Panama City Destination Guide


Why Panama City, Panama

The coastline with blinding blue waters and glittering skyscrapers remind us of Miami, although many make the funny remark that more English is heard in Panama. Panama City is dynamic and culturally diverse, vintage and sophisticated. Another plus Panama City has is the metro system, the first one in Central America, so you can go about traversing the city with ease, even beating traffic. The historic center has been renovated and a huge extension of the canal has just been completed.

Panama City Travel Directory

Panama City Information

10 Reasons to Visit Panama City

1) Panama Canal

The canal is one of the best shortcuts in the world, it crosses the continental divide, uniting the Atlantic and the Pacific. It has a visitors center that offers several viewing platforms and museums that explain how it was built and expanded.

You can book a short tour through the locks. Another fun activity is to navigate in the Gatun Lake on a boat or kayak to see how cruises, vessels, container ships or even submarines, cross the Panama Canal.


2) The ruins of Panama Viejo (Old Panama)

Founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila, the city of Panamá was the first European settlement along the Pacific. For 150 years, it flourished as Spain exported Peruvian gold and silver to Europe via Panama.

In 1671, captain Henry Morgan sacked the city so it was decided to relocate it to the present-day Casco Viejo. These ruins are part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The site is an exceptional testimony of colonial town planning.


3) Casco Antiguo (Old Quarters)

Known as Casco Antiguo or San Felipe, it is the historic district of Panama City and part of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It was built on a peninsula protruding into the Pacific Ocean.

Completed and settled in 1673, it was built following the near-total destruction of the original Panamá city (Panamá Viejo) in 1671, when the latter was attacked by privateers. Today, it's an artsy neighborhood, packed with shops, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and a bustling nightlife.


4) Biomuseum

It is a building designed by the world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, a contemporary sculptor. The venue stands out for its notorious vitality, color, and luminosity. The Biomuseum is a powerful combination of science, art, and design. It is the only Frank Gehry building built in Latin America.

5) Restaurants

Panama's privileged geographic location has made us a melting pot of different cultures. The gastronomy of Panama reflects this beautiful and diverse heritage. In our restaurants you can taste some of the best cuisine in Central America.

Experiment with exotic Far Eastern dishes, dine in the finest European restaurants, or try our delicious seafood and local dishes.


6) Hotels

The hotel industry in Panama is growing fast compared with other destinations in the region. From large chains to boutique hotels, the alternatives multiply and consolidate an offer focused on providing a unique experience to travelers.

7) Biodiversity in Panama City

Come and visit the only wildlife shelter in the city. The Metropolitan Natural Park is the most adjacent national park to Panama City; this tropical forest is home to a plethora of flora and fauna, including sloths and monkeys.

Explore the park with your knowledgeable guide and learn about this most unique place full of meandering trails; visit also its environmental education center. From the top of Cerro Mono Titi you can see a wonderful panoramic view of the the city, the canal, the port of Balboa, and the neighboring Parque Nacional Camino de Cruces.


8) Golf in Panama city

Acclaimed golf course designers such as Jack Nicklaus, Jeff Meyers, Randall Thompson, George Fazio, Perry Dye, Ron Garl, and Michael Poellot have designed dreamy courses in Panama. The warm climate and the spectacular geography have been the inspiration of these designers.

Panama has several options of golf courses and among the most sought after are those especially in the proximity of fine hotels and idyllic beaches, which is where most participants stay.


9) Economy

For the last 30 years Panama has developed as the largest international banking center in Latin America. The infrastructure in Panama City is the best in the region and enjoys a safe, stable, environment. Our country uses the U.S. dollar as its currency, meaning no exchange rate risk for dollar holders. The standard of living is comfortable, even reaching luxury standards in some instances.

10) Safety

Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America for tourists. Crime rate is very low, which means you won’t have to be constantly on your guard for pickpockets.