A Visit to the Fish Market

When there is no more fish in the freezer, it’s time to go to Pedregal to buy more from the fishermen. My friend Cedo wanted to come along too, so off we went.

Pedrigal is a town just a few minutes south of the David airport. It’s not hard to get to, but we never would have found this particular market if we didn’t know someone who knew someone was was acquainted with someone at this shop. If you don’t know anyone though, you can usually find fish by looking for “Se Vende Pescado” signs. We’ve found two or three other fish shops but this one is our favorite because they always seem to have the best selection.

First though, Cedo wanted to visit the marina.

There were some really big yachts at the marina. We spoke to one man who was taking care of the farthest one in the first photo, and he said the boat was from Ft Lauderdale, FL. I expect there were more boats than usual because it’s cold up north now, and people prefer to be someplace warmer at this time of year.

After the marina, we set off for the fish market.

I like this fish market because the prices are much better than in the supermarket, and the fish is always fresh. We’ve bought fish quite a few times from the boxes as they are being unloaded from the boats, before they’ve had time to put the fish in the coolers (like the pargo in the photo). Even in the coolers, you know it was caught only hours before. You can’t count on them having anything in particular on any given day because it depends on what they catch, but we’ve always found something good. And, they’ve always been very nice to us.

Since we were driving right by my other favorite market, the fruit and vegetable market, we stopped there too.


I’ll have to do a more extensive post on this shop one day soon. We’re there probably twice a week!


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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28 Responses to A Visit to the Fish Market

  1. Robert y Helen. says:

    Hope to join you somewhere in July. What à big Nice red snapper. We like to buy also fish heads for our dogs. We boil and cut them into small pieces together with dry food. Garcias y hasta pronto si Dios quiere.


    • The dogs around here aren’t so lucky because the fish heads are mine. I love the soup!
      I hope we are here when you are. We’re going back to the US to see family in July. Details aren’t set yet but we may be gone most of the month.


  2. Hugo Ernst says:

    Was in David in December, and now counting the days till next trip. Hugo & Cynthia


  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you will know the answer, Kris, or someone else might, but here goes…being new to eating fish, I have had a lot of corvina (like sea bass I believe) in Panama. I have tried grouper, mahi mahi, tuna and wahoo in other places (I have recently just started trying different fish). When I look at the board, I recognize corvina, shrimp and conch. Can you tell me what, if any, of those fish “equate” to those listed above or are similar? Thanks! (I am allergic to shrimp but can eat lobster, so that I recognize also).


    • Yes, corniva is sea bass, really good fish! Lisa is mullet, little fish, little bones. Sierra is mackerel. I love it. Joel doesn’t like fish with little bones. Robalo I believe is snook. Pargo is red snapper. Cazón is dogfish according to google translate. I haven’t seen or tried it. Concha is conch. Camaron is shrimp. Langostino is lobster. Jugos is juice, not sure of what. Fish broth? The others I don’t know, and often there is something for sale that isn’t on the list. I think mahi mahi is durado and tuna is atun. We also had an amberjack which was great, and has the same name in Spanish.


    • Hugo Ernst says:

      Anonymous, huh, not with that beautiful face posted next to the comment!


    • Robert y Helen. says:

      Red Snapper is delicious when you fry it.


  4. John & Susan says:

    Great report Kris. Those are great prices on the Camarones! Did you buy any?
    When we visited with you, a few days later we stopped at the marina to check it out for a possible place to have a boat. Not a bad little marina. We had lunch at Stella’s and it was very reasonable and very good.

    Hi to Joel!



  5. indacampo says:

    Eric keeps walking down the road to Nieto’s the pescadora. No luck so far, Manolo our neighbor keeps buying it all for his restaurant. 😦 No fish in the freezer, I told him he’s going to have to go fishing again.


  6. Bill Moore says:

    Hi Kris. Is the fish market on the main road or a side street?


    • It’s on a side street, on a street two blocks east and parallel to the main street. We never would have found it without someone to take us there the first time. If you are in David and want to go just let me know. I’m always up for some good fish.


  7. Mike Morgan says:

    Hi Kris, Mike, form Mo. One book I am reading they talk about not speaking Spanish very well.
    They said when buying from vendors if they know your Spanish is weak, hard to get the best price.
    Do you agree? Hoping to come visit for a few weeks, to Panama, soon.


    • They always weigh the fish in front of me and give me the price posted on the sign. I don’t think Panamanians would overcharge you, but it is human nature to take advantage of an opportunity. Whoever you are and whatever language you speak, if anyone can get $100 from you for something worth $50, well…. that could happen anywhere. So, I think it’s important to know what things are supposed to cost. That is much easier to find out if you speak Spanish and can ask around.


  8. Carole says:

    Thanks for the info on the market. Can’t wait to go to David in June, counting the days. How long does it take to apply for the pensionado visa. Do you have one? Would we be able to apply while we are there for 7days in June? Do you know someone we could talk to?

    Thanks for all your stories about Panama, I love reading them.


    • Hugo Ernst says:

      Hi Carole, if you want another contact, read the following blog from a friend of ours and their experience in Jan, my wife an I met with the lawyer mentioned in this blog last December, and will be returning early 2015 to do our application. The most important thing is get started now, if you are going to be there in June, and find out what is needed, most of the documents you need, you have to bring with you to Panama, you can’t access them once there. As Kris mentioned, one of the ways to qualitify is you need to prove that you have a income, so you don’t become a burden on the panamian government. $1000 a month social security, for single or $1250 for a couple, is one of the easiest ways. But there are other ways.



  9. The pensionado visa is a process that takes quite a few months and you need a lawyer. A google search will bring up more info.
    I won’t qualify until I get my social security in July.
    You can ask around for recommendations for lawyers. Lawyers aren’t regulated like they are in the US so choose carefully. This is ours –
    Lic. Marcos Kraemer
    Kraemer & Kraemer – Legal Consulting Group
    Email: abogado.kraemer@hotmail.com


  10. Allison says:

    Okay, I am just now seeing that I was who was Anonymous haha! What the heck? Thanks for the compliment, Hugo (we simply must meet someday!) and for giving out the link to my blog. We are at two month mark with temporary Visa and Heidi (attorney) said it could be two to four before we hear about it going permanent. No more questions asked of us or things to do extra, so here’s hoping no word from them means they are busy processing it Panamanian style (manana).


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