Panama City Panama Skyline
Diverse in so many ways, Panama City Panama is a vibrant
and thriving Latin American capital city. This isn't
the kind of city you spend a day in just because your
flight takes you here. The Panama
City attractions will do more than enough to keep
you happily occupied, and the city's proximity to
so many nearby destinations of interest is surely a bonus.
Founded in 1519, Panama City offers plenty of insight
into Panama's storied history,
but you might be surprised to also find a very modern
feel here. Pushing its way to the top among Latin
American financial hubs, Panama City is seeing a boom
in construction, and renovations to its historic sectors
are aimed at meeting the city's fast-growing tourist
demands. Rich in culture and waiting to be explored,
Panama City is brimming with things to do. It makes
for a great base for any Panama vacation, and whatever
your budget, the Panama
City hotels have you covered.
A Spanish governor by the name of Pedro Arias de ávila,
is credited with the founding of Panama City, which as
mentioned, occurred in the year 1519. As the Spanish
"exported" vast amounts of gold out of Peru
and their other New World settlements, Panama City became
a major Spanish center of affairs. It was from Panama
City that the riches would be arranged for their trip
along the King's Highway (Camino Real). They
would continue from there to the Caribbean-bound Panama
isthmus. As you might imagine, Panama City became
the target of many an invader, such as the pirates that
were known to troll the Caribbean.
In the year of 1671, a Welsh buccaneer by the name of
Henry Morgan raided the well-to-do city, leaving behind
a destructive fire and ruins. If you are interested
in adding a few Panama City tours, you might choose to
visit these stone ruins in Old Panama (Panama Viejo).
They are just 5 miles from the current location of Panama
City, which was established by the Spanish in 1673.
Fortifications were made at the city's new site,
which proved successful in fending off future assaults.
Known today as the Casco Viejo (Old Quarter), the then-new
Spanish settlement is understandably a tourist favorite,
offering so many vestiges to colonial times. Deemed
a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Casco Viejo has seen investments
lead to a most just revitalization.
In the 19th century, Spain began to lose its stronghold
in the New World. Panama would declare it's
independence from Spain in 1821, and Panama City would see a brief period where
it was of little importance. Things started to change
after gold was found in California in the mid 1800"s. Instead of risking their caravans
to Native American tribes in the West, American gold miners
chose to sail to Panama City, where they could take the
newly completed Panama Railroad to the Pacific.
From there, it was back on the boat and bound for California.
Panama City would officially become the country's
capital on November 2, 1903, freeing themselves from the
hold of Columbia. Not long after in 1914, the Panama
Canal was finished, helping to make Panama City the
modern center of trade that it is. Now Central America's
wealthiest city, it surely seems that Panama City is going
nowhere but up. Found on the Pacific Coast, the
skyscrapers that line the Panama Bay here provide a healthy
Comparisons to Miami and Rio
de Janeiro help to make a trip to Panama City Panama
all the more alluring, and when you are not enjoying its
attractions by day, you can take pleasure in its dining and nightlife options by night. If you like shopping,
you might pick up some handcrafted items at the Mercado
Nacional de Artesanías, which is found in Panama
Viejo, or peruse the nice array of shops on Vía
EspaÑa, which is a prime shopping avenue.
Whether you are in the mood for a farmers' market
or a modern mall, you can find it among the Panama City
attractions. During your Panama City vacation, you
can always head to the Parque Natural Metropolitano (Metropolitan
Park), which is the world's only protected tropical
forest found within city limits. Hiking among the
trails here is sure to offer a nice diversion to city
life, and the park abounds with birds and other animal
species. For a real treat, you might get on the
park's crane for views from the forest canopy.
You can arrange for a boat or land tour of the Panama
Canal in Panama City, and to learn more about it, a visit
to one of the most notable Panama City attractions is
in order. The Museo del Canal Interoceánico
de Panama (Museum of the Panama Canal), is found at Plaza
Independencia, and is arguably the best Panama City museum,
which is saying a lot.
Cycling, rollerblading or just walking the palm-lined Causeway in Panama City Panama is a joy. It follows along the Pacific coast, just at the entrance of the Panama Canal. You can rent bikes or skates here and spend a few hours wandering about. Many a Panama City vacation sees a side trip to one of the country's easy to reach island destinations. You can hop on a ferry to get to Taboga Island, or hop on an airplane for the 15-minute flight to Contadora Island. Trips to the farther off San Blas Islands are always a recommendation, and since Panama is relatively small, getting from Panama City to the more isolated region of Bocas del Toro is fairly easy. A few days on the beaches here, and you are bound to never want to go home. It's hard to sum up Panama City in just a handful of paragraphs, but suffice it to say it won't let you down. The Panama City attractions are more than enough to fill a week long Panama City vacation, so you might decide to stay here for a bit to see all that this proud city has to offer.