The busy waterfront boulevard Avenida Balboa and the linear park running alongside it are lined with palm trees and graced with great views of the Bay of Panama and Casco Viejo. The sidewalk that runs along the bay and the park wedged between the avenue lanes is a popular strolling and jogging route. To the west of the Miramar towers and the Yacht Club is a small park with a monument to Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, who, after trudging through the rain forests of the Darién in 1501, became the first European to set eyes on the Pacific Ocean. That gleaming white Monumento a Balboa is topped by a steel sculpture of the conquistador gazing out at the Pacific. The statue was a gift to the Panamanian people from Spain's King Alfonso XIII in 1924. Walking is best to the east of the Monumento, since it passes some rough neighborhoods to the west—although the newer area near the fish market and entrance to Casco Viejo has become popular for walking, relaxing, and outdoor exercising (there's an
open-air workout area). Unfortunately, a stroll along the waterfront may be punctuated by wiffs of Panama City's raw sewage, which pours into the bay from a series of pipes just off the Cinta Costera, and is especially noxious at low tide. The government is building the city's long-overdue sewage system, but it will take years to complete.