Panama city is perhaps one of the most underrated cities in all of Central America; an often overlooked destination by travellers. Which is a huge shame because the city is a wonderfully diverse and exciting city and absolutely worth a visit.
You’ve no doubt heard of the Panama Canal but there is so much more to see and do in Panama City. Whether you are into history, engineering, nature or art there is something for everyone.
So here are some of the top things to do in Panama City on the weekend.
1. Explore Old Panama
Panama is a city of many parts with one of the most enjoyable being to explore the Old Town. Located right by the water these old streets are full of charm and character. The colourful buildings and beautiful churches are a joy to see, just like in Merida.
This area is full of cozy cafes and boutique craft stores. It would be easy to spend a day just wandering the streets and shopping for souvenirs.
2. Panama Canal
It wouldn’t be a visit to Panama City without taking a boat trip down the Panama Canal. This impressive waterway runs the entire width of the country but not to worry, the tours don’t go that far.
You can choose between large passenger ferries or smaller speed boats to get out onto the water and admire the great feat of engineering that is the Canal.
3. Walk or Cycle along the Cinta Costera
Panama City runs along the coast of the Gulf of Panama with some lovely ocean views. The Cinta Costera is a pedestrian/cyclist highway built alongside the main highway, running down the side of the water.
This is the perfect place to go for a long walk or bike ride and admire the views of the old town to one side and the modern part of the city to the other side.
4. Hike Through Metropolitan National Park
Panama is no stranger to National parks and beautiful nature but this is the only one in all of Central America to fall within a cities boundaries. It can be found close to the Old Town and on the edge of the Panama Canal.
Metropolitan National Park is 265 hectares of pure nature. There are a few well-marked-out hiking trails that you can do and various different viewpoints along the way.
The National Park is also home to a surprising amount of wildlife considering its close proximity to the city. If you are lucky you can see Monkeys, Sloths, Birds, Reptiles and more.
5. Visit Monkey Island on Lake Gatun
Take a boat trip out on to the nearby Lake Gatun in search of Monkeys and Sloths. On the way, you pass by the huge shipping containers that also use these waters.
Monkey Island is home to various different species of Monkeys that will happily come over to greet you in the hope of getting some food. Remember it is always best not to feed wildlife.
6. Enjoy the views from the top of Ancon Hill
Located just behind the Old Town area of Panama City is Ancon Hill. A short walk up to the top of the hill and you will be greeted by some pretty awesome views of the city, the canal, and the ocean.
This is a great spot to go for a sunset view of the city. The paths are all paved and easy to navigate.
7. Visit the Biomuseo
Visit what is one of the most unique and fascinating museums in all of Central America. This fun and colourful building contains 8 galleries with permanent displays, that were all designed to portray the history of Panama.
Its main focus is to highlight to visitors how the rise of the Isthmus of Panama changed the course of our planet’s biodiversity forever. Impressive right?
8. Go Shopping in Albrook Mall
Albrook Mall is the biggest shopping mall in Panama and it is obvious once you get there. The Mall is the equivalent of 7 football pitches in length! Its is super popular among both locals and tourists thanks to its huge range of stores.
They have every kind of shop you could possibly need, as well as many cafes and restaurants. The mall is also home to the bus station which is where you will like arrive to if travelling by bus. It is also on a subway line so it is really easy to access.
Bio: Callie of Counting Our Footsteps
Callie and her partner Guido are currently travelling full time whilst working together on their Travel Blog – Counting Our Footsteps. Follow Callie from Counting Our Footsteps on Instagram and YouTube.
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