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Dawn's Solo

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Punta Paitilla, Panama City, Panama
64 story of building, standing on heli pad... Hotel to grand open in fall, great design!
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Portobelo, Panama
Facing the mouth of the bay are 18 cannon embrasures, some of which remain exactly where the Spanish troops left them when they returned home in 1821 - the year Panama declared its independence from Spain.
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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Where to stay in Panama City? Casco Viejo, the old district, is the edgy, cool area where the creative restaurants, historic squares and native markets convene. Tattered neglect is rapidly giving way to tasteful renovations and vibrant renewal....
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Panama City, Panama
The public buses on the streets of Panama City are recycled school buses which used to chug along suburban streets in the United States some thirty years ago. Plain yellow has been traded up for brilliantly multicolored designs of birds, flowers,...
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vía Cerro Punta, Cerro Punta, Panama
Waking up to sip locally grown coffee and fresh orange juice. Early morning at finca was hedonistic yet very serene experience. This gem of a place is a coffee estate located beneath the Volcáno Barú.
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Edificio Casa Antigua, Calle 9a Oeste, Panamá, Panama
Sometimes the composition, the lighting, the colors, the . . . the "moment" is just right. As it was on this day in Panama City's old town (a UNESCO World Heritage site).
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San Blas Islands, Panama
A visit to the incredible 365-island archipelago (also called the San Blas Islands) within the communal lands of the Guna Yala indigenous nation provides some extraordinary seaside experiences. The islands making up the outer archipelago...
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Vía Cincuentenario, Panamá, Panama
One of my favorite parts of Casco Viejo in Panama City is that it is a "wander-friendly" city. During my afternoon exploration, I followed the light at the end of a long, old street and found myself looking at a beautiful body of water in the...
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Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
Panama's Bocas del Toro archipelago is renowned by travellers for its beaches, bars, and boat tours. But it's worth scratching beneath the surface of this Caribbean party zone and spending time with the indigenous people whose way of life is...
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Vía Cincuentenario Centro de Visitantes, Panama City 0823-05096, Panama
The anticipated Museum of Biodiversity, designed by Frank Gehry, opens this year, and the Panama Canal will soon double its capacity. To prepare, luxury hotels, such as the Trump Ocean Club and Le Meridien, are cropping up. And in the historic...
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San Felipe, Panamá, Panama
Explore the cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo in the early evening, and you'll experience a quiet and romantic neighborhood, newly reemerging as a contemporary cultural center. In the twilight, it's easy to imagine the bygone colonial grandeur as...
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Panama
The Bridge of the Americas is a steel cantilever bridge with a graceful arch that supports the main span. It connects the two sides of the Panama Canal and is an important link on the Pan-American Highway, which runs from Alaska to Patagonia (with...
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Veracruz, Panama
Playa Veracruz is dotted with about a dozen small ranchitos (concessions) and bars. During weekends, it's especially popular with young locals, who come here to let loose and dine on super cheap grub. The offerings are good: ceviche, fried fish,...
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La Alameda, Panamá, Panama
City parks are often urban oases of natural life, but few offer the ecological drama of Panama City's Parque Natural Metropolitano, the city's largest park. While residents stroll, play sports, and relax within its leafy acres, travelers often...
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Calle 48, Panamá, Panama
In Weil Art & Auctions’ bright, inviting showroom, sculptures that explore important themes of 21st-century Latin American art stand alongside antique maps and turn-of-the-century paintings. In addition to contemporary and traditional art, the...
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Calle 48 Este, Panamá, Panama
With New York strip steaks, macaroni and cheese, chicken with couscous, and salmon buerre, Market’s menu is global, but its clientele is local and friendly. A lunch stop here will fulfill whatever international cuisine you’re craving, but make...
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Casco Antiguo, Panama City, Panama
Ambiance is the key to this Panama City restaurant's popularity—surprising given that the restaurant’s setting is in a former dungeon. During the early days of Casco Viejo, the structure did, indeed, serve as a jail; now, the cells serve French...
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Av Central, Panamá, Panama
Savor a slice (or, rather, a cup) of Panamanian daily life at the Café Coca-Cola, which bills itself as the country’s oldest café. Whether or not this is true, the practice of sitting down for a coffee, a newspaper, and conversation about current...
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Av. Mulvehill, Panama
Café Maritanos, a boutique coffee shop located in the International Business Park (the IBP) of Panama Pacifico, specializes in the best coffees of Panama. They also offer truffles, pastries, and panini, as well as breakfast and lunch items. The...
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Av. Samuel Lewis & Calle 54 Este, Panamá, Panama
Gold is a dominant theme in Central American history, and Panama’s pre-Columbian metals rival those of anywhere else in the world. The founders of Reprosa, a Panama City metal workshop, decided that rather than mourn the loss of traditional...
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Isla de Coiba, Panama
The miniscule, idyllic island of Granita de Oro (meaning “little grain of gold”) is one of 38 small, wild islands that comprise Panama’s Isla Coiba National Park, in the Gulf of Chiriqui. The cyan-blue waters here swarm with a jaw-dropping array...
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Calz. de Amador 136, Panamá, Panama
The Biomuseo, or Museo de la Biodiversidad, is one of Panama City’s contemporary gems and the first Latin American project by Frank Gehry. As befits the architect’s unusual and innovative eye, the museum is itself an abstract...
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Isla Taboga, Panama
If the hum and bustle of Panama City become wearying, it's possible to escape for a day by taking a trip to the island of Taboga, also called the Island of Flowers, thanks to its lush covering of tropical plants, such as bougainvillea and birds of...
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Calle Isaac Hanono Missri, Panamá, Panama
Travelers who prefer books and other cultural reminders of their travels to dust-collecting tchotchkes can shop for a literary souvenir at El Hombre de la Mancha, a bookstore inside the Multiplaza Pacific Mall. This bookstore has titles published...
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Calle 8 Este con, Av. B, Panamá, Panama
Located in Casco Viejo, Tantalo Hotel is a great home base for exploring Panama City. Rooms here are entirely unique, each one featuring work by a different local artist as well as colorful, modern décor and spacious rain showers. When...
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Few tourism-related experiences in the world still feel truly authentic; my recent trek to this Embera Indian Village in the remote Chagres National Park in Panama was one of them. On an adventure travel experience with Aventuras Panama, we...
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Chagres River, Panama
You don't have to be an adrenaline junky to like a little bit of a thrill; an adventure travel experience is precisely what you'll get on a trip with Aventuras Panama. On their Chagres and Guna Yala Kayaking Expedition, you'll hike deep in to the...
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0265, Goethals Blvd, Panama
Even travelers who consider themselves averse to cruises seem to feel drawn to a daytime cruise tour of the Panama Canal, and it's easy to understand why: it's a man-made engineering marvel, best seen close up. A full-day tour, which typically...
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Av. Mulvehill, Panama
Vibrant yellow, orange, white, and blue designs were painted on the pedestrian crosswalk to Omar Park in Panama Pacifico. The designs were inspired by Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez to help promote the arts and commemorate the 2013 summer...
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Calle 51 Este, Panamá, Panama
An old colonial home is a fitting location for Tinajas, a small restaurant serving simple, local fare (rice and chicken, yucca salad, and garlic shrimp with plantains are all on the menu). But what truly brings local culture to life are the...
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Av. Belisario Porras, Panamá, Panama
The Parque Recreativo Omar Torrijos—often simply referred to as Parque Omar—is Panama City’s second-largest green space and one of the town’s shared backyards. Although people-watching is one of the park’s primary draws, a visit here can be turned...
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We trekked in a hand-carved canoe on Rio Gatun into the rainforest to meet one of Panama's most intriguing indigenous tribes, the Embera Indians. Native to the Darien region of the south--reputed to be one of the most dangerous places in the...
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Av. A, Panamá, Panama
If you'd rather pass on trendy bars but want to enjoy a beer in Casco Viejo, then perhaps La Bencidad, with its outdoor patio, would be more up your alley. It's very popular with locals for live music and dancing. It's at Avenida A, between Calle...
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Casco Antiguo, Panama City, Panama
So many stylish restaurants are popping up on the gourmet scene in the old quarter, and Veggie Moon is a fairly new one with quite a following. The decor of white chairs and tables against a backdrop of stone walls creates an inviting setting for...
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Punta Paitilla, Panama City, Panama
As the sun sets on Panama City, the cityscape begins to sparkle. Punta Paitilla offers impressive views from Balboa Avenue clear to the Metropolitan National Park and Casco Viego. Conversely, as the sun rises, the Metropolitan National Park offers...
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San Felipe, Panamá, Panama
The Spanish colonial square is abuzz with children playing baseball, couples canoodling on park benches, and folks socializing over coffee at patio tables. It's a welcoming area for sitting at a cafe and taking in the scene, day or night. Relaxing...
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Gatun Lake, Panama

In the 17th century, the pirate Henry Morgan traveled the Chagres River to attack Panama City. In the early 20th century, the Chagres River was dammed to create the 53-kilometer-long (33-mile-long) Gatún Lake, at the time the largest...

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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
To simply watch daily life go by, park yourself on a plaza bench under the shade of a Poinciana tree, as the breeze blows through and orange blossoms float down to the cobblestone streets. A plaza in Casco Viejo is the perfect place to sit back,...
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Panama City, Panama
Coffee lovers go to the Bajareque Coffee House & Roastery, where the owner grows, dries, roasts, and grinds his own beans. World-renowned geisha beans are sourced from the owner's family farm in the Boquete region. Buy a bag or two to savor a...
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Av. Central, entre calle 3era y 4ta, Panama City, Panama
The old quarter of Casco Viejo is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also the emerging gastronomic epicenter of Panama City. There are myriad trendy bars and restaurants to choose from, but when it's time for dessert, head to Granclement....
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Cerro Sonsonate, San Miguelito, Panama
This was one of the most beautiful views that I witnessed in the charming country of Panama, while visiting my best friend from college that was living and working there. The dome of the temple resembles some sort of spacecraft, and while the...
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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Walking the narrow, cobbled streets of Casco Viejo—Panama City’s colonial quarter—is, these days, like exploring a vibrant art gallery. The neighborhood has suffered a bad reputation as dangerous since it became inhabited by undesirables after the...
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Los Cabezos, Bajo Boquete, Panama
You know you like coffee. Or maybe you think you don't. Either way, when you find yourself in Boquete, Panama, a tour of Casa Ruiz should be high on your list. Boquete is a breath-taking part of Panama. By day, absorb stunning views of Volcan Baru...
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Boquete, Panama
En route to the cloud forest and waterfall trails north of Boquete lies an abandoned castle in a lush and magical clearing. The story goes that a man finally started building the dream home for his wife when he retired, but she died before it was...
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Boquete, Panama
While touring the Kotowa coffee farm in Boquete, we came upon some Ngobe children playing in a nearby stream and waved at them as they splashed around. Later on the tour, we came upon our new, curious friends following us. We had fun taking...
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Boquete, Panama
You can’t travel far in Boquete, a coffee-growing region in the highlands of western Panama, without hearing about geisha beans, reputed to be the world’s best coffee. Farmers here credit Boquete’s alpine microclimates and rich volcanic soil for...
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Bocas del Toro Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Off Panama’s Caribbean coast, these palm-roofed cabins perch over a stretch of aquamarine sea. The surrounding Bocas del Toro archipelago is home to sloths, howler monkeys, and scarlet dart frogs. —Brendan Brady Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, Bocas...
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Calle 11 Este, Panamá, Panama
Casco Viejo is a UNESCO site located in Panama City, Panama. We stayed in the quarter at Las Clementinas (www.lasclementinas.com), a really lovely and comfortable hotel with an amazing rooftop patio and view of downtown. Casco is a great mix of...
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Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
Authenticity has a smell. And Isla Colon smells like a real place. Can’t put a finger on it but you won’t find it in suburban gated communities. It’s the smell of burnt rubber from the sudden breaking of vehicles to make way for errant...
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Clayton, Panama City, Panama
A must see if you are in Panama!
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Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
Of the many boat excursions available in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, the trip to Playa Estrella stands out for its numerous multicolored starfish residing in the tranquil, crystal-clear waters. The beach is truly an "oasis" of calm and the...
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As we walked along the ruins, you couldn't help but think what times must have been like back in the days of the pirates. Looking out over the clear water, you could see for miles. Definitely something that would benefit you if you were worried...
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El Marañón, Panamá, Panama
Panama City is best known for its fish market, but a few blocks away on Avenue B near the Chinatown Gates lies the equally interesting Mercado Público. The market is divided into four main sections: meat, produce, dried goods, and a court full of...
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Vía Cincuentenario, Panamá, Panama
Great half-day trip in suburbs of Panama City, outside the major tourist areas. Colonial city founded in 1519, former capital of Panama. ($5 taxi ride from downtown Panama City in 2007.)
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San Felipe, Panama City, Panama
Head to Casco Viejo, the old part of Panama City, a stunning mix of Art deco, Caribbean, French and Colonial architectural styles. Hungry? Look for the Havana Club. I thought I'd walked onto a set. 'Buena Vista Social Club’ was playing on a small...
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Av. Eloy Alfaro, Panamá, Panama
A couple of pet egrets mill around the Presidential Palace courtyard entrance, seeming to stand guard at Panama City's equivalent to Washington's White House. The Palacio Presidencial, as it is known, is prominently poised on a bluff overlooking...
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Bastimento, Panama
These little red frog are the namesake of a beautiful stretch of sand on Isla Bastimentos, an island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island is easily reached by water taxi from Bocas del Toro and has a few good trails...
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Aquarium, Manzanillo, Col., Mexico
While the site has plenty of trees, plants, and other projects, here is Manuel Noriega's former bar. Yep, that kind of bar. The institute has since turned it into an aquarium.
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Central America
Multitude of artifacts dating back to early times in indigenous Indian history with evidence of early visits by Asian and African visitors. Astounding!
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The newly completed Cinta Costera pedestrian park runs the length of Avenida Balboa, between Casco Viego and Punta Patillia. Not only does it connect two popular areas of the city, it also provides continuous sidewalks for walking and biking,...
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Calle 15 Este, Panamá, Panama
In the early morning, you can stroll by the pier and watch—as the pelicans do—the fishermen deliver the day's catch. Check out the fish market at Avenida Balboa and Calle Eloy Alfaro. On the side of the market, a cluster of local fondas (small...
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Calle 15 Este, Panamá, Panama
Behind the bustling seafood market El Mercado de Mariscos, amid crates of shrimp and fish, locals play a competitive game of dominoes—a popular way to while away the day.
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Panama City, Panama
Follow the sound of chiming bells to the Iglesia de San José, which houses a Baroque hand-carved, wooden altar covered in flakes of gold. Amid painted angels, ornate crosses, and stained glass windows, you can tread peacefully through the church...
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Hotel Radisson Decapolis, Planta Baja, Av Balboa, Panamá, Panama
I always ask our taxi driver for neighborhood restaurant recommendations. For Punta Patillia, one of Jose's fervent suggestions was Gourmet Pizza, across from the Multicentro Mall, for salads and delicioso pizza.
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Calle 8a Oeste, Panamá, Panama
Arco Chato (the Flat Arch) on Avenida A, an architectural ruin in the old quarter near Iglesia de Santo Domingo, houses an outdoor gallery of intriguing and modern sculptural works and art installations. The ruins, the rustic stone, and the...
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Calle 9 con Calle Boquete (Esquina Casco Antiguo, Panama
Wine? Check. Tapas? Check. New friends? You bet. Good times are meant to be shared. Tinto de Verano offers a comfortable, intimate setting for sipping wine, sharing tapas, and lingering with locals. Speaking of lingering, the plush, tufted booth...
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Calz. de Amador, Panamá, Panama
The Museum of Biodiversity is one of the most anticipated attractions in Panama City. The iconic architectural lines of Frank Gehry's designs make a reappearance at this museum near the equator. But there's a colorful twist, which will undoubtedly...
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Calle 6a Oeste, Panamá CASCO VIEJO, Panama
Great for breakfast and lunch, this restaurant, deli, and shop offers organic chocolate, fresh orange juice, fruit, cheeses, salads, snacks and deli meats. There are also a good selection of beer and shelves of wine. Breakfasts such as pancakes...
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Calz. de Amador, Panamá, Panama
Palm-lined Amador Causeway is a breezy locale for renting and riding bicycles. Sights along the way include the Museum of Biodiversity designed by Frank Gehry, boats on the bay, a marina, and, across the canal, the Bridge of the Americas...
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Avenida de la Amistad, Panamá, Panama
Shopoholics can get major retail therapy at the Albrook Mall—Central America's biggest mall. Be sure to wear walking shoes for the two safari-themed floors of some 200 stores, give or take. A bus terminal and a theater keep it hopping with...
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Av. Cincuentenario, Panamá, Panama
This Panamanian/expat favorite situated in the laid-back San Francisco neighborhood is all about great cuts of beef at reasonable prices. Dine on the outdoor terrace for a relaxing dinner such as steak with papas fritas.
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Av Central, Panamá, Panama
To get a glimpse of authentic Panamanian life, stroll down Central Avenue, which is within walking distance of Casco Viejo. In the morning the street comes alive with pedestrians heading to work and shops opening for business. Buy bananas at a...
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Calle Miller, Panamá, Panama
One of Panama City's oldest bars, the Balboa Yacht Club sits just before the Amador Causeway. It's an institution in the community, and locals frequent here. Chill with a cerveza Balboa on the covered wooden terrace, and take in views of the...
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Punta Culebra, Panamá, Panama
You are (almost) guaranteed the sight many an iguana and at least one sloth while on a visit to Punta Culebra. This small treasure is a Smithsonian museum outpost on Amador Causeway. The grounds are made of a forest and beach, as well as...
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Vía Cincuentenario, Panamá, Panama
These impressive stone ruins are all that remain of the original Panama City, founded in 1519 by the feared conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila. Although the Panamá Viejo (or Panamá La Vieja) remains are now skeletal, a tour of the site is a crash...
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Vía Veneto, Panamá, Panama
You’ll see fluttering molas—colorful blouses handcrafted in the tradition of Panama’s Kuna community—hanging in shop windows all over the city. Skip the modest selection at your hotel’s gift shop and make your way to Flory Saltzman Molas, which...
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Calle República de Uruguay, Panamá, Panama
Sit down for a meal at La Posta, and you’ll feel as if you’ve been seated on the private verandah of a local who’s about to share some wonderful stories as well as fine food. With sweeping vegetation, exposed-wood ceilings, woven chairs and warm...
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Playa Venao, Panama
Karimar, popular with locals for its beachside restaurant and bar, also offers Karimar Aventura outdoor activities, which include boating, fishing, and jet skiing. Excursions provide some fun in the sun for teenagers and groups.
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Casa Blanca, Panamá, Panama
Casa Blanca’s location on the edge of the Plaza Bolivar makes it one of the city’s best choices for outdoor dining, and the rustic décor lends a slow-paced, convivial atmosphere. Beneath umbrellas and gently drooping palms, sample a selection of...
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Local 1 20, Vía Argentina, Panama City, Panama
Corona Lite, it is not: cerveceria La Rana Dorada (“The Golden Frog”) is a craft-brewing operation that’s distinctly Panamanian. Their four distinct beers—a pilsner, a pale ale, a white beer, and a porter—are created at its Casco Viejo location,...
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Calle 49, Panamá, Panama
From the same team behind Market and La Posta, La Chesa restaurant distinguishes itself by serving warm Tuscan cuisine in the heart of Panama. Pappardelle, panzanella, and pollo cacciatorre may satisfy those whose enthusiasm for plantains and...
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Avenida 8, Panamá, Panama
Old world theaters exude glamour and grandeur, and this one is exceptional—from the gold facade and brass door fixtures, to the interior wooden foyer, painted ceiling frescos, gilded tiered balconies, and posh chandelier. Tour inside and view the...
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Panama Canal, Panama
The Panama Canal is a mind-boggling feat of human engineering. The canal’s series of mechanized locks, extending almost two miles in length, move some 26 million gallons of water every time a freight ship passes through (up to 40 per day),...
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Gatun Locks, Colón, Panama
There's just one spot where you can drive across the Panama Canal's locks - this little swing bridge a the Gatun (Atlantic side) locks. It's an amazing view!
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The San Blas Islands in the Caribbean waters of Panama are a remote archipelago consisting of more than 300 islands, all with white-sand beaches, swaying palms, and clear turquoise waters. Fewer than 50 of the islands are inhabited by the Kuna...
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Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania
Peter Mato (pictured - and no, he did NOT deface that rock!) is the best guide you could ever have climbing Kilimanjaro. He grew up on the mountain and started early as a porter and worked his way up to full-time guide. He's fluent in several...
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Tanzania
Three weeks in Tanzania on Safari with Deeper Africa, the trip was capped off with the summit of Kili—six hours of hiking in the snow and the dark. I could not have made it without the exceptional climb guides and climb team that Deeper Africa...
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Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
A persistent rumor has it that Mount Kilimanjaro actually belonged to Kenya until colonial times when Queen Victoria gave it to her grandson Kaiser Wilhelm, who governed what would become Tanzania, as a rather lavish birthday...
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Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Known as “Everyman’s Everest,” the journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro isn’t easy but can be done by almost anyone who prepares and commits to the challenge. This beautiful trip brings travelers through five eco-zones ranging from lush to arid...
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Tanzania
A week long hike...
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Lushoto, Tanzania
The town of Lushoto is the main centre of population in Tanzania’s Usambara mountains. Nestled amongst the high eucalyptus-forested peaks at 1,400 metres above sea level, Lushoto’s climate is cool and temperate, making it perfect for hiking or...
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Old Moshi Road, Tanzania
Michael is 15. He loves to dance. I love to dance too. So Michael challenged me to a dance off. Well this 15 year old orphan beat me hands down. And then amid giggles and hugs he looked imploringly at me and said, "You will come back, won't you?"...
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Kirua, Tanzania
I highly recommend to anyone traveling in Tanzania - especially in the Kilimanjaro area - to spend some time exploring villages at lower elevations on Kilimajaro. Once you get near the national park entrance, the climate changes completely from...
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East Africa
Ngongu is a sacred place for Mkyashi village, and it's easy to see why. Take a dala-dala from Marangu to Mkyashi and then take the road going left when you get off from the dala-dala stand. Eventually you will see Ngongu's treeless head in the sky...
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Moshi, Tanzania
We visited Amani Children's Home, a local non-profit based in Moshi, during our recent trek to Mt Kilimanjaro. Amani is committed to reducing the number of children living on the streets in Tanzania by providing a nurturing place for homeless...
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PO Box 886, Moshi, Tanzania
Here is what I knew about coffee: I liked it, especially with a side of wifi. Here's what I didn't know: it only grows at high altitudes; the beans are actually seeds, and you pick them when they turn bright red; beneath the red skin, the seed is...
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Ushongo Beach <br />Pangani <br />Tanga <br />Tanzania, Tanzania
It took us nearly two days to drive to Pangani from Nairobi, and boy, was it worth it. As we rattled our obligatory four-wheel-drive down the dusty track, past the little 'nyumba ya udongo' (Swahili for makuti thatched mud homes) nestling amid...
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Mafia Island, Tanzania
The Mafia Archipelago (its name is said to come from the Arabic word morfiyeh, which means "archipelago") consists of several islands and atolls, the largest of which is Mafia Island itself. Mafia Island is a nearly undiscovered alternative...
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Kilawani, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
A great feat of engineering from the colonial era, the Tazara Railway leaves Dar Es Salaam and rattles its once-grand carriages through the vast uninhabited Selous Game Reserve, treating its passengers to spotting giraffe, antelope, elephants, and...
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Iringa, Tanzania
The largest of Tanzania’s state-administrated national parks, Ruaha is home to the Great Ruaha River, imposing baobab trees, and one of the greatest populations of elephants in any African park. It has few lodges and therefore few...
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Grumeti Reserves Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania
One of the most luxurious tented camps in all of Africa sits on an open plain within Singita Grumeti, a 350,000-acre private reserve that adjoins the Serengeti National Park ecosystem through which vast herds of wildebeest and zebra migrate. Huge,...