A MUST DO in Panama City. Ancon Hill is a nature hike with a bird-eyes view of Casco Viejo, modern Panama City and the Panama Canal. The path is lined by thriving rainforest taking about 2 hours return. You can take a taxi there and ask the driver to come back for you in a couple of hours.
Casco Viejo is the historic district and cultural gem of Panama City, built by Spanish colonialists around 1673. The vibrant and coulourful neighbourhood is filled with homes, churches, cathedrals, museums, restaurants and shops. Spend a day exploring the streets and admiring the architecture build through many different historic phases. Come back at night to enjoy a great selection of restaurants and nightlife spots.
Isla Taboga is located about 20 kilometers from Panama City and is a popular place to escape to from the city. On Isla Taboga you can relax on the Sandy beaches, ride jet skis or take a fishing charter. First settled by the Spanish in 1515, Isla Taboga has a charming village with the second-oldest church in the western hemisphere, a few narrow streets with a few restaurants and great views to Panama City from the top of the Island.
Panama Canal – Miraflores Locks
The Panama Canal is one of the world’s greatest feats of engineering. Many visitors choose to explore the canal by visiting the Miraflores Locks Museum. The museum has a wealth of information on the construction of the canal and has a video explaining how it was developed and its plans for future growth. From the restaurant located at the top floor of the museum, visitors can watch transiting vessels in the canal below. It is possible to take a full canal crossing, but this takes 4 – 8 hours so most visitors choose to watch from Miraflores locks.
The Amador Causeway connects the three islands by the entrance to the Panama Canal to the mainland. From the causeway, there is a terrific view of Panama City. Hire a bike or take a long walk down the Amador Causeway, stop in at a restaurant for lunch and enjoy the view of Panama City.
See my Backpacker Guide to Panama City here
See more on Panama and Central America here.