Occasional Traveler

A collection of my thoughts and photos on travel.

Attractions in Panama City

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In the tentative itinerary for the 8-day Panama trip, we will start and finish in Panama City. There are three main attractions that I’m planning on visiting.  In addition to these three, we’re also going to dine on Amador Causeway, hike up Ancon Hill for a great view of the city, and shop Centro Municipal de Artesania Panamenas for souvenirs!

If we had more time, I would also want to visit Parque Natural Metropolitano (it’s a must-see if you won’t have a chance to visit any other regional parks) but we’ll have plenty of opportunities to hike and see wildlife in Boquete!

Casco Viejo

“Casco Viejo” translates to “old quarter” and refers to the historic center of Panama City.  Casco Viejo is a 38-block area is full of history around every corner, with sites such as the Golden Alter of Iglesia San Jose and the Canal Museum. Good views of Amador Causeway the Bridge of the Americas, and the Panama City skyline can be seen.

While the area itself is safe, the neighborhoods that you pass to get into the area are not as safe and taking a taxi is recommended.   My plan is for us to take a taxi in one morning and just do a self-guided tour around the area (~1.5 hours).

Sources: Panamainfo.com, Frommers.com (Casco Viejo walking tour)

Miraflores Locks

Probably one of the most visited sites in Panama City, Miraflores Locks is one of the three locks of the Panama Canal.  The Miraflores Locks visitor center has 4 floors, with a restaurant on the 3rd floor.  I’ve read that the food isn’t extraordinary (yet a little pricey) but the views are!  I’m planning on visiting in the morning and having lunch at the restaurant in the center (total ~2.5-3 hours).

Open daily 9am-5pm, $8 for adults (foreigners).
Restaurant open daily 12pm-11pm.

Sources: Panama Canal Authority (official website)

Panama Viejo

You’ve probably figured out that this translates to “old Panama.”  Panama Viejo is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the americas, founded in 1519 by conquistaor Pedrarias Davila.  It was the capital of the country until 1671 when the city was attacked and a fire destroyed the city.

Frommers.com recommends starting at the Panama Viejo Visitor’s Center & Museum (with information both in English and Spanish) and then walking to the Cathedral Tower. Word is, tour buses come in the morning, so it’s best to visit in the afternoon to avoid those crowds!

My plan is to visit for ~2 hours after lunch.  It’s a 4-mile, $2 taxi ride from downtown.

Open Tu-Su 9am-5pm, $6 adults (includes cost of Cathedral Tower).

Sources: Wikipedia, Frommers.com, Patronato Panama Viejo (official website – Spanish)


Written by Jessica

June 23, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Posted in Panama, travel

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. i’m living vicariously through you. i can’t wait to find a job so i can start planning trips too 😦


    June 23, 2009 at 4:08 PM

    • the panama trip i’m able to plan because it’s a family vacation (parents paying!). for boston, my parents are funding transportation & hotel since my sister and i don’t get to see each other much!

      even with a job, i can’t pay for my own vacations…i’ve got all this debt to pay off!


      June 23, 2009 at 4:13 PM

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