On our first day in Panama we drove over 300 miles, which was pretty insane since we only average 80-100 miles on driving days. Needless to say we were exhausted and devoured an entire pizza and ended up sleeping at our very first gas station. At first we were a bit disappointed at the idea of a gas station until we pulled in and realized it was more like what you would see in a European gas station. Free showers, clean restrooms, wifi, beer and wine and a gourmet menu. We slept pretty well, considering the amount of massive semi trucks that pulled in and out all night long.
After the long drive and the night at the truck stop we had one more day before we met Austin’s parents in Panama City. We found yet another gorgeous camp spot in the Coclé Province at an Eco Hotel and spent yet another Sunday playing in a waterfall. We had the camping area all to ourselves and enjoyed a peaceful night listening to the wildlife and the rush of the waterfall.
Austin’s parents finally arrived and we couldn’t have been more excited. The plan was to sped a few days in the city and then a few days on the beach.
If you visit Panama City then you must go to the following sites:
- Casco Viejo – Contains the old quarters of the city and has numerous cafes, live music and gorgeous architecture.
- Panama Canal – There is can’t miss museum at the Miraflores visitor center. We spent about two hours in the museum and finished up just in time to watch a few massive cargo ships come into the locks. Plus, we could enjoy the view over cocktails in the little cafe above the museum.
We didn’t have time to visit the fish market, but some friends of ours went and said it was also a must see. We also found getting around Panama is best with Uber. The traffic and the roadways can be congested and not the easiest to navigate, but Uber worked great for us during our visit.
After doing a little bit of site seeing in the city, it was time to head to the beach! Austin’s parents found an amazing condo on Airbnb and spent the next couple of days soaking up the sun, drinking cocktails, watching breathtaking sunsets and of course playing Mexican train.
El Valle – Market Day
We decided to take a break from the beach and headed into the mountains to a little town called El Valle. It was a beautiful drive into the mountains and we were pleasantly surprised to find it was a market day! The market was filled with fresh produce, vibrant flowers and fun trinkets.
We were so thrilled to have Austin’s parents share in our adventure and we were incredibly grateful that they allowed us to share their vacation with us. It was an early morning teary goodbye as we headed to get Ol’ Blue inspected before shipping and Austin’s parents headed to the airport.