What can I do in and around Panama City, Panama
February 16, 2017 4:42 PM   Subscribe

I'm thinking about going to a conference for two days at the Marriot in Panama City and could use some tips about things to do and places to stay.

I'm planning to attend a conference in the Marriott for two days in late March. I don't want to stay at a hotel particularly and could use tips for finding a place to stay. By way of reference, I'm pretty cheap but not foolishly so. I'm more of a biker/hiker and alternative soul and prefer interesting rather than normal and boring. I would love to take my folding bike in a suitcase and do some riding, perhaps using that to get back and forth in the city but is that practical or a foolish endeavor for a short trip?
If I had my perfect visit, I'd find a place near a beach where I could ride back and forth to the hotel, then do a couple of days exploring before returning. Is this doable, a fantasy, would I be better off staying in a hotel? Any tips appreciated, have not yet laid any plans so pretty flexible at this point. My basic intent is to attend the conference so everything else is optional.
posted by diode to Travel & Transportation around Panama City, Panama (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Panama would almost certainly be your best chance to bicycle from ocean to ocean. I don't know how much fun it would be but it would be an interesting thing to be able to claim.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:06 PM on February 16, 2017

For orientation: Avenida Balboa runs along the Pacific coast from Old Town to Punta Paitilla, an area where you have the huge modern skyscrapers. (Although there are a fair number of skyscrapers along Avenida Balboa also). Essentially, it stretches from old town to the upscale area.

There is a wide sidewalk/bikeway along Avenida Balboa called the Cinta Costera that will take you to a few worthwhile places. One is Old Town. I recommend visiting Old Town on foot. Narrow streets. Plenty of safe places to lock up your bike before you enter. (You can rent a bike there, also).

Calle Amador is a long stretch along the ocean where you'll run into lots of cyclists. It has a gorgeous museum, The Museum of Biodiversity. I believe you can take the Cinta Costera with a good bike path all the way to Calle Amador.

I've not been at a hotel in Panama City for about two years, but the small hotels are reasonable in cost (under $50) and good enough. I prefer them to the chain/casino palaces. I haven't run into a seedy/bad hotel but they probably exist, so keep an open eye. I recommend those in the area of Avenida Cuba or Avenida Peru. Something with a cross-street of Calle 30 or higher in number. These are about 4 blocks from the Cinta Costera and nearby the subway system, which is new and quite good.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:36 AM on February 17, 2017

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