We traveled there on the Black Watch about ten years ago.Panama City can be a day trip from Colón, or the gateway to the Pacific. The city was founded on August 15, 1519, by Pedro Arias de Ávila, and became a busy transit city and port. It sits at the end of the Panama Canal, between the Pacific Ocean and tropical rain forest in the northern part of Panama. The port is in Balboa is a district of Panama City and has a ship to train terminal but maybe better known as the name Sylvester Stallone chose for Rocky. It is more of an industrial port but some cruise ships do stop here. Other cruise ships anchor offshore at the marina at Fuerte Amador, Panama and tender passengers into this marina, situated between the islands of Flamenco and Perico. It is a 2 mile shuttle into Panama City. Coral Princess, Island Princess and ms Zaandam are amongst regulars here.
We did venture to the City and had a great veggie burger at the Hard Rock, something we don’t normally do but strangely it had a calling. The Hard Rock is on Ave Balboa next to Mulicentro Mall. Now, Panama City boasts new skyscrapers and a subway, the very first in Central America, is under construction. The City has ambitions to become a mini-Dubai on the Pacific and new malls and restaurants fill with cruisers and tourists. Many people will warn you about going into Panama City because it is a city of contrasts, but others holiday there and enjoy their time. It has extreme poverty, it has many wonderful things to see, so just be sensible. Of the many films we looked at to share with you, this one, whilst in Spanish is by far the best of what is on offer. If you transit the canal to the Atlantic, you will very likely stop in Panama and it is not just a growing city, it offers jungles, coral-ringed islands, mountain forests and exotic wildlife. You can also visit its largest indigenous group, the Kunas, who own and inhabit one of Panama’s major tourist attractions, the San Blas Islands. The food is fast, sea food is best and you need to search to find it not over fried, but cuisine is improving.
Government advise on safety and security in Panama is that personal attacks, including sexual offences, are rare but there have been some in recent years. You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK.
So, it seems tourist areas in the day time are normally safe, but don’t carry a bag you don’t need and only use proper taxis.