Dec 21

The essential Panama City, Panama

Panama Main


A city steeped in history and cosmopolitan charm, this ever-expanding skyline, hub of the Americas and Miami of the South offers much to explore for the business and leisure traveler.


Whether one is seeking Panama City as a destination or a stopover due to its well connected hub for Latin America transit and beyond, the city is a rewarding spot for short and long term tourism. Here one will be impressed by the ongoing renovations of the historic old city, the glamorous upscale skyscrapers and the pedestrian friendly parks, seawalks and massive infrastructure along the Panama canal.


Panama Canal: Miraflores Locks

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The focal point of Panama’s modern history and success hinges upon this very famous traffic point. The Miraflores Locks is a spot well suited for visitors because it has a great observation deck coupled with being quite accessible from the city.  The entrance fee is 5 dollars for visitors, 8 dollars to have access to some displays and educational resources. A good visitors center and gift shop also provide nice things to explore.


Ancon Hill

In addition to all the urban expansion and splendid cityscapes, this rustic retreat is a scenic park that occupies a major hill. It is the best and highest elevated panoramas of the town and it is a great spot for hiking and seeing native animals who live here. Also Mi Pueblitos Museum is a local curiosity on the slopes of the hill worth exploring showcasing the various ethnicities of the country.


Panama Viejo

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These are the ruins of the more ancient site of Spaniard colonization. It was once the site of great commerce, but historical conflict and a sacking have left it in the ruins one beholds today. It sits in the suburbs of the modern city and it is the single oldest colonial establishment on the Pacific coast of the Americas. It is the site of ongoing historic education and research about the earliest precious metals industry and processing in the new world.


Casco Viejo

This is the historic part of town, here you will find many colonial style buildings, including government centers cathedrals and museums It is also the site of culture with the national theatre, exhibitions and public displays always going on in the open squares. It is the location of some of the best hotels and restaurants in the city.


Amador Causeway

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This bridge and causeway connects three islands at the entrance of the canal to the city. It is a popular and panoramic spot from which to view the city and the famed Puente de las Americas. It is a very popular spot for locals and tourists to stroll, exercise and cycle especially on the weekends. It connects well to ferries and other transit services.



This is a self-described exclusive sector of Panama City on a peninsula facing the Pacific. The area is noted for its amazing towers which often arrive to 70 stories in height. These are lofty hotels, exclusive apartments and designer studios. There are around fifty-five towers and the streets below are a labyrinth of gourmet shops, attractive and high end shopping for all sorts of brands and labels.


La Central

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This is a pedestrian only area of downtown Panama City that is known for its bargain shopping variety. It is a crowded and bustling place where one can find furniture stores, fabric stores, jewelry shops, pawnshops, clothing stores, bargain department stores and electronics stores. Hang on to your wallet as it is a busy and outdoor place, but it can be a place for good treasure hunting.


Las Bovedas

This public attraction is formed from the arched chambers in the wall on the eastern side of Plaza Francia. Originally part of the city’s defense system it evolved to serve a variety of purposes but today serves as a place for good restaurants and drinks in addition to many artistic displays year-round.


Metro Mall

Panama is a shopping Mecca and its newest attraction takes the form of Metro Mall. It features 280 stores, 40 restaurants, 10 movie theaters and the majority of important banks, pharmacies and supermarkets. It is only 10 minutes away from Tocumen International Airport and offers “from-to aiport” free transportation.


Plaza de Independencia

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The site of Panama’s declaration of Independence from Colombia just over a century ago this is one of the most idyllic spots in the Casco Viejo area. It is full of traditional colonial buildings, the cathedral and an octagonal square and park, which makes for a great spot to sit and watch the crowds or take in the scenic surroundings.



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  1. Bruce M

    I couldn’t get access to the slide show!

    1. voyageur

      Hi Bruce, I’ve reworked the article, apologies descriptions and photos now visible.

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