There is no neighborhood in Panama more eclectic, vibrant and full of fun than the Casco Viejo. It doesn’t matter if you are visiting or if you are a local. It only matters that you are willing to spend a couple of special days with a group of friends along with the legion of new friends that you will undoubtedly meet during your stay in the coolest neighborhood in Panama. That is why we suggest you to set aside at least two days to stay in Casco.
If you come from abroad, the first thing that you’ll notice in Casco will be the friendly availability of their people, always ready to join whatever activity that springs up and seems interesting enough.
If, on the other hand, you live in the city, staying for a couple of days in Casco will give you the opportunity to experience a different Panama, one without traffic jams or other urban inconveniences. We suggest you to come by taxi, Uber or Cabify and forget your car. Don´t worry, you will not die trying. We want to invite you to take a plunge into the experience of living in a walkable neighborhood. Of course, we must warn you: You might not want to return.
While you make your decision, here are some suggestions to spend two unforgettable days with friends in Casco.
If you arrive in the afternoon, we recommend you take a tour of Las Clementinas. Our building is full of history. Surely Veronica and Paola will tell you some of our best stories, but it is priceless to wander through our gardens and hidden places. Once set, it’s time to put on comfortable shoes and go for a walk with your pack. By far, Casco Viejo is the most photographed neighborhood in Panama. What better way to start your stay than with an image safari? Whether they are spaces, buildings or people, Casco gives you a huge potential to chase, trap, save and share images. Casco is a huge urban gallery. The best graffiti artists in the country have given us suggestive images all over the neighborhood.
For those who prefer contemplation to photography, the spaces, ruins and architectural constructions of Casco are beautiful, even if only to go through them. Do not miss the Mano de Tigre bastion or stroll through Las Bovedas by the sea.
The walk will surely whet your appetite. Do you fancy a beer? Back in Las Clementinas the boys at Casa Bruja are waiting for you with some of the best local craft beers and many stories to share. This brewery was established a few years ago, but already has a huge following. In their space at Las Clementinas they have ventured into gastronomy, so do not forget to try their interpretations of the local food.
If you somehow do not end up spending the whole night in Casa Bruja talking to all kinds of characters, nights have always something special to offer in Casco, whether you like the stage, art or the disco, your friends in Las Clementinas will have diverse options for you to choose from.
The morning after, maybe see the sunrise from the beach is your thing. A brisk walk can prepare you for a breakfast fit for a king, prepared by our neighbors of Papaya Planet, a beautiful bookstore/cafe that has an alternative art space on it’s second floor. You can’t miss it.
Maybe your second day is a Saturday. Check the hours at Casco Yoga. There are classes from 9 am and they usually have special workshops. Ask for Maya, founder of the studio who came to visit from Holland and decided to stay. Maya is a dear and very much loved in the neighborhood. Thanks to her extensive knowledge you can feel confident learning from her, even if it is your first time doing yoga.
For lunch, you can walk to Avenida A and Mahälo’s secret garden, with a spectacular menu designed with fresh and local products. Or maybe you’d rather visit Lesseps, the French bistro in the neighborhood. In any case, for dessert we recommend ice cream made onsite Benissimo or the Panamanian chocolate of Oro Moreno.
If you want to spend some time sharing something unique, the work of the new Panamanian designers is available in stores like Undercover Rain Boots, the women’s co-op of Vívelo, Reprosa and LUPA. Finally, there is no better way to top off your afternoon than sitting at dusk with your friends, gathered in one of the beautiful terraces of Casco, enjoying good drinks, excellent music and even better company.
Dinner plans? You have more than 80 restaurants to choose from in Casco. We recommend Dodo’s cuisine if you have vegans in the group and the carnivores do not want to suffer when eating all together. If your group has a sophisticated palate, Madrigal and OCHOYMEDIO will keep them on the edge of their seats. Don’t forget to ask for the Gin Tonic cart in OCHOYMEDIO. And if you want to continue the party, you must visit the best and most distinctive bars of the city, starting with the Belgian brewery Bier Klooster, then the very tropical rum bar Pedro Mandinga and perhaps topping the night at the Strangers Club, founded by 6 bartenders of the celebrated Employees Only in New York. Impeccable drinks and even more impeccable conversation.
The only thing missing: watch the sunrise by the sea. The perfect way to end your visit to this lively neighborhood, tailor made for passers-by in search of fabulous moments and experiences that will hardly be forgotten.