On my way to Sint Maarten from Medellin, Colombia, there was going to be an overnight layover in Panama. I’ve never been to Panama so I decided to book an early flight to arrive at 8:30 so I’d have a full day to check it out.

I’m no Panamanian travel expert but my gut said if I saw Panama City and the canal, I would pretty much “see Panama.”

I have to admit, I was surprised. After a little over 3 weeks in Colombia, I was used to second-rate type buildings and infrastructure and such. However, I was taken aback. Panama looked like a little Miami. The skyscrapers were beautiful. I felt like I was in America.

We booked a hotel on Calle 49 and lucky we did…more on that later.

Once we got to Hotel Terranova, we threw the bags in the room and headed out on foot. I don’t know if its like this every day…but it was f-ing hot. Like Cartagena, you can’t make it a block down the street without sweat pouring over your body. We made our way around the boat docks and then to a familiar site…The Hard Rock Hotel. The Hard Rock was extremely nice. It was connected to a mall that also very nice and had a decent sized casino in it.

After looking around, we went back to the hotel for a roof top swim, a nap during a 2 hour monsoon and then out the door for the evening.

We told our driver to take us to see the canal and then to old town. The canal was closed…closes around 5:00pm. But we drove past it, it was cool. He then took us to tres islas (the three islands). They looked like a fun place to spend a day. We finally made it to Casa Blanca for dinner in old town. It was very delicious.

After that, we took a tour of Luna’s Castle Hostel which looked like a really cool place to stay at. Then we headed to Capital Bistro and had drinks at their rooftop bar. This is a great place to set, have drinks, lay down on the “couch-like furniture” and look out across the water at the Panama City Skyline.

After that we headed back to Calle 49 where there was a line of bars and clubs on each side of the road. I felt it was my duty to check out the night life for my friends and any future guys I meet that want to know about it. The clubs themselves were all really fun. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of any of them. To sum up the night, every time I would ask for a drink, I would get two instead. At the end of the night I was trying to sober up for a 7:30am flight. So I went to old faithful…Malibu and diet. Unfortunately the music was really loud and my Spanish is pretty weak, so I had to give hand motions to the bartender. When he finally put his hand on Malibu Rum, I gave him the okay signal…you know where your thumb and pointer make a circle with the other 3 fingers in the air.

Well I’m not sure this symbol doesn’t exist in Panama because he started pouring 3 Malibu and diets…at first I thought maybe someone ordered 2 of  them…then he set all 3 in front of me (remember I was trying to sober up). But what the hell…one night in Panama…you can’t say no.

So the short of it is…the clubs were really cool and lots of fun…but if you’re on the hunt for women, keep going south to Medellin…you’ll be happy you did.

boats skyline

cool building

nice building

twin towers

the old city

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