Panama City gay guide: things to do

Panama City is often nicknamed The Dubai of Latin America because of its immense economic growth in recent years and impressive dense skyline. But unlike Dubai, this mighty Latin American metropolis has a far more welcoming gay life, in a country where although culturally conservative, is pushing towards civil union equality for gay couples.

Panama City gay guide: best bars, clubs, hotels and things to do

Most will associate Panama City with the famous canal, which is a reason alone to visit. The city is also the gateway to some gorgeous tropical beaches within Panama, like San Blas and further afield – Bocas del Toro.

We stayed in Panama City for a week and found it to be a lot of fun, full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return. This is our gay guide to Panama City following our experience here during our big Latin America trip.

 For more information click here

 

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Diving in Coiba National Park

The Coiba National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the neighboring islands and archipelagos of the Gulf of Chiriquí, Secas, Montuosa and Isla Ladrones, offer some of the best adventure and exploratory diving in the world.

In this region of the Panamanian pacific coast, the continental shelf is narrow and closely bounded by the Middle American Trench. Water depths plunge abruptly to abysmal depths, bringing deep Open Ocean, “pelagic” conditions very close to shore. The nearest substantial land mass lies 10,000km to the west.

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“Coiba National Park possesses the second largest coral reef in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.”

Tide ranges of up to 5 mts / 16 ft every six hours, currents in exposed areas are common. Lateral visibility on average 22 mts / 70 ft depending on location. Seawater surface temperatures hover around 78 F year round.  Thermocline depth varies throughout the year and can reduce water temperature several degrees. This cooler water brings the larger pelagic life closer to the surface.
The marine environment is extremely dynamic and boasts over 760 species of fish, 33 species of shark including the Reef White Tip, Scalloped and Great Hammerhead, Galapagos, Bull, Tiger, and the bizarre Guitar Shark. Add to this, a variety of Rays, Giant Manta, Modula Rays, Thurston’s Devil Rays and Stingrays. Schooling species include the Spotted Eagle; Cow Nosed and Golden Rays.  The areas protected beaches are the nesting grounds for four species of marine turtle, including the giant Pacific Leatherback.

A Mecca and complexity of migratory routes for marine animals, and other marine species.

A great variety of marine mammals, including several species of Dolphin, Pilot Whales, Orcas, Fin, Brydes and Sperm Whales. Recent scientific studies have indicated that the migration route taken by the Antarctic Humpbacks Whales to this region is the longest marine mammal migration, some 8,000 km. Humpback Whales can be seen in the area all year round. Key months are  August to October. Their haunting songs can be heard whilst diving around the park.

In hands of expert Dive  Master and conservationist Kevan Mantell we run our diving adventures in the area where local and international conservation efforts and initiatives, plays an active part in the protection and conservation of the region.  Kevan has been participating in a  broad spectrum of key Scientific Investigations / Conservation Biology initiatives. We encourage our visitors and guests to assist with the conservation of this unique marine eco-system.

For more information, contact us info@ecocircuitos.com

 

Where to go in January? Panama!

by TravelLocal.com

There are hundreds of wonderful destinations across the globe to travel to, but how on earth do you know which to choose?  Travel Local selected 12 destinations to help you get your holiday daydreams on the track for 2018.  And Panama is on the list for January!

January:  Jazz Festival in Panama

Panama is a magical country, whichever way you look at it – endless

tropical beaches, exotic wildlife, and mountains covered in cloud forest

make it a dreamy holiday destination. In January, it comes alive in the

form of jazz! If you love music, you must visit at the beginning of the year

in order to get your toe tapping at the annual Jazz Festival in Panama

City, which will run from 15th – 18th January 2018. Since 2003, the

festival has attracted over 300,000 fans of this soul-stirring genre from

all over the world and is expecting 30,000 attendees in 2018. Mingle

with internationally acclaimed musicians and fellow fans in a vivacious

celebration – a perfect way to sample the lively Panamanian culture

before continuing on with your holiday, whether that involves sandy

sunbathing or seeking out sloths.

January in Panama is in the beginning of the dry season and therefore, the high season.

The diversity of Panama makes it a fantastic place to take a holiday.

When you visit, make the most of the varied opportunities – adventurous

travelers can delve deep into tropical cloud forest, encounter

indigenous peoples and explore the notorious jungles of the Darien.

Those looking more for relaxation can recline on sun-soaked sands with

the waves of the Caribbean sea lapping the shore. And, history-buffs,

don’t forget that famous canal!

Isla Palenque Island Resort

Located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama, Isla Palenque Island Resort is an undiscovered private island sanctuary. The island’s 160 hectares of lush jungle, framed by 7 untouched beaches, house a number of wilderness trails and hidden spaces to be explored by guests of the barefoot-luxury Beach Suites (mid-2018) and Villa Estate.

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Who should visit Isla Palenque Island Resort?

Wildlife and nature lovers, guests looking for an active beach vacation, soft adventure, relaxation and a unique rainforest and private island experience.

Unique hotel features

A private island where luxury and sustainability intertwine, 8 Beach Suites (mid-2018), 6-room Villa Estate vacation rental house, on-site tours, an abundance of wildlife including monkeys and anteaters, locally-sourced food.

The Experience

As guests check in to Isla Palenque, they open a door to a world of new experiences and undisturbed nature, enhanced by architecture and interior design that effortlessly blend into the tropical surroundings. The atmosphere of the hotel is a balance of sophisticated and private comfort, combined with peacefulness, relaxation, and playfulness. The service provided by the staff is so personalized, professional and detail-oriented that the Resort feels exclusive and at the same time familiar; guests feel free to explore and at the same time feel taken care of. With a whole pristine island to discover through a number of included on-site tours, curious guests truly live an authentic, meaningful experience that goes far beyond a typical beach vacation.

Island Amenities

 Hiking trails and on-site tours

 Complimentary Wi-Fi

 7 private beaches with direct access

 Kayas & paddleboards

 Off-property tours including snorkeling and fishing

Rooms: Villa Estate vacation rental house: 6 rooms total – Garden, Jungle and Ocean Suites.

On-site activities

Secrets of the Island Hike, Hike to Punta Ballena, Kayak Tours, Tree Climbing Canopy Tour, Island Treks, Coastal Rock Hike, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Rock Fishing, Birdwatching and more. *Ocean-based activities are tide-dependent.

For more information, reservations and rates please contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com

 

Educational and Academic trips in Panama.

EcoCircuitos is specialized in educational travel experiences. Our guides are experts in their field and provide in-depth insights and understandings from culture and history to biodiversity. These understandings foster authentic travel experiences as well as responsible encounters between travelers and nature, biodiversity and local people.

With being one of the most biodiverse places on earth, Panama hosts world-class biological and geological experiences. With its numerous indigenous communities, colonial towns, ancient ruins and the Panama Canal, the Isthmus it is also a top-spot for historians, anthropologists and architecture lovers. What is less known, is Panama’s extensive art scene; from numerous galleries in the capital, Afro-Caribbean remains and indigenous handicrafts to artisans dating back to colonial times.

Private Reserves:  Mamoní Valley and ideal spot for neotropical studies

Located at 2.5 hours east of Panama’s international airport, and in the heart of the Mamoní Valley, lies an amazing rainforest campus amidst land manage by a non-profit organization that support Tourism and Conservation.    Their efforts supports its large-scale land conservation and habitat restoration within 28,000-acre Upper Mamoní Valley Watershed and beyond.  They offer a natural campus within a critical biological corridor that is the bridge for culture and wildlife throughout the Americas and home to many endemic and endangered species.

They have count to date 332 birds, 51 amphibians, 63 mammals, 62 reptiles and a incredible diversity of plants and trees.

We partner with this organization to offer Educational Trips for universities and high schools students interested in hands-on learning, while making a positive impact on the flora, fauna and communities in an ecological hotspot.  Some of the projects involves permaculture, wildlife observation, rainforest treks, adventures and exchange with local communities.

A fun and engaging environment for my students to learn through hands-on learning and solving real world problems.  – Nader Afzalan. Teacher at Redlands university.

EcoCircuitos has experience with programs that have been tailored to middle and high school level students and with undergraduate and graduate students. For more information contact us at: info@ecocircuitos.com.

 

Boquete Tree House

Do you know that you can actually stay in a tree house in Panama?  Get a true bird’s eye view of the world! Watch tropical birds like hummingbirds and toucans come home to roost while you drink a cold beer overlooking the Caldera valley and out towards the Pacific ocean.

Tree houses hotels is a growing trend that let you fully enjoy nature at its best.  The Treehouse in Boquete is a unique design that combines sustainable and luxurious living.  Our Luxurious Tree Houses are placed in the Highlands of Boquete. Sleep in the outstretched branches of the magnificent trees while listening to the soothing sound of the Aqua Blanca River below. As you find yourself crossing the rope bridge you might well be reminded of childhood ventures, yet you step into a very grown-up Tree House with unforgettable views to the the Pacific Ocean and the deep green Tropical forest lush. Our Luxurious Tree Houses include the following:

An expansive wraparound deck offers panoramic views stretching out from every angle. There’s even a cozy reading nook with a giant picture window made for daydreaming while you gaze out at the valley below. Astounding maybe starts to describe it.

Boquete Treehouse Amenities:
– Luxury Linens
– Queen size bed, and 1 double bed overlooking the balcony (perfect daybed)
– Bathroom with walk-in rain shower + luxury toiletries
– 2 comfortable bathrobes
– A la carte breakfast room service
– Kitchenette with mini-fridge, toaster oven, and coffeemaker for self-catering
– 40-inch LED Smart TV
– Wifi

Tropical Fruits in Panama

I love tropical fruits.  Some fruits as the Guanabana has a bitter-sweet flavor and other fruits are so sweet such as a good Mango or mangosteen.

tropical fruits

Some of my favorite fruits that you should try in Panama are:

  1.  Guanábana:  Is a large fruit whci can be up to 42cm long and weight up to 4kg.  Th shape is ovoid and curde at the lower end with thin, shiny, dark green skin that is covered with thorns.  The inside flesh is delicious, white, juice and bitter-sweet.  One of my favorite tropical juices is the Guanabana and you can eat if fresh fruit, juice or as a sorbet.
  2. Mango:  definitely one of my favoritefruites.  Is aromatic, sweet and tasty.  There are so many different varieties of mangos and in Panama you have many different options.   The most common way to eat it is as a whole fresh fruit.  The pulp however is used for chutney, jellies, and juices.
  3. Mangosteen:  this is also a delicious tropical fruit.  Is round, fleshy with a diameter between 6 and 7cm and smoth skin.  The flesh is white and sweet and very juicy.  It is a very delicate flavor and is eaten fresh.  This fruit has a lot of vitamin C, B1 and B2 and is exellent source of potassium and calcium.
  4. Tamarindo:  this small, round fruit mainly brown in color can be made into jellies, sauces and juices.  This fruietaids digestion and helps gastritis and gastroenterities.  My grandmother used to made tamarind balls with sugar as a candy when we were kids.  Amazingly delicious.

Discover this and more tropical fruits when travel with us.  Panama will surprise you for our diversity.  Contact us info@ecocircuitos.com