The Amazing Race in Panama City – What challenge would you design?

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Amazing Race Panama City, Panama

Amazing Race Panama City, Panama

This past Sunday, December 4th, ABC aired their Amazing Race episode in Panama City, Panama.  Four teams were left racing each other with challenges along that way where they had to face their fears.

The challenge in Panama City started by racing on the Chagres River in the middle of the night to an island inhabited by the Embera Indians.  Here they experienced Panama’s Embera culture while they got tattooed to find out their next clue.  The clue that was tattooed onto them read, “San Francisco Towers!”

All four teams, 1 by 1 then hopped back on a boat down the river back to Panama City and got into taxis where they raced to the neighborhood of San Francisco and were brought to the San Francisco Towers.  The next challenge was to walk on a tight rope line across the 2 towers at 60 stories off the ground.  Each contestant completed this challenge 1 by 1 and found the next clue, “The Rooster!”

The rooster led them to Casco Viejo to the Respado stand (Panama’s flavored ice stand) in Plaza Francia where the statue De Lesseps stands.  For this next challenge, each team decided whether or not they wanted to do the leather making sandal challenge or the Mercado Del Mariscos challenge.    The leather making challenge required a team to make from leather a sandal that fit onto a certain Panamanian man’s foot.  The challenge at the fish market had the team supply each vendor with their quota of seafood for the day.   3 out of the 4 teams went for the leather sandal making while 1 team faced the fish.  The professional snowboarding team, in first place mastered the sandal making that gave them a huge head start to the next clue which took them to Plaza Mayor, back in Casco Viejo.  The other 3 teams were neck in neck getting to Plaza Mayor right after the 1st place team move on.

The first place team actually held the disadvantage on this one.  The taxi drivers were all talking to each other through their cell phones, the first place team who got the clue wrong by heading to Balboa (the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks) instead of Panama Viejo, the 3 other teams were able to find out the correct location and beat out the 1st place team that moved them on to the next show.  It was an unfortunate loss for the 1st place team but that is part of the challenge of the game.

After watching this episode, there came to mind many places and activities in Panama we would have chosen for the contestants to compete at other than the ones that were chosen.  To name a few, heading to San Blas to have a spear fishing challenge, a mountain climb in El Valle, a sailboat race along the Canal, or heck, to try to open a bank account.!

What ideas can you come up with?  We are interested in your input!


  • mark j. says:

    I’ve gotta throw the BS flag on this one – the guys that got beat were robbed! None of the other teams figured out the correct clue and their taxi drivers took the other teams to the correct location… Does this not stink to anyone else??!

    • Justin says:

      Yeah Mark, I’m going to agree with you on this. I found myself SO frustrated that the cab drivers kept talking with each other and destroying the point of the challenge. I don’t really blame the cab drivers, they were just trying to help, but you think the production crew would have tried to prevent this ahead of time. I’m surprised the last team in got eliminated, seems like they should have been given a second chance!

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