Vista Mar Golf & Beach Resort (Vista Mar Blvd., Vista Mar Beach Resort, Km. 92, San Carlos, Panama) — located 1 ½ hours southwest of Panama City (off the Pan-American Highway), this is a 6,800 yard, 18-hole, par 72 championship seaside golf course (designed by J. Michael Poellot) that’s part of a resort complex in this part of Panama. Golfers will enjoy use of the golf course and installations which combine an environmentally friendly and harmonious design that takes advantage of the naturally occurring height differences while adhering to the incorporation of the most demanding standards applicable to golf links worldwide. For more info, prospective players are advised to call: +507 340 3888, or visit its website: http://vistamarresort.com/
Veneto Wyndham Grand Hotel and Casino – this is 40,000 sq feet of exciting gaming action. The casino offers something for every type of gambler. If you are a slots player, there are over 600 slot and video slot and poker machines. Table game players will find all the customary favorites like blackjack, roulette, Texas Hold’em, Midi-Baccarat, Craps, and Three Card Poker.
If sports betting is more your speed, check out the sports book. They offer money line wagering, spread wagering, and total score wagering. You can also watch the games on 18 large plasma TV screens. For those that love poker, the poker room is the place to bee. With 8 tables of cash game and daily Texas Hold’em tournaments, this is the place to hone your poker craft.
Summit Golf & Resort (Avenida Omar Torrijos, Panama City) – located just 20 minutes from downtown Panama City, the course is a 6,880 yard, par 72 championship course designed by noted American golf course architect Jeffrey Myers. The course is set on rolling hills overlooking the famous Gaillard Cut of the Panama Canal and the “Camino de Cruces” National Park.
The layout features multiple tee boxes, generous landing areas and moderately contoured putting surfaces. The facility also features a full service practice and a six-hole par three course for kids. The greens are Tifdwarf Bermuda grass and the course is maintained in world class condition. 8 Kms. of concret car paths provide easy access during the rainy season.
Summit Golf & Resort has a long history, originally opened in 1930’s for Americans working in the Panama Canal Zone. The course has been completely renovated to world class standards. The winning combination of a superior redesign by Jeffrey Myers with the ultimate in construction by Gregori International have created a championship course of the highest caliber.
For more details, call Summit Golf at +507 232-4653, or view their website: www.summitgolfpanama.com
Surfing – young travelers coming from other surfing destinations (such as southern California) will likely want to look into the surfing activities taking place in Panama, which would include destinations such as Playa Venao, Santa Catalina, and Bocas del Toro (among others). There are surf tour operators that such travelers can contact to arrange such outings. Such Panama-based firms include: http://monolocosurfschool.com; www.panamasurfschool.com; http://panamasurftours.com; www.riomarsurf.com;
Sports Fishing – due to the wealth of sports fishing opportunities awaiting expert fishermen on both the country’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts, various sports fishing charter services are available to book such expeditions. In the Pacific coast, Marlin, Yellow Fin Tuna, Dorado, etc. can be found in open water fishing and Grouper or Snapper in bottom fishing. On the other hand, the Caribbean offers Tarpon, Barracuda, Snook, Snapper, Wahoo, Bonefish, Jack Crevalle, Tuna, King Mackerel and Grouper; all of this in one country, Panama.
The sports fishing outfits that visitors can call include: http://comefishpanama.com; www.panamacanalfishing.com; www.panamafishingandcatching.com, www.panamafishingcharters.net, http://panamafishingexpeditions.com
Playa Venao (Los Santos province, Azurero Peninsula) – unlike the beaches at the Archipélago de las Perlas (which are only reachable via airplane or ferry boat), this beach is accessible via car from Panama City (taking a 4-hour ride through the Pan American Highway to the Chitre road, which leads to Venao Beach). Budget travelers may opt to go to the Albrook bus terminal and catch a bus heading to either Chitre or Las Tablas (then taking a local bus to Pedasi, and from there grabbing a taxi or local minibus to Playa Venao).
Those going out of their way to reach Playa Venao do so for the surfing, which is rather popular here. The area’s popularity is confirmed by the presence of some resorts. Along with that, world class surfing events like the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games are held here. Also, events geared toward college students are held here as well.
Mantaraya Golf Club (Avenida principal Farallón, Km. 115, Carretera Interamericana Farallón, Rio Hato, Panama) — located at Rio Hato, 1 ½ hours from Panama City, along the Pan-American Highway, the naturally scenic world class Mantaraya Golf Course (which is part of Decameron Resorts) is an 18 holes, par 72 course — designed by the internationally renowned designer Randall Thompson, in association with the American Golf Course Design firm. The designers masterfully drew on the surrounding landscape’s topography to create a tropically exuberant layout, incorporating lush vegetation and a lot of water. Call them for more details: +507 993-2255
JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort (340 Calle 3ra Buenaventura, Rio Hato, Panama) – formerly known as the Bristol Buenaventura, it is regarded as the best golf course in Latin America — a 18 hole, par 72 golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. This course is located just 80 miles west of Panama City.
Call the resort (+507 908 3333) or see its website for more details: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ptyjw-jw-marriott-panama-golf-and-beach-resort/
Isla Grande (beach) – this beach, located on the country’s Atlantic coast, is 1 ½ hour drive from Panama City (via highway), past the famous ruins and Black Christ at Portobelo, to a small town called La Guaira. From here a wooden canoe with an outboard motor will take you to the island—the 10-minute trip costs $2. This is another Panamanian beach destination that’s still untouched by mass tourism, and attracts those looking for the simple life.
Hotel El Panama Convention Center and Casino (Via España 111, Panama City) – this is so much more than your typical casino. While there is over 20,000 square feet of gaming space, the El Panama offers patrons so much more. For gamblers, there are over 300 slot and video slot machines and 21 table games like black jack as well as poker games. You typical gaming variants are available, but you will want to spend time to check out the other features at the hotel. There are several restaurants on the property ranging from Flamingo’s cafe to Miraflores restaurant. At Miraflores, you get a fantastic view of the ships going through the Panama canal locks. Miraflores is a great spot to entertain clients or for a romantic evening.