Panama City travel guide

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Panama City
Panama City
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Panama City

Latin American Megalopolis

Sacked by pirates and thrashed by raucous Carnaval fiestas, Panama City rages on. Panama's capital was significant to the Spanish Empire as a transfer point for South American riches before they were shipped off to Spain, and it remains a key city today as a thriving financial, commercial, and cultural center. Delving into colonial history, few visitors can resist a trip to the east, where the remains of Old Panama City lay in ruins. The first European settlement on the Pacific comprises of cathedrals, plazas, and dungeons, all destroyed in battles with Pirate Henry Morgan. The Casco Viejo, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is being restored, and colonial mansions, once decrepit, are being turned into boutique hotels and jazz clubs. Although history is prevalent everywhere you go, much of the capital is surprisingly modern, sleek, and chic. By 2009, five of the ten tallest buildings in Latin America will take up sky space here. Many call Panama City the Hong Kong of the Americas, and it is continually reinventing itself. A former U.S. military base, the Amador Causeway, is a prime example. The Biodiversity Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, and multimillion-dollar condo and commercial projects are springing up in a once-vacant area of the city.

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Top 10 Things to do in Panama City

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  • Bridge of Life Biodiversity Museum

    4 votes

    Museum / Gallery

    address:, opening hours:Mon, Wed–Fri: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sat, Sun: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

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