The most cosmopolitan capital in Central America, Panama City is both a vibrant metropolis and gateway to tropical escapes. Connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean, Panama City is a regional hub of trade, business, and tourism. Its 48-mile canal has made Panama famous worldwide, as each year over a million people visit this engineering marvel which operates 365 days a year.
Panama’s unique geographic location is home to beautiful beaches and natural landscapes, rich culture, and endless tourist activities. In contrast to the modernism of Panama City, Casco Viejo (or the Old Quarter), located within the city and a UNESCO protected district neighborhood, holds the colonial-style richness of Panama.
Ancient walls, glassy skyscrapers, and a mix of African, Native Panamanian, and Spanish cultures have all played a part in forming the frenetic “Miami of Central America.”
Panama Canal: Controversial. Revolutionary. Amazing. The Panama Canal has been called “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” and with good reason! It took 250,000 people from all corners of the globe more than 10 years to build, and it stands as a monument to mankind’s ingenuity and power of conviction. In 2014 the Canal celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
The Panama Canal is a unique experience which cannot be reproduced anywhere else in the world. See 5,000,000-ton vessels rise and drop more than 50 feet as they make their way through Panama from one ocean to another, and learn about the history and future of this marvel of modern engineering.
A Panama City “must-do” is a visit to the Miraflores Visitors Center at the Panama Canal. The state-of-art visitor center has 4 exhibition halls: Canal History, Water the Source of Life, The Canal in Action and the Canal of the World. The exhibitions include historical objects of Canal operations, interactive modules, video presentations, and models of the Panama Canal. There is also a snack bar and a restaurant with stunning Canal-side views. Visitors may view ships passing through the Canal from the Visitors Center terrace free of charge.
Top things to do when visiting Panama:
- View the Panama Canal in operation from the Miraflores Visitors Center.
- Spend some time in the rainforest. One option is the Gamboa Rainforest Reserve, located about 45 minutes from the Westin Playa Bonita, directly on the Panama Canal. Here you can escape into the lush Soberania National Park Rainforest sweeps you to an authentic sanctuary of privacy and solitude. You’ve arrived at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, one of the most unique resorts located directly on the Panama Canal.
- Explore Casco Viego, Panama’s historic Old Quarter.
More information on Panama: https://www.visitpanama.com/