Sunday, June 26, 2011

Panama City, Panama

I just realized that I haven’t really adventured to some amazing places in Central America! To change that, I decided to write this post on Panama City, Panama. Panama City is the capital and largest city of Panama and lies at the Pacific entrance of the famous Panama Canal (how many did I just say Panama in one sentence?). Founded in 1519 by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Avila, Panama has come a long way to become a metropolis of 1.3 million residents.

In Panama City, you can find Panama Viejo, meaning “Old Panama.” In this part of the city, you will get to see the first Spanish City built by the settlers in the 16th century! This is particularly unique because it was the starting point of the expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru. It was also a huge trading route in the history of the American continent. More interesting than Panama Viejo, though, is the Casco Viejo (also known as Casco Antiguo or San Felipe). After a pirate attack and an earthquake in the early 1600s, a walled city was built to protect the settlers against future pirate attacks. When the construction began for the Panama Canal in 1903, the Casco Viejo was all that stood of Panama City.

Speaking of the Panama Canal, it is perhaps the most famously known part of the city. To get a full experience, you can take advantage of boat tours that will take you zipping through the canal. By taking these boat trips, you’ll see all the beautiful beaches and the tropical islands that stand at the mouth of the canal. The amazing news about this is that these 30 minute tours are available for only about $6!

Another thing that Panama City is known for is its nightlife. There are plenty of night clubs, dance clubs and bars that cater to all different kinds of crowds. One club in particular is called the Habana Panama, which is unique for giving off an old Cuban vibe and is one of the hottest dance spots in town.

Panama City, with its amazing tropical climate, is definitely a place worth taking a trip to. This city offers a unique experience that intertwines European, American, and Cuban influences while it has created its own culture.

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