Fodor's Expert Review Plaza Herrera

Casco Viejo Plaza/Square

This large plaza a block off Avenida Central is surrounded by some lovely old buildings, several of which have been renovated or are in the process of renovation. The largest building on the square is home to the stylish American Trade Hotel, which has a lobby bar, restaurant, and jazz club, as well as outdoor dining and imbibing on the square some evenings. At the center of the plaza is a statue of local hero General Tomás Herrera, looking rather regal on horseback. Herrera fought in South America's wars for independence from Spain and later led Panama's first attempt to gain independence from Colombia, in 1840. Half a block west of it stands the last remaining chunk of the ancient wall that once enclosed Casco Viejo, called the Baluarte de la Mano de Tigre (Tiger's Hand Bulwark), beyond which the neighborhood grows somewhat sketchy. A company called Fortaleza Tours, which operates out of the American Trade Hotel, offers walking tours through the poorer blocks where gangs once ruled... READ MORE

This large plaza a block off Avenida Central is surrounded by some lovely old buildings, several of which have been renovated or are in the process of renovation. The largest building on the square is home to the stylish American Trade Hotel, which has a lobby bar, restaurant, and jazz club, as well as outdoor dining and imbibing on the square some evenings. At the center of the plaza is a statue of local hero General Tomás Herrera, looking rather regal on horseback. Herrera fought in South America's wars for independence from Spain and later led Panama's first attempt to gain independence from Colombia, in 1840. Half a block west of it stands the last remaining chunk of the ancient wall that once enclosed Casco Viejo, called the Baluarte de la Mano de Tigre (Tiger's Hand Bulwark), beyond which the neighborhood grows somewhat sketchy. A company called Fortaleza Tours, which operates out of the American Trade Hotel, offers walking tours through the poorer blocks where gangs once ruled the streets; the fact that former gang members lead the tours lends even more authenticity to the experience.

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Plaza/Square

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Av. A and Calle 9
Panama

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