Published on January 3rd, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
TRAVEL TIPS: José Calvo, TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro
If you really want to know the best of a destination, ask a local. After a very pleasant stay at the new TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro in Panama City, Panama, I got some insider travel tips from Jose Calvo, the hotel’s general manager.
Where are you from originally, and how long have you lived in Panama City?
I have lived in Panama City my entire life – but I can’t say my age!
What do you personally like best about living in Panama City?
Being a small country, I find it interesting that I can partake in as many activities here as in any bigger country. From visiting museums to diving in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean in the same day (I did this once!); I can go from the warm and sandy beaches to a cold mountain climate in two hours. The cost of living is modest, so we can do a lot with less. Inflation is very low – it has become a little higher just in recent. We can find almost any brand in grocery stores or in the malls. We have a bit of everything!
Panama City has a lot of sophisticated dining options. Aside from your own hotel’s restaurant (which personally I really enjoyed during my stay) what are some of your own personal favorite places to go out for dinner?
Panama City has so many good restaurants. I really like sushi and Sushi Itto is one of my favorites. Another one of my favorites is Los Años Locos, which has great steaks and is a great place to hang out with friends.
My Favorite Panamanian dishes are: bollo de maiz nuevo (a kind of sweet corn roll), tamales de pollo (chicken tamales) y arroz con pollo (Panamanian rice with chicken).
What is your own personal favorite way to spend a free day in the city?
I like to go mountain biking or go out with my family to the mall. We also like to visit the Amador Marina or the famous Causeway, where you can go for long walks, roller skate, bike, sun bathe or sit and admire the city skyline. The area is located at the entrance of the Panama Canal.
What surprises do you think first-time visitors might find in Panama City?
I think people are surprised by how modern the city is now, while at the same time we’re a small country with a rich history, from pirates and gold rush to our long-standing relationship with the United States. They will also find that Panama is a great shopping destination, and that the food is among the best in the world. And finally, I think they’re pleasantly surprised by the fact that you can do almost anything you can think of in such a small country.
MORE TRAVEL TIPS & TRAVEL NEWS:
• Don’t miss a thing. Follow LatinFlyer on Twitter!
TRAVEL PHOTOS, TRAVEL GEAR & GIFTS, from the LatinFlyer Shop: