Panama City's Rowdiest, Bawdiest Zone
Oct. 2, 2014, El Cangrejo, Panama: El Cangrejo is a top choice in Panama City for the expat, the entrepreneur, and the retiree.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
El Cangrejo is our top pick for an urban lifestyle in Panama. Other Panama City neighborhoods can be more affordable (the area around Via Tocumen, for example)...more luxury (Punta Pacifica)...more historic (Casco Viejo)...and more scenic (certainly if your ideal view is of the water...El Cangrejo is not oceanfront).
But no other neighborhood in the Panamanian capital has as much personality. It'd be fair to describe all Panama City as multicultural, but nowhere else is the diversity more apparent than in El Cangrejo. This region at the heart of this city is dense with restaurant options (Italian, French, Swiss, Colombian, Cuban, Lebanese, Chinese, Mexican, Argentine, and on and on), small, family-owned businesses (where the proprietors, again, hail from across the globe), and an eclectic expat community, North American, Latin American, European, and Asian, that mingles everywhere and always with their neighbor Panamanians. The expats in El Cangrejo aren't segregated or separated but fully integrated.
El Cangrejo is also Panama City's rowdiest, bawdiest zone. It could be called the city's Red Light District, though no discrete red lights are required to signal the locations of brothels or other sex-industry businesses. Prostitution is legal in Panama, and El Cangrejo is where the trade is largely focused in the country's capital. This may bother you or be just what you're in the market for. In the case of the latter, know that the Veneto Hotel and surrounding streets are a good place to hang out. If the case of the former, the Veneto and environs might be a good area to avoid.