Pride and Diversity in Panama City

There are many reasons why Panama should be your next getaway destination this year. Beyond the fantastic biodiversity, our unique and fascinating history, amazing gastronomy and superb weather. Panama is a small and diverse country that offers a lot. This year we are celebrating 500th anniversary since its foundation, and the diversity of its people is what makes this country unique. 2019 is the year to come to Panama and explore a destination that will surprise you!

Panama is considered one of the most open-minded countries in Central America, and EcoCircuitos as a company member of IGLTA.org, offers unique travel programs for the LGBTI clients, interested in discovering our Central America destination during Pride week!

We at EcoCircuitos embrace the combination of Luxury and Sustainability, offering to all our clients meaningful and authentic experiences in Panama.  “We combine quality service and expert advice with a premium selection in itineraries highlighting the best accommodations, unforgettable adventures and friendly local hosts“, says Annie Young Director and Partner.

This year PRIDE Panama will be featuring different events in Casco Viejo, the Old Quarters of Panama, with unique activities to demonstrate the contributions of the LGBTI Population and the importance of guaranteeing the human rights for all citizens of the world. Pride Week Panama is celebrated from June 24 – 28 and will host several events and activities for families, couples and groups.

Contact us for a 5- day adventure Pride package including transfers in and out, 4 night lodging in 4 stars plus hotel, all breakfasts, one room breakfast service with mimosa, 1 adventure tour of your choice and lots of fun. Price from $399.00 per person in double room plus taxes.
contact us for details at info@ecocircuitos.com or annie@ecocircuitos.com

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Jazz Festival in Panama

By Juliette Darmon

For the 14th edition, the Jazz Festival takes place in Panama City, from the 10th to the 14th of January 2017.

This celebration is a cultural project where the creativity, exchange, talent and inspiration made of this event a real international reference which welcomes more than 20 thousand people each year.

For 2017, the festival is proud to dedicate the event to the famous singer Violeta Green, for its contribution. Thanks to the help of the government, private companies, non-governmental organizations and a large public, the capital of Panama becomes the backdrop of world jazz for 4 days.

It is the most important event of the year that the Danilo Pérez Foundation undertakes.

So book your tickets online NOW, join this event and enjoy the 25 artists of this festival!

Few words about the Panama Jazz Festival’ story:

Everything began in 1965 when Danilo Pérez Urriola (father) decided to use the music for young people in troubles, in the province of Colón. He wrote a thesis about how the music can help these young to practice their creativity and becoming good citizens.

Afterwards, his son, the famous jazz pianist Danilo Pérez Samudio, decided to create some free music classes for young people and, after some studies in the United States, he became a prominent Jazz figure and established the famous music program Jamboree Juventud de Panamá in 1980.

After various helps in some Jazz programs and many concerts and master classes in Panama and all over the world, he decided to start the International Jazz Festival in 2003. He also finally founded the Danilo Perez Foundation in 2004, in order to organize educational events and doing of these programs, a sustainable project that can reach all the country.

He wants to make of this event, a real international jazz festival of the highest category. The first year, the Festival welcomed over 8 thousand people and more than 200 music students.

On the 11th edition, the Festival attracted more than 25 thousand people and over 2 thousand students from all over the world.

Since its beginning, they have counted more than 220 000 persons worldwide.

The Panama Jazz Festival is made of music lessons during the week from 9am to 4pm, followed by various concerts in different parts of Panama City.

From 4 to 6pm: Afternoon family concerts

From 7 to 11pm: Concerts in the Ateneo Theater

From 9pm to 2am: Jam sessions at Danilo’s Jazz Club

The music lessons are made up of instruments, composition, folklore, classical music, improvisation, musical therapy, and many other topics directly linked to music.

The professors who teach the lessons are the best students and teachers of the music schools, in partnership with the festival.

Furthermore, since the 11th edition, the total amount announced in grants during the Panama Jazz Festival, exceeds 3,5 billions of dollars.

Take part of this unique moment that is this Panamanian Festival.

Simple amateur or a big fan of Jazz, you will spend such a good time listening the 25 artists, dancing with your friends, meeting people and sharing your passion for music.

More than just a Festival, go to learn more about its story, enjoying the knowledge of its teachers and so more…

You won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure!

EcoCircuitos Pride Tours

By:  Carina Forster – Intern from Austria

Over the years Panama has become a multi-cultural place, influenced by a variety of different world-powers. Today it is considered one of the most open-minded countries for gay people in Central America. Even though Panama is a religious catholic country and gay marriage is still not legal, people are generally accepting on a personal level. The constantly growing Gay Community in Panama is very welcoming and accessible. Since 2005, a Gay Pride Parade is held every year and the famous annual carnival on the Peninsula Azuero has become an adopted holiday for Panama’s gay population.

Nightlife is extensive in Panama City; there are several Gourmet Restaurants, Clubs and Bars where you can party until dawn. During the day time you can find a variety of beaches, forests, and historical sites along with many other interesting things to see. Panama offers a wide variety of gay friendly hotels at amazing destinations. Weather you seek for party, luxury, adventure, family trips or a romantic time with your partner, Panama is the place for you to go.

EcoCircuitos offers various LGBT tours and vacation options throughout Panama:

  • Adventure Tours
  • Honeymoon
  • Beach Retreats
  • Romantic Tours
  • Family Tours
  • Educational Tours

Join our tours!  and work with the family!

Pride in Panama: Gay guide to Panama

LGBT and Queer welcome to Panama! It is our pleasure to be your tour operator in Panama. Our goal is to make every minute of your stay enjoyable and help you to get to know our country’s charms and natural beauty.

Located at the heart of the Americas, Panama City is the most cosmopolitan of the Central American capitals; overflowing with trendy new clubs, cool boutique hotels and gay friendly neighborhoods and attractions.  As a long established hub for international business, trade and transportation the City has developed into a modern, busy metropolis attracting visitors from around the world.

LGBT travelers may find Panama City more gay friendly than other Central American countries;  many of the main destinations throughout the country are friendly to all visitors and will make LGBT families and travelers feel at home.

Panama is a safe, stable and friendly country of almost three million inhabitants and 75.517 square kilometers. It is among the most biologically diverse countries on the planet and features a variety of unique ecosystems. With a total of over 2,500 km of coastline on two oceans, 15 national Parks and seven distinct indigenous cultures there is much to explore. Five UNESCO World Heritage sites wait to be discovered.

This short guide will direct you to the best spots in town but keep in mind that nightlife in Panama does not really start after midnight. Have Fun!!

 WHAT TO DO IN PANAMA CITY

Panama City is a cosmopolitan city, a delightful combination of the historic and modern. It is also one of the safest cities in Latin America. There are three Cities: the historical ruins of the 16th Century city named Panama Viejo, the 17th Century Spanish Colonial Casco Antiguo area of the city and the modern skyscraper city with the business district.

Day tour of Panama City – Visit the three cities in one day: the ruins of the 16th century original city, walk the Casco Antiguo colonial city and admire the modern city.  Walk the Casco Viejo – Old Quarters at night for bar hoping.  There are several roof top bars that will offer an amazing view of the City.  Our suggestion:  Tantalo, Barlovento and Casa Jaguar.

The Panama Canal – City tour includes a trip to the Panama Canal. A must-do is a visit to the Visitors Center at Miraflores Locks.   Admision is $12.00 per person and if you want an unforgetable experience, go dining to Atlantic and Pacific Co. Overlooking the Miraflores locks.

The Panama Canal Transits – Only on special schedule, this is a great option for those that interested in the complete history of the Panama Canal and experience crossing the locks.

Amador Causeway and Biodiversity Museum – A visit to the Amador Causeway is also a good option to admire the spectacular views of the Panama City’s skyline and the Panama Canal.   You can bike or walk the area or just enjoy a Panama bear at the restaurants in the Marina.  A must to see is the Biodiversity Museum, an architectonic jewel design by Frank Gerhy.

Panama Canal Railway trans-isthmus – Ride the historic Panama Canal Railway, the original transcontinental railway inaugurated in 1855. In special observation cars, the trip takes you across the scenic Isthmus from Panama City on the Pacific, to Colon on the Atlantic Side.

Metropolitan Park, Soberania National Park – ecological tours – Panama City’s Metropolitan Park is the only rainforest within the city limits of a modern metropolis. Ask for a guided nature tour of the Park and hiking and birding tour at Soberania National Park.

The Rainforst Discovery Center in Soberania National Park – The Discovery Center in the Panama Canal Rainforest is open every day from 6.00AM to 4.00PM Climb this 100 foot Observation Tower for a breathtaking views above the forest canopy and hike the trails around the center. You will learn about sustainable practices in this fantasctic place. Ideal for families.

Portobello: A picturesque bayside town of with the ruins of Spanish forts and a restored Spanish Colonial treasure house. In Spanish colonial times the Portobello Treasure House was the center for trans-shipment of all the Peruvian gold and treasure taken from Latin America to Spain. Spanish galleons came and went constantly and many fairs were held. That easy heyday ended with the arrival of English pirates like Sir Francis Drake who repeatedly looted Portobellos treasures and brought about its eventual demise. The Portobelo Ruins are a pillar of Spanish colonial times, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fort San Lorenzo: A well preserved fort ruin perched high on a stunning promontory above the Chagres River as it meets the sea. Sir Henry Morgan attacked the fort and made away with booty in 1666. It is essential to go with a tour operator since to date this unusual site has no signs or tourist info of any kind.

Embera Cultural Encounters, Chagres National Park – An unforgettable encounter with a living Indian culture in Panama’s rain forest. Panama is the only place in the world where you can have this experience in a day trip from a major metropolitan city. The tour begins 1.5 hours from Panama City, where you’ll take a motorized canoe up a scenic rainforest river, the only means of transport in the jungle, to an authentic Embera Indian village on river bank deep inside the rainforest. The village consists mostly of the rough wood and palm homes on stilts typical of the jungle Indians. Embera indians will perform a tribal dance offer authentic body paintings, exquisite handicrafts, share a typical meal and explain their way of life, traditions and beliefs.

Handicrafts and shopping – Try el Valle Sunday Market, the Balboa Artisan’s Market and don´t miss the city’s shopping malls, ideals for those looking for brands.  Check Multiplaza a high end shopping mall.

Optional day tours from Panama city: Historical Tours, Cultural exchange at the Embera Indian Village at the Chagres National Park, Panama Mini Cruises, Barro Colorado Island, Canopy Adventure, surfing, boat tour the gatun lake, hiking the National Parks, birding Soberania National Park, white water rafting, kayaking, biking tours, arts tours, camping and extension tours to Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Azuero and the highlands.

For more information click on our website:  EcoCircuitos.Com

Mango Mango

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By Jorge Ventocilla

Mango production is different every year; and every season is different for each and every mango tree. Some experts say that it all depends on the characteristics of each dry season. They also say that different branches produce different amount of mangoes and I see mangoes everywhere.

Coming back from the countryside a few weeks ago, I was looking at the landscape through the bus window, at least visible areas not hidden by advertisements, and found myself counting how many mango trees were along the road (per kilometer). I counted a minimum of fifteen trees per kilometer.

There are so many mango trees in Panama that it may lead us to think that they are native to this country.  Truth be told, Mangifera indica, scientific name of the tree, comes from India; Eastern India, Myanmar (Burma) and Andaman Islands, to be exact.

For complete article please click here.

IGLTA 31st Annual Global Convention

This year’s IGLTA 31st Annual Global Convention took place in Madrid and it was a huge success. Annie Young participated and promoted Panama as an emerging destination for the Gay and Lesbian market. She was able to build up contacts and got into
networks to promote sustainable tourism to the Gay and Lesbian market. Annie also joined an interesting interview with Tim Bennett and John Nash from the Focus Group. To listen to it go to: https://app.box.com/s/nmnshxsscp0q16rcf3oq http://www.ecocircuitos.com