About a month ago I had a friend coming to visit for a week in Panama. She had just spent a month in Ecuador and this would be her second time here. During her Ecuador trip she had the idea to get a tattoo to remember her time spent in Latin America. Her plan was to get the words “Vive con fuego” (Live with fire) tattooed on her side. Those are good words to live by so I supported the idea of getting this tattoo. She also wanted to get another small one that had the heartrate symbol with a cross in the middle since she is studying to be a nurse. I suggested we try out a new tattoo shop in Casco Viejo called Inksanity Tattoo Studio that I had seen recently on Facebook.

Inksanity Tattoo Studio Panama
Outside of Inksanity

Inksanity is located on the second floor of Los del Patio, near Teatro Nacional so it was easy to find since I am pretty familiar with the area. We didn’t call and make an appointment so we were hoping it would be ok to just show up. The reception area is very clean and sleek with a large balcony overlooking Casco Viejo. It’s a very neat location to have a tattoo place and I was surprised there wasn’t one in Casco Viejo already. There wasn’t anyone in the reception area when we arrived but we could here the buzzing of a tattoo needle behind the curtain so we assumed they were busy with someone at the moment.

A few minutes later a guy came out and my friend told him the tattoos that she wanted. He said that they had an appointment that would take a few hours but she could come back and get the tattoo around 5. It was around 2 when we went in so this was fine for us since I could use the wait time to show her Casco Viejo.

We stayed and talked with the guy for a few minutes before exploring Casco. From talking to him we found out his name is José and he recently opened Inksanity. But it never ceases to amaze me of how small the world has become. He is a Panamanian that grew up in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.Inksanity Mural

So after talking about Kentucky for a little bit my friend and I headed out to roam the streets of Casco. My favorite way to show friends Casco Viejo is by stopping by each bar and getting 1 beer or mixed drink; there is no better way to spice up a day of sightseeing. I think we started with a beer at Rana Dorada then walked around for a little and took pictures and looked at souvenirs. I purchased my first shot glass from Panama. It was really cool and hand painted but all the paint came off the first time I put it in my dishwasher so now I have to get another one.

When 5 came around we were a little bit drunk but my friend was ready and pumped for her two new tattoos. We headed back up to Inksanity and Jose apologized and said it would be another 45 minutes because the touch up is taking a lot longer than expected. We didn’t have anything we needed to do so the delayed time was fine. It meant we could go enjoy a few more happy hour drinks.

After a few mojitos we went back to Inksanity and waited a few minutes for the guy to finish up. The client was really happy with his tattoo and it looked great so that made us feel better about trying a new place out.

Jose’s girlfriend printed off some samples of “Vive con fuego” in different fonts and sizes until my friend decided on the one she liked. The heart rate tattoo would be hand drawn by Paulo, Inksanity’s tattoo artist, but my friend drew an example of the tattoo she had in mind and then Paulo drew the final design.

Paulo, the tattoo artist at Inksanity
Paulo, the tattoo artist at Inksanity

Paulo prepared everything very sterile and professionally, disinfected the chair and tools, new needles, etc. My friend laid down on the chair and Paulo gave her a permanent souvenir from Panama. She was happy we had a few drinks before because she said there were a couple spots that were very painful.

It took about an hour and a half to do both tattoos and they turned out so good! José and his girlfriend were very welcoming while I waited and we shared Cerveza Panamas until the tattoos were finished.

Final result of the tattoos
Final result of the tattoos

Even though I wasn’t getting a tattoo, I was happy to discover a new place in Casco Viejo to recommend to any future people wanting to get a tattoo in Panama.

Inksanity is located on Calle 3A Este and Av B on the second floor of Los del Patio, Call 6735-9374 or send a message to their Facebook page to schedule an appointment in advance.

Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 7+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!

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