St. Patrick’s Day Party in Panama 2019 – Pips Gastro Bar 16th March

St. Patrick’s Day observes of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking and a whole lot of green. Be our guest at the St. Patrick’s Day Party in Panama 2019!

History of St Patrick

Patrick’s birthname was Maewyn. He was born in Roman Britain. He was kidnapped into slavery and brought to Ireland.

He escapted to a monastery in Gaul (France) and converted to Christianity. He went back to Ireland in 432 as a missionary. While Christianity had already taken hold in the country, tradition has it that Patrick confronted the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites, making Christianity more widespread.

Patrick became a bishop and after his death was named Ireland’s patron saint. Celebrations in Ireland were understated though. When the Irish emigrated to the U.S., they created the bigger celebrations and parades known today.

Eighteenth century Irish soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War held the first St. Patrick Day parades. The celebrations became a way for the Irish to connect with their roots after they moved to America.

Come celebrate the luck of the Irish at our St. Patrick’s Day Party in Panama 2019!

To make it easier for you to get out of bed on Monday morning, Pips Gastro Bar is starting their St Patricks Day party on Saturday 16th March.

So by the time St Patricks Day kicks in on 17th March you will be in the right mood to party!

Location:  Pips Gastro Bar and StorX Sky Lounge

Address: Calle 9 entre Ave. Eloy Alfaro y Ave. B Edificio Casa Antigua

Panama City, Panama (at the entrance to Casco Viejo)

Date: 16th March 2019

Time:  1730 to 0400.

Special Offer: First drink free for ladies

 

 

How to spend a week in Panama?

For most people visiting Panama on vacation it makes sense to come for at least a week due the distances and time involved travelling from the north and west coast of the USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.  How to spend a week in Panama?

3 days are probably enough time to see the highlights of Panama such as the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo and the amazing skyline of the new city.

If you are stating in Panama for a week we feel that you basically have two sensible options:

  • Stay in Panama City for the whole 7 days and make day trips
  • Visit another destinations  a bit farther afield

Destinations Further Afield for a week in Panama

Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro is located on the northern Caribbean coast of Panama Bocas del Toro has also become one of Panama’s most visited eco-tourism destinations because it is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth.

The archipelago has 9 main islands, 52 cays, and thousands of islets and is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Panama’s first National Marine Park.

Bocas del Toro is not full of swanky hotels and is more suited to the adventurous traveler who likes to sail, zipline, scuba dive or surf.

Air Panama fly to Bocas del Toro twice a day from Allbrook Airport. The cost is about $200 return for the 1 hour flight.

Boquete

Boquete is located in highlands of Panama at 1,200 meters above sea level, near the Costa Rica border in the province of Chiriqui.

Boquete is situated in the foothills of Baru Volcano, the country’s highest peak in a tropical cloud forest.

Things to do in Boquete include:

  • Whitewater River Rafting
  • Hiking
  • Ziplining
  • Coffee Tours
  • Visit Caldera Hot Springs
  • Horseback Riding
  • Rock Climbing

You can reach Boquete taking a 30 minute David and driving to Boquete 38 km away or by driving all the way from Panama City which will take about 6 hours.

Pedasi

Set in an environment alive with native flora and fauna,  Pedasi accounts for 378 square miles of raw, natural beauty– with rolling green hills, pristine rainforest, white-sand islands. The location of Pedasi’s makes it one of the sunniest, yet coolest parts, of Panama.

The village of Pedasi is centred around a beautiful plaza which has the main shops, bars and restaurants.

Pedasi Panama & Playa Venao are places to relax but more physical activities include surfing, diving, snorkeling, sport fishing, zip-lining, exploration by horseback, and visiting the many beaches and surrounding islands.

You can travel from Panama City to Pedasi on a 45 minute flight or a 5-hour drive good roads and highways.

 

 

How to spend 7 days in Panama?

For most people visiting Panama on vacation it makes sense to come for at least a week due the distances and time involved travelling from the north and west coast of the USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Chile

3 days are probably enough time to see the highlights of Panama such as the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo and the amazing skyline of the new city.

If you are staying in Panama for a week we feel that you basically have two sensible options:

  • Stay in Panama City for the whole 7 days and make day trips
  • Visit another destinations  a bit farther afield

Day Trips from Panama City – Visiting Panama on vacation

The Pearl Islands

A 1.5-hour ferry ride from Panama City is a beautiful archipelago of islands with white sand and clear, turquoise water. Leave Panama City at 7am return from Contradora at 3pm.

San Blas

San Blas is an archipelago of over 300 islands on Panama’s Caribbean side and home to Panama’s indigenous Guna people.

Visiting San Blas is an long day trip that involves leaving the city around 5 am, two hours by road, then a boat to the islands, and arriving back in the city around 7 pm.

El Valle

El Valle de Anton is a small town located in an inactive volcano crater which is the largest inhabited crater in the world.

You can travel to El Valle by bus or by car and it takes about 2.5 hours to reach.

Agua Clara Locks, Portabelo and San Fernando Fort

This tour will start at 6am when you will take the train along the Panama Canal.

The rest of the tour is by road and you will visit San Lorenzo Fort, the observation center of the Agua Clara Locks (Panama Canal locks located in the Atlantic) and The Gatun Locks, and continue to the Portobello city established during the Spanish colonial period.

The next section of this blog will look at options of lodging outside of Panama City. Follow our blog to know more about things to do while visiting Panama on vacation.

Why choose our budget accomodation in Casco Viejo Panama?

Hotel Casa Antigua is the perfect combination of hotel and hostel and the best budget accomodation in Casco Viejo Panama.

Hotel Casa Antigua is the most central and inexpensive choice for budget-conscious city travellers in Panama.

Combination of hotel and hostel

The innovative combination of hotel and hostel under one roof offers our guests a variety of different room options suitable within everyone’s price range.

That is why Hotel Casa Antigua is a favourite among many different customer groups, such as backpackers, solo travellers, families and small groups.

Due to our international clientele it never gets boring at Hotel Casa Antigua Our young and friendly staff takes care of our guests on all 365 days of the year 24 hours a day in order to offer them a pleasant stay and relaxing nights.

If you’re looking to stay at the most recognized Hotel / Hostel in the heart of Casco Viejo, then Hotel Casa Antigua is where you’ll find yourself.

Located at the entrance to Casco Viejo

For our guests, the vacation begins from the moment you step in to Casco Viejo. Upon arrival at the hotel, we find that our guests are always amazed at the actual location of our premises. Situated on a just off the Cinta Costera at the entrance to Casco Viejo.

With Casco Viejo (which has the best nightlife in Panama ) right at your doorstep, and the ocean side promenade, known as the Cinta Costera, only 3 minutes walk away you will be staying in the best location in Panama.

Our Reception offers Internet access, free safety deposit boxes and endless tourist information with maps, brochures and guides of Panama.

Why Choose Us as Budget accomodation in Casco Viejo Panama?

  • People watching Pips Terrace Cafe & Gastro Pub open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • StorX Sky Lounge Rooftop terrace with the best view
  • Air-Conditioning in all the rooms
  • Hot Water; 24 hours a day
  • Nightlife: 1 minute walk
  • Cinta Costera: 3 minute walk
  • No Curfew or No Lock-outs – everyone has their own key
  • Free internet access and WiFi is available in the rooms, at the roof terrace and the bar area
  • Single, Double, Triple and Quad Private Rooms (with bathroom)
  • Single Sex 10 bedroom Dorms
  • Free Baggage Storage (left luggage)
  • Cash Payment

Contact us to book on our budget accomodation in Casco Viejo Panama

Stay in the best hostel in Casco Viejo Panama

Casa Antigua is a boutique hotel located at the entrance to Casco Viejo. The location is ideal because your taxi will not have to navigate the narrow streets of Casco Viejo and it is only 2 minutes from the Cinta Costera where you can take some exercise and stroll to the skyscraper part of the city. In the best location in Casco Viejo.

The hotel has recently opened up two 10 bed dormitories so now you can enjoy the low cost of a dorm bed while enjoying the facilities of a renowned hotel.

Casco Viejo is filled with lots of great bars, cafes, restaurants, and shopping. The hostel is within walking distance of all top sights in Casco Viejo.

Features of our hostel in Casco Viejo Panama

The property has:

  • Cool rooftop terrace with fantastic views of Panama Bay
  • Free WiFi
  • 24-hour reception
  • New rooms with comfortable bunk beds
  • Gastro bar
  • One dorm for boys and another dorm for girls

Our Rooftop Bar – StorX Sky Lounge

This perfect rooftop bar to enjoy great views of Panama City whilst relaxing and having a few cocktails listening to light music after a busy day sightseeing, adjacent to our hostel in Casco Viejo Panama.

There is rarely a place that can match the occasion itself!

StorX is eached by glass lift from Casa Antigua Hotel lobby.

Our Café & Bar – Pips Terrace Cafe & Gastro Pub

Capturing the essence of Panama City’s pulse-quickening tropical vibe, Pips Terrace Cafe & Gastro Pub is all things to all people.

During the day our customers gather beneath broad umbrellas on Pips Café’s sunny terraced sidewalk watching everyone some in Casco Viejo or enjoy the air-conditioned cafe to enjoy fresh salads, pizzas and perfectly cooked burgers.

In the evening Pips Terrace Cafe & Gastro Pub is very popular with the younger crowd who use the café as a base before heading to the many nightclubs or rooftop terraces.

Contact us and book in the best hostel in Casco Viejo Panama.

Are you looking for shared rooms in Casco Viejo Panama?

Staying in hostels is one of the best things about backpacking. You’ll meet loads of new people and share experiences that you’d never get to try if you were travelling alone. Are you looking for shared rooms in Casco Viejo Panama?

There is a common misconception that hostels in some way resemble homeless shelters.

Our shared rooms are part of the boutique hotel Casa Antigua in the heart of Casco Viejo where you will receive the same high level of service as the guest staying in the hotel rooms.

The Rooms at Hotel Casa Antigua

We have two modern, clean 10 bedroom rooms with bunk beds. One for females and one for males.

Washing facilities and bathrooms are new and shared.

Restaurant Bars at the Casa Antigua Hotel

There are three restaurant bar in the Hotel Casa Antigua which are also open to the general public Pips, Skins and Storx:

  • Pips is our Gastro Pub serving excellent food all day long
  • Skins is a late night supper lounge with live music
  • StorX is a Roof top “Sky Lounge” with fantastic vies over whole city and Panama Bay with light music and speciality cocktails. Reached by glass lift from hotel lobby.

Location of the hostel in Casco Viejo Panama

Some of the hostels in Casco Viejo are located in areas that are not safe. The is certainly not the case of the shared rooms in hotel Casa Antigua which is located at the entrance to Casco Viejo and a minute from the Cinta Costera where you have excellent views of the new Panama City and a great place to take some exercise.

Book Ahead in Summer – Shared rooms in Casco Viejo Panama

At the busy times of year in Panama (the Summer runs from December to April) it is advisable to book ahead as the hostels get really busy and we you may and of staying somewhere you wished that you hadn’t.

You can book your bed at the hotel Casa Antigua over the Internet, by email or over the phone.

Security

Our Shared hostel dorms lock so that only backpackers that sleep in that dorm can access it. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore sensible security precautions.

Check with the hotel reception where you’re able to stash valuables like your passport, your travellers’ cheques and your travel documents.

For more information about our shared rooms in Casco Viejo Panama, contact us.

How to transfer from Tocumen Airport to Casco Viejo Panama

Most of the international flights into Panama City arrive at Tocumen Airport which is located 21 km from Panama City. A transfer from Tocumen Airport is easy.

This guide is specifically about arrival and departure has a separate guide.

Arriving at Tocumen Airport

Arrival Time

The key consideration here is the arrival time. Tocumen Airport is connected to Panama City by a highway named Corredor Sur.

Unfortunately thousands of Panamanians use this highway in the mornings to go to work in Panama City, so from 6-9am Monday to Saturday the Corredor Sur gets very crowded. So rather than the 30 minutes it will take for the transfer from Tocumen Airport to Casco Viejo during the rest of the day it could take upto 2 hours.

Many flights from South America land at Tocumen Airport at this time so if you have any connecting flights (at Panama Pacifico or Albroook airports) or tours booked on the morning of your arrival please build this possible delay into your plans.

Transfer from Tocumen Airport Options

Airport Taxi – Cost $30

There is a sort of regulated taxi service costing $30 from the airport to Panama City but this service has some problems:

  • Often it is not clear if you are being taken to a regular taxi or some non-authorized driver who is just making some extra money and could end up charging you a higher amount or causing some other problems
  • The taxi drivers drive like crazy along the highway to get back to the airport for the next fare. We have been in these taxis when they have been tail-gating through the tolls to avoid paying the taxes

Uber – $12 – $30

Uber is not allowed to operate directly from the arrivals section of the terminal so will direct you to an area of the airport car park about 5 minutes from the terminal to collect you.

Of course, you will need Data to be able to contact Uber.

The cost could be as low as $12 during quiet times but as much as a regular taxi during busy times.

Also, during busy times there can be a very long wait for Uber and last-minute cancellations by the Uber driver.

Chauffeur Service – About $40

The Chauffeur Service will be waiting for you with a Name Card at arrivals and take you and your luggage directly to your car and then straight to your hotel.

Often the car will have WIFI and bottled water.

So, if you are looking for convenience the Chauffeur Service will be the better but more expensive option.

Contact us for more information

 

Why flying to Panama City is easier than you think

For such a small country Panama has excellent flight connectivity with direct flights to Panama City to most of the major cities in central, north and south America as well direct connections with 5 major cities in Europe and Bejing in China.

Tocuman International Airport

Most of the international flights arrive and depart from Tocuman International Airport with the exceptions being:

  • Wingo that flies from Panama Pacifico to Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Cartagena
  • Air Panama that flies from Albrook to San Jose, Medellin, Cartagena and Armenia

Tocuman International Airport, known as the Hub of the Americas, receives many direct flights to Panama City.

This project to create a new South Terminal at Tocuman International Airport will increase the total capacity of the airport to 20 million passengers a year by 2022, with 85,000sqm of new buildings, 20 new boarding gates, improved customs facilities and a new baggage-handling system.

Once complete, the airport will feature a total of 68 gates spread over an area of 148,000 square-metres.

The new terminal is expected to be fully operational by the first semester of 2019.

Copa Airlines

The majority of the flights operating out of Tocuman International Airport are provided by the Panamanian Flag Carrier Copa Airlines. Copa are a member of the Star Alliance network.

Copa Airlines has been rewarded thanks to its punctuality close to 90%, one of the best indicators in the industry.

The list of Copa Airlines destinations is far too long to be listed here but can be found at https://copaair.com. The destinations include all the major cities in the Americas and the Caribbean

The major success of Copa Airlines and Tocuman has been its connectivity with 80% of the passengers arriving at the airport being in transit.

The Copa Airlines schedule has been carefully designed to connect south and north America with most of the flights from Argentina, Brazil and Chile arriving early in the morning to connect with the flights to the main cities in the USA and Canada.

Max 9

Copa recently took delivery of its first Max 9 is the first of the five aircraft of its class that the airline will receive between October and December 2018. The Max 9 will operate on the airline’s longest routes starting with San Francisco in December 2018.

The Max 9 includes a new Copa Business Class with fully flat seats and a new Premium Economy service.

Other Airlines

China

Air China operates a route from Beijing to Panama City via Houston which currently flies twice a week.

Europe

The current list of connections to Europe are:

  • KLM – Amsterdam
  • Air France – Paris
  • Iberia – Madrid
  • Turkish – Istanbul
  • Lufthansa – Frankfurt

Air Europa is due to start flights in June 2019

North America

The current list of connections to North America are:

  • United – Houston and New York
  • American – Miami, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, Chicago
  • Delta – Atlanta
  • Air Canada – Montreal and Toronto
  • Aero Mexico – Mexico City
  • Spirit Airlines – Fort Lauderdale, Orlando

South America

The current list of connections to South America are:

  • Avianca – Bogota, San Jose, San Salvador
  • Laser – Caracas
  • Venezolana – Caracas, Maracaibo
  • Turpial Airlines – Valencia

Take one of the direct flights to Panama City and enjoy an unforgettable stay at our boutique hotel. Book now!

Things to do in Casco Viejo Panama

Once in the hands of local gangs, Panama City’s historic district of Casco Viejo is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most trendy area in town. With beautiful colonial mansions, art galleries and a bursting gastronomic scene, the small neighbourhood is an absolute must-see. There are several things to do in Casco Viejo Panama.

Visit the beautiful colonial buildings

These are some of the best buildings and squares to visit in Casco Viejo Panama on our lis of things to do in Casco Viejo Panama

The Flat Arch/ El Arco Chato & Church of Santo Domingo/ Iglesia de Santo Domingo

The ruins of the church and convent of Santo Domingo is one of the most important monumental colonial Old Town of Panama.

Plaza/ Parque Bolivar

In the center of the plaza is a monument to the Venezuelan general Simon Bolivar, also known as the “Liberator of Latin America”.

Plaza de Francia

Originally Plaza de Francia was the main square of the city. This plaza is located at the very tip of the peninsula and in the center is an obelisk topped by a rooster, a symbol of the French nation.

Plaza Herrera

In 1887, Plaza Herrera was renamed for one of Panama’s independence heroes: Panamanian general and statesman Tomas Herrera (1804-54).

Plaza de la Independencia/ Plaza de la Catedral & The Cathedral Metropolitana

The Metropolitan Cathedral is located on Plaza de la Catedral also known as Plaza de la Independencia which is the heart of Casco Viejo with many events through out the year.

Panama Canal Museum

Located in an emblematic building in the heart of Casco Viejo, the Interoceanic Canal Museum reveals the tumultuous history of the construction of the Panama Canal, whose capacity was recently doubled.

History Museum of Panama

Located on the second floor of the Municipal Palace building, the Museum of History presents documents, ceramics, furniture, clothing, weapons, paintings, sculptures and pieces of the colonial period, federal, provincial and republican.

The Fish Market

The fish market is a white and light blue building with the Japanese and Panamanian flags on the top of the building. The Japanese government donated the new fish market installations. The market can’t be missed as it is located at the very entrance of Casco Viejo, just off Avenida Balboa.

Gaze at the city’s skyline by night from one of the city’s best rooftops

Casco Viejo is considered Panama’s hottest district because of its smashing nightlife, its design hotels and fine-dining venues. Enjoy Panama City’s tropical weather while sipping a cocktail on one of the city’s best rooftop bars and take in the stunning panoramic views of the city’s skyline by night.

Go on a journey through Panama’s indigenous crafts

Considered the most creative neighbourhood in town, Casco Viejo is also the place to go to find alternative concept stores and handmade traditional crafts. Discover the most beautiful indigenous creations, ranging from Guna Yala’s fabrics (the molas), to woven baskets and masks, to ornamental objects carved in wood.

If you need more information about things to do in Casco Viejo Panama, contact us.

How long to stay in an hotel in Panama City?

Like many countries in the world there is a big distinction between the capital city and the rest of the country. For this reason, you must plan your stay beforehand at any hotel in Panama City.

We will break this review down into two sections

  • Stating outside of Panama City – known as the Interior
  • Staying inside Panama City to explore the city itself and the various day tours that can be made

The Panama Interior

There are basically two different types of vacations – on the sea or on the land

On the Sea

There are five different destinations:

  • The Pearl Islands is a group of 200 or morebeautiful islands and islets lying about 30 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Panama. There is also excellent fishing and whale watching here. These are mostly ininhabited and can be reached from Panama City by ferry or air
  • Pacific beach resorts. These are situated about 90 minutes from Panama City by car. Most are all-inclusive and the JW Marriott is by far the best
  • Pedasí, Los Santos is located about 5 hours drive from Panama City. It has a very famous area about 20 kilometers away called Playa Venao which is famous for surfing.
  • Bocas del Toro is situated on the Caribbean coast and is best reached by plane from Panama City
  • The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. These are best reached by plane or by sea

On the Land

There are three different destinations which will allow you to escape from the heat of the coastline:

  • Boquete is a small town on the Caldera River, in western Panama. The surrounding Chiriquí Highlands are home to coffee plantations and the Barú Volcano National Park, to the west. forest.
  • El Valle de Antón, this picturesque town is nestled in the crater of a huge extinct volcano, and ringed by verdant forests and jagged peaks.
  • Bird watching Panama is very popular with a huge selection in tropical rain forest with a huge flora and fauna

Staying in Panama City

Best Day Trips

We would suggest:

  • Visit to the Indigenous traditional village of the Embera tribe, deep in the rain forest of Panama.
  • Partial Canal Transit
  • Panama Canal Railway journey combined by tour to histotical Portabello and San Lorenzo Spanish sightseeing

Around the city

It is easy and cheap to travel around Panama City by taxi or Uber. You can visit:

  • The Canal
  • Casco Viejo
  • Panama Viejo
  • Causeway
  • New City Centre
  • Even a day trip to The Pearl Islands

So how long to stay in an hotel in Panama City

Three nights will be long enough to explore the city itself with additional days required to undertake day trips.

Our hotel and Happy Landing Travel Agency will be more than happy to give you all the advice that you require to enjoy Panama to its fullest.

Contact us for more information about our hotel in Panama City.

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