Beaches, wildlife, fresh seafood and more

This month’s edition of armchair travel takes us to the beautiful country of Panama. Not to be confused with Panama City Beach in Florida, this Panama City is located in Central America. This photo journal will show you some of the many reasons to visit Panama.

This is the third post in my monthly wanderlust series. Last month, we virtually visited Santorini, and before that was Cartagena. I am here to serve up some wanderlust every month so that we can keep the dream alive that we will travel again. If you’re curious about Italy, check out my 15 reasons why you should visit Rome.

Images to Persuade You to Visit Picturesque Panama

Open air dining at a colorful sports bar in Panama
The cutest outdoor sports bar we stumbled upon in the middle of nowhere

We stumbled upon the cutest outdoor sports bar one evening. Carbon & Playa was located in the middle of nowhere, Google didn’t even know about it! I earned my Trailblazer badge as a Google Local Guide after adding it to Google. That was a proud moment, lol!

Seafood dinner and margaritas in Panama
The fresh and delicious seafood dinner with margaritas we enjoyed at Carbon & Playa
Woman swimming at a beach in Panama
The ocean in Panama is like swimming in a giant, salty bathtub – it’s very warm!

This beach was steps from our room at the resort we stayed at. Located near the equator, Panama is very hot and humid, even in December. Swimming in the ocean didn’t do much to cool me off though, it definitely feels more like a warm bath than a refreshing dip. Not that I’m complaining! The ocean in Vancouver could definitely be a few degrees warmer.

Lightening storm in Panama
We were treated to a spectacular lightening show one evening
Lagoon in Panama for Kiteboarding
This lagoon, which is also the feature image for this post, is a popular spot for kiteboarding in Panama

We switched resorts half-way through our vacation so we could be located closer to this kiteboarding hot spot. The shallow lagoon in Punta Chame makes for the perfect place to learn how to kiteboard. The warm waters made it ideal for me to really enjoy getting dragged around while learning how to handle the kite, lol!

Woman trying kiteboarding in Panama
About to embark on my first ever kiteboarding lesson
Amazing artwork at a restaurant bar in Panama City
Imaginative artwork at a restaurant in the old town of Panama

The fresh seafood was always delicious in Panama, but what caught my eye at this particular restaurant was the artwork behind the bar. I love the creativity what went into this mural.

Pictured below is the delicious sushi dinner we had. It was so good, we returned the following week to have it again.

Sushi dinner in Panama City
I rarely order sushi when I travel, but this was delicious!
Tropical rainstorm in Panama
The tropical thunderstorms are nothing short of crazy!

During our two week stay in Panama, it rained most days in the afternoon. Thankfully, the thundershowers didn’t usually last very long and the rain is quite warm. Some days we stayed at the pool and waited them out. Other days, like the one pictured here, the rain was torrential and didn’t let up. We ended up going back to our room, and then to the lounge for afternoon drinks. Not a bad plan B at all 😉

Large lizard in Panama
One of the many lizards we saw at our resort in Panama

Lizards are a very common sight at resorts in Panama. They are quite tame but don’t bother the guests unless baited. If you are patient and have food, you can feed them. It took me a while, but I was even able to hand-feed one! This guy pictured above was one of the larger ones we saw. They tended to stay on the grassy areas and off of the walkways, but they were almost always visible.

Sloth in a tree in Panama
A mother and her baby sloth sleeping in a tree at our resort

We were very fortunate to see this rare sight at our resort. One of the staff spotted this mama sloth and her baby napping in a tree that was off to the side of the resort. He was kind enough to come over to the pool area and let everyone know so we could quietly observe them in nature.

Panama City at night from a rooftop patio
The stunning views of Panama City from the Hard Rock Cafe bar

I am one who tends to shy away from chain restaurants when traveling, but I couldn’t resist going to the Hard Rock Cafe in Panama City. Located on the 60th story, this bar has 360 views of the city below. It has an outdoor patio where guests can enjoy drinks and dancing while overlooking the entire city. Outdoor, rooftop patios are my absolute fave!

Yellow building in Panama City
Plaza Bolivar in Casco Viejo, the old town of Panama

The old city of Panama, Casco Viejo, is full of history and architecturally stunning buildings.

The Metropolitan Cathedral in Cathedral Plaza in the historic district of Panama, Casco Viejo

And there you have it, a photo gallery full of reasons to visit Panama. You would be correct to wonder why I didn’t mention the marvel that is the Panama Canal. I don’t have any pictures of it, so I couldn’t include it in this photo gallery, but it would certainly be another reason to visit. Have you been? If not, do you think you would ever visit this stunning city?

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12 reasons to visit Panama