If you haven’t visited Panama, you should because it's amazing. Here are five tips compiled by our Cocina Verify team members who regularly visit Panama.
We have tested the water at several restaurants in Panama City and Casco Viejo and have not found any microbiological contaminants. That is not to say in some area, there may not be problems, but overall the Cocina Verify staff drinks the water out of the tap while staying in Panama City.
It's important to note that we have not conducted any water tests outside of Panama City, such as in Bocas del Toro, so we do not know anything about the safety of the water there, nor the food safety practices in the restaurants.
For lunch and dinner, if you go to Casco Viejo, there is only one restaurant that meets strict food safety standards through the Cocina Verify program. Veggie Moon Surf & Turf serves the most delicious and safest food in Casco Viejo.
Taxis or Uber are both reliable sources of getting around Panama City. In taxis, don’t be surprised not to see a meter. The government has set the rates based upon what zones of the city you are visiting as well as the number of people in the taxi.
We have found Uber to be very reliable in Panama and many of the drivers we have encountered have very nice cars, dress for success, and may even offer bottled water. Uber is very popular in Panama City.
At the airport: You are able to get 30 minutes free of wifi. If you need to stay connected while outside the airport, stand near the vending machines, because the signal seems to be stronger there than by the doors.
You won’t run out of places to stay in Panama City. A few of the areas that are popular with travelers are El Cangrejo, Via España, and Via Argentina. Many of the hotels offer very nice accommodation.
The geography of Panama is amazing and very unique. The country is very narrow and has the Atlantic Ocean on the North side the Pacific Ocean on the South side. Their proximity to both warm oceans and the equator make for warm and humid temperatures all year. Pack comfortable and breathable clothes and make sure to have some rain gear with you.
Shopping in Panama is king. The physical position of the country makes it the literal bridge between South America and Central America and North America. With the Panama Canal zone comes a lot of international trade and business from all parts of the world. Fantastic shopping is a product of all of this international trade.
Panama has two massive malls with oodles of stores. Multiplaza is downtown and dedicated shopper can spend days in there searching for good deals. The other main mall is the Albrook Mall which is located closer to the Canal area. If you prefer shops that are not in malls, Casco Viejo has some more quaint shopping opportunities that are geared more toward tourists.
Whatever your interests, Panama has something for you. On a side note, our favorite restaurant in Panama is Veggie Moon Surf & Turf in Casco Viejo. Without a doubt it is the safest, most delicious food you will find in Casco Viejo!
When visiting Latin America, make the superior choice and choose Cocina Verify restaurants. Trust Standards, Not Reviews!