El Cangrejo is the best neighborhood in Panama City.
El Cangrejo means “The Crab”! As the world class boxer, Roberto Duran, who lives here says, it is because of the way the roads twist around like crab claws.
And Spanish Panama Language School is located right in the very heart of El Cangrejo, which covers about 4 blocks around the school on all sides, and which expats in Panama consider the best neighborhood for convenience in the city and for about 100 international and local restaurants and bakery coffee shops.
The brand new metro-subway system has 2 of the most important stops in El Cangrejo, and Spanish Panama students may get off at either one and walk a few blocks for classes.
UBER and CABIFY is also readily available here and it may only take $2 to $3 dollars to get to and from Spanish classes from major locations.
Besides Vía Argentina Metro stop the other train stop is called El Carmen Church, or “Iglesia del Carmen” in Spanish. El Carmen Church is on Vía España near the McDonalds restaurant on Via España. From El Carmen Station, Spanish Panama Language School is a pleasant 15-minute walk, and on your way you’ll also pass by some of the best restaurants and hotels in Panama.
Keep asking, or showing your piece of paper if you don’t speak Spanish, for “Via Argentina” on the corner down from “Cabeza Einstein,” as all the locals know our location.
The Canadian and Panamanian school directors have lived in El Cangrejo for 20 years and would never live anywhere else in the Panama.
This is the best place for people from all over the world to live in Panama and to have the most successful Spanish learning experience.
El Cangrejo, besides gourmet restaurants and multiple cafés and bakeries, boasts numerous real estate agencies, apartment rentals, travel agencies, telephone companies, laptop & cellular repair shops, car rentals, internet cafés, local & boutique hotels, hostels, and casinos.
Some good places to mention are the sushi bar by the Hotel Principe lobby as well as the Vietnamese restaurant just beside it across the road from the Power Club gym. These places are less than 2 blocks from Spanish Panama, going down half a block from the Banco General on Vía Argentina.
There is also the Argentinian steak house and Macchu Pichu Peruvian restaurant right beside it across from Hotel Parador and Hotel Milan. Best Panamanian food to try is at Trapiche, a block from the school, and down the road from Trapiche is a great coffee shop hangout for expats and locals alike called Mentiritas Blancas. The Dutch ice cream GUT is on the way.
Café Los Venezolanos has Venezuelan coffee and empanadas, and from there to Spanish Panama you will find the local family park and a bunch of local restaurants and bars.
El Cangrejo is also the main hotel and nightlife district. There are about 30 hotels & 2 hostels within a few blocks of Spanish Panama Language School, a fantastic selection for students’ stay during their Spanish programs.
The biggest supermarket is open 24-7 and is called El Rey. It is right on Vía España, a 10 minute walk from Spanish Panama. It has … everything, even some hardware supplies. Gran Morrison is a tourist gift shop beside it with both Spanish and English books.
Vía España and Vía Veneton are 2 more streets to see, full packed with shopping, Panamanian hustling and bustling, and things to see. Vía Veneton, between McDonalds and the old Hotel Veneton has one of the cheapest restaurants in the area, “Jardín Vegetariano”, and it is vegetarian run by lovely Taiwanese people! Right across the University of Panama you will find another highly recommended vegetarian restaurant called “Loving Hut” with vegan dishes.
There are always new businesses coming and going in El Cangrejo so it is always interesting. The ones mentioned on this website are the most popular to our language students and also amongst the long-term survivors.
There are numerous private colleges and universities sprinkled around El Cangrejo, home to both private and public schooling.
There is a national park called “Metropolitan Park,” highly recommended for a hike as this is one of the only jungle parks found within an actual city in Latin America. The best time to go to see animals and have a cooler hike up the hill for the city & ocean view is early in the morning. This would cost only $2 or $3 using UBER from El Cangrejo. There’s an entrance fee of about $5 as well as guide service, though you have the option of asking for a map and some directions.
El Cangrejo is also one of the best places to be to connect you to anywhere in Panama City using metro, car, taxi, uber, or even bus. When traffic is heavy, check out the Metro Subway map as that may take you there much quicker and calmer. You may combine your metro train ride with a follow-up taxi ride as taxis are waiting at each metro stop.
Check out Parque Andrés Bello for a friendly family park and sometimes nightly music surprises.