Along with its world-class Canal the Isthmus of Panama features world-class sailfish and marlin, as well as horse racing, diving, surfing, white water rafting, all manner of adventure sports and of course, more traditional sports like tennis and horse riding.
Here with is a sampler of what is offered for sports buffs.
SURFING. Excellent surfing can be had on both oceans. See our section on surfing.
DIVING. Panama offers spectacular reefs in both the Pacific and Atlantic. For more information see the sections on Veraguas on page 90, Azuero on page 88 and Bocas del Toro on page 62. Panama Dive Tours on Contadora island offers dive and snorkeling tours and PADI courses 6536-1776.
BOATING & YACHTING. The Isthmus is a free-floating community. Salt and freshwater sailors, young and old, contemplating voyages long or short, will find all they need at Flamenco Charters, 314-1029, the Balboa Yacht Club 314-0168 and San Blas Sailing Corp. 314-1800.
TENNIS. A number of hotels in the city and the provinces have tennis courts available to guests.
SQUASH AND RACQUET-BALL. The Panama Racquet Club offers three squash courts and one racquetball court. Short-term memberships available. Located in La Loceria. Tel: 260-6884 Mon-Fr 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sun 10.00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Two professional trainers are available for games and/or coaching.
HORSE RACING. At President Remon Racetrack in Juan Diaz every Thursday, Saturday, Sunday. Turff Bet & Sports Bar provides live telecast of races (Simulcast) at locations throughout Panama.
RIVER RAFTING. The Chiriquí River and the Chiriquí Viejo River flow down from the high Cordillera in cool abundance and at times great ferocity. Three companies operate river rafting tours on these rivers. Panama Rafters tel. 730-9353, Chiriquí River Rafting S.A., tel: 6879-4382 and Boquete Outdoors Adventures tel.: 720-2284
Closer to Panama City, Panama Explorer Club offers rafting on the Rio Grande. Tel: 215-2330.
There are also white-water rafting tours offered on the Chagres River in the province of Panama. The journey to and from the river, through mountain terrain and jungle trails, is as memorable as the rafting.
Bowling. At Bolos El Dorado every day from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight and Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 260-2511. Also available at Bolos Ñeque in the City of Knowledge.
Perhaps the Creator had the adventure sportsman in mind when he designed Panama’s mountains, forest and rivers. Climbing, rapelling, mountain-bike riding, kayaking, white water rafting are all on offer here. Call Xtreme Adventures 993-2823, Nitro City 202-6875 and Panama Explorer Club 215-2330 or a tour agency.
Clayton Equestrian Club, located on Friendship Road, five minutes away from El Dorado shopping center offers a number of training programs according to the needs of each horseman or woman. Daily, weekly, or monthly classes are offered by experienced tutors. The club also has horses of all breeds, which can be hired and ridden on the facility’s four training rinks.
The Coronado Club Equestre, an hour’s drive from Panama City, is one of the best riding clubs in the Americas. It is excellent for Paso, Colombian and Andalusian aficionados. Shows are held throughout the year. The facility offers varied family entertainment every weekend at a spacious, country-style restaurant.