The Amador Causeway is a popular place for walking, running, or biking. It’s especially pleasant to ramble about in the morning and early evening, when the weather is cool and the light is gorgeous.
A well-run bike-rental place, Bicicletas Moses (tel. 211-2579, 8 a.m.–9 p.m. daily), is at the beginning of the causeway, where the international flags are flown. It’s right next to Restaurante Pencas. It rents mountain bikes, tandem bikes, “fun cycles” (they resemble Hot Wheels–style tricycles), and other wheeled transport by the half hour and hour. A one-hour mountain-bike rental is US$2.50. Expect long lines on dry-season weekends. They also rent scooters. Attention parents: They rent baby carriers. There’s a nearby ATM if you need cash.
You may see people splashing around in the little beaches along the causeway; don’t join them. Way back in high school I participated in a beach cleanup here that netted all kinds of disgusting stuff, including hospital waste, that had washed up from Panama City. No way would I ever set foot in the waters on the Panama Bay side. I’d also avoid the little beach on the canal-facing side.
Panama Bay Cruise
Canal and Bay Tours (tel. 209-2009 or 209-2010, www.canalandbaytours.com) offers Saturday night booze cruises of Panama Bay. The trip departs at 9:30 p.m. from the Amador cruise-ship terminal on Isla Flamenco. The fare is US$25 and features an open bar and blaring disco music.
The Flamenco Yacht Club (Isla Flamenco, tel. 314-0665, www.fuerteamador.com) is a well-equipped marina that offers moorings, repairs, maintenance, and supplies for everything from small pleasure boats to mega-yachts.
Summit Golf and Resort (tel. 232-4653, www.summitgolfpanama.com), 14 kilometers north of Balboa, is an upscale golf course, hotel, and spa that welcomes nonmembers. It’s a 6,626-yard, par-72 course that was given a major makeover a few years back. It has a modern circular clubhouse with pretty views of rolling countryside, as well as a restaurant and bar. Greens fees are US$120 for 18 holes including cart, though they sometimes offer “twilight” fees for those willing to play as it’s getting dark. Club rental is about US$50.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition