Discover the many highlights of Panama City! Panama City has much more to discover than just the Panama Canal. The city has undergone an enormous facelift and has grown into the financial center of Central America. Its skyline reminds you a little bit of Hong Kong, but here flashy skyscrapers are combined with the charm of the ‘Casco Viejo’, the old town of Panama City. Of course a visit to the Canal is a must-do in Panama, but there’s much more to see and do.
Panama City has a lot to offer its visitors. The city is surrounded by jungle and the beach, making it a metropole bordering lush rainforest. The skyscrapers in the new part of the city are a great contrast to the colonial charm of Casco Viejo, the old city centre that is nowadays registered as UNESCO World Heritage.
When walking around Casco Viejo you will see a mix of architectural styles that reflect the cultural diversity of the city throughout the centuries. You will find beautiful buildings in Art Deco or French colonial style. The district has recently undergone a metamorphosis and is turning into the cultural centre of the city.
Your hotel is located in Casco Viejo as well. From your hotel, you can easily explore the neighbourhood on foot. Visit the Metropolitana Cathedral, the National Theatre and the Church of La Merced or relax on one of the many terraces.
Almost every visitor to Panama City visits the Canal, but is till an impressive sight. You can also climb the Cerro Ancon, for a beautiful view of the city and the Canal. Near Casco Viejo you also find Panama’s ‘city park’, a great little jungle in the city you explore via trails and paths.
A bit further from the city, there’s the National Park Soberania. It has trails for birdwatchers, a botanical garden and a zoo and a visit is highly recommended. For those who have more time to spend, you can also stay here. See our ‘optional additions’ for more information.
We had never traveled to Central America before, so we were a bit nervous about the language barrier. But there was no need, because at all of our hotels they spoke great English, so that was great!
Panama City was our first stop. We stayed in a great central hotel with spacious clean rooms, from where we got to explore the beautiful city.
Our stay in Panama City was short, but interesting. Visiting Casco Viejo and the Miraflores locks was particularly nice. We also went to see Panama Viejo with its ruins. We also observed a bit of everyday life in the city, which was really nice and authentic. Also experienced tropical rain of one and a half hours. During that rain, I had a nice conversation with a lady who spoke excellent English. The flight home went smoothly. We really enjoyed our trip and the destinations we visited.
Panama is a beautiful, green, country with a pleasant temperature. Every day we had a few rain showers, but there was always sun afterwards. The trip went well. Upon arrival at Tocumen airport we were picked up by taxi and brought to ‘The Balboa Inn’. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts Mieke and Bill and taken to our rooms. During our trip we would like to have spent a few more nights in ‘The Balboa Inn’. The hotel is an ideal location in a quiet district of Panama City. Arranging local transport for tours was also really easy.
I enjoyed climbing the Cerro Alcon. This point is 200 m high and is therefore the highest point in Panama City. Along the way we saw several birds and also a sloth. Once upstairs you have a wonderful view of both the new city, Casco Viejo and the canal. All-in-1!