In Lifestyle Travel

Panama and 6 Reasons why you should add it to your Bucket List

Hello everyone! So I went home for Spring Break, aka Panama, and I had the most amazing week  making memories with my family and friends. I am so grateful to God that I was able to go, it is always nice to go home, but when home is 2000+ miles away, it becomes impossible to go every time you want.

For some reason, I fell in love with my country all over again. There is so much that I miss... The food, the buildings, the language, the culture... and I can keep going. So here I am, compiling a couple random facts about Panama, hoping that they will make you fall in love with my home and that you will visit it some day. The truth is, there is no other place like Panama, and you gotta try it!

Practice some Spanish and learn some fun slang
Even though Panama is part of latin America and our first language is Spanish, our history and the presence of the United States in Panama influenced the country. Also, most schools have a pretty strong English program (the reason why I can do this whole blog hello!), so you will have no trouble communicating. 

But I will encourage you to practice some Spanish and pick up some of our really funny and interesting slangs. You will want to check out this page for a more, but here are a couple. We, panamanians, don't go out to drink, we go out to 'suck.' (chupar, actually pronounced chupa'). Also, we, Panamanians, don't have bad luck, we are 'salty.' (salado, actually pronounced salao'). We don't use a cheat sheet, we use a 'battery.' (batería)

The reason why I say "actually pronounced" is because we, Panamanians, like to cut some sounds off the words. Specially in the countryside, you like not here the 'r' at the end of the verbs and the 's' at the end of plurals. Another Panamanian linguistic distinction is the .
 And if you ever have to talk with some teenagers, I will warn you, they may switch the order of the words. It is not 'Estoy claro,' as in I understand, but 'estoy rocla.' 

Well that was enough Panamanian linguistics for the day...

Shopping, shopping, and more shopping...
Not even gonna lie here, every single time I go to Panama, I take my carry on empty cause I know I will buy so much clothes I won' be able to fit it on my other bag. Idk why, but I love shopping in Panama. It may be the fact that my parents volunteer to buy most of the clothes, or the fact that all the stores and brands I love are under the same roof. oh, almost forgot, Panama City counts with a big number of incredibly big malls. 

If you want to get your workout in, at the same time you shop, Albrook Mall is for you. A whole lap of the mall will total 2.4 km and approximately 204 calories, according to the mall's website. If you prefer high fashion brands, there is Soho Mall who counts with the only Ladurée in the country. There are many other malls, stores, and boutiques that you can visit, and most of them with have some pretty good deals. So, let the shopping spree begin!

Casco Nights
Casco Viejo is the hirtoric part of Panama City, it was founded back in 1673. The Presidential Palace and the National Theatre is located in this place, along with other historical places besides the Panama Bay. In the last couple of years, it had been remodeled and come back to life as a touristic spot. Casco Viejo has a lot to offer, from dreamy hotels, such as the American Trade Hotel, restaurants with rooftops, and many clubs with different music genres. 

A fun thing to do one (or many) night, and the reason why Casco Nights are a thing, is to go out to have dinner at one of the many rooftops that offer a view to Panama City, then walk a couple blocks and get some craft beers at a brewery, drinks at a bar, or shots at the renowned "Chupitos 507" which is a shots bar, and end the night in one of the many clubs in the area.

Being able to swim on two ocean on the same day
This is actually part of my boyfriend's Panama bucket list, and we will do it as soon as we go there together. Even though it may sound like a huge deal, Panama is a pretty small and thin country. I am pretty sure you can wake up, spend some time sunbathing in the pretty beaches of the Caribbean Sea aka the Atlantic Ocean, take a car and drive all the way across the country, and surf a couple waves in the Pacific Ocean way before sunset. It may take 2 - 4 hours to drive from one coast to the other, depending on what part of Panama you are.

Another cool thing about Panama is that we have so much coast, that if you try a little, you will be able to find a completely empty beach. No matter where you go, they are all beautiful. But, if you are like my amazing boyfriend and loves surfing, then you MUST visit Playa Venao and Santa Catalina. These two are beautiful beaches with pretty good waves all year-round, reason why they host several international surf competitions.

Watch some huge boats cross the Canal
Panama is known internationally for it´s Canal, which is full of history and technology. I will encourage you to go to the Miraflores Locks and spend some time being amused by the huge size of the locks, and the even bigger size of the Post-Panamax crossing. A really good tip right here, go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, if you want to see a boat crossing. Believe it or not, they are not crossing all day long.

Another pretty cool thing to do, related to the Panama Canal, is visit the Panama Canal museum in Casco Viejo. It keeps some pretty interesting facts about Americans in Panama and the history of the country. You can also take a train that goes from the capital to a near province, Colón. This is a province full of Caribbean culture, beautiful beaches, and delicious food. You can also go on bus or car, but the train is part of Panama's history. 

Beers are $1.00 (no kidding)
Not only is Panama´s drinking age 18, which is a huge deal if you are from the United States, beers are also stupidly cheap! Not-so-good beers start at a $0.68 the can and rank up depending on the quality and if it is nationally produced or imported. The truth is no matter which one you order, it will be cheaper than in many other countries. 

But if you want to splurge a little, I would recommend that you go out to some brewery and try the craft beers, they are really good! My fave brewery has to be "La Rana Dorada," which not only has rich beers, but delicious pizzas and a great ambiance. Another famous one in Panama is "Casa Bruja" and "Cervecería Central." All of this are available in different restaurants and in most grocery stores.

I really hope you all have enjoyed this post. Even though it was not it's initial purpose, it ended up looking like a Panama Guide. But also, a way to show how in love and proud I am of being Panamanian. If you have any questions or advice, please leave a comment! Also, Have you considered visiting Panama soon or at some point in your live? Let me know!

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