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Panama City Travel Guide

  • Photo: The Visual Explorer / Shutterstock
  • Photo: Noraluca013 / shutterstock
  • Photo: Dean Fueroghne Photo / shutterstock
  • Photo: Cienpies Design / shutterstock

Plan Your Panama City Vacation

Founded nearly five centuries ago, Panama city is steeped in history, yet much of it is remarkably modern. The baroque facades of the city's old quarter appear frozen in time, while the area around Punta Paitilla (Paitilla Point) is positively vaulting into the 21st century, with gleaming skyscrapers towering over the waterfront.

Top Reasons To Go

  1. The Panama Canal. Fifty miles long, the interoceanic canal is literally Panama's biggest attraction. There are half a dozen spots in or near the capital from which to admire it. The Calzada de Amador, the Balboa Yacht Club, and the visitor center at Miraflores Locks all offer impressive vistas of the "big ditch."
  2. Casco Viejo. The balconies, brick streets, and quiet plazas of the historic Casco Viejo have a European air, and the neighborhood's ancient churches and monasteries stand as testimony to the country's rich colonial history. Though much of it is dilapidated, the neighborhood has some of the city's nicest restaurants and bars.
  3. Calzada de Amador Stretching 3 km (2 miles) into the Pacific to connect three islands to the mainland, the Amador Causeway has panoramic views of the city's skyline, the canal's Pacific entrance, and the Bay of Panama, as well as a good selection of restaurants and bars—all of them cooled by ocean breezes.
  4. Day Trips. Panama City is close to some of the most accessible rain forests in the world; jungle trails are a short drive from most hotels. In addition to boat trips on the Panama Canal or wildlife watching on Gatún Lake, you can visit an Emberá Indian village; go white-water rafting, fishing, kayaking, or hiking through the jungle; ferry out to the island of Isla Contadora, or Isla Taboga; or visit the Caribbean fortresses of Portobelo, where the history is complemented by beaches and coral reefs.

When To Go

When to Go

Unlike the rest of the country, Panama City hardly has a low season, because the bulk of its visitors are business travelers. Most tourists head h...

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