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

 

Advertisements

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!

Weather in Panama

Many travelers that come to Panama have doubts about the weather; we would like clear these doubts to help you with your travel planning to Panama!

The seasons            

Panama has a tropical climate and it´s divided in two main seasons: dry, which is usually from December to May, and rainy which we like to call the “green season”, from June to November. During the dry season, it usually doesn´t rain, but sometimes we can get a surprise sprinkle of rain. Due to the dryness, these months are good months to travel to Panama. Not only will you be able enjoy the wonderful climate, but you are able to be in the presence of a variety of birds, mammals and great flowers.

The rainy season doesn´t mean that the rain won´t allow you to enjoy Panama, on the contrary, during the rainy season is when Panama is the greenest and our favorite time to enjoy outdoors. You will be able to admire the growing flora and also take advantage of good deals off season, just make sure that if you´re planning an activity outside to check the weather forecast!

**Note: These two seasons don’t apply to all of the country. On the Caribbean side, which includes Colon, Bocas del Toro, and San Blas, might have rainfall during the whole year. Meanwhile in Chiriquí and Valle de Anton, there might be some rainfall during the dry season.

The Temperature

Year-round in Panama the temperature in the daytime usually ranges from 32ºC (90ºF) to 21ºC (70ºF) in the evening, meaning the day is hot and the night is cooler.

However it’s important to mention that the temperature varies according to geography. In the mountainous areas, such as Boquete and El Valle de Anton, the temperature annually may range from 12ºC (53ºF) to 15ºC (59ºF).

Facts about the weather in Panama

  • Even though we have a dry season, Panama´s humidity goes up to 80% all year round.
  • Because of Panama´s location you don´t have to worry about hurricanes.
  • February is the driest month and October is the wettest month
  • Rain can fall for more than 2 hours
  • It’s very rare and important to mention that in the mountainous areas, snow and frost may sometimes be visible, but not in large amount.

Just make sure to check the weather and temperature when booking your trip, to be able to have the best experience in Panama!

Source

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/panama/weather

http://panamainfo.com/en/when-best-time-visit-weather-panama-high-season-and-low-season

https://weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine-in-Panama

http://geografia.laguia2000.com/climatologia/panama-clima-y-vegetacion

 

 

 

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

Article from Transamerica: The Hippest Neighborhood in Central America

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are not allowed to publish this article to promote Panama in our web.  The authors banned us from publication in our blog for violation of copyright.  We thought we were advertising their web and authors.  Anyway, for those interested in reading it, please check their website directly at http://trans-americas.com/blog/2014/07/casco-viejo-panama-city/

 

A Pirate in Portobello

Portobello is located in Colon at the Caribbean side of Panama and was established during the Spanish colonial time. With the old cannons, ruins and buildings I totally immersed into the pirates tales and leyends.

Heading north – east from Panama City it is about two hours away by bus. The ride along the Caribbean side with all the palm trees and small huts has already impressed me. It felt like a short holiday for me.  We arrived on Saturday morning and slept in “Captain Jack’s hostel”.  The hostel was designed like a hidden pirate stash. Decorated with old guns, swords, skulls and ripped pirate flags the place was really authentic. On top of it, the hostel was located on a top of a hill from where we had an amazing view over Portobello. The owner Jack had the aura and appearance of an old pirate.

After we have settled down and stored our things, we took a small boat to an outer island and relaxed and snorkeled there for the day. With nobody else besides us there, we felt like stranded sailors with some rum left.

At about 5PM we headed back to the hostel, drank some rum and exchanged our adventures with Captain Jack. It was an amazing night full of fun and stories.

The next morning we had a most delicious pirate breakfast with bacon, eggs, fruits and a secret sauce made by Jack. Before we jumped on the bus back to Panama City we visited the ruins of Portobello. Standing by the ancient cannons I could completely imagine how the Pirates attacked the port city. After a day of ancient times, I sadly had to leave this port city.

 If you want to feel like a pirate and want to experience Portobello  where Francis Drake is sunken or San Lorenzo Castle where Henry Morgan first arrive Panama.  Contact us or visit our website www.ecocircuitos.com to find out more information.  Contact us directly at 1-800-830-7142. We are looking forward to organize a trip for you!

By Marc Vedder