all the high points of Panama… in the same day! We had breakfast in Panama City with clients, and then we drove them to the Panama Riviera beach region on the Pacific Ocean side to have lunch. After dropping off our clients back in the city, we drove to the Caribbean coast to have dinner with friends. Where else but Panama could you enjoy two oceans and a major city in the same day!
In case you’re not an ocean person, you can also visit the rainforest, one of the numerous mountain regions, or El Valle—one of the world’s largest towns built inside of an extinct volcano—all within an hour or so of Panama City. The different micro-climates ensure that there is a perfect temperature and activity level for you once you get here.
Panama City has all of the things you would expect in a big city—great restaurants, hot nightclubs, a plethora of shopping experiences, and interesting tourist attractions. You could spend a busy week eating, touring, shopping and exploring ...and never have a moment to spare. If you do have some free time you want to fill, there are a lot of different day trips you can take by car, boat or plane.
Panama has over 1500 linear miles of coast line bordering two different oceans—the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Ocean. There are different coastal regions that offer different experiences. You can spend the night roughing it with the indigenous Indians of the Caribbean, such as San Blas, or you can pamper yourself in luxury at a Pacific Coast private beach resort, such as at the Playa Bonita Resort. You can also take a 90-minute ferry or a 20-minute plane ride to Contadora, one of the 200-plus islands that make up Panama's Pearl Islands.
Panama’s Pacific Coast and Caribbean Coast are separated by a range of mountains. The highest point, Volcan Baru, is over 11,000 feet high. You can enjoy the seclusion or you can explore one of Panama’s mountain towns populated by expats, such as Altos del Maria or Boquete. Altos is just 90 minutes from Panama City, while Boquete is eight hours by car, or less than an hour by commuter flight to David, and then a 45-minute drive.
One of my friends recently took a gang of friends and did a night hike of Volcan Baru to celebrate her birthday. The plan was to reach the top at sunrise. It's not my idea of a perfect birthday, but she conquered it and was able to check it off her bucket list. If that sounds fun to you, bring your hiking gear.
The interesting thing about Panama is that once you discover the natural beauty of Panama, you’ll want to enjoy more than one region. Often times, foreign investors choose the city resort of Playa Bonita or the beach region of Coronado as their home base, but then they also buy something on the Caribbean coast or in one of the mountain communities. Because the dollar goes further here, you can be like Deion Sanders and enjoy them both!