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About My Trip to Panama

Get ready, world, because I’m about to tell you all about my incredible trip to Panama City, Panama! Buckle up, because this adventure had everything – stunning views, fascinating history, and even a monkey named Minion (you’ll have to wait to hear that story!).

My journey began with a jaw-dropping flight into Tocumen International Airport. Imagine seeing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the same time, along with the iconic Panama Canal and the Panama City skyline rising in the distance. Talk about a first impression!

For my stay, I opted for the Tryp by Wyndham Panama City Centro. It was the perfect combination of affordability and comfort, with a rooftop pool that became my happy place after a long day of exploring. Speaking of exploring, I climbed Ancon Hill for panoramic views of the city and the canal, and even stumbled upon a hidden piece of history – a former US nuclear bunker!

COVID might have thrown a curveball with the Miraflores Locks, but I still got to witness the Pedro Miguel Locks in action, learning how they raise and lower massive ships. The former US Canal Zone whispered stories of Panama’s past, and a captivating video fueled my wanderlust for Gatun Lake, Monkey Island, Casco Viejo, and an indigenous village – all hidden gems within a day trip of the city.

But wait, there’s more! I also looked into an incredible tour that combined the Panama Canal, Monkey Island, and a visit to an indigenous village. Imagine a boat ride on Gatun Lake spotting wildlife, feeding monkeys (including Minion!), and experiencing the unique way of life on the Chagres River.

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I spent three days in Panama City, exploring on my own and taking tours. I felt very safe throughout my trip, and the Panamanians were polite and helpful. Here are some of the highlights of my trip:

  • I climbed Ancon Hill for stunning views of Panama City and the Panama Canal. The walk itself was not difficult, but I did sweat because it was so hot. At the top of the hill, there is a giant Panamanian flag that costs $800 to replace! I also saw a variety of rainforest plants and wildlife, including Heliconia plants, a poisonous millipede, and a large spider.
  • I took a private walking tour of Ancon Hill where I learned about the history of the area from my guide. The guide pointed out a nuclear bunker built by the United States that is now controlled by the Panamanian government.
  • Because of COVID-19, I wasn’t able to visit the Miraflores Locks, but I did get to see the Pedro Miguel Locks. Here, I learned how the locks raise and lower ships traveling through the canal.
  • The former US Canal Zone was a fascinating place to visit. It was once a separate zone from Panama City, with its own governor and theater. The Canal Zone was turned over to Panama in 1999.

This jam-packed Panama tour I took was incredible! For just $120, I got to experience so much in a single day. My guide, Nico, turned out to be a great storyteller, which made the whole trip even more enjoyable.

The boat ride on Gatun Lake was a blast. Those massive ships take forever to stop – Nico told us it can take one to two miles! Luckily, they have tugboats to help them out. I even spotted some wildlife – Anhinga birds, cormorants, iguanas, and even bats!

Monkey Island was a highlight. It’s actually a collection of islands where different species live – Geoffroy’s Tamarins, White-Faced Capuchins, and Howler Monkeys. It felt good to know most of them were rescued. And the best part? We got to feed them! Banana chips, peanuts, limes, even lemons – they weren’t picky. There was this funny story about a Capuchin monkey named Minion who got adopted by the Tamarins. 

Next up was a visit to a real indigenous village on the Chagres River. There were only 49 people living there, and they somehow balanced a traditional lifestyle with some modern touches. It was fascinating – I saw those leafcutter ants in action, hauling leaves up a hill to feed their fungus farms! In the village, I got to meet some of the women and children. I couldn’t resist picking up a few souvenirs – a basket, a carved monkey, some textiles, and a cool carved iguana. This whole trip was an amazing experience, and I definitely recommend it!

In this Panama City travel video, I explored a range of captivating destinations, all conveniently located within an hour’s reach of the city center. The awe-inspiring Panama Canal was naturally a highlight, but the video also showcased the panoramic vistas from Ancon Hill. The historical significance of Casco Viejo was evident, while glimpses of Gatun Lake, Monkey Island, and an indigenous village offered a taste of Panama’s diverse ecological and cultural landscape. This well-curated video effectively piqued my interest in a potential future trip to Panama City.

As our plane descended towards Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, a breathtaking vista unfolded before me. The turquoise expanse of the Atlantic Ocean on one side met the vastness of the Pacific Ocean on the other. Between them, the Panama Canal glittered like a silver ribbon, and the dramatic skyline of Panama City rose in the distance. I whipped out my GoPro, determined to capture this incredible panorama in a time-warp video.

The descent got a little bumpy, but I held on tight, doing my best to keep the GoPro steady and capture the scene without any shaky footage.

I stayed at the Tryp by Wyndham Panama City Centro on my recent trip, and it turned out to be a great choice! They definitely live up to their reputation for being affordable – I got a good rate on the room. Even better, the location was perfect – right in the center of the action.

The room itself was a nice surprise. It was clean and comfortable, and even had a nice view. There were even some nights when I relaxed by the rooftop pool – a great way to unwind after a day of exploring the city. If you’re looking for a good, affordable hotel in a central location, this is a great option.