A Travellerspoint blog

Panama - Panama City

34 °C

We flew into Panama City, and having few pre-conceived ideas we soon discovered that the city is comprised of a flashy new centre and an old crumbling historical centre. There were many buses running through the city to ferry people in and out, we got to take our pick between the new air conditioned buses, or the colourful old American school buses. It was stifling hot, so more often than not we chose the air conditioned ones!

The old town was left almost abandoned until recently, and now lots of work is being done to restore it's grandeur and it has quickly become the main tourist area. Full of crumbling buildings and empty mansions with gardens taking over the insides, it was a very interesting place to wander through. The charm is that it hasn't yet been made to look perfect, but there are beautiful plazas, streets and buildings amongst the older ones. A nice walkway along the waterfront gives a great view back across the modern sky scrapers of the commercial city centre.

The Panama Canal is an amazing feat of engineering, opened in 1914 to connect the Atlantic ocean with the Pacific, making trade between Europe and the rest of the world a lot easier. There is an inland water system, which has had several giant locks added to it to create the Panama Canal. The whole canal stretches 77.1km. We were lucky enough to see a giant cruise ship, followed by many cargo ships pass through the Miraflores lock where the tourist centre is set up. The centre has loads of info about the formation of the canal, well worth a visit.

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Posted by TheNomadWay.com 22:38 Archived in Panama

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