Welcome to our Taking The Kids series, an exclusive spotlight of travel destinations that are great for the entire family! If you are wondering if a specific destination is child friendly, or are looking for suggestions of where to take your next family vacation, visit our Taking The Kids archives.
Destination: Panama City, Panama
February’s Taking the Kids spotlight is in the beautiful country of Panama. I chose Panama City, one of the most developed towns, because I recently traveled there and I loved everything about it! The country is made up of different provinces, and includes beautiful beaches, rain forest terrain, historical ruins, farmland, and the big, developed city. It is there that you can find some awesome things to do with the whole family: bike down the Amador Causeway, visit the colorful Panama BioMuseo, shop at one of the local markets, or at the big mall, and learn a little Spanish along the way.
Where in the world? Central America
You know the little squiggle of land between North America and South America? Well, that’s exactly where Panama is located. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metro area is home to nearly half of the country’s 3.6 million people (Wikipedia). Also, I hear that tons of American are planning to retire there, due to it’s warm weather and proximity to the United States.
Culture: Spanish, with European and African influences
There were a few local tribes in Panama before the Spanish arrives in the 16th century. Because of this, much of the culture, are, dances, religion and rituals are European influenced, with a Spanish and African flair. The main foods and music are Latin, and lots of the local festivals and traditions show folklore and other symbols of culture that have been handed down by each generation (Wikipedia). I personally could not get enough tamales and arroz con pollo, and I took home a traditional Panama straw hat.
Where to stay: Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Staying at this family friendly resort gives you the best of both worlds: the beach and the city! Everything your need is close by, all of the top attractions, shi I am personally a fan of Westin Resorts, and it looks like this one has all of the luxury amenities that are standard to the brand. You’ll find plenty of opportunity to relax while staying productive. Vacationers will delight in our three infinity-edge pools, six restaurants, and Sensory Spa by Clarins. Business travelers can take advantage of 20 meeting spaces and our Westin Executive Club Lounge. Book your spa appointments and your romantic, adults-only evenings, the Westin Kids Club offers supervised activities at the beach, pool, and playground for kids age 4-12, free of charge!
Must-Do: Visit The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a famous tourist attraction, and for good reason. It is a water passageway that connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, serving as a short cut to make it easier for international ships and other vessels to travel the waterways in less time. The Panama Canal is located just outside of the city, where travelers can spend the day getting a glimpse of the it’s day to day operations, walk through the museum to learn the history of the Canal, and marvel at the gigantic vessels that use the passage. It was initially built by the French, but their efforts failed and the United States took over the construction and operation of the canal. Panama now has control. It operates 24 hours a day, using massive locks that control the water flow, allowing ships to pass through. It’s truly a spectacular sight!
What do you love about Panama City, Panama?
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