Panama Canal isn’t on this list because it’s widely considered quite underwhelming, but we think you should roadtrip and drive over the canal! Here are five other things you can’t miss!
1. Walk around in Casco Viejo
If your hotel isn’t already located in Casco Viejo, you must spend a day walking around and discover the beauty of the old Spanish colonial region. Now a UNESCO Heritage Site, this area was built in 1671. Back then, it was an ancient, colorful residential district that represented the Spanish Colonial and Canal-era of Panamanian history. There’s the fish marketwhere you can enjoy a fresh lunch, and lots of street art newly painted on ruined walls. Nightlife and boutique hotels are transformig Casco Viejo with modern twists on the classics.
2. Ruins in Panama Viejo
Panama Viejo is a must-see if you’re a fan of archeology. Today, you’ll see a group of ruins that were left after an attack by Henry Morgan, an English pirate in 1671. But Panama Viejo was first established in 1519 by the Spanish, and the first city on the West coast of the Americas where the Spanish conquered in Latin America.
Best photo spots are in this area where you can catch certain angles that capture both the historic ruins against today’s modern skyline of Panama City.
3. Oh, the Amador Causeway!
A gorgeous area built on rocks excavated from the Panama Canal. Here, you’ll gravitate toward the scenic views of Panama City, along with many yachts, boats and ships going under the Bridge of the Americas. Did you know that’s the only bridge connecting North and South America?
There are tons of boutiques, restaurants and bars on the Causeway. If the weather is nice, we highly recommend biking through the area, and you can rent them for $5-10/hour.
While you’re on the Amador Causeway, don’t miss Frank Gehry Biodiverity Museum. True to Frank Gehry’s signature, the architecture and design of the building is a masterpiece on its own. This is Gehry’s first design for Latin America, it also contains eight exhibitions that mainly revolve around the idea of Panama’s imperative ecology. Back in 2004, Gehry said he would donate his design to the people of Panama, but the design of the building is also a gift to his Panamanian wife, Berta Gehry Aguilera.
5. Check out rainforest in the city at The Metropolitan Natural Park!
Panama City is the only metropolis in the world that possesses a rainforest. At the Metropolitan Natural Park, you can opt for an eco tour or a canopy crane tour. Even if going on a park tour is too “touristic” for you, then hiking up the hills will gift you with the most breathtaking panoramic views of the rainforest and the city.