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Ciudad de Panama - Principe Hotel & Suites

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Ciudad de Panama - Principe Hotel & Suites

Go for the Canal…Stay for Everything Else

That’s what the New York Times is saying about Panama. The publishing giant’s travel section listed Panama as number one out of 45 Places to Go in 2012. Panama City, the capital of Panama, is a blend of a very modern city and a Spanish Colonial town separated by a harbor that is the Pacific-side entrance to the Panama Canal. Its strategic geographic location, infrastructure and air connectivity make Panama an ideal site to hold meetings and regional conferences. An interesting feature not found in any other country in my travels: if you are a tourist and have a medical emergency, the Tourism Authority of Panama gives you free medical insurance for the first 30 days from the entry stamp in your passport.

Panama City is known as a "shopper's paradise". The city has large shopping districts as well as modern shopping malls, such as:

  • Multicentro Mall
  • Multiplaza Pacific Mall
  • The Albrook Mall
  • Metromall
  • Westland Mall

The Old Town of Panama City, declared a Historical Monument by UNESCO, is not just about history; it is also a place to sample different foods and drinks in open-air cafés, a site where the restaurants and bars fill the air with music and entertain with varied shows. Heading towards Plaza Bolivar, a few restaurants have set up their tables under umbrellas right in a very attractive ambience and often joined by musicians. In Panama City's Old Town, the ancient and modern coexist in harmony, making for a pleasant and memorable visit.

The Bay of Panama City called "cinta costera" is a place to enjoy green areas without leaving the metropolis. Bordering the ocean, and as you walk along, the road takes you from skyscrapers on one end to colonial-era constructions on the other.

Panama has become a fashionable destination. Its rich and varied culture, native fauna and flora and the diversity of landscapes and possibilities that the country offers to all types of tourists make Panama a wonderfull destination to discover. Crystal clear waters, coral reefs, thousands of aquatic species or enjoy a sunrise over the Pacific and sunset over the Caribbean. The Panama isthmus covers an area of 75,517 km2 and has hundreds of kilometers of beach on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. On the Pacific coast, just one hour from Panama City, is a series of beaches named Punta Chame, Gorgona, Coronado, Rio Mar, Santa Clara and Playa Blanca, the most popular spots for tourists and locals. Although those who want to be get further off the coast will find an authentic paradise and a haven of peace at Pearl Islands, just 50 km from the coast. However, those who prefer to explore forts with pirate stories or practically Virgin Islands inhabited by indigenous communities should discover Bocas del Toro, or Coiba Island in the Pacific, one of the most extensive marine parks in the world. Those who want to be surprised should not miss Sarigua National Park, an area in the Azuero Peninsula that has experienced a salinization process that gives it a desert aspect. In Chiriquí, in the northern part of the country, after a thrilling climb up Barú Volcano and at an altitude of 3,500 meters, it is possible to view the two oceans that bathe Panama: the Atlantic and Pacific. In the Highlands there are coffee plantations, vegetable fields and extraordinary landscapes. The National Park named after Barú Volcano is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has biodiversity that is unique to the world. Just two hours from Panama City is Antón Valley, in the central province of Coclé, regarded as the place of eternal spring in Panama. It is a paradisiacal place with a pleasant climate where hikers will find trails, exuberant vegetation, abundant waterfalls, and endemic species like the golden frogs and square trees. The Valley is in the crater of a volcano, which is why there are so many hills and volcanic rocks around the area.

Bocas del Toro is a stunning archipelago set in the Caribbean sea, that seduces visitors by its combination of exotic marine species, coral reefs and beaches with crystalline turquoise waters. Located in northwestern Panama, next to Costa Rica, it joins nine islands, in addition to two hundred islets and fifty cays. The most popular and trafficked is Colón Island, with the city of Bocas, capital of the province that shares the same name.

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