Every year for the last seven years I have been fortunate enough to spend New Year’s Eve abroad. I spent the New Year eve’s prior in Morocco and that was such an amazing and eye-opening experience that I wondered where on earth I could go to match or top my Moroccan adventure.
Enter Panama!!!! A friend suggested we visit this Latin American country on a whim and as usual, all I knew of Panama was a documentary I saw about how the United States toppled the country’s dictator (Noriega).
More recently, “The Panama Papers,” another incident that put Panama on my radar was about a scandal involving politicians who had used Panama as an avenue to launder ill-gotten money.
Once the chance presented itself, I booked my ticket to Panama to coincide with New Year’s Eve. My travel itinerary in Panama was to take me to Panama City for a day and then travel to the tiny island of Bocas Del Toro and then back to Panama City for a couple of days after which I was to return to the United States by the second week of 2017.
Bocas Del Toro
Bocas del Toro is an island province of Panama and it is great for people trying to escape the hustle and bustle of Panama City. Like most Island getaways, there was a ton of stuff to do and see.
Some of the stuff to do in Bocas Del Toro includes taking a tour to see many of the interesting wildlife on the island, renting four wheelers for a trip through Bocas Del Toro’s forests, visitors to the island can partake in water sports like surfing, and much more.
Let’s just say in Bocas Del Toro you can literarily do anything you think of. For more about things to do in Bocas Del Toro I have included some websites for you to stop by:
Bocas Del Toro Travel and
Bocas Del Toro Nightlife
This is one of Bocas Del Toro’s strongest points, the nightlife on this island is so amazing. There are several hostels on the island teeming with people in their 20’s and 30’s who usually want a place to wind down and relax after participating in whatever water sports they fancy during the day.
One thing that I did find was each day had a club or bar that was packed with people and the music played ranged from reggaeton to Caribbean-inspired music. There was never a night in Bocas Del Toro that wasn’t “my best night ever”.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve on the island was a riot, as soon as the sun set, the celebrations began and people were in the streets lighting up fireworks and blaring music from their stereos. On closer inspection I noticed the revelers were both Panamanian and from far flung corners of the globe.
After starting the night off at Selina hostel in Bocas Del Toro, my newly made friends and I headed out to “Summer beach club” one of the more popular clubs on the main strip. From that point on, a combination of excessively drunk revelers, the rain, fireworks and an impending New year made for one of the most memorable nights of my life.
As per my itinerary, it was time to say goodbye to Bocas Del Toro and head to Panama City where I was pleasantly reminded that the Republic of Panama is indeed like a gift that keeps on giving.
Panama City is the largest city and the capital of the Republic of Panama, it has a population of half a million people and is designated a “gamma+ world city.”
Simply stated, it means Panama City is a world class city and if you were to see all the high-rises that make up the city landscape you would understand without a doubt why it was given such a designation.
Things To Do In Panama City
The Panama Canal
One of the most innovative feats of engineering in recent times is the Panama Canal. A dispute over the canal was part of the reason why the United States removed Noriega, Panama’s former dictator from power.
The Panama Canal is an artificial 48-mile waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The canal is one of the world’s major trading routes and was responsible for a whopping 340.8 million tons of shipping in 2015 alone. If you would like to learn more about the Canal, please stop by this page to learn about the canal.
Casco Viejo which stands for old quarter in Spanish is as you might have guessed is Panama city’s old quarter. There are bars, restaurants, churches and small shops gracing this part of town. There are cobbled stone streets at every turn in Casco Viejo and you can also get a decent view of the Panama City skyline from this part of town. A visit to Panama City would not be complete without a stop in Casco Viejo.
This heavenly stretch of land shows the beauty of Panama City in all its glory. The best way to experience Amador Causeway is to rent a bike and cycle or walk as far your legs can take you along the Causeway. From the path on the causeway, you get to see Panama’s sky blue waters, yachts, the Panama City skyline, and every other element this beauty of a city has to offer.
The Museum of Biodiversity
The museum of biodiversity was designed by Frank O. Gehry, a world-renowned architect whose signature works include the Vitra design museum in Germany, the Olympic Fish Pavilion in Barcelona and the “Dancing house” in Prague. To see more of this brilliant architect’s work please stop by Architectural Digest. The museum of Biodiversity showcases some of Panama’s biodiversity and is also sometimes used to host small events such as concerts, private events, and expositions.
Panama Viejo is another must visit landmark in Panama. It is home to some of Panama city’s pre-modern ruins and is home to Panama’s former capital. Stop by the ruins to get a peak into what Panama City was like in it’s early days.
The Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard rock hotel is one of Panama city’s premier hotels and even if a night’s stay here is out of your budget, you should at least try to go up to the pool area or the night club situated on the hotel’s 62nd floor. From the hotel’s rooftop, one can get panoramic views of the city rooftop while sipping on some amazing cocktails.
Next on the party trail
Next, we head to Japan and the wonderful city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. Stay tuned and till then, Stay awesome!!!!!!