In Panama City, in regards to recreation, the first thing you have to deal with is the heat and humidity during the day. This means that water and indoor sports make a lot of sense. Other sports like tennis and golf are only comfortable in the early morning, late afternoon or evenings.
For water sports, the fishing, surfing, kayaking, diving, rafting and snorkeling are excellent and always close by.
In Panama City
Walking year round in Panama's climate in the early morning and early evening is glorious with pretty sunrises and sunsets and a perfect temperature. Since the temperatures don't vary 365 days a year, you can wear summer clothes all year around.
Most good neighborhoods are safe to walk in in the early morning and early evening. The Cinta Costera along Panama Bay ( beltway) is Panama's most popular walking and running path. Two other good options are Amador Causeway- the sea breezes are refreshing and the views spectacular. You can also rent a bike for $2. The other excellent walking pathis in Omar Torrijos Park which is monitored by cameras and very safe in the neighborhood of San Francisco.
Aside from local tennis courts, there's a public tennis club in Curundu near Albrook that offers classes. You can also find classes given in the Albrook and Clayton tennis courts. You can find the instructors most every Saturday morning. Just talk to them to sign up for both small group and private lessons.
Albrook has an Olympic size pool and reasonably priced swim lessons for kids. You can also pay to swim for $1 a person.
There are gyms in most neighborhoods, including several branches of Curves for women. The gyms at the Sheraton Hotel near Atlapa, the Miramar Intercontinental and El Panama hotel are especially popular.
Sports and Recreation For the Kids
In this hot, humid climate, martial arts are a good choice because it is indoors and many dojuns have air conditioning. For the same reason, ballet is a logical choice for girls. And luckily Panama just happens to have many excellent ballet and martial arts schools to choose from.
There are excellent primary school and high school swim teams but the international or English teaching schools don't have them- just the Spanish speaking schools.
For any after school activity, you can hire a â€œbusitoâ€ to take the kids back and forth from classes. It's reasonable and saves your having to deal with Panama City afternoon traffic. Ask the school to refer you to a driver.
Panama has an excellent yoga school- Akila Yoga, located in Punta Paitilla. Mijael (Michael) Brandwajn is the owner and main instructor. Panama is very fortunate to have Michael, highly trained and knowledgeable in yoga. They also offer dance classes and a variety of alternative health workshops. Some classes and actitiviites are in English. Call 215.1677.
Cayuco Races in the Panama Canal
One of the best sports activities for young people and even adults are the Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal Cayuco (canoe) races each year in March-April. They require intense training for several previous months, but just like with rowing, the kids learn to team work and the joy of giving their all to a rigorous sport. Most of the international schools have kids who participate. You have to find a way to be part of a team and the starting age is 14. See Cayuco Races.
Vacations and Recreational Trips Around Panama-You Live in Paradise!
One of the best things about living in Panama are the variety of vacations and recreational trips you can take as a couple or family. In a country the size of South Carolina, everything is close by.
Our kids think their family lives in Paradise- their favorite thing is to bring home their college friends to experience this amazing country.
To start we recommend Boquete. Our large family goes there every year and never tires of it. Some of our favorite activities include white water rafting with Boquete Outdoor Adventures, horseback riding, the thrilling Boquete Tree Trek Canopy Adventure, a Boquete Safari coffee farm tour, nature hikes and rock climbing lessons.
The Pacific Coast beaches just over an hour from Panama City are perfect for beaching, walks, and surfing and surf lessons. You can make a day trip to beaches like Santa Clara and San Carlos which have facilities or stay at the many hotels including 3 all-inclusive resorts and the beautiful upscale Bristol Buenaventura.
El Valle, a lush mountain town two hours from Panama City has a canopy ride, biking, nature hikes and a great artisans market.
Bocas del Toro is another big family favorite. Top activities are dolphin observation, snorkeing, beautiful island beaches, nature tours and the Boca nightlife. See our Panamainfo Destination section for more details on these attractions.