Located on the Azuero Peninsula and just a couple of miles from the Gulf of Panama, Las Tablas is considered the national center for the local Panamanians. It is also in the Province of Los Santos. If you have ever thought of visiting this area of the world, there are a wide variety of activities that can keep you entertained. Just don’t expect the modern lifestyle that you would find in other parts of the area such as Panama City. This section of panama is steeped in tradition and offers a slow paced way of life. The following are just a few ways to spend your time in Las Tablas:
Travel During Carnival – In February, Las Tablas hosts a carnival. The city is separated into two parts with each on in competition with the other. These two factions are from two areas of the town. Calle Arriba means street above and is located uptown and the other area, Calle Abajo, which translates to street below, is located downtown. These two areas have their own carnival and are in direct competition with each other to see who can put on the best show. There are fireworks, music, the streets are decorated and there are plenty of food stands enough to satisfy even the worst hunger.
Dining – As stated previously, you won’t see much influence from the outside world. With the exception of a pizza parlor or two, restaurants only offer local and native cuisine. Don’t think that there is a lack of fine dining; there are many establishments that can and do rival restaurants from around the globe. The best part is that the prices are so affordable that even those who travel on a budget can afford the top of the line eateries.
Shopping – Just as you won’t find a bunch of high end or foreign dining establishments, you also won’t find a bunch of shops geared towards tourists. There are no cheap trinkets made in China and shipped in to sell to tourists. Instead, all products are produced locally and are sold to natives, tourists and transplants alike. You can also find grocery and convenience stores along with a couple internet cafes to keep you in touch with the outside world. If you need to exchange money or use an ATM, there are banks available that can deal with any monetary issue that may arise.
Nightlife – If you are looking hot nightclubs then you are in the wrong place. However, there are local pubs and even a small casino where you can relax after a day at the beach or a day enjoying the atmosphere. The only time this town gets crazy is during carnival. So if you are looking for more night life activities, carnival is the time to travel here.
If you want a slower paced holiday or vacation and you want to get away from the real world, Las Tablas is definitely the place for you. Just make sure to brush up on your Spanish as few of the locals are English speakers. This includes those in the service industries and few doctors or dentists speak English either. All in all, this is a great place to take off the power suit and tie or the trappings of modern living and simply enjoy the quiet life!