One of the best trips I’ve taken was to Panama City, Panama. So great that my friends and I did not even care that it rained, we continued to drink, smoke cigars, and be merry!
Copa Airlines has direct flights to Panama out of New Orleans. The ticket was about $400 and the early flight is a bonus because you don’t lose a day traveling. Copa runs different sales all year so stay on the look out for deals.
A special thank you to Copa for upgrading our tickets to First Class. We appreciated the breakfast, alcoholic beverages, and best of all leg room!
Getting around: UBER is the cheapest I’ve seen in Panama City, the most we paid was $3 for a long ride. We managed to get around for $2 to anywhere that wasnt within walking distance.
Where to Stay:
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn & hung out with our friend at the other Hilton on Balboa Ave!
One of the greatest bartenders ever, Henry, who kept the shots flowing & several Lime in the Coconut cocktails.
The Panama Canal
You can’t go to Panama and not go to the Canal. We took a day trip starting at 5 AM and were able to go through the Canal and the locks. They provided breakfast and lunch, and even have alcohol on board! This was the best way to experience the Canal because they also give you history and other facts through out the excursion.
Mercado de Mariscos
The ceviche from here has ruined all other ceviche for me. Nowhere else can I get a full cup of the freshest corvina ceviche for $2! And a Panama light beer for another $1. There’s several stands in the Mercado but we went to the one pictured below and ate different types of ceviche and lobster for around $30 for all of us. Can’t beat that!!
Tacos La Neta
Mexican food in Panama? The folks at TLN did justice to tacos and queso fundido. We still talk about the different sauces they use and the queso. We even went back on a return trip a few months later, despite us being full, it was still delicious!
Cuban Cigars & Coffee
There’s a Cigar shop on Calle Uruguay next door to a Cuban cafe. The cigars were very affordable compared to US prices and the owners let us smoke our cigars at the cafe while enjoying Cuban coffee & churros!
So much for no smoking! ;-)
Visit Aida Rodriguez’s stand (you can ask anyone on the island for her and she’ll come find you, no really, this is how we found her!) You can also see her on an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods
We rented a few beach chairs and umbrellas for $20 for the day and ate delicious food from Aida and relaxed on our last full day.
We absolutely did not want to leave! Even looked up how to become Panamanian citizens, thanks for the memories Panamá!!
Side note: We loved Panama so much that we took an 11 hour layover in Panama on the way to Colombia just so we could explore the city again. We went to visit Henry, but he was not there, the bartender that WAS there was kind enough to call Henry and ask for the recipe for our favorite Lime in the Coconut. Much appreciated!!
Until next time Panamá!