Casco Viejo is the old quarter in Panama City and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hip and eclectic area features many restaurants, bars, shops, churches, and plazas. While I was studying Spanish for two weeks at Casco Antiguo Spanish School, many times I spent 30 minutes either before or after class just taking in the scene. Each plaza has a unique vibe. See the differences below.TAKE A SEAT
I recently went to Panamá to study Spanish at the Casco Antiguo Spanish School. Some Americans might ask why not Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, or Spain as these are popular places to visit for United States citizens.
Of course, they all have draws, but having visited each country previously, I was pleasantly surprised by Panamá. Below I’ve listed some wonderful conveniences about Panamá City.FIND OUT MORE
Life at My Homestay in Panama
I recently spent two weeks in Panama studying Spanish at Casco Antiguo Spanish School. While I could have stayed at a tourist hotel in Casco Viejo, I decided to experience a complete immersion in Panama. As such, I stayed at Jamraka Homestay, an option among many included on the school’s website for places to stay.
The Jamraka Homestay, located in between Casco Viejo and the causeway which was great for sunset walks from the yacht club to the Biomuseo, is operated by Cachy and her son Ciro, and is a short $3 Uber ride away from the school. Having said that, it is best to avoid the evening rush hour from 4pm to 7pm.STAY AT A HOME
Two and a Half Days in Panama City
I found a cheap flight to Panama, so I picked up a Lonely Plant guide and figured out a week’s itinerary…three days in Panama City and three days in Boquete. Aside from the Panama Canal, I hadn’t heard much about the country, so I went with guarded expectations. I was pleasantly surprised.
I found the wonderful Latin America culture coupled with some American conveniences such as safe drinking water, easy and cheap Uber rides, excellent food, and US currency. To me, this was perfect!EXPLORE!
Visiting the Panama Canal
Ways to Visit the Panama Canal
When in Panama City, visiting the Panama Canal is a must. There are many ways to see it including taking a boat passage through the whole thing, taking a day trip on a boat, taking a tour on the manmade Gatun Lake, going to one of the locks, or walking along the causeway.
Walking along the Cinta Costera on the causeway which connects three islands simply provides an opportunity to see the boats heading toward the canal. I probably wouldn’t call it a canal visit, but the walk is nice enough for views of the boats and water.
Taking a boat tour of Gatun Lake is a good way to see the vessels transitting the canal while also seeing wildlife, monkey island, a native Indian village, Fort San Lorenzo and other places depending on the chosen tour.EXPLORE!
Eat at Donde José: A Must Do When in Panama City
Eat at Donde José
While I didn’t try many restaurants in Panama City, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Donde José is one of the best! Actually, I don’t even think I have to go out on a limb to say that, as it is one of the best restaurants anywhere where I’ve been. The eight-course tasting menu is unique and fun!Continue reading “Eat at Donde José: A Must Do When in Panama City”