Ever wonder what it’s like to fly into a new city, spend a ton of money getting there, and then get lucky enough to be shot down by the latest strain of Zikka / SARS? Well, let me tell you about my trip to Panama.
The flight to Panama from Medellin was only 2 hours and I realllllly wanted to put off coming home to Edmonton as long as I could. Edmonton is cold AF and not meant for the likes of me, I’ve been home for a week and you can find me nursing my hairdryer just to get some heat on my body.
Panama City was super cool, and I was really surprised/impressed. The skyline is gorgeous with amazing architecture and posh city vibes! It totally felt like a mini-Dubai but without the abayas and modern day slavery.
WARNING! The airport situation in Panama is treacherous. You know me and airports. This was a whole new level of hell. By the time I got out, I was ready to scream, collapse, and just cry. Luckily I had arranged transport ahead of time and my driver was waiting for me on the other side of the door, happy to take my suitcases and just let me sprawl in the back seat.
Frequent Flyer tip #37272 : Book a car ahead of time. Nothing is worse than taking a long flight into a new city and having no idea how the taxis work or where you are going. I loved the ease of having a private car take me straight to the hotel, plus the driver was so lovely he gave me some great tips about the city, and then we jammed to Reggaeton.
If you are flying into Panama make sure to check out Terramar, they will take the best care of you. Absolutely perfect way to start my trip!
I had a cold flying into Panama City but I felt like it was almost gone and that I’d for sure be good to go by the time NYE hit and my trip was over. NOPE. Apparently, copious amounts of wine and rich decadent food don’t do well with turning the sickly into functioning travellers.
All I did was sleep, eat, and lay by the hotel pool for 4 days. THAT IS IT. No regrets because I wouldn’t change my trip for the world.
I’m sorry Panama that I wasn’t able to do your city justice, but I know I’ll be back. I can’t really give you much info about the Panama Canal, local lifestyle, or the best beaches… but what I can give you is insight into the best damn food I’ve had in my life. Surprised? If you are headed to the “Miami of Central America” here is where you HAVE to eat.
Where To Eat in Panama City, Panama
Madrigal – Spanish Michelin star Chef Andres Madrigal is a legend. The man is a genius. I was treated to an amazing 6+ course Chef’s tasting menu, and every course left me wondering if mouth orgasm is a real thing. From the local fish to the most tender pork I’ve ever had, everything was on point. I wish that I could describe the food in more words, but a true gastronomical experience usually includes vino and I was pretty tipppsssy by the end of the meal. Madrigal is spectacular and one of the best meal/ food nights I’ve ever had. Chef Andres loves taking local influences and ingredients while adding his own magic to create something unique, unpretentious, but absolutely delightful. Besides the amazing gastronomy, I was treated to a man from Spain and 2 Panamanian guys all in one sitting. That is definitely a story for another time. Stay tuned.
Nina Concept Store Cafe – This place is the coolest. Reminiscent of a New York bistro/boutique I absolutely fell in love with Nina Concept for the most random chic finds, and the delicious food. If I lived in Panama this would 100% be where I would meet my girlfriends for a lunch date. It’s bright and beautiful with a proper juice/smoothie bar, amazing coffee, great wine, aaaaand the menu is put together by Chef Andres ( see a theme here ;)) Needless to say, I was in heaven having happy food from fresh ingredients. YUM.
Salsipuedes – I love a GOOD hotel restaurant. Most travellers think they need to step out of the hotel and “eat where the locals eat”. UGH sooooo cliche and pretentious. Some of the best local food can be found at hotel restaurants and this is the case at The Bristol’s Salsipuedes. Chef Luis is a dashingly handsome young Panamanian chef who was trained by some of the world’s top chefs. He came back to Panama and has created an amaaaazing menu. This place is bougie, it’s delicious, and the cocktails were on point. The vibe of the hotel is absolutely gorgeous, and the restaurant followed suit. Definitely, a place to spend a whole evening. Definitely, a place where you NEED to order 3-4 courses to be able to try all that Salsupuedes has to offer. Treat yo’self.
Panama was good to me despite how sick I was. The amount of gorgeous wine and speciality cocktails over those few days definitely left me hurting on the flight home. BUT I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Have you been to Panama City? What was your favourite part, I’d love your tips for when I go again!