This city of sweltering days and sultry nights may be best known for the Panama Canal, but Panama City is quickly becoming one of Central America’s favorite adult playgrounds.
Panama City is a city of skyscrapers and Miami meets Las Vegas glitz, home to 23 casinos, dozens of strip clubs, three distinct bar and club districts and on the tamer end, hundreds of restaurants, dozens of spas and nearby golf courses.
Casinos: Royal Casino, Veneto, el Panama, Crown are the most popular, a full list of Panama City casinos can be found at http://www.worldcasinodirectory.com/panama/panama-city/casino-list.
Prostitution is legal in Panama, with most girls hailing from neighboring Colombia, and prostitutes are quite prevalent throughout the city, often found in hotels, certain bars, “massage parlors” and strip clubs. I am not advocating prositution, but at least official prostitutes in Panama City are tested for STDs once a week (La Palace, Elite, Crazy Horse, Cotton Club are popular strip clubs; Habana’s, right in front of the Marriott, is perhaps Panama’s best known “prostitute bar” and is full of surgically enhanced mostly Colombian girls and middle-aged Americans and Europeans.
Party districts: If you’re interested in low-key bars to get your night started, head to Calle Argentina (El Pavo Real and the Rockin’ Gorilla are popular options here); Calle Uruguay, Panama City’s traditional party street, has lost some steam in the last few years as local residents complain about the noise and annoyance caused by thousands of loud partiers, but some of the city’s most popular bars and clubs, such as Prive, Pure and Sahara are still located here. Casco Viejo, Panama City’s historic district, is also home to a number of bars and clubs, notable among these Relic, a popular expat/backpacker hot spot under the Luna Castle Hostel, Scena Platea, known for Thursday night Jazz and Saturday Salsa nights. Finally, La Zona Viva, located just a few minutes from the Amador Causeway, is Panama newest party hot spot and is a closed off section of town with a couple dozen bars and clubs, most blaring Reggaeton. It’s loud, over the top here, but maybe just what you’re looking for one vacation.
But if your idea of a good time doesn’t involved gambling, strip clubs, prostitutes or alcohol, there’s plenty of grownup fun to keep you busy for at least a few days. Most larger hotels have full-service spas and because of its diverse population and growing expat community, Panama City is home to dozens of fantastic, top-notch restaurants. And you don’t have to head to Colon’s free zone on the Atlantic if you want to get a little shopping in: Punta Pacifica, Multiplaza and Albrook Mall malls are teeming with stores. If you’re interested in discount shopping, head to Albrook; If brand names and high-end boutique stores are more your thing, Punta Pacifica is a safe bet.