Sunday, May 13, 2012

Las Tablas Panama: Peaceful Shores

By Tyler Ramos

When you want a holiday full of sand and surf but short on fellow travelers and your budget is slim, try Panama. The little town of Las Tablas on the Azuero Peninsula rests in the centre of an agrarian area. Here Spanish culture is evident in the architecture and names, including places like Playa Uverito, a local beach. The people are known for their warmth and the coffee is marvelous.

Visitors will notice an old-fashioned atmosphere about the place. Locals travel by horseback in many instances, wearing traditional hand-embroidered clothes which local artisans make. The Los Santos Province culture is largely agrarian and the town acts as a business centre Nuario Mountain is close as well.

Chitre and Los Santos are towns close to this centre. They show signs of more urban encroachment though also continue to host an old-fashioned contingent. The beautiful Pedasi provides another good place to fly to and book a fishing tour. The cooler, mountainous region of Nuerio is only twenty-five minutes from your location. Explore the lush habitat of monkeys and cool down next to a waterfall.

The sea is focal to Panama tourism. Wind surfing and fishing are just two popular sports. Catch amberjack, grouper, yellow fin tuna and more. Naturalists know Isla Cana for its turtle population and the chance to see some hatching during a well-timed visit. Take a boat trip to Isla Iguana to go snorkeling, diving or bird-watching. Book a nature tour or organize one for yourself.

Panama is big on carnivals, especially the Los Santos province where you are staying. If you miss one there will be another coming along shortly somewhere else. Stay out of town and make the drive or pay extra at your hotel. These have precious few rooms to start with outside of the big city. Other cultural attractions include Museo Herrera with its fascinating displays of artifacts from centuries of history. These include pre-Colombian items. Local architecture shows the influence of Spanish domination. The most famous attraction in Panama is the Canal: if you want to see it, just remember that after all of those crowds, a return to your hotel will restore inner peace.

To reach Panama City requires a few hours of driving if that interests you. If the reason for your travels is the desire for city amenities, Las Tablas has most of what you want. Knowing there is a hospital to address heat stroke or suspicious bug bites may free you from some worry, especially when traveling with kids. Local artisans and shopping centres exist to meet the desire for souvenirs, plus banks for currency exchange. Exchange metropolitan amenities for a relaxed environment.

Keep the heat in mind. Finding a hotel with fans and air conditioning can be very important to your overall comfort. Pasada Del Mar, a beachfront bed and breakfast just ten miles from town. Only five rooms are established here so expect a peaceful break. Hotel La Luna is also on the beach. Their clean rooms have air conditioning, TV and the hotel provides a pool and internet. Friendly staff will give tour advice where needed. They also serve breakfast.

City hotels are another option. They situate visitors close to all modern conveniences, including shops with internet access charged per hour. Night life with music and gaming is also available. Do your souvenir shopping, eat local food or check out a place that serves a familiar and comforting dish: pizza.

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