Panama City, the bustling capital of Panama, is a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends modernity with rich history and culture. For digital nomads, Panama City offers a perfect mix of work-friendly environments, cultural experiences, and opportunities for adventure. Here are some of the best things to do in Panama City for digital nomads.

1. Explore Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo, the historic district of Panama City, is a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit for digital nomads seeking a mix of culture, history, and contemporary amenities. Wandering through its narrow, cobblestone streets, you'll find beautifully restored colonial buildings, each telling a story of the city's rich past.

Start your day with a visit to Plaza Mayor, the heart of Casco Viejo. This bustling square is surrounded by significant landmarks, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, which boasts stunning architecture and intricate details. Nearby, you'll find the Palacio de las Garzas, the presidential palace, which offers guided tours for a deeper understanding of Panama's political history.

Casco Viejo is also home to a thriving cafe culture, making it an ideal spot for digital nomads to work while enjoying the ambiance. Popular cafes like Café Unido and Nomada Eatery offer high-speed Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and excellent coffee sourced from local Panamanian growers. These spots provide a perfect blend of productivity and relaxation, allowing you to catch up on work while soaking in the area's vibrant atmosphere.

In addition to cafes, Casco Viejo features numerous boutique shops, art galleries, and museums. The Museo del Canal Interoceánico de Panamá offers fascinating insights into the history of the Panama Canal, while the Museo de la Mola showcases the art and culture of the indigenous Guna people.

As the sun sets, Casco Viejo transforms into a lively nightlife hub. Rooftop bars like Tantalo and CasaCasco offer stunning views of the city skyline and the Pacific Ocean, providing a perfect backdrop for an evening of relaxation and socializing. Whether you're enjoying a cocktail, dancing to live music, or simply taking in the views, Casco Viejo's nightlife is a memorable experience.

Overall, Casco Viejo's blend of historical significance, cultural richness, and modern amenities makes it an essential destination for digital nomads in Panama City. It's a place where you can work, explore, and unwind, all within a beautifully preserved historic setting.

2. Visit the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the most impressive engineering feats of the 20th century and a vital waterway connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Visiting this iconic landmark is a must for digital nomads in Panama City, offering a unique mix of education, inspiration, and awe-inspiring views.

Start your visit at the Miraflores Visitor Center, located just a short drive from downtown Panama City. The center provides an excellent vantage point to observe the canal's operations. Watching massive ships navigate the locks is a mesmerizing experience, showcasing the precision and scale of this engineering marvel. The observation decks offer panoramic views of the locks and the surrounding area, making it a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

The Miraflores Visitor Center also houses a comprehensive museum that delves into the history, construction, and significance of the Panama Canal. Interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, and informative displays provide a deeper understanding of the canal's impact on global trade and Panama's development. The museum is designed to be engaging for visitors of all ages, making it an educational stop for digital nomads curious about the canal's storied past.

One of the highlights of the visitor center is the on-site restaurant, which offers stunning views of the canal. Enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee while watching ships pass through the locks, creating a unique dining experience. The restaurant's Wi-Fi access allows you to stay connected, making it a convenient spot to catch up on work while enjoying the scenery.

For those interested in a more immersive experience, consider taking a guided tour of the Panama Canal. Various tours are available, including partial and full transits of the canal, providing a firsthand perspective of the waterway's operation. These tours offer an in-depth look at the canal's intricate system of locks, lakes, and channels, and they often include expert commentary on the canal's history and engineering.

Visiting the Panama Canal is not just about witnessing a marvel of engineering; it's about understanding its profound impact on global commerce and Panama's history. It's an inspiring experience that blends education with the awe of seeing such a colossal project in action, making it an unforgettable day trip for digital nomads in Panama City.

3. Work from a Coworking Space

Panama City offers a range of modern and well-equipped coworking spaces that cater to the needs of digital nomads. These spaces provide not only high-speed internet and comfortable workstations but also opportunities for networking and community building. Here are some of the top coworking spaces in Panama City that digital nomads should consider.

Workings is one of the most popular coworking chains in Panama City, with several locations across the city, including in key business districts like Obarrio and Costa del Este. These spaces are designed with modern amenities, featuring ergonomic furniture, private meeting rooms, and communal areas for networking. Workings also hosts various events and workshops, offering opportunities to learn new skills and connect with other professionals.

Panama Coworking Center is another excellent option, located in the heart of the financial district. This space offers a professional environment with dedicated desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. The vibrant community at Panama Coworking Center is composed of freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers from various industries, providing ample opportunities for collaboration and networking. The center's central location also means you're close to many of Panama City's attractions and amenities.

Selina is a globally recognized name in the coworking and coliving space, and their Panama City location lives up to the brand's reputation. Located in the vibrant Casco Viejo district, Selina offers a unique blend of workspace and accommodation, making it ideal for digital nomads who prefer an all-in-one solution. The coworking area is stylishly designed, with fast Wi-Fi, comfortable seating, and a relaxed atmosphere. Selina also organizes social events, wellness activities, and local tours, enhancing the overall experience for remote workers.

In addition to these established coworking spaces, Panama City is home to several smaller, boutique coworking environments that offer a more personalized experience. These spaces often feature unique designs, cozy atmospheres, and tight-knit communities. Whether you prefer a bustling environment or a more intimate setting, you're sure to find a coworking space that fits your needs.

Working from a coworking space in Panama City not only provides the necessary infrastructure for productivity but also fosters a sense of community and collaboration. These spaces are perfect for digital nomads looking to stay connected, meet new people, and immerse themselves in the vibrant professional scene of Panama City.

4. Enjoy the Cinta Costera

The Cinta Costera is a picturesque waterfront boulevard stretching along the edge of Panama Bay, offering a beautiful and dynamic space for digital nomads to enjoy a blend of work and leisure. This expansive promenade is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, providing a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Start your day with a morning jog or bike ride along the Cinta Costera. The well-maintained path offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the impressive skyline of Panama City on the other. The early morning hours are particularly serene, with fewer crowds and a cooler temperature, making it an ideal time for exercise and reflection.

The Cinta Costera is dotted with numerous parks and green spaces, perfect for taking a break from work. Grab a seat on one of the many benches or find a shady spot under a tree to relax and enjoy the sea breeze. The public Wi-Fi available in some areas allows you to stay connected, so you can catch up on emails, read, or even work outdoors while surrounded by nature.

One of the highlights of the Cinta Costera is the Fish Market (Mercado de Mariscos), located at the eastern end near Casco Viejo. Here, you can sample some of the freshest seafood in the city. Enjoy a delicious ceviche or a plate of grilled fish at one of the market's outdoor eateries while taking in the lively atmosphere. It's a great spot to grab a quick, affordable lunch during a break from work.

Throughout the year, the Cinta Costera hosts various cultural events, festivals, and outdoor activities. From live music performances to art exhibitions and food festivals, there's always something happening along this vibrant stretch. Check local listings to see if any events coincide with your visit, providing an excellent opportunity to experience Panama's rich culture and community spirit.

In the evenings, the Cinta Costera becomes a popular spot for socializing and unwinding. The area is well-lit and safe, with plenty of people enjoying the cool evening air. Whether you're taking a leisurely stroll, enjoying a drink at one of the nearby cafes, or simply sitting back and watching the world go by, the Cinta Costera offers a perfect end to a productive day.

The Cinta Costera's blend of scenic beauty, recreational facilities, and vibrant community events make it a must-visit for digital nomads in Panama City. It's a place where you can stay active, find inspiration, and enjoy the best of what the city has to offer.

5. Discover the Biomuseo

Located on the scenic Amador Causeway, the Biomuseo is one of Panama City's most striking attractions. Designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, the museum's bold, colorful structure stands out against the skyline and offers a unique cultural experience for digital nomads. The Biomuseo is dedicated to Panama's rich biodiversity and the pivotal role the isthmus has played in the natural world.

The museum's exhibits are both educational and visually captivating, making it a perfect spot for digital nomads who appreciate science and nature. The "Panama: Bridge of Life" exhibit is particularly fascinating, exploring how the formation of the Isthmus of Panama changed the world's biodiversity by connecting North and South America. Interactive displays, life-sized models, and immersive installations bring these concepts to life, offering a deep and engaging learning experience.

Another highlight is the museum's garden, which showcases a variety of native plant species. The outdoor space is not only beautiful but also provides a peaceful environment where you can take a break from the exhibits and enjoy the natural surroundings. The garden's layout encourages leisurely strolls and quiet reflection, making it a great place to recharge.

The Biomuseo also features a café with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the Panama City skyline. This is an excellent spot to grab a coffee or a light meal while taking in the picturesque scenery. The café offers Wi-Fi, allowing you to stay connected and even catch up on some work in a truly inspiring setting.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Biomuseo hosts temporary exhibitions, workshops, and events that delve into various aspects of biodiversity and environmental science. These activities provide opportunities for learning and engagement, making the museum a dynamic and ever-evolving destination.

The location of the Biomuseo on the Amador Causeway adds to its appeal. The causeway itself is a popular recreational area, offering breathtaking views, bike paths, and restaurants. After visiting the museum, take a walk or rent a bike to explore the causeway, enjoying the beautiful coastal views and the fresh ocean breeze.

Discovering the Biomuseo is not just about appreciating architecture and exhibits; it's about understanding the significant ecological and geological history of Panama. This experience is both enlightening and inspiring, making it a valuable and enjoyable day trip for digital nomads in Panama City.

6. Take a Day Trip to the San Blas Islands

For a truly unforgettable experience, digital nomads in Panama City should consider taking a day trip to the San Blas Islands. Located off the Caribbean coast of Panama, this archipelago consists of 365 islands and cays, each offering pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a unique cultural experience with the indigenous Guna Yala people.

The journey to the San Blas Islands typically starts with a drive from Panama City to the port of Carti, followed by a boat ride to the islands. The trip itself is an adventure, offering scenic views of the Panamanian countryside and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Although internet connectivity may be limited on the islands, the opportunity to unplug and immerse yourself in nature makes it a worthwhile escape.

Upon arriving in the San Blas Islands, you'll be greeted by stunning white sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. The islands are perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and simply relaxing by the sea. The clear, warm waters provide excellent visibility, allowing you to explore the underwater world and encounter colorful fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures.

In addition to their natural beauty, the San Blas Islands offer a rich cultural experience. The Guna Yala people, who inhabit the islands, have preserved their traditional way of life and are known for their vibrant textiles and crafts. You can visit local villages to learn about Guna culture, purchase handmade molas (intricately designed fabric panels), and even participate in traditional ceremonies and dances.

Many day trips to the San Blas Islands include a visit to multiple islands, each with its own unique charm. Isla Perro (Dog Island) is famous for its shipwreck, which provides a fascinating snorkeling site. Isla Pelicano, with its tranquil beaches and clear waters, is ideal for relaxation. The diversity of the islands ensures that there is something for everyone, whether you're seeking adventure or tranquility.

Most tours provide meals, typically featuring fresh seafood and traditional Guna cuisine. Enjoy a delicious lunch on the beach, taking in the stunning views and the laid-back island atmosphere. The simplicity and freshness of the food add to the overall experience, allowing you to savor the flavors of the Caribbean.

A day trip to the San Blas Islands is more than just a getaway; it's an opportunity to connect with nature and experience a unique cultural heritage. The islands' breathtaking beauty and serene environment provide a perfect backdrop for relaxation and inspiration, making it an essential excursion for digital nomads in Panama City.

7. Explore Metropolitan Natural Park

Escape the urban hustle and bustle of Panama City by visiting Metropolitan Natural Park, a lush oasis right in the heart of the city. Spanning approximately 232 hectares, this park offers a peaceful retreat where digital nomads can reconnect with nature and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. It's a great spot for hiking, wildlife spotting, and taking a refreshing break from work.

The park features several well-marked trails that cater to different levels of fitness and interests. One of the most popular trails is the Cedar Hill Trail, which leads to the highest point in the park. The hike is moderately challenging but well worth the effort, as the summit offers panoramic views of Panama City, the Panama Canal, and the Pacific Ocean. The trail is shaded by a dense canopy of trees, making it a pleasant hike even during the warmer parts of the day.

Wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted by the diverse array of animals that call Metropolitan Natural Park home. Keep an eye out for Geoffroy's tamarins, a small monkey species native to the region, as well as sloths, iguanas, and a variety of tropical birds. Birdwatchers will find the park particularly rewarding, with species such as toucans, parrots, and the elusive crested eagle often spotted among the trees.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the park's Ancon Hill Trail offers a gentler walk through lush vegetation and scenic viewpoints. This trail is perfect for a relaxed stroll, providing ample opportunities to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest. Benches and rest areas along the way offer comfortable spots to sit and reflect or even catch up on some reading.

Metropolitan Natural Park also has a visitor center that provides information about the park's flora and fauna, as well as its historical significance. Educational exhibits and knowledgeable staff make it easy to learn about the ecosystem and conservation efforts in place to protect this urban sanctuary.

After a day of exploring, take some time to relax at one of the park's picnic areas. Pack a lunch and enjoy a meal surrounded by nature, or simply sit back and soak in the tranquility of the environment. The park's serene atmosphere makes it an ideal place to recharge before heading back to the demands of remote work.

Overall, Metropolitan Natural Park offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, making it an essential destination for digital nomads in Panama City. Whether you're hiking to scenic viewpoints, spotting wildlife, or enjoying a peaceful picnic, the park provides a refreshing escape that enhances your overall well-being and productivity.

8. Experience the Nightlife

Panama City is renowned for its vibrant nightlife, offering a diverse array of venues and experiences that cater to all tastes. For digital nomads looking to unwind after a day of work, the city's nightlife scene provides ample opportunities for socializing, dancing, and enjoying the local culture.

Casco Viejo, the historic district, is the epicenter of Panama City's nightlife. Its charming, colonial-era streets come alive at night with a mix of rooftop bars, lively nightclubs, and cozy pubs. Start your evening at one of the many rooftop bars, such as Tantalo or CasaCasco, where you can sip on expertly crafted cocktails while taking in panoramic views of the city skyline and the Pacific Ocean. These venues often feature live music or DJ sets, creating a lively atmosphere perfect for mingling and dancing.

For those who prefer a more laid-back vibe, the neighborhood of El Cangrejo offers a variety of relaxed bars and pubs. La Rana Dorada, a popular brewpub, is known for its excellent craft beers and friendly ambiance. Here, you can sample a flight of locally brewed beers and enjoy pub fare while chatting with fellow patrons. The laid-back environment makes it an ideal spot for digital nomads to unwind and make new connections.

Calle Uruguay, another nightlife hotspot, is known for its trendy bars and upscale nightclubs. Venues like Teatro Amador and Zaza Lounge are popular choices for those looking to dance the night away. These clubs often host themed nights and feature top local and international DJs, ensuring a memorable night out. The energetic vibe of Calle Uruguay attracts a diverse crowd, making it a great place to experience Panama City's modern nightlife scene.

For a more authentic local experience, head to one of the salsa clubs in the city. Habana Panama and Barlovento are well-known spots where you can learn to dance salsa or simply enjoy watching skilled dancers move to the rhythm of live music. The passionate and lively atmosphere in these clubs offers a unique glimpse into the local culture and provides a fun and engaging way to spend an evening.

Panama City's nightlife also includes cultural events and live performances. Check out venues like the Teatro Nacional or Ateneo Theater for live music, theater productions, and other cultural events. These performances offer a more refined and artistic experience, perfect for those who appreciate the arts.

In summary, Panama City's nightlife is diverse and dynamic, offering something for everyone. Whether you're looking to dance, enjoy live music, or relax with a craft beer, the city's vibrant scene ensures a memorable night out. It's an excellent way for digital nomads to unwind, socialize, and experience the local culture after a day of remote work.

9. Taste Local Cuisine

Panama City's culinary scene is a delightful fusion of flavors influenced by its diverse cultural heritage. For digital nomads, exploring the local cuisine offers a delicious way to experience the city's rich culinary traditions. From street food stalls to upscale restaurants, Panama City provides a wide range of dining options that cater to all tastes and budgets.

One of the best places to start your culinary journey is the Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market). Located near Casco Viejo, this bustling market is a haven for seafood lovers. Here, you can sample fresh ceviche, a traditional dish made with raw fish marinated in lime juice, onions, and cilantro. The market's outdoor eateries offer a variety of other seafood dishes, such as grilled octopus and fried fish, all prepared with the day's freshest catch. Enjoying a meal at the market is an authentic and flavorful way to experience Panama's coastal cuisine.

For a more upscale dining experience, Panama City boasts numerous high-end restaurants that showcase both local and international cuisine. Maito, consistently ranked among Latin America's best restaurants, offers innovative dishes that blend traditional Panamanian ingredients with modern culinary techniques. The tasting menu at Maito is a culinary journey through Panama's diverse regions, featuring dishes like smoked fish with tropical fruits and yucca gnocchi with local cheese.

Another excellent dining option is Donde José, a small, intimate restaurant that offers a unique tasting menu inspired by Panama's history and culture. Chef José Carles creates each dish using locally sourced ingredients, presenting them in creative and unexpected ways. The experience at Donde José is both a culinary and cultural exploration, providing insight into Panama's rich heritage.

Street food is also an integral part of Panama City's culinary landscape. Vendors selling empanadas, tamales, and carimañolas (fried yucca filled with meat or cheese) can be found throughout the city. These tasty snacks are perfect for a quick bite on the go, allowing you to sample local flavors without breaking the bank.

In addition to traditional Panamanian cuisine, Panama City offers a wide variety of international dining options. The city's multicultural population has resulted in a vibrant food scene that includes everything from Italian and Japanese to Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Whether you're craving sushi, pasta, or falafel, you're sure to find a restaurant that satisfies your taste buds.

Don't forget to try Panama's national drink, seco. This sugarcane-based spirit is typically enjoyed with lime and ice or mixed into cocktails. For a refreshing non-alcoholic option, try chicha de arroz con piña, a sweet rice and pineapple drink that's popular among locals.

Tasting local cuisine in Panama City is not just about enjoying delicious food; it's about immersing yourself in the city's vibrant culture and history. From fresh seafood at the market to innovative dishes at top restaurants, Panama City's culinary scene offers digital nomads a rich and satisfying gastronomic experience.

10. Attend Cultural Events

Panama City hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year, offering digital nomads an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and connect with both residents and fellow travelers. These events showcase the city’s vibrant artistic scene, diverse heritage, and lively community spirit, making them must-attend activities for anyone spending time in the city.

One of the most renowned events is the Panama Jazz Festival, held every January. This week-long celebration attracts world-class musicians and jazz enthusiasts from around the globe. The festival features performances, workshops, and jam sessions at various venues across the city, including outdoor stages, theaters, and intimate clubs. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy live music, learn from renowned artists, and mingle with other jazz lovers.

Another highlight is the International Film Festival of Panama (IFF Panama), usually held in April. This festival brings together filmmakers, actors, and cinema fans to celebrate the art of film. Screenings of international and local films are accompanied by panel discussions, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, and networking events. For digital nomads interested in film, this festival provides a chance to see diverse cinematic works and engage in meaningful conversations about the industry.

Carnival in Panama City is an exuberant event held in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. It’s one of the largest and most colorful celebrations in the country, featuring parades, music, dancing, and elaborate costumes. The city’s streets come alive with festivities, offering a unique glimpse into Panamanian culture and traditions. Participating in Carnival is a joyous and immersive experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Throughout the year, Panama City also hosts various smaller cultural events, including art exhibitions, food festivals, and traditional performances. Venues like the Teatro Nacional and Ateneo Theater regularly feature concerts, plays, and dance performances that highlight the rich cultural heritage of Panama.

To make the most of your time in Panama City, check local listings and event calendars to plan your visit around these exciting cultural events. Whether you’re a music lover, film buff, or just looking to experience local traditions, attending these events will enrich your stay and provide lasting memories.

Panama City offers digital nomads a unique blend of work-friendly environments, cultural experiences, and opportunities for adventure. From exploring historic districts and enjoying waterfront views to immersing yourself in local cuisine and vibrant nightlife, the city has something for everyone.

Stay connected and productive while exploring the vibrant offerings of Panama City. For more insights into remote work and digital nomad destinations, visit Le Remote Magazine.

#PanamaCity #DigitalNomads #RemoteWork #Travel #Coworking

Jun 16, 2024
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