Everybody who desires to visit Panama does so not just because of its awesome weather patterns but because of its natural and artificial attractions, attractive local culture and friendly communities.
The indigenous people of Panama are plentiful and add an amazing sight to see in their colourful clothing.
Such are the reasons why the city has continued to be a top tourist destination for many and why it is definitely a place you should consider for a family vacation.
Whether you are a single parent (like me), or a family with two parents, or even the extended family or friends, we think Panama City is a place that has loads to offer.
With that in mind, remember that this is one of the cities of the world now known for its rapid progression, and Panama City boasts lovely hotels and resorts that are waiting for you to discover for your next family holiday. Whether you are on a budget or wanting a little luxury, Panama City really is a great family destination.
If travelling with kids, here are the TOP 10 things that you can do with them in Panama City – including some that won’t cost you.
Cycle the Islas Calzada de Amador
Islas Calzada de Amador are small islands located proximal to the entrance of the Panama Canal and well worth a visit.
If you have a child with you, you can hire a bike, a tandem cycle, or take a tour of the hills with your child on the back seat of a motorbike. However, there is an age limit for motorbikes. Children who are past the age requirement are not allowed to seat on the backseat of moped bikes.
In such a case, you can decide to choose a tandem bike which happens to have enough space for the two or three of you. This is definitely a perfect option since it creates a good chance for you to bond with your child as you pedal together on your tour.
Regardless of the fun, watch for a headwind you might encounter on your return, and try not to cycle too far; since you might run out of ‘puff’ and fail to pedal back.
However, running out of energy might be another memory that you might want to make. I know, because that happened to us, and it is an eternal memory! We had to get off and push the tandem about a kilometre back in strong winds.
Attend sports and fun events
The weekends in Panama City are always filled with numerous activities that range from football to athletics.
If you are lucky enough, you might find yourself in the middle of international competitions such as the Ironman competitions that have in the past been held in Panama.
Even without participating, there is always some excitement in seeing people compete for a top spot in the sport of your interest.
There is more joy in attending international competitions since it attracts people from different nations and as a result, you might be lucky to spot and cheer at your own countrymen. The buzz, the food, and the fun is there for all the family!
The Panama Canal
Nothing beats watching the Panama Canal open letting a vessel pass through from one water level to another. You might have to wait some time, so try to schedule this.
If there is a long wait then there is beautiful scenery to behold all around you. You can take a long walk along the stretch of water on which numerous ships dock each day. The sight of a ship approaching the Panama Canal might leave you waiting for more ships to dock since they are just so beautiful and show extreme human genius.
Find some time to get into the museum where you will be able to see many other amazing things such as the fake water within the canal.
The ship desk is, however, the best part of a tour of the Museum since it allows you to have a feel of how it is to be on a real ship. the kids even get a turn in playing captain. My son loved this!
So what is Day-Camping? It is when you bring along your pup-tent and set up camp so the kids feel like they are camping. you can enjoy a campfire and toast marshmallows, or you can make a picnic lunch. The kids get to play in the tent, and yet there are no worries of having to sleep there at night as you return to your lovely hotel for a warm shower and a decent bed.You can either go Day-Camping in a park or choose to Day-Camp at the beach.
You can either go Day-Camping in a park or choose to Day-Camp at the beach.
What is so amazing about Panama is that all beaches are considered to be public property. Therefore, it is not a restricted location or setting for a tent at the beach. However, even if there are few restrictions, try being considerate by ensuring that leave no trace behind after your Day-Camping ends.
Visit the Artisan Market
At this market, you will find fabulous items handmade by the indigenous Kunas. You can try on the beautiful masks and hide your beautiful smile from the camera as it gets overshadowed by the mask. There are also beautiful hats and sandals that are a representation of the local culture. The prices of these items vary as they are priced based on the total amount of hours it takes to each.
There are also beautiful hats and sandals that are a representation of the local culture. The prices of these items vary as they are priced based on the total amount of hours it takes to each.
Purchasing any of the items at the artesian market will probably be a good idea since you will have something to take back home as a souvenir. It will act as a reminder of your visit to Panama City. The mask, in particular, might be a perfect souvenir since you can either hang it on your wall back at home or use it during crazy events such as Halloween.
The mask, in particular, might be a perfect souvenir since you can either hang it on your wall back at home or use it during crazy events such as Halloween.
My son also selected one of the gorgeous hammocks that Panama is known for.
Take a Walking Tour
There are so many crazy yet beautiful things to see during such city walking tours.
One is the old buildings with artistic ‘legs’ popping out of the balcony.
You will notice that while the ancient structures are quite old, they are still well maintained and safe to stay in but many of the hidden spots are only known to locals, so a tour guide is advantageous.
You also realise that locals are fun loving. Children are always playing football on the streets as adults get into party moods when evening comes.
Such are the feelings that will light up your face and make you appreciate the beauty of life even when you had earlier had a dull day.
You might want to visit public recreational facilities such as public parks which do not require you to spend anything unless you want some cold drink or food. Touring the city will also expose you to amazing people, some of who are businessmen while others are merry makers.
Just loosen up and get into a ‘Panama mood’ because, in Panama City, there is so much to be happy about.
Beware that while this is a pocket-friendly way of touring the city, you might be tempted to go beyond your budget more so if you find yourself walking through markets and malls during the tour.
The Fish Market
There is a fish market that is found along Cinta Costera, in Panama City and we so wanted to visit here, but ran out of time. You can head there if you and your child are lovers of seafood. Be aware, there is apparently a bit of an odour, and your shoes can get a bit wet too, but it is a place where there is a real ‘buzz’ about it. We visited a fish market in Costa Brava and loved how educational it was for the kids. Next time in Panama it is on my ‘To Do’ List. I believe you will be able to order and enjoy the wide range of seafood on the menu right in the area too.
Casco Viejo and the old ruins
Casco Viejo is a historical region in Panama City and we loved exploring here.
It will take you back into the history of the city as you admire the old colonial buildings that seem to have outlived time and there are loads of places the kids can run, hide, climb and explore.
There are numerous restaurants and shops along the streets just in case you will need to buy anything during your visit, and besides who doesn’t need to eat?
Visit Biomuseo structure itself will leave you tongue-tied as you wonder how all the pieces were brought together when they still look as if they are far apart.
The exhibitions within the building take you on a journey through the history of Panama and its impact on the world. It connects art, science, and history together in a beautiful exhibition of a variety of objects and images.
Hiking might just be the activity your family needs to let off some steam, and to immerse themselves in nature. It might be a great bonding opportunity for you and your child to bond and we really love our time hiking here.
One of the places you can visit for the hike is the Metropolitan Natural Park. It is a serene environment with a wide variety of plants and birds to be spotted as you hike.
Don’t worry, if this is your first time hiking, we have some great hiking tips you can read up on here too.
There are many other parks in Panama City that are created to ensure that you never run out of choice.
Questions to our readers:
Are you planning a vacation to Panama? Have you been before? If so what was your favourite thing to do?
Tell us in the comments below – we’d love to know.
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