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 horseback riding.
Herewith 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. Pedasi Sports Club on the Azuero Peninsula is a Padi Resort Hotel offering diving courses, excursions, fishing and other resort activities. Call 995-2894. Scuba Panama offers courses, excursions and a cabin hotel at Portobelo on the Caribbean side. Call 261-4064 in Panama.
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, Club de Yates y Pesca 227-0145, the Balboa Yacht Club 228-5794 and San Blas Sailing Corp. 314-1800.
TENNIS. A number of hotels in the city 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 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sun 10.00 a.m. to 4 p.m. A professional trainer is available for games and/or coaching.
HORSE RACING. At President Remon Racetrack in Juan Diaz every Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (Tel. 300-2600).
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. 720-2712, Chiriquí River Rafting Company, tel: 720-1505 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 1:00 a.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Sundays 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 260-2511.
ADVENTURE SPORTS. 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 Panama Explorer Club 215-2330.
HORSE RIDING. 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 afficionados. Shows are held throughout the year. The facility offers varied family entertainment every weekend at a spacious, country-style restaurant.