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!

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Why should you get married in Panama?

 

by Juliette Darmon

Panama is known as the perfect getaway for a short vacation and and is the perfect destination for nature lovers.

Its tropical climate and warm weather throughout the year, is a magical opportunity to visit Panama at any time.

December, January and February, the colder months in the North but still summer time in Panama.  You will be able to wear your summer wedding dress you were dreaming about!

If you are dreaming about a summer wedding destination, Panama is the place for you!  You will find any type of wedding you were looking for!

Panama is a melting pot and has plenty to offer.  From a cosmopolitan City and a hub for an amazing gastronomy to beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and Pacific where the sunset is waiting for you.

With a great eco-diversity and untouched beaches, you would have the possibility to get married in heavenly and white-sand islands around the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. What better place to spend and enjoy a romantic and relaxed wedding than the Caribbean coast, where the turquoise sea, coral reefs, sun, turtles and exotic fishes will be present?!

You could also prefer a more adventurous wedding in the highlands of Chiriqui, immersed in the mountain fresh air, and hiking the highlands, testing local coffee and honey, learning about butterflies, zip lining and relaxing in other amazing islands in Pacific side like Islas Secas in the Gulf of Chiriqui where snorkeling and kayaking are great for those more adventurous.

Are you more looking for a totally private and shy wedding? Then, the archipelago of San Blas will be the perfect place you were searching for. But be aware that it is also going to be a real rustic wedding!

Enjoy the blue sea view for kilometers, watch at the playful dolphins leap alongside sailboats, the deserted island, palm and coconut trees, cabanas in bamboos, and be immersed in Kuna community’s culture for your wedding.

*You could also decide to get married in a private sailboat, a real original experience not available everywhere…!

For the city lovers, you won’t totally feel out of place! You could have the chance to get married in the charming historic Casco Viejo, enjoying romantic dinners in typical or modern restaurants, staying in a luxurious resort or smaller cozy hotels, tasting local chocolates, walking around the Cinta Costera and visiting the surroundings as the Canal, the tropical rainforest, boarding on the jungle boat or even hiking in the National Park.

You now probably got that Panama has all the options required for any types of weddings and could make your wedding a real customized, appropriate, unique and unforgettable day, whatever your cultural and religious requests are.

Most of all, as you probably know Panama is a wonderful place for sustainable and green travels, and become therefore the perfect place for the trendy and fancy “Green Wedding”.

More than just getting married, take advantage of being in such a lush country for enjoying the honeymoon trip of your dreams.

Visit our honeymoon page here: http://ecocircuitos.com/tour-category/honeymoon/ and decide the kind of experience you are ready to live!

Do not forget that all our programs and itineraries can be arranged and tailor-made for you.  Contact us for more information at info@ecocircuitos.com

 

Surfing in Santa Catalina

by Carina Forster – Intern from Austria

The laid-back town of Santa Catalina hosts a charming mix of international surfers next to locals who are still catching lobsters with their bare hands.

While more experienced surfers test their limits in the world-class waves at a spot called the Point, the smaller but still quite powerful waves at close-by Playa Estero are perfectly suitable for beginners like me.

After making my way through the first set of breaks, the first thing I instantly did as I was surfing in Santa Catalina for the first time was holding on for a minute to admire the wild beauty of widely-stretched Playa Estero.

However, there is not a lot of time to enjoy this view, as waves are constantly rolling in, forcing every single part of your body and mind to concentrate on this very moment. At some point you see the perfect one, which is going to be your wave, and you start paddling, going faster and faster, giving all your strength until you feel the ocean taking you with it. You stand up, riding the wave, forming a part of this incredible force of nature. The pure feeling of happiness makes you forget everything else, it makes you swim out over and over again, until you reach your physical limits.

And there is nothing more pleasureful after an exhausting day of surfing than having some fresh fish for dinner while enjoying the sunset on abandoned Playa Estero.

Where to Surf in Panama, Central America

Surfers represent a diverse culture based on riding the waves. Some people practice surfing as a recreational activity while others make it the central focus of their lives.  For those who currently surf, or wish to learn to surf, Panama offers to the surfing enthusiast two oceans from which to choose, the Atlantic and Pacific. This allows locals and visitors to take advantage of currently weather and wave conditions, not to mention that some of the most popular surf spots are within an hour or two from the cosmopolitan Panama City.

We want to let you know about the most popular surf spots in Panama, we have listed below those areas that are most frequently visited. Once there, you will not only be able to enjoy the waves, but the natural beauty that surrounds them.

Chepillo: This beach is located on the island with the same name, and is near the capital. The waves break left over a
rock face. Generally speaking one can expect good waves and swells here.
You have to take a launch from the city or drive to the port of Chepo, from which point you have to take a small launch to the island. There are no facilities available for those interested in staying on the island.
Malibu: Located in Gorgona, and it has some of the best waves on the western portion of the Panama Province. The sandbar that exists here creates impressive tubes that break to the right. Very fast waves with force, thus it is not recommended for those venturing out for the first time. To arrive you have to drive on the sand, which requires a 4×4 vehicle. There are no facilities available here.

Serena: Situated in Coronado Beach, this spot is known for it’s right breaks and spectacular tubes. When there are good swells one can expect to see 4-6 ft. waves.  The waves tend to break to the right after hitting a rock wall.  Great for long boards.
Teta: This spot is preferred by many Panamanians for it’s excellent waves. The point breaks over a rocky bottom, and produces both right and left breaks; this varies depending on the wind and water current. With adequate conditions, Teta can produce great waves. It’s located in Punta Barco, after Coronado.

El Palmar: One of the favorites surf spots for families and beginners.   Situated in the western portion of the Panama Province. The waves here can reach 7-8 feet, and can have  considerable force, however, the face will accommodate both beginners and those with more experience. It is located at the beach with the same name.  There are several surfing schools in the area.

Rio Mar: This  used to be  a popular beach spot not only for surfers, and as the same as with  Malibu, there are usually constant waves. The point breaks over a rocky bottom, which produces a very large right break. It is located at the beach with the same name.  It could be hard to reach due to the over development in the area.
Playa Venao: One of the most famous surf spots in Panama, as this particular spot has held numerous international surf competitions. It’s located in the Los Santos Province, and enjoys very impressive scenery. Waves of 8-10 ft. are not uncommon. There are several establishments that provide all the services necessary to enjoy a good weekend stay.  We recommend EcoVenao.
Guanico: Situated in the town of Cambutal, Los Santos Province. Much like Playa Venao, there is a beach break with various peaks, many of which can generate waves of 6-8 feet. There are several establishments that provide all the services necessary to enjoy a good weekend stay.

Cambutal: Also located in the Province of Los Santos , but after Tonosi. A rocky bottom produces a wide variety of waves, oscillating between 4-11 ft.

Playa Mariato: Situated in the province of Veraguas, en route to the historical town of Atalaya. There are numerous surf spots here, some producing waves easily up to 5-7 ft.in height. There are several lodging options to enjoy a good weekend stay.

Santa Catalina:  This is one of the most popular surfing spots in Panama.   World class surfing and considered one of the best waves of Central and South America. About one hour from the town of Sona, located in the Province of Veraguas. Breaking on a rocky bottom, it has earned the reputation for producing tremendous, perfect tubes that may reach 20 ft. Surfers worldwide have visited this beach. There are several establishments that provide all the services necessary to enjoy a good weekend stay.
Isla Grande: Situated in the Colon Province, this tropical beach enjoys a typical Caribbean wave, which breaks over a coral bottom. Located on the right side of the island, just in front of a cabina style hotel, this island is a popular island getaway for Panamanians on weekends and holidays.  Don’t miss the amazing Caribbean food of the islands.
Dumper: Can be found on Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama’s most popular tourist destination. The wave breaks perfectly to the right, allowing surfers to enjoy incredible tubes. One must take a taxi or ride a bike from the town of Bocas. There is nothing else around this surf area.

Bluff: Also be found on Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, but much closer to Bocas town and can be accessed right off the road. With a sandy bottom, right and left breaks are the norm, some of which can be quite strong. It is a strong shore break, as there is not much depth here. It is a perfect place to practice bodyboard.

Let us organize your surfing adventure.  Let us know about your interest and if you are an avid surfer or want to learn how to ride waves.  We can organize an itinerary for your including great lodging options, surfing classes and boards rentals.
For more info, please check: http://www.ecocircuitos.com or call us at (507) 315-1488