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. See our section on diving for more details.
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. Good tennis courts at: the Sheraton Hotel (305-6946), the Miramar Intercontinental Hotel (206-8827), the Panama Tennis Federation (232-5196) and the public courts in Parque Omar.
SQUASH AND RACQUET-BALL. The Panama Raquet Club in La Locería has three squash courts and one racquetball court. Membership is not required, but court reservations are. Tel.: 260-6884.
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. Albrook Bowling, in Albrook Mall. Tel.: 395-6235. Bolos Ñeque in the City of Knowledge Tel.: 317-0211 and Bolos El Dorado Tel.: 260-7868. All three places usually stay open late.
HORSE RIDING. There are several equestrian clubs located throughout the country. The Metropolitan Equestrian Club (Tel.:232-6272) is in the heart of the City, surrounded by a protected forest reserve. Castilla del Oro (Tel.: 238-9943), in Pedregal, offers classes year-round. The Coronado Equestrian Club (Tel.: 240-1434) is located adjacent to an exclusive beach resort. The members-only Hacienda Country Club (Tel.: 392-9387), in Cerro Azul, has a full resort and hosts a famous polo tournament.
Tour companies and some hotels across the Isthmus offer horse riding excursions. Eduardo Cano (Tel.: 720-1750) can arrange riding trips in Boquete. Panama Outdoor Adventures (Tel.: 6605-8171) has several packages available in Costa Arriba, Colón. Panama Horseback Adventures (Tel.: 6905-9659), on Cristobal Island in Bocas del Toro, is an Englishspeaking company. Lagunas Adventures (6569-7494 or 6867-3884), based in Volcán, has English and Spanish guides and can schedule tours of the Janson Family coffee estate.