Gastronomy experience in Panama

By Juliette Darmon

There is no culture without gastronomy!

But too often and unfortunately, people tend to think that a gastronomy tour vulgarly means eating all day…

But here is the mistake! Gastronomy fully takes part of a cultural journey!
It’s a real rich and unmissable experience for a complete trip!

Of course the main goal of a gastronomic tour is making you tasting the best, traditional and local products and specialties of the country, but it also means showing you a cultural area of the city and the best places and locations to discover this culture, some typical and hidden sites you wouldn’t have thought about.

A gastronomic tour is also learning more about the culture, and your passionate guide will follow you throughout the itinerary. It’s a real adventure unlike a lot of people can think!

More than just tasting in our Panama Gastronomy experience, you will learn about how traditional dishes and local products as chocolate, coffee or honey are made and their whole process, and you will even have the possibility to visit some factories!

You could admire the view on the extensive skyline of Panama City while trying a ceviche at the Mercado de mariscos or the famous “raspado” on the Cinta Costera.

To end your culinary tour in the capital you may get on a guided tour through the microbrewery and taste some of their beer specialties. Also if time permits you could visit a Rum factory to try the artisanal Panamanian rum.

One day or one week, a culinary journey can be fascinating and so rewarding!

Out of the city, in the Azuero Peninsula you could so visit a local Rum factory, learning about the complete process of rum production – from harvesting the sugarcane until tasting the golden liquid. Then enjoy discovering the manufacturing processes of the traditional products of the Herrera Province: sugarcane, salt, clay and bread. In addition, you will have the chance to lodge in an eco coffee farm in the Boquete province.

The day after you will visit the coffee plantations and learn about the complete process of making coffee before tasting it at the end of the tour while enjoying an extensive view on the surrounding highlands.

Once the coffee tour ended, you will go on a local honey plant located on a small farm in the highlands of Boquete to end with a world-class honey tasting.

And what’s better than ending by a tour in the jungle to visit the Embera community and trying their fresh fish lunch?
In case you were skeptical, you are now aware of what does a gastronomic tour mean, and that is not just “stuffing” yourself with food…

So book a culinary tour now with EcoCircuitos to get into the Panamanian culture!

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Art Galleries in Panama

The art scene in Panama is growing and fascinating.  As a bridge between two continents, Panama is one of the most diverse cities in Central America with a strong influence on the Afro-Caribbean, European and indigenous cultures.  There is a new generation of proud Panamanian artists creating unique pieces.    Kantule, Sebastian Icaza, Isabel De Obaldia, Donna Conlon, Jonathan Harker, Pilar Moreno  are some names that are building the Panama art scene.
There are some interesting art galleries that are a testimony to Panama’s art and cultural legacy.    We suggest to explore the city or book an art tour with us that will take you to the most interesting art galleries in the City.

An Art Tour in Panama City

DGriss Art Gallery
Location: Torres de las Americas, Punta Pacifica. Telephone: 201-5550 – 
Owned by Daniela and Pablo Griss, this art gallery displays art by Pablo Griss himself, and other artists all over the world. It´s main focus is contemporary art.

DiabloRosso
Location: Avenida A con Calle 6, Casco Antiguo. Telephone: 262-1957 –
A gallery that has a showroom, a restaurant-café, and a concept store. It has several art exhibitions during the year. They focus on promoting and supporting young local talent, future artists.

Weil Art Gallery
Location: Calle 48, Bella Vista.    Telephone: 264-9697 –
This art gallery owned by Carlos Weil, is the only art auction house in Panama. It has art from international crafts, as well as Panamanian 21st art such as handcrafted art, paintings and even sculptures.

Galeria Arteconsult
Location: Calle 72, No.34, San Francisco.    Telephone: 302-2646 – 
Offering Panamanian and Latin American art, we have this permanent high caliber showroom, which displays a diversity of art. From paintings to photographs.

Mateo Sariel Garcias
Location: Coco del Mar, Calle 79, Casa No.14.   Telephone: 270-2403 – 
Based on promoting contemporary Latin American art and introducing new artists such as Sebastian Icaza and his beautiful glass art.

Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Location: Avenida de los Martires, Calle San Blas, Ancon. Telephone: 262-8012 – 
Concerned on collecting and conserving Panamanian art, as well as Latin American art, is this privately owned art gallery. Not only serves as an art gallery, but also as a library which hopes to promote the history and art of Latin America and Panama.

Marion Gallery
Location: Calle 70, San Francisco. Telephone: 226-7190 – 
Promotes new contemporary art by renowned International artists. It´s most distinguish or permanent exhibition is dedicated to Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, because of his unique optical kinetic art.

Allegro Galeria
Location: Calle 73, Bella Vista. Telephone: 226-6967 – 
Beginning with the art work of Olga Sinclair, and other renowned Panamanian artists, this gallery has developed a reputation over the years by continuing to support and promote work of local and international artists.

Galeria Habitante
Location: Marbella. Telephone: 264-6470/223-8869 – 
One of the oldest galleries in Panama, maintains their status by renewing, and extending their art gallery by collecting from young and old artists.

Galeria 18
Location: Ave. Samuel Lewis, P.H Plaza Diamond a lado de Porta Romana. Telephone: 203-5589 – 
Contemporary Fine Art Gallery

Huellas Casa Cultural
Location: Calle 63, Casa 66, San Francisco – 
It´s not an art gallery, but they have different activities during the year, which promotes team building as well as creativity in a fun environment.

Do I need Visa to visit Panama, Central America

What are the requirements to enter Panama?

If you are visiting Panama you will require a valid passport and a return ticket.

Additional requirements vary according to nationality and are subject to change. Citizens from certain countries need a tourist card, others need an authorized visa and others do not need anything.  We recommend you to check with a Panamanian Consulate, Embassy, travel agency or an airlines that fly to Panama to obtain the most updated and accurate information.

The following countries DO NOT need a visa to enter Panama because their countries hold treaties with Panama that entitle their citizens to visit for up to 180 days without a visa:  Andorra, Angola, Antigua y Barbuda, Arabia Saudita, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Belarus, Belgium, Botsuana, Bhutan, Brazil, Bolivia, Bosnia y Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Corea del Sur, Costa Rica, Croacia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Fiyi, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Georgia, Gibraltar, Granada, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Holland, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Jamaica, Kenia, Kiribati, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kuwait, Letonia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,  Macedonia,  Malta,Mauricio, Micronesia, Mexico, Moldovia, Monaco,  Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zeland, Nicaragua, Norway, Palaos, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Rumania, Russia, Saint Kitts y Nevis, Saint Lucia, Salomon Islands, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweeden, Switzerland, Tailand,  The Vatican, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Citizens from these countries can apply for an extension for up to another 30, 60 or 90 days. Petitions are approved or denied on a case-by-case basis. Immigration recommends you apply at least a week before your time is up.

Do I need a Tourist Card to enter Panama?

If you don´t need a visa you won´t need a tourist card.   A tourist card can be purchase for only $5.

Nationals from the following countries DO REQUIRE a tourist card (US $5), available from Panamanian embassies and consulates, airlines serving Panama, border crossings, or at the international airport: Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Granada, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Tobago, Trinidad, USA, Venezuela. In other words, if you are on this list, do not bother going to a consulate or embassy to get a tourist card: once you are on your flight you will probably be given one and if not, when you land on Tocumen Airport you will be able to purchase one before going through immigration.

Nationals from Chad, Ecuador, Egypt, Philippines, Perú, Dominican Republic and Thailand require tourist visas and should contact an embassy or consulate before coming to Panama.

There are two types of visas for Panama, “stamped visas” and “authorized visas.”

The so-called “stamped visas” let some travelers enter Panama several times throughout the year. This type of visa is only available through a Panamanian embassy or consulate, and the Panamanian authorities decide the length of the stay, which is usually 30 days per visit. Anyone who is eligible to visit Panama on a tourist card can apply for a stamped visa instead, although citizens of some countries are required to have a stamped visa. These countries include the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Georgia, Peru, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. As with other things in Panamanian officialdom, this list is subject to change.

Citizens of some countries are required to have an “authorized visa,” the most restrictive type of tourist visa. Like the stamped visa, this kind is only available through a Panamanian consulate or embassy. The officials will choose to either approve to decline the visa application, and will determine the length of stay. The majority of countries on this list are in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or eastern Europe. These include Bangladesh, Cuba, Haiti, India, Pakistan, China, and South Africa, India, Indonesia, Iran, Irak, Jordania, Kuwait, Laos, Moan, Emiratos Arabes, Turkey, Filipines, Saudi Arabia, although the list is subject to change. The requirements can vary by consulate, so it’s a good idea to check with one before beginning the application process. It’s recommended to begin the application process at least a month before the start of travel.

Applicants for “authorized visas” will need to present the following documents:

  • A completed application form
  • A valid passport
  • A copy of the passport (including the pages that show entry and exit stamps)
  • A letter from a local Panamanian sponsor. The sponsor must also present a recent bank statement and utility bill. This letter can come from a Panamanian guide company or tour operator.
  • A copy of your ID or residence card from your home country
  • A copy of your most recent Panama visa, if applicable
  • Two passport-size photographs

Some consulates will require you to have proof of a round-trip as well.