Many people come to Panama City attracted by the Panama Canal. Although undoubtedly the most visited tourist site in the country, Panama City has many more treasures ready to be discovered.
If you consider yourself an urban explorer and are visiting Panama City for 5 days, we have some recommendations for places you simply cannot miss.
The 10 must-see sites in Panama City
1. Casco Viejo
2. The Canal Museum
3. Casco Antiguo’s Museums
5. The Amador Causeway
6. Cerro Ancón
7. Cinta Costera
8. Panamá La Vieja
9. The Panama Canal
10. Taboga Island
Day 1: Casco Viejo
It is possible to enjoy a full day at the Casco Viejo, home of our boutique hotel Las Clementinas. You can start the day with delicious Panamanian coffee in one of the beautiful coffee shops of Casco. Then you can take a walking tour by visiting the churches and museums of Casco, which tell the history and culture of Panama.
At noon you can take a break in our secret garden and enjoy an excellent lunch at Mahalo, our restaurant.
Then you can visit the Canal Museum, where you will know the history of this great work and all the people who participated in it. And finally you can enjoy a beautiful sunset contemplating the city, from one of the rooftops of Casco.
Photo: Juan Marin | Unsplash
Day 2: The Amador Causeway
In Panama you can enjoy many outdoor activities. One of the favorite places to go is the Amador Causeway area. A road that was created with stones and rocks extracted from the excavations of the Corte Culebra (Culebra Cut) during the construction of the Canal. It joins four small islands, Naos, Perico, Culebra and Flamenco. It is the entrance of the Pacific side to the Panama Canal and you can see the docked ships waiting for their turn to cross.
Here you can rent a bicycle and tour the entire Causeway. You can find many restaurants with local and international food. In addition, on the Naos and Culebra Islands, you can visit the Punta Culebra Marine Exhibition Center, where you can learn more about the marine species that surround the area.
To finish the afternoon you simply must visit the spectacular Biomuseum. A colorful structure, designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry, it is worthy to note that this is the only building in Latin America designed by him. This museum houses the history of our isthmus, as the emergence of it changed the world and all the biodiversity it houses.
Foto: Elsie Muñoz
Day 3: Panama La Vieja (Old Panama) and the new
During the colonial era, the first city of Panama was hit by pirates and corsairs. So after these attacks, in 1671, it had to be moved to a safer place, what we now know as the Casco Viejo.
Panama Viejo is a monumental complex and archaeological site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes a distance of 1.5 km, where you can visit the museum, take a walk through the site and ascend to the tower that serves as a viewpoint.
After immersing yourself in the history of Panama City, you can go to the most modern side, the Cinta Costera and enjoy a walk observing the imposing skyscrapers that adorn the Bay of Panama.
Day 4: The Panama Canal
A visit to Panama City is not complete unless you visit the Panama Canal. The Miraflores locks are the ones closest to the city, where the Miraflores Visitor Center has an exhibition room, restaurant, terraces and observation galleries. Here you can witness this majestic work of human ingenuity, which marked a milestone in the world’s history and commerce.
To continue with the history of the Canal, we invite you to do some urban hiking up the Ancon Hill. The protagonist of the Panamanian struggle to recover the Canal Zone. It is one of the highest points in the city and is where our flag flies. Here you can enjoy nature and if you are lucky you could even meet monkeys, toucans and sloths. And you can also have an enviable panoramic view of the city, with all its contrasts, skyscrapers, nature, the bay and Casco Viejo.
Photo: Luis Quintero | Pexels
Day 5: Taboga Island
If you want to enjoy a day at the beach without leaving the city, we recommend Isla Taboga. At only 30 minutes by ferry, you can enjoy the benefits of the Panamanian Pacific. This small island can be seen from the city and despite its size it is full of history. Here you can enjoy beach activities, such as snorkeling, hiking and much, much more.
Photo: Visit Panama
Written by Elsie Muñoz C. / Published by Paola Montilla.
She’s been a part of Las Clementinas since the restoration and is just so passionate about every nook and cranny of the property that you would think she built it with her bare hands. Having said that, it just makes sense that Paola will treat you as if you were staying at her own house. Whatever you need she will make it happen!