Panama City: The First European Settlement On The Pacific Coast

Panama City

A modern city of high-rise buildings right next to prime rainforest, the Pacific Ocean, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and one Panama Canal.

What to See & Do

Amador Causeway. A drive/walkway over the Pacific Ocean connecting the mainland with three islands, built using rocks from the construction of the Panama Canal. Great for walking, jogging, or renting a bicycle. It has restaurants, bars, a Marine Exhibition Center, and a dock for boats to Taboga Island.

Historic Sites. Panama City was the first European settlement on the Pacific coast in the American Continent. Founded in 1519 and later invaded and destroyed by pirates in 1671, you can visit today the ruins of the old city “Panama Viejo”. In 1673 the new city was born 8 km to the west and through the years it has seen inhabitants from when Panama had ties with Spain, then Colombia, then France, and later on, the US.

Metropolitan Park. 636 acres of rainforest 15 minutes away from downtown Panama City. It has 4 nature trails, 186 bird species, 32 mammals, a lookout point to the City and Canal, a library, and a souvenir shop.

Panama Canal. Learn about the history and operations of this engineering marvel of the world as you watch huge ships passing by. The Miraflores Locks Visitor’s Center, open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, has a museum and movie theatre.


Where to Stay

By Panama standards, this city is huge with close to 2 million inhabitants. However, most visitors will stay in 3 distinctive areas: Downtown, the Old Town, and the former Canal Zone.