We were excited to finally arrive in Panama City and start our 6 week adventure. I was especially excited to be at sea level again after our time in Bolivia. Panama City is a very cosmopolitan city with a rich history. We stayed in the financial district and the view of the skyline from our hotel room was impressive.
Our hotel wasn’t too far from Casco Viejo (old quarter) and we decided to walk along the promenade instead of taking a taxi, the promenade offered great views of the city. Casco Viejo was built after the original Panama City (Panama Viejo) was attacked by pirates and destroyed in 1671. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We spent a number of hours walking up and down the cobblestone streets.
You can’t go to Panama without seeing the famous Panama Canal right? Rather than going to the Miraflores locks and watching a ship pass through, we decided on a full day excursion that combined a few different areas to see. Our first stop was at Gatun Lake, it’s a large artificial lake that forms part of the Panama Canal. The water from the lake is used to operate the canal locks. The entire area is surrounded by rainforest which made for some nice wildlife viewing in addition to seeing the canal.
Our next stop brought us to Soberania National Park. In the park we saw howler monkeys, white nosed coatis, and oropendola birds that build these huge hanging nests.
The final stop was at Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 1750’s. The fort sits on the edge of the Chagres River.
We enjoyed our time in Panama City and a few days is sufficient to see the sights.
Where we stayed: Hyatt Place 👍 Ramada Plaza Punta Pacifica 👍