I spent this New Year's Eve on the social area of my condo building in Panama City on the 38th floor. My building has amazing views of the water and the city from the social area, and many of the residents gathered with their families to celebrate the new year.
At midnight, the entire skyline in a 360 degree circle was aflame with fireworks. It was more spectacular than anything that I've ever seen before. Some were far away... like the photo of the water. These fireworks were going off over the presidential palace. Other fireworks, like the one below taken between the buildings, were so close I could almost touch them.... and I could definitely smell them. After one of the close fireworks went off, I actually got a bit of fireworks debris in my eye. A few blinks and it was gone, but I've never been that close before.
The fireworks lasted for an entire hour. These photos were taken by my new British friends, Kate and Liam. It never occurred to me to take my camera to the fireworks display. I'll know better next year.
Being Westerners, Kate, Liam and I left the party at 1 a.m. to go to bed. The locals looked at us like we were loco. It didn't matter if you were 2 or 80... the party was just getting started.
When you start to plan your next New Year's Eve escape, be sure to put Panama on the short list. The fireworks alone make Panama a New Year's Eve destination hot spot.