The Best Way To Meet A Stranger On A Bus

Panamanians love to party and one of the coolest ways they do it is on a chiva. A chiva is basically a classic school bus turned into a party bus. All of the seats are removed to make space for lots of people, stripper poles are installed, and there’s a full bar. They vary in style and luxury with the traditional ones resembling Diablo Rojos with no windows to giant tour busses with fog machines and disco lights. Going on a chiva is one of those “only in Panama” experiences everyone needs to have.

I’ve been on several chiva busses and last Thursday I boarded another one. This one was sponsored by the Young Expats in Panama, which is a group that organizes parties and events for foreigners and locals in Panama. The events are a great way to meet new people since that can be difficult when moving to a new country. This is the first time they organized a chiva party bus so of course I was up for it.

The party started at 8 pm in front of Casa Nuratti in Casco Viejo and the cost was $30 and included a welcome mojito, open bar on the bus, and half off of cover at Casa Nuratti afterwords. Then at 9 pm everyone boards the bus and gets wasted.

The mix of nationalities included people from the U.S., Ireland, Panama, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and probably a few more that I can’t remember. Everyone is here for different reasons whether it be work, family, school, etc, but we all like to party and it’s cool getting to do it with people from so many backgrounds.

We drove around Avenida Balboa with the music blasting and taking advantage of the open bar, dancing, and enjoying the moment. Then we stopped at The Amador Causeway for a bathroom break and we got a good group photo:

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Around midnight the bus headed back to Casco Viejo where half the group continued the party and the rest headed home (I had work in the morning so I couldn’t stay out). My friends and I had such a great time and we met some really fun people.



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