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The City

Panama City is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 880.00 inhabitants. The city has a dense skyline of mostly high-rise buildings and it is surrounded by a large belt of tropical rainforest. Panama Viejo is the remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of the country. It is located in the suburbs of the modern city. Casco Viejo, built and settled in 1671 after the destruction of Panama Viejo by the pirate Henry Morgan was made to protect its settlers against future pirate attacks and is located right next to the ocean and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. The Panama Canal is both an engineering marvel and one of the most significant waterways on the planet.

What to do in Panama City

In Panama City itself, it is possible to hike up to the highest part of the City, Cerro Ancon, 199 meters above sea level, to have a view of both the canal area and Casco Viejo. Casco Viejo is also definitely worth a visit: both in daytime, to see all the colonial buildings like mansions and churches sometimes converted into coffee shops, restaurants and galleries, as at nighttime when salsa dancing, listening to live music and having a drink at the roof top of a building are possible options to spend your time. At the fish market, that is located adjacent to Casco Viejo, you can see all the produce that is fished in front of Panama City and also try a “ceviche”, a seafood dish made from fresh raw fish marinated in lemon and spiced with chili peppers. Also, visit the Miraflores Locks, 15 minutes away from Panama City, to see a huge ship nudge its way through the narrow canal with vast tracts of virgin jungle on both sides, it is truly an unforgettable sight! Another unforgettable trip can be made to an Embera Indigenous Village where you will arrive by a boat trip that sails up the Chagres River and facilitate your learning about the Embera culture, their crafts, homes and food. From Panama City you can also visit the San Blas Islands, located 3 hours away from the city, on the Caribbean Coast. Kuna Yala, the indigenous name for this region is a Comarca (which means that it is an indigenous reservation that is semi-autonomous from the national government) and the Kunas are very proud of their culture that still stands strong despite modern developments in the rest of the country.

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