Panama City has a lot to offer: historic quarters, modern cosmopolitan city, nature and recreation areas such as the Causeway at the entrance of the Canal and the Miraflores Locks. Combine your individual program for a half or full day according to your wishes and interests with the following sites of the City:
Example of half day tour (4 hours)
Casco Antiguo (UNESCO-World Heritage Site): Old Quarter
The first founded city (Panama La Vieja) was abandoned after the attack Henry Morgan’s and rebuilt in 1673 on a better defensible peninsula in 8 km distance (Casco Antiguo). You stroll in the old quarters – a mixture of Havana and New Orleans. Most buildings are from the 19th century and some have Spanish colonial architecture. At the Plaza de Francia you enjoy the beautiful view to the Pacific.
Miraflores Locks of the Canal and Visitors Center
Quite close to the City are the Miraflores Locks. You can observe on a platform the passage of the ships through the locks. In the Interpretation Center you learn how the Canal was constructed, how it functions and how it is being expanded.
Causeway at Canal Entrance
The Causeway was built with excavation material of the Canal and connects the mainland with four little islands in front of the coast. A promenade for walking, jogging and biking along the Canal and many restaurants make this a favorite recreational area. In a distance you see at the coast the high rise buildings of the City and on the horizon of the sea, ships waiting to enter the Canal.
Extension options full day tour (8 hours)
Panamá La Vieja (UNESCO-World Heritage Site): Park with Ruins of the first city
Visit the ruins of the first European City at the Pacific coast of the Americas, founded in 1519 by the Spaniards and abandoned in 1671 after the conquest and pillage by the pirate Henry Morgan. You can see the original layout of the city walking on its streets, through former convents, climb on the tower of the cathedral and visit a museum.
At 200 m height Ancon Hill offers you a great view to the old and modern city as well as the canal area. A half an hour walk leads you up on a small road through forest where you still can see agoutis and toucans early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Parque Metropolitano Nature Reserve
This forest of the former Canal Zone reaches right into the city and is part of a forest corridor between the Pacific and the Caribbean. The walk leads up to a hill with a nice view to the contrasting city and its surroundings. With some luck you still can observe sloths or tamarin monkeys in this natural forest. Among the 227 bird species you might see the Chestnut-mandible Toucan or Lance-tailed Manakin. Best for birding and wildlife observation is early in the morning.
Panama – Bridge of Life: The fascinating story of Panama’s unique location tells you how the isthmus raised out of the sea, connecting South and North America and dividing Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, and how this impacted climate and life in the Americas and other parts of the earth.
The museum has a spectacular location on the Causeway, a recreational area between nature and city, with a contrasting view across the Canal to the last (seasonal) rainforest at the Pacific shore of the region and to the other side across the bay of Panama to the old city with skyscraper lined and heaped up in distance behind. The famous architect Frank Gehry designed an outstanding and colorful construction, reflecting an outstanding natural history and biodiversity of a small country with global importance.
You can walk along the bay between the old and modern city. This pedestrian and recreational area is a favorite stroll for locals in the late afternoon and offers a closer look to the high-rise buildings.
Or you can go by bicycle on the Cinta Costera all the way to the Causeway at the Canal entrance.
Enjoy your lunch on the islands of the Causeway, in the old city or in some specialties restaurant.
We can include a stop at any other place, if you want to purchase something.
Half day tour to Canal sights
Have an overview of the Canal sights from Ancon Hill Lookout where can see the places to visit from a distance. Learn about the Canal driving along it the Pacific entrance to Culebra Cut visiting all its emblematic places on the Pacific side:
- Pacific Canal entrance (Causeway)
- Bridge of the Americas
- Administration building
- Ancon Hill
- Miraflores Locks Visitors Center
- French Cemetery
- Pedro Miguel Locks
- Centennial Bridge over Culebra Cut of the Canal
This tour is like a half Canal transit where you visit its sight by land.
The tour can be extended to a full day tour spending more time at interesting places or including a Canal Boat tour on Gatun Lake of the Canal where you can see expansion works of straightening and widening the Canal and where you will observe animals at the rainforest shores of the lake.