Rooted, in spite.
Panama was a beautiful surprise to me! This destination isn’t as popular with American tourists as say, Jamaica or Cancun, but it’s absolutely worth a visit.
With a major expat community and the globalizing impacts of the Canal, Western influence is obvious in Panama City. The cityscape of skyscrapers is breathtaking, and for some, unexpected. Uber is a popular way to get around. They have P.F. Chang’s, and it delivers. 🙂
I’ve been twice, both times with friends, and we definitely enjoyed a lifestyle of nights out, hotel bars, and all the makings of a modern vacation.
Yet the sense of culture and connectedness to indigenous roots is also undeniable. A walk through Casco Viejo will give you a taste. But I thought the islands (Bocas del Toro and San Blas) offered the best examples of Panama-unspoiled. Bocas specifically has a community of brown folks that made me feel very welcome and at home.
It’s also worth mentioning that it felt perfectly safe to travel in Panama. I was alone at some points (due to different arrival times, etc.), and never felt uncomfortable asking a local for directions or traveling in my Ubers and taxis. But, as always, use caution while abroad!
All in all, do be sure to visit this gorgeous place.
(photos by me)