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Panama City Travel Guide


Most of the city is safe for walking, even at night, especially El Cangrejo, the Área Bancária, and Paitilla, where the bulk of the city's hotels and restaurants are located. The Casco Viejo and Avenida Central pedestrian mall are safe by day, but after dark don't wander west of Calle 10, or Plaza Herrera. Even during the day you should leave most valuables and money in your hotel safe. At night you should travel to and from the Casco Viejo only by taxi or rental car, but by day walking there from Plaza Cinco de Mayo on Avenida Central is fine. You don't need a map or a Geiger counter to realize you've headed into a bad neighborhood, though the Casco Viejo looks more dangerous than it is. If you're on foot and feel any apprehension about where you've ended up, flag down the first taxi, even if it has another passenger in it, and go someplace you know is safe. Between 11 am and 3 pm, the heat is usually oppressive, so serious strolling should be limited to the morning and evening hours. Areas that should be avoided at all hours are El Chorrillo and Santa Ana, just west of the Casco Viejo; the southwestern half of Caledonia, including the Avenida Balboa west of the Balboa Monument; and Curundú, just to the west of Caledonia.

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