Welcome to sunny Republic of Panama. Centrally located within North and South America, the sprawling metropolitan areas within are home to roughly 4 million people. For them, and thousands of starry-eyed tourists every year, this is one place unlike any other in the world.
I love Panama. I also love seeing people experience this country for their first time, it allows me to live a little more vicariously — a throwback to when I first discovered the beauty and passion that it distinctly exhibits. There’s an endless variety of things to do here in big part to the fabulous weather year-round. Of course, it helps to know where you’re staying ahead of time.
Vacation Rentals in Panama
If you’re looking for an extended stay for the ultimate experience — without any hesitation — I recommend you opt for Panama vacation rentals.
What makes these destinations particularly so appealing to an adventure travel junkie like me is the ability to quickly ship out to the neighboring coastline for an intensive surf session. The swells can become veritable monsters out here, so it really pays to have some prior experience. Regardless, even if you’re looking for a tamer version, you can easily elect to take a beginner’s course to get your bearings; you won’t have a hard time finding an instructor.
If the beach is your thing, visiting Playa Las Lajas should definitely make your list. This beautiful beach is about 8 miles in length and spans along the Gulf of Chiriqui. The view provides an endless stretch of shimmering blue-diamond ocean waters, a temperature that is perfectly inviting. This is one of the most popular destinations or swimming and splashing around for tourists.
Hiking tours are also top-notch here in Panama. My favorite trail is Sendero Los Quetzales — you’ll have to see this postcard-esque setting to really believe it.
Located near the quiet town of Cerro Punto, the 5 mile trail snakes through the gorgeous cloud forest of Parque Nacional Volcan Baru. If you venture to the top of the trail, you’ll find yourself above the mountains of Boquete. A slight disclaimer here: this hike demands a lot from you. It’s also not marked so well these days so it’s best to consider bringing along a guide if you’re serious about doing the whole trail.
I’d be remiss not to mention visiting the Panama Canal. For my history buffs in the crowd, it’s one of those surreal experiences you seldom find, a chance to appreciate an historically significant landmark from another side of the world. Provided you do stop by to visit, be sure to also visit the onsite museum — it brings the canal’s history full circle.
The canal itself is roughly 77 kilometers in diameter, it’s absolutely massive. The manpower that went into creating it — 17 years total — is something that simply boggles the mind. I’ve only been once in my life but the visitor center is an incredible place for a little ship watching — downright therapeutic.
I’ll be heading down to Panama again this summer and couldn’t be more excited.
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