By: Sarah Tucker
Our trip to Panama was so much fun! I still can’t get over how much it has changed, and how beautiful Casco Viejo has become. We actually used to live in Panama, if you’ve been here for the long haul you may remember that. This time though was a very different experience, with kids! We loved visiting with our best friends who live there, and their children who are more like siblings to our kids. Tuck couldn’t believe that we lived in this huge city, in his words – “before you were parents!!”. Mind blown. Truly it seems like such a lifetime ago. I’m always so grateful we had these kind of experiences. I’m excited to share all about visiting Panama with kids.
Quite a few of you wanted to know our itinerary, so here it is!
Panama with Kids
Stay: The Hotel Santa Maria – We loved coming home to this quiet oasis after being in the city, the gorgeous pool, golf course, and comfortable rooms. We even arranged babysitting through the hotel, and it turned out perfect! You can see a lot more of our time there, including a room tour, on my instagram in the highlight “panama”.
Safety: We felt safe here and we even rented a car. As with anywhere, you need to take precautions and be careful, but I didn’t get that sinking unsafe feeling anywhere we went.
Flying to Panama:
We flew copa airlines. There’s a direct flight from Tampa right into Panama City, Panama. It takes about 3 hours.
Mobility: we rented a car so we could go to gamboa, and to the beach. But we also took lots of ubers in town. We can’t say enough good things about these portable booster seats – mifolds. Once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy to install and perfect for travel. They are still in carseats at home, but this is a great option for travel. Especially in taxis. I know we will use it a lot this summer in Spain. At the airport we bought a sim card, and for $30 we had unlimited data, so we used Waze to get around.
Things to Do in Panama with Kids:
- Casco Viejo! so so gorgeous. I can’t believe how many amazing restaurants that are there now – really fun concepts, with great views. It’s like old san juan, but even bigger now. Lots of cobblestone streets, ruins, and just a fun atmosphere.
- Gamboa – we took a gatun lake tour to see the monkeys. But we didn’t see as many as the last time JB and I went. It was still fun!
- The beach – you are about an hour and a half away from the beaches. It’s so beautiful down there! We stayed at my friends beach house that’s perfect with children (you can rent it out! just message me). The BuenaVentura is also a beautiful resort nearby that you could stay at, and they have a kids club (:
- Honestly there’s plenty more to do for kids, but we had a lot of fun just playing with our friends.
Eat: I thought Tomillo was amazing, the rooftop bar casa casco for incredible views, taberna la malaguena had such great tapas and flamenco dancing, and the American Trade hotel is gorgeous with a great lunch menu.
Next trip, I’d love to take them to see Pedasi, or boquette, or san blas.
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