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The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is definitely the most important part of the country's infrastructure, both from a strategical and economic point of view. The Miraflores Visitor’s Center is just a 30 minutes ride from downtown: it has a museum, gift shop, restaurant and observation deck where you can watch the massive ships pass through the locks. It truly is a modern marvel. In contrast to the more historically and socially focused Museo del Canal Interoceanico, the Miraflores Visitor's Center concentrates on science, technology and environment behind the functioning of the Canal. The center is worth an afternoon of exploration.
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Casco Antiguo

Casco Antiguo

The historic district of Panama City, keeper of the city's traditions and history, is characterized by charming narrow streets, colorful buildings, exciting cultural attractions and an array of hotels, cafes, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and art galleries. No wonder people are coming from all over the world to visit this evocative little corner of the world. In 1673, after the sacking of Panama Viejo by Welsh privateer Henry Morgan, the current Casco Antiguo was chosen as location to rebuild Panama’s capital city. The new city was surrounded by a wall to protect it from further pillaging. An eclectic blend of French, Spanish and American architecture developed as the country evolved over the years.
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Panama Viejo

Panama Viejo

UNESCO World Heritage Site Panama La Vieja, commonly known as Panama Viejo, is the site where Pedro Arias de Dávila originally founded the old Panama City, back in 1519. This was the first Spanish settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. Nowadays you can visit all that remains of the ancient settlement, which was burned down in 1671, by going in the eastern side of Panama City. Since most of the original city was made of wood, the ruins are not that extensive, but they are well-preserved and make for an interesting visit. The Visitor Center at Panama La Vieja has a collection of archaeological findings and information about the history of this invaluable place.
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The Biomuseo

The Biomuseo

Eight distinctive pavilions, eight permanent exhibitions designed to narrate the origins of the Panamanian isthmus and its huge impact on the planet's biodiversity. The Biomuseo is designed to lead visitors on an amazing journey of discovery and the interactive exhibits created by "Bruce Mau Design" make this museum even more astonishing. Once inside you can admire colored glass murals, giant screens, towering geological cross-sections of the isthmus, life-sized animal sculptures, multi-storied aquaria and even more! The building itself is an architectural icon designed by Frank Gehry.
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Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

With almost 1000 birds species and a unique natural diversity, Panama is the perfect spot for bird-watching and wild nature enthusiasts. The Soberania National Park, 30 minutes away from Panama City, offers a great opportunity for discovering the country's flora and fauna. The Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, located inside the National park, offers a 1.1 kilometer circuit of trails through the forest and a 32 meters tall observation tower, from which to observe the vast rain forest. Take part in a unique journey, lose yourself in the lush tropical jungle, explore, discover, learn.
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Inter-Oceanic Canal Muesum

Inter-Oceanic Canal Muesum

Still undecided about which museums to visit while in Panama City? Worry no more, because you have found the one you can't miss. With 10 permanent exhibitions that trace the construction of the Panama Canal and its impact on Panamanian history and society, the museum deserves at least a couple of hours in order to appreciate and absorb the wealth of information available. The museum highlights include the 1977 Carter-Torrijos Treaty that marked the end of the American control over the Panama Canal, as well as several interactive and engaging exhibits. Guided tours are available in both Spanish and English to help you navigate through the abundant information.
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Museo Antropologico Reina Torres De Arauz

Museo Antropologico Reina Torres De Arauz

Its collection of 15,000 pre-Columbian ceramic, sandstone and ethnographic pieces is by far the largest grouping of anthropocentric historical artifacts in Panama City. The M.A.R.T.A. is one of the most important museum in the country, keeper of its most ancient history and traditions. Come visit to admire pre-Columbian treasures and indigenous artifacts, as well as household items and farm tools demonstrating modern Panamanian life and culture.
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Visit an Indigenous Tribe

Visit an Indigenous Tribe

Discover the fascinating, timeless lifestyle of the Embera indigenous tribe, an ethnic minority who survived the arrival of the conquistadors and continues to exist today. Embark on a canoe trip along the Chagres river, through the lush tropical rain forest and learn about their culture, everyday life and traditions. The Embera people are famous for their basketry and woodwork, among other handicrafts. This is one of the best experiences you can have while visiting Panama City.
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Ancon Hill

Ancon Hill

A scenic overlook in Panama City, 654 feet above sea level. Enjoy a pleasant hike to the top of the hill, along a paved road and escorted by exotic birds and wildlife. You can also reach the top by car and take amazing shots of the Panama Canal, the modern city and the Casco Antiguo. The Panamanian flag sits at the top of the hill as a symbol of pride and sovereignty: before 1977 Ancon Hill was under US jurisdiction and Panamanians did not have access to it. At the bottom of the hill resides a site called “Mi Pueblito” (my little town), a small colorful museum-like installation depicting the culture, traditions and architecture of Panama as well as its Hispanic, indigenous and Afro-Antillean heritage.
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Amador Causeway

Amador Causeway

The causeway is a long stretch of land uniting the mainland with four small islands. It was created using the materials removed during the construction of the canal. The Amador Causeway is now developing into a great tourist spot, both during the day and the night, thanks to a lively scene of street cafes, restaurants and bars. There are excellent views of the city skyline and the Casco Viejo. A firm favorite with families, the causeway’s wide sidewalks are great for walking, jogging and cycling. The Smithsonian Research Institute is also on the Causeway and is well worth a visit.
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Shopping

Shopping

Panama is a paradise for shopping lovers, home to the largest malls in Central America. The smallest of them is the MultiPlaza Pacifica, located in Punta Pacifica: it is home to many chic designer stores as well as facilities such as banks, making this a convenient one-stop shopping location. MultiCentro mall on Avenida Balboa is also a high-end shopping destination. The largest of all is Albrook Mall, located next to the domestic airport. Albrook is home to some of the least expensive shops in Panama, as well as the main international chains and high-end stores. All these malls have movie theaters and food courts. Aside from the malls, a good selection of stores can be found on Via España, close to the banking district. Whereas If you are looking for a true bargain, Avenida Central in Calidonia provides quite an intense shopping experience, particularly for household goods and appliances.
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