Hotels in Panama City, Panama
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Panama City, Panama: The World's Shipping Hub
Panama City is largely known as the location where the Panama Canal opens into the Pacific Ocean. While this distinction is true, the city offers much more than this passage through the Americas, as it is a vibrant and modern municipality that features a lively nightlife and an impressive skyline.
The city is surrounded by a tropical rainforest, which provides plenty of space for outdoor adventure, and has been named as one of the top places to retire in the world because of its mild climate. These elements come together to make Panama City an exciting destination to visit at any time of the year.
The Panama Canal
Of course, the most famous landmark in Panama City is the Panama Canal, which is an artificially constructed, 77-kilometre long waterway that cuts right through the country between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Canal was originally opened in 1914 and has since been expanded several times. Finding a hotel near this region is easy and makes for quick travel to the Canal for some sightseeing.
Visitors often enjoy seeing the Panama Canal because it is known as the eighth wonder of the engineering world. The easiest way to view the ships going by is to head to the Miraflores locks. Once there, guests can head to the visitor's centre to learn more about the construction of the Canal, eat at one of the many nearby restaurants, or simply watch the ships pass through the city. It is also possible to take a boat or plane tour of this area, which provides up close views of many of the historic sites throughout the Canal or a bird's eye view of this engineering marvel.
Ruins and History
Panama City has numerous World Heritage Sites that visitors love to explore. Panamá Viejo, or Old Panama in English, is the remains of the original city that was founded in this area in 1519. The Monumental Historic Complex is what is left of the first Spanish city that was ever built on the Pacific coast of the Americas and, therefore, is an important historical location.
After much of Panamá Viejo was destroyed in 1671, Casco Viejo was built. This is a walled city that features a wide variety of architectural styles, symbolising the ethnic diversity that has been present in this part of the world since the beginning of the European exploration. The site has over 800 buildings that are still standing and many of the city's most popular monuments are within its walls.
Parks and the Outdoors
No visit to Panama City is complete without spending a significant amount of time outdoors. Metropolitan National Park sits inside the city's Ancon district and is recognised as the only protected area in all of Central America that is within a city. The park is almost like a jungle in the middle of the city and is home to numerous animals, reptiles, birds, and various types of plant life. Visitors enjoy this park because of its proximity to numerous hotels.
Soberania National Park is about 25 kilometres from Panama City's downtown core, and is made up of many hiking and biking trails. This is another location that is excellent for those who want to see some wildlife up-close, while enjoying the secluded atmosphere away from the city.
On Lake Gatun, which is just outside of Panama City and part of the Panama Canal, is Monkey Island, a small land mass that is inhabited by white-faced monkeys. It is possible to take a guided tour to the island from many hotels, making it much easier to not only see these monkeys up-close, but also to interact with them and feed them.
Catch a Sporting Event
Panama City has a rich sporting history and many visitors to this part of the world enjoy submerging themselves in this sports culture. Football and baseball are the two most popular sports in the region, although boxing also has its popularity due to Roberto Durán being from the country.
The city's baseball team is called Panama Metro and it plays at the Rod Carew National Baseball Stadium. Football teams like Alianza, Chorrillo, Plaza Amador, Tauro, and Chepo compete in Liga de Fútbol Profesional, which is the highest league in the country. Matches can be watched at Estadio Rommel Fernández, Cancha de Entrenamiento Luis Tapia, Estadio Maracaná, and Estadio Óscar Sumán Carrillo. When staying in Panama City, ask the hotel staff about finding tickets to a game.
Do Some Shopping
While Panama City isn't always revered as a top shopping destination, the truth is that this is a modern city that has plenty of shopping venues to experience. For a more traditional shopping venue, the city's Caledonia neighbourhood has street markets where visitors can find local products and crafts. The same can be said for Centro de Artesanias, in the Balboa neighbourhood, and the shops at Mi Pueblitos.
Higher end shopping can be found at MultiPlaza Mall and Albrook Shopping Mall, which are full of clothing stores and entertainment options, not to mention the fact that hotels can be found nearby. While not as large, MultiCentro Mall, Metro Mall, and SOHO Mall are relatively new and have plenty of high-end products. Locals in Panama City tend to shop at Avenida Central and Los Pueblos Mall, so they have budget-minded shops and stores.