Latin America

Breezes Panama

written by | Posted on January 1st, 2010

For a more traditional meal, clients can make reservations at Martino’s, a larger restaurant seating up to 95 guests that still has an intimate feel, serving up Italian dishes alongside an unlimited antipasto bar. Both restaurants require reservations; for a more informal setting, clients can always grab a bite to eat at the main resort buffet, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Rates at Breezes Panama range from $125-$260 pp per night.

town and country Though it’s a bumpy 2-hour drive from Breezes Panama to Panama City, many international tourists do make the drive to spend the day touring this exciting and unique port city. Panama City stands in stark contrast to its rural outlying regions, with a modern, urban feel not unlike seaside cities in the U.S. With its high-rise buildings built right along the bay, our tour guide jokes, “Panama is like a new Miami for Latin America—but we speak English.”

Of course, there’s plenty of history lying beneath Panama City’s modern facade. The city was founded in 1519, at a site known today as Panama Viejo, and was run by Spanish colonists for more than a century until pirates destroyed the city in 1671. The remaining settlers moved the center of town to a site that offered more protection from sea attacks, known today as Casco Antiguo, looting the remains of Panama Viejo for building materials to use in the new city. Today, both Panama Viejo and Casco Antiguo are vibrant historic sites. A visitor’s center showcases the history of Panama Viejo at the entrance to the ruins. Clients can meander the 50 acres of well-maintained grounds to see the remaining structures, or climb its restored cathedral tower for a bird’s-eye view of the park. Casco Antiguo, meanwhile, will remind Caribbean travelers of Puerto Rico’s historic Old San Juan neighborhood, with colorful colonial buildings rising high above narrow cobblestone streets.

And, of course, first-time visitors to Panama City can’t leave without seeing the canal. Miraflores Locks gives clients a front-row seat as enormous cargo and military ships pass through its narrow channel. Its attached theater and museum give visitors even more info about the canal, from explanations of how the locks work to fun trivia like the story of Richard Halliburton, a travel writer famous for paying the lowest toll in Panama Canal history—thirty-six cents—to swim the length of the Canal.

 

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