Panama is a beautiful diverse country, with many fascinating sites to visit, countless of them in your nearby surroundings. Some of the closest sites include: Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo, and the Panama Canal. Each of these have distinct aspects with unique historical backgrounds. For more information on these and other touristic points of interest, read more on Visit Panama: http://es.visitpanama.com/.
Casco Viejo is a small historic district, known as the cultural gem of Panama City. Historically, it was one of the richest and most densely populated neighborhoods in the Americas. You will not lack restaurants and cafes, restaurantes ranging from local panamanian meals to argentinean, spanish and asian delicacies. The most recommended and regularly visited restaurants are Tantalo, Lazotea, and Barrio Pizza. Many of the restaurants have rooftop terraces that have an incredible view over the old architecture, as well as the ocean. Other than restaurants and rooftops however, there is a wonderful pathway along the ocean, with stands of cultural panamanian souvenirs, handmade by the native community. Additional to this shopping area, there are museums and historic parks. Casco Viejo is a protected area by UNESCO.
Another site to visit are the ruins of Panama viejo,the original Panama City, founded in 1519, which was destroyed by the pirate, Henry Morgan. It was the first spanish city in the South Coast. IT is an interesting place to visit because it’s also a UNESCO heritage site which receives protection. The ruins are over 500 years old and still stand in Panama Viejo today. Some of the ruins have stairs that you can climb up, which lead to an amazing view of the surrounding ocean and landscape. The ruins are surrounded by mangrove trees and beautiful plants all around.
Probably the most important and mostly visited site in Panama is the Panama Canal. The canal is an artificial waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. It was an important construction, as it allowed nations to bypass the full trip around Tierra del Fuego, and brings the bulk of Panama´s income per year. It is 77 km long, and has locks at each end, to lift the ships and reduce the amount of excavation work required. The Agua Clara locks are the newest ones, you should go and see them, taking a look over the canal from the enormous terrace. The locks are extremely complex due to the difficulty of the Panamanian terrain and are therefore considered one of the greatest feats of human engineering.
For more to do outside Panama City, visit one of Panama’s countless beautiful beaches on both the Atlantic and Pacific side. The beach closest to the city is Playa Bonita, 30 min from the Tocumen Airport. It is made up of two resorts on a private beach, with a outdoor pools. Other beautiful beaches and islands are Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Playa Blanca, and Venao. You should definitely consider visiting many of these places, when you come back to Panama.