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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Exploring Panama City – From Old over New Panama to the famous Panama Canal

By Anne  KehmeierImage

And another tour I was able to join: a city tour through the capital of Panama!

In the morning we started from the middle of the city and immediately experienced the crazy and chaotic traffic of Panama City. After this interesting ride we arrived at Panama La Vieja where the ruins of Old Panama are located. These ruins are the remains of the old city of Panama that was founded in 1519 as the first settlement on the Pacific Ocean. After arriving we visited the Museum and learned a lot about the exciting history of Panama and Europeans who were looking for gold and other treasures in Panama. For example about Balboa who was the first European who saw the Pacific Ocean. We had a very interactive conversation about the history and also recent situations of Panama with the nice guide. The tour then continued with a ride along the ruins which ended at the old church tower of Panama La Vieja. Arrived at the old church we climbed up the tower from where we had a stunning view of Old Panama and also the rest of Panama City, including the high-rise buildings. After this thrilling morning we headed to Las Tinajas to have a traditional Panamanian lunch in this cozy local restaurant in Bella Vista, a very nice and central area in Panama City. At the restaurant we had delicious dishes like Arroz con Pollo (rice and chicken), Tamal de Olla (corn-based dough filled with chicken and vegetables) and fresh salad, of course traditionally served with rice and beans and fresh fruit juice. After refreshing our energies we headed to the newer part of the city Casco Antiguo which was built after the destruction of Panama La Vieja. However, nowadays this part is the historic district of Panama City. We explored Casco Antiguo starting with the old church of San Jose which is home to the famous Golden Altar. Hundreds of years ago this altar was located in a church in Panama Viejo. When the Pirate Captain Morgan came to sack the city the Jesuits painted the golden altar black and Captain Morgan left the precious altar untouched. Afterwards we walked though Casco Antiguo and saw several other churches and listened to interesting stories of Panama City. We arrived at the Plaza de Francia, the square where workers and French engineers are honored who participated in the construction of the Panama Canal. Then we were transferred to the Miraflores Lock where we learned more about the Canal in the Visitor Centre and observed the operations of the Canal from the observation deck. We were really lucky because as soon as we reached the observation deck two giant container ships entered the lock. With this absolutely interesting experience we completed the day tour and were transferred back to the city center.

I was really glad to join this tour as I haven’t known so many things about Panama before and it was interesting to get to know the city from this perspective! In fact I am grateful to be part of the team of EcoCircuitos that makes my discovery of Panama possible from time to time.