Panama City City Guide

Gay Panama Panama City City Guide

Referred to as Little Miami by some and the Dubai of Latin America by others, Panamá City is hard to pin down, with its impressive ever-developing skyline, proximity to lush rainforest-covered islands and over 500 years of history as capital city to the nation of Panamá. Much more than a cluster of sleek skyscrapers and pulsating nightlife, Panamá City is a vibrant meeting point between East and West, currently experiencing rapid economic growth and burgeoning tourism thanks to its tropical beach retreats, canal cruises, and incredible wildlife. Panamá City’s restaurants tend to be casual affairs, from diner to beachfront café to roadside fonda, and here you’ll catch fragrant blends of traditional Panamanian, Afro-Caribbean, indigenous and Spanish influences, incorporating the region’s tropical produce and heritage as a melting pot of cultures. While Catholic orthodoxy means that the city’s gay scene is kept largely underground and sexual orientation is not often flaunted, an integrated LGBT community can be found, particularly in expat hubs such as Bocas del Toro and Boquete. Wondering what to see and what to do in Panamá City? Let our Panamá city gay travel guide fill you in.

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The best hotels in Panama City

Panamá City can be a bit overwhelming so what better way to start our Panamá City travel guide than to retreat to the wilderness with a stay at El Otro Lado. This 5-star private retreat is superbly located alongside Portobelo Bay inside Portobelo National Park and boasts stylish villas overlooking a spectacular infinity pool. Panamá City is about an hour’s drive away from El Otro Lado, making it easy to explore the city and then return to your villa to retreat in paradise. To be closer to the city without compromising on luxury, the stunning American Trade Hotel, just a stone’s throw away the best Panamá City points of interest in the historic district, is perhaps perfect. After a full day of sightseeing, unwind here with enjoyment of the outdoor pool, jazz bar and stylish air-conditioned rooms.

If fairy-tale vibes are what you’re after, consider Villa Caprichosa, a luxury B&B on Taboga Island, accessible from Panamá City by 30-minute ferry. Constructed with love out of concrete by famed designer Diane Burn, Villa Caprichosa offers the best of island living with its beautiful beachside terraces, selection of private pools and exotic garden surroundings. The food here is also worthy of a mention, presented to perfection at gourmet restaurant Caffe Capri.

Another of Panamá City’s hidden gems is La Concordia, a newly renovated boutique hotel based in Casco Antiguo, the vibrant centre of the old town. Each of La Concordia’s ten sophisticated rooms boast bright design and a private balcony, while the communal areas balance heritage with modernity, across the Mediterranean-style restaurant, Tarraco, and 360° rooftop bar, Numen Gastro Lounge, where guests can enjoy a fusion of Japanese, European and Peruvian flavours while watching the boats go by. For a longer more spacious stay, La Isabela Suites provide a choice of full-service luxury apartments in the heart of Casco Viejo. Not only are they the largest suites in the city, but they are also stylishly designed with optional services from their concierge, masseuse and private chef.

El Otro Lado

El Otro Lado

American Trade Hotel | Photo: Spencer Lowell

American Trade Hotel | Photo: Spencer Lowell

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