For the best night out in Panama City, Central America’s dazzling metropolis, all you need is three words: Panama Bar Crawl. Step one: head over to www.panamabarcrawl.com and choose the evening you’d like to make extraordinary. Book tickets for you and your friends, or even feel free to come on your own. Fear not: you will absolutely be meeting other people there.
Panama Bar Crawl is the most fabulous way to discover Panama City’s party epicentre, Casco Viejo. All but some of the city’s nightlife has moved to the old town, so you’re particularly spoilt for choice. The scope of bars and clubs means that if you aren’t content where you are, you can essentially peer over your shoulder and peek at how things are going at the other nearby spots, which you can either see directly, or hear the music playing. Panama Bar Crawl does the hard work for you by selecting the best of the best, taking you there and infusing the evening with ultra-fun elements to make your night out one for the books.
Step two: show up at the first meeting spot, Malibu Spirits and & Eatery. Malibu is popular with locals and despite the reggaetón and old school hip-hop beats blasting heavily through the speakers, it has quite an intimate atmosphere. Step three: be open and prepared for anything to transpire.
The team that runs Panama Bar Crawl have literally thought of everything and anything that might be needed to break the ice when meeting new people and even incorporate games to get to know one another, with funky props and themes coming along for the ride. The crawl runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with alternating stops at ZaZa Lounge, Chupitos, ‘t Bier Klooster, Casa Jaguar, Ibiza and the most famous rooftop bar and club in Casco Viejo, Tantalo. There’s even VIP queue-free entrance entry into theatre-turned-nightclub, Teatro Amador, which normally costs ten big ones. At $25 with a drink at each location, this bar crawl more than pays for itself.
Panama Bar Crawl is an excellent way to meet local people and other travellers from all around the world. Upon arriving in Panama City on my own a few months ago, I decided to go on the crawl with just myself for company, and a little apprehensive about the very prospect. I needn’t have worried at all, as Julie and Sandrine took care of me from the start, immediately keeping the group entertained with their “two lies, one truth” game (I won’t spoil it for you).
This fantastic event is run by Belgian entrepreneurs Julie Renson and Sandrine Champagne (and the award for best name ever goes to…) who themselves know a thing or two about uprooting your world and moving it elsewhere. The ladies came to Panama City in early 2017 and have rapidly set up strong relationships with Casco Viejo’s hottest nightlife establishments. The name of their company is BEYOA, an acronym for “Be Your Own Adventure”. They kind of also secretly love that it begins with ‘BE’, a nod to their Belgian heritage. The company however, is fully Panamanian and each tour is bilingual in both English and Spanish.
I initially attended the bar crawl as a ruse to make friends, and make friends I did. I am fortunate enough to now have Julie and Sandrine as part of my immediate circle in Panama City, and see first hand the hard work that goes into organising the most unique night out in Ciudad de Panamá. I have now attended the Bar Crawl a total of SEVEN times, with each visit wholly different from the last. I am still unable to decide which facet of the evening has been my favourite so far: salsa dancing with the wind in our hair at Tantalo, line dancing on the bar to MC Kevinho’s Olha a explosao at Chupitos as a forfeit for losing out at the “similarities” game, OR the nightly confetti explosion, which sweetly garnishes our interactions. Panama Bar Crawl is perfect for expats and locals alike, tourists, backpackers, fun lovers and anyone looking to kickstart their Panamanian social life in style. For the best night out in Panama City, crawl this way.
This article was written by Rosie Bell and originally appeared on TheBeachBell.com. Rosie Bell is a travel writer, sunseeker and author of the book “365 Ideas to Enjoy Your Life Today“. Follow her on Instagram @TheBeachBell.