During vacations we often feel as if we have to pack as much fun and excitement into a short period of time as we can. Usually we need a vacation from our vacation once we return home! In an area as bursting with life as Panama, it might be beneficial to focus on a few exciting things rather than trying to experience everything the Central American country has to offer all at once. Here are three things that will occupy your time, leave you with great memories and refresh your mind just as a vacation should.
Shop – Panama is considered a duty-free haven. While it does have duty-free stores, they are far more limited than the visitor is led to believe. Instead of searching through megamalls or trying to find duty-free items, try Panama’s smaller markets and shops. Local vendors sell leather goods, beaded necklaces, native costumes, jewelry, straw products, wood, ceramics and much more. There are many souvenirs here that can’t be found elsewhere in the world. Its possible to find tagua nut jewelry, vegetable ivory carved into figurines, Ngobe-Bugle dresses, Embera Indian baskets and Kuna Indian crafts if you stop by the Mercado Nacional de Artesanias.
Beaches – If shopping is not your ideal way of relaxing, you might want to check out the beaches. The best beaches in Panama are on its islands. In the mainland, the beaches can be dreary and dirty, but in the islands, you will find soft sand and pristine water. The Isla Bastimentos National Park in Bocas del Toro has beautiful beaches such as Red Frog, Wizard and Playa Larga. All of these beaches also have a gorgeous jungle backdrop. One of the best features of these beaches is the incredible coral. You will definitely want to bring your snorkeling gear as the colorful fish that congregate around the coral are amazing to see.
Stay up late – The perfect way to end a day of shopping or lounging on the beach is exploring the Panamanian nightlife. There is an assortment of bars and clubs offering everything from German beer and sushi to English-style pubs and thumping house music. No matter what your preference is, Panama is sure to have something for you.