8 hour Layover in Panama City, Panama

Layover is defined as a period of time when you are not traveling in the middle of a journey. I usually object to layovers because I prefer to quickly arrive at my destination. I have recently begun to see the benefits of having a layover while traveling. It allows you the opportunity to see multiple cities/countries in one trip. Can you believe that some airports offer free layover tours? After flying from Bogota, Colombia, I chose to layover in Panama City, Panama for 8 hours.

F19F345B-590C-412A-8331-450501C76820Panama’s official currency is known as the Balboa. One Balboa is equal to one US Dollar. While at the airport, I exchanged Colombian Pesos for US dollars.


As I completed my transaction, the young lady at the currency exchange counter complimented me on my hair. She told me that my afro was pretty and she was glad that I embraced my natural hair. She stated, “airport employers forced her to straighten her hair because is seen as more professional”. She became sad when her niece informed her that she disliked her kinky hair and wanted to straighten her hair. She is now dedicated to returning her own hair to its natural state, teaching her niece to embrace her own hair, and will be starting an online forum which teaches young girls to love the hair they are born with.

I didn’t realize that wearing my hair in its natural state sends a powerful message to women across the world. As women, our hair is seen as a crown of glory. It is time that we embrace our coils, curls, and kinkiness. Repeat after me. I LOVE MY HAIR!


I really wanted to explore the Embera Indian Village but was unable to do so. Instead I went on a quick city tour and stopped in the Historical District of Panama to see sites such as churches, Panama Canal, and Centennial Bridge.

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After touring the city, I was picked up by Ali from Poopy Tours.


We traveled to the Curundu neighborhood for lunch. Peach Fuzz International was highly recommended by those who have visited Panama. I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Danny, the owner of this awesome seafood establishment.


Danny and I

Tiffany: Where are you from?
Danny: I am Panamanian but grew up in the United States. In 2005, I officially decided to move back to Panama.


Tiffany: When did you learn to cook?
Danny: My grandfather worked outside of the home and my grandmother cared for the children. She often cooked for her children and grandchildren. At the age of 13, my grandmother decided that she was going to teach the boys in the family how to cook. Traditionally, women do all the cooking at family gatherings. In our family, the men cook and the women eat.

Danny taking orders


Preparing fish



Tiffany: Why did you decide on this location?
Danny: Curundu was considered one of the worst neighborhood with shanty houses and no running water. It was so bad that even the police were afraid to come into the neighborhood due to the deadly crimes. The neighborhood has come along way, I absolutely feel safe here. The locals know me and can appreciate great seafood.

Curundu, Panama


Children playing next to Peach Fuzz International

Tiffany: I love supporting Black business. Travelers who visit, say,” you can’t visit Panama without stopping by to taste Danny’s seafood”. The food was delicious. My favorite was the pantacones stuffed with shrimp and of course, the fish was fried to perfection.


Fried Fishย  & Plantains

Have you ever tried a layover? Did you stay at the airport or were you able to explore the city?




  1. I love travel posts! I often feel like I was there after reading them. You gave a good description of what the people were like. Enjoyed the bit about natural hair, as I am an advocate of it. Good share!

  2. Amazing post! I felt as though I was there on the trip as well. My family is from Panama and I would love to visit. Thank you for this and all of the pictures๐Ÿ˜

    • That is so cool! Have you ever visited Panama. If not, hope you have the opportunity to visit soon. It would certainly be fun to visit a country with a Panamanian to see sites that are not commonly seen by tourist.

  3. It looks like a beautiful place with beautiful people. Natural hair definitely makes a statement, even here in the States in some places. It’s such a shame that straight hair is seen as professional but the hair that naturally grows from your scalp is somehow unprofessional!

  4. If my layover is in a great place like Panama I certainly wouldn’t mind either! When I can’t see a way around a layover when traveling, I try to select a city that would be fun to tour.

  5. What a great idea! We have a 10 hour layover in Miami this summer and are wondering what we should do. We will have our 3 small children with us, so we won’t try to cram too much in…but it’s definitely enough time for us to get out and explore!

    • I havent been to Miami in a very long time but I hear they have a cool arts district and the beach (getting hands and feet wet) would be great options. Have fun on your upcoming trip ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Way to make the most of your short time there! I’ve booked long layovers intentionally a couple of times. The first time, I spent 17 hours in Amsterdam on my way home from Poland and we got to do a canal cruise. Another time, I had 6 hours in Las Vegas so I spent it wandering the Strip.

  7. Wow so wonderful to know your hair sent a powerful message.
    Loved your travelogue and snippets from the life over there. I love reading these personal stories.

    • I know most travel blogs write about to do list but I enjoy writing more personal stories, after all I want you to feel as if you are there with me. Thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m definitely a fan of layovers. Like you said, it’s like a vacation inside a vacation. I had no idea that some airports offered layover tours though! I need to check that out.

  9. It looks like you really made the most of your layover and made lots of new friends. My husband and I try to schedule layovers or stopovers as well. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to see another city and decide if it’s someplace you would like to come back to.

    • Michelle that is a great idea and didn’t think of that but it is a great way to see if you want to explore on a longer vacation ๐Ÿ™‚ What cities have you been able to explore while on a layover ?

  10. I love that conversation that you had at the currency exchange. It makes me sad that woman’s niece didn’t like her hair- the forum she’s going to create will inspire so many young girls! I would love to check out Panama City- it seems like SUCH a genuine, lovely place!

    • Hey Anya, I was grateful for the dialogue. Yes it sad about her niece. I think as parents it is super important to empower our young women and let them know they are beautiful on both the outside and in.

  11. We have never had a layover that long that we would be able to explore the city. But it is something we have been talking about trying lately. Funny that I came across this post :). Danny’s seafood looks awesome and a definite must have when visiting. I would also want to see the canal when I visit Panama.

    • It always happens like that, you talk about something and then you start hearing or seeing that very thing. The food was delicious and I’m glad I could partake. I highly encourage exploring during a long layover ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Looks like you really used your short time well!! I’ve never tried using an extended layover before.. maybe I’ll have to do that on my next trip! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. I’m always nervous to leave the airport during layovers shorter than 12hrs for fear I won’t get back through customs. I’ll definitely try this on my next long layover shorter than that. You had a great time!

  14. Great post! I love the part about the woman at the airport and the hair- its true that you should embrace who you are!

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