According to SIMPLYYELLOWPAGES, Panama City is the capital of the country. Not to be confused with the name of the state, locals call it Panama City. The city is located just east of the place where the Panama Canal enters the Pacific Ocean. Panama City was founded in 1519 by the Spaniards and became the first Spanish Pacific port. It immediately became the most important trading center of the Spanish colonies in America, because goods from the Pacific colonies and Inca gold from South America to Europe were transported through it. In 1671, the city was burned by a gang of English pirates led by Henry Morgan. It was restored after 2 years, but in a new place, 7 km from the ruined city.
To Panama City you can see many buildings of the colonial period, but also a modern city with skyscrapers, business centers, restaurants and shops. It houses the government of the country and is home to about half of the population of the state, most of whom work on the service of the Panama Canal.
Panama City stretches for 10 km along the Pacific coast. From the east, the Panama Viejo region adjoins the city, where the ruins of an ancient city, burned in 1671 by English pirates, are located. In 1997, the area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The main attractions of the area are the remains of the cathedral from the 16th and 17th centuries and the restored square tower of the cathedral. In the southwestern part of the city on the peninsula is the district of San Felip. (Casco Viejo), the so-called Old Town. It is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here you can see the buildings of colonial architecture, which is an unusual mixture of Spanish, French and early American styles. In the center of San Felip is Independence Square, or, as it is also called, Bolivar Square, where there is a monument to Simon Bolivar. Also interesting in the Old Town is the Cathedral Square with the cathedral of the 17th-18th centuries, the facade of which was reconstructed in the 19th century after the earthquake; Presidential palace; church of San Francisco de Asis; Church of San José; Church of La Compagna; French park, equipped by the French during the first construction of the Panama Canal, and the building of the University. A little north of San Felip on a hill is Ancon Park., where you can walk along hiking trails and get acquainted with the nature of the surroundings of Panama City. From the San Felip area, Avenida Balboa stretches along the bay, which connects the Old City with the business center. Recently, Panama has become one of the main centers of global investment, so the New City of Panama City impresses with its many modern buildings. Even on the way along Avenida Balboa, you can see many skyscrapers located here. In the New City there are business centers, hotels, restaurants and world-class shops. The area is also best known for its museums. Tourists will be interested in the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Biological Diversity with a park and an aquarium located near it, and the Museum of the Panama Canal. The main shopping centers are located just south of the Panama Canal Museum.
Another attraction of Panama City is the long bridge Las Americasthrown over the Panama Canal. The bridge was built in 1962, and at that time it was the only connection between North and South America. The bridge is 1700 m long and 110 m high.
The Amador Highway connects Panama City and several small islands in the Gulf of Panama. Along it runs a sidewalk, which is considered one of the most beautiful pedestrian areas of the city, offering beautiful views.
From Panama City, you can go to the beautiful sandy beaches of Punta Chame, Gorgon, Coronado, Rio Mar, Santa Clara and Playa Blanca, as well as Taboga Island and Contadora Island , which is part of the Pearl Archipelago. The islands of Taboga and Contadora are the closest resorts to Panama City, where you can relax and enjoy diving, snorkeling and fishing. In the veryThere are beaches in Panama City, but they are dirty and swimming is not recommended here. Not far from Panama City, there are opportunities for surfing on the beaches of Malibu and Theta.
Panama City has easy access to three protected areas. This is the only Latin American capital from which dense forests can be reached in just 10 minutes. Not far from Panama City is the Metropolitan National Park.. The park is adjacent to the Panama Canal and is the only park in Latin America that protects the tropical forest within the metropolitan area. Here, on an area of 265 hectares, you can see a variety of birds (parakeets, toucans and orioles), butterflies, small mammals (sloths, titi monkeys and anteaters) and reptiles. Also, an exhibition of orchids is open for tourists, where species that grow only in Panama are presented. Metropolitan Park has an observation deck from where you can see the Panama Canal. The information center of the park is very interesting, where you will be told in detail about the possibilities of recreation here. Of the routes, we can highlight the 45-minute Mono Titi route and parts of the historical routes of Camino de Cruces and Cienequita, which were used by the Spaniards in ancient times. The Camino de Cruces route links many national parks. Panama City is also interested in Summit Botanical Gardens with an area of 250 hectares. The gardens were formed in 1923. To date, the Summit has collected about 15,000 different exotic plants. A zoo was also set up here, where the national bird harpy eagle and tapir are represented. For harpy eagles, the zoo has one of the largest exhibition areas in the world ever created for a single species of bird. Here the life and features of this bird are presented in great detail.
Those who want to get acquainted with the whole variety of birds in the country should go to Soberania National Park. The area of the park is 20 thousand hectares. It is located 40 km north of Panama City. off the coast of the Panama Canal. Here, in a short period of time that the tour lasts, you can see the largest number of bird species. In total, there are about 200 species of birds in the Soberania National Park, among which is one of the few populations of the largest bird of prey in the world – the harpy eagle.
From the west, Panama City is bounded by the Panama Canal. It is the main source of income for the city, and indeed the country as a whole. Panamanians from all over the country come to work in the city. The channel is located in the narrowest and lowest part of the Isthmus of Panama. It is one of the most outstanding engineering structures, one of the most important transportation routes and one of the longest artificial waterways in the world. The length of the canal is 80 km, and the canal zone has an area of 1432 sq. km. The Panama Canal crosses the state from northwest to southeast, linking the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Ocean. The canal has long been the subject of controversy among world powers. It was built by the Americans in 1914 and owned it until 1999. This allowed the Americans to interfere in the internal affairs of the country throughout the 20th century. Now the Panama Canal belongs to Panama.
The channel is surrounded by evergreen forests, lakes and swamps. Cruises on the Panama Canal are arranged from the city of Balboa, adjacent to Panama City. This is an unforgettable journey that passes through many protected areas, locks, lakes and cities. Not far from Panama City, there are Miraflores locks, where there is an observation deck, from where you can see the canal and the ships passing through it. Several national parks and reserves have been created around the canal. On the east side of the canal, part of the ancient Camino de Cruces trail runs along it from the Metropolitan Park. through which the Spaniards reached the Pacific coast. Further north, the Camino de Cruces leads to the National Park of Soberania, which is considered the best place in the country for bird watching. At the western borders of the Soberania Park is Gatun Lake – the largest artificial reservoir in America (area 420 sq. Km). Barro Colorado Island is located in Lake Gatun, which, along with several peninsulas of the lake, is part of the Barro Colorado National Park.. The total area of this protected area is 5.4 thousand hectares. Gatun Lake and Barro Colorado Island appeared during the construction of the canal, when a dam was built on the Chagres River. Inside the lake that arose as a result of the flood of the river, a small area of land 171 m high remained unflooded. In 1923, the island of Barro Colorado was declared a protected area. In 1946, the Tropical Research Institute began to manage the reserve, which established the Tropical Research Laboratory here. In 1979, in addition to the island of Barro Colorado, the reserve included several peninsulas and the reserve received the status of a national park. The only way to get to the park is by boat from the village of Gamboa, which is located 38 km from Panama City. In order to visit Barro Colorado National Park, you must obtain a permit from the Tropical Research Institute. Visits to the park are paid, the ticket price includes lunch at the park information center. The information center of the park shows films about the history of its creation and about the inhabitants of the park. Barro Colorado Island can be circumnavigated in one day. The walk along the main route lasts only 45 minutes. All routes of the park pass through the forests, where many birds live. The end point of the Panama Canal journey is the city of Colon . Altos de Campana National Park is located 60 km southwest of Panama City.. The park protects tropical rain forests growing on the slopes of the mountains, and several mountain rivers. The total area of the park is 4.8 thousand hectares. The forests are home to monkeys, feral pigs, over 175 species of birds, and reptiles, including the endangered endemic golden frog. One of the main activities during the excursions is the “search” for the golden frog. From the observation points of the park you can see the Pacific coast of the country.
Just south of the park lies the volcanic valley of El Valle.. It is named after the extinct volcano El Valle, which formed this valley. The same name was given to a small village located on the slopes of the volcano. The village of El Valle is a great place for relaxing and hiking. It is surrounded by tropical rain forests, where you can see the endemic golden frog, and where mountain rivers flow, on which numerous waterfalls have formed. Every Sunday morning, a market opens in the village, where not only food is sold. But also products of local artisans.