The capital of the Central American country of Panama, Panama City is a dynamic and attractive city, rapidly gaining a reputation as a great vacation destination. Thanks to its famous canal, it has long been the center of one of the world's largest trade routes. As such, it is home to many international and American expatriates, who've come to do business. In recent years, the number of expatriates has grown, as artists and vacationers begin to learn about Panama City's attractions, nearby beaches, and cosmopolitan community. Today, there are many cafes, nightclubs, and restaurants catering to the city's international crowd, as well as numerous historic sites within the city center.
Panama City is a surprisingly lovely metropolis, artfully blending old and new. The oldest district of Panama City, known as the Casco Viejo neighborhood, is considered one of the most beautiful and well-preserved Spanish settlements in the New World. In fact, it has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Panama City is also a great beach destination, boasting easy access to truly unique pieces of shore. Overlooking the famous canal, Panama City is close to the Pacific Ocean. Beyond the beach, Panama's many rainforests and tropical ecosystems can also be visited in an easy day trip from the capital.
When in Panama City, be sure to check out the following sights:
-Plaza Mayor: Located in the Casco Viejo neighborhood, Panama City's central square is a mix of Spanish colonial architecture and French design.
-Panama Viejo: Tour the ruins of the original 16th century Spanish settlement in Panama, destroyed by pirates in the 17th century.
-Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama: This interesting museum outlines the history of the Panama isthmus and its famous canal.
-Las Bovedas: Spend an afternoon strolling along this promenade, which borders the sea wall and offers great views of Panama City.
-Panama Canal: Come to the edge of the famous Panama Canal to watch giant boats pass from one ocean to the other.
-Museo Antropologico Reina Torres de Arauz: This interesting national anthropology museum displays artifacts from Panama's early tribes.
Enjoy a trip to Panama City in your own spacious vacation rental. Whether you are looking for a condo or luxury apartment in the center of town or prefer a multiple bedroom villa, there are many options in Panama City. Just outside the city center, you can also find a beach house with ocean views.
My wife and I stayed in this wonderful studio apartment for two weeks in May/June 2015. The apartment was very clean, comfortable, quiet, and had all the comforts of home. The kitchen was fully-functional with a 6-burner stove. The bathroom was fully-functional with an excellent shower. The air conditioner, clothes washer/dryer, wifi, and cable television worked perfectly well. It was very advantageous to have these comforts. We cooked quite a few meals in the apartment which amounted to a significant savings.
The immediate neighborhood in Casco Viejo was very safe, as there are many government offices and buildings in the area that are protected by the police. Also, a police station is less than two blocks away. There is an excellent, modern grocery store (called Rey) right around the corner, as well several older grocery stores a short walk away. There are also plenty of quality restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs in Casco Viejo. This is a very trendy and popular area in Panama City.
Transportation is not a problem in Casco Viejo. We never had to wait more than 1 minute for a taxi. Please note that most taxi rides are very inexpensive. However, you should ask around to make sure that some taxi drivers are not trying to overcharge you. We also took local buses, which was easy to do (note - be sure to get a bus card, as it is the only way to ride the public buses).
Now for the best part - our hosts, Rudy and Patty. These two individuals are the best hosts you could ever hope for. They were extremely helpful and accommodating in every way possible. Whenever we called or e-mailed, they responded immediately. Here's a tip for you - Be sure to take advantage of Rudy's tours. I would HIGHLY advise...
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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