Panama’s capital is widely considered a financial hub for Central America and an indispensable component of its shipping and cargo transportation network. Not only this, it is also a very cool place to visit, as great food and an awesome nightlife scene attract millions of tourists each year. Casco Viejo is city’s historic district, sports some amazing restaurants, and has plenty of old-world architecture to see.
You can easily spend a few days here browsing, eating good food, and exploring various colonial sites. Panama City is one of the more multicultural cities in the region and is home to many diverse populations from all over the world. The locals are extremely friendly to visitors, and many of them speak conversational English, especially in the more touristy areas.
Flights to Panama City
Tocumen International is the city’s principal, public airport, and it is located 15 miles from the downtown area. It underwent a major revitalization and renovation effort in 2006, a move primarily aimed at modernizing and enhancing its facilities for efficiency and passenger satisfaction. Tocumen is the largest and busiest airport in Central America, and is the only one in the region to use two runways simultaneously.
The airport was originally used by the United States for its military operations during World War II, and soon thereafter, it was made open to the public. The most recent work performed at the airport has been the third part of the multi-phase expansion first started in 2006, which alone commanded nearly $800 million to add 20 gates, a new terminal, and an additional parking area.
These additions, along with new direct-access lanes, are slated for completion by 2017. United, American Airlines, Delta, Copa, and Spirit Airlines all offer direct flights to Panama City. Aeromexico, TAME, KLM, Air France, TACA, and Avianca provide nonstop routes for international passengers.
What to Do in Panama City
Do yourself a favor and pay a visit to Casco Viejo, even if you only have a few hours of free time. This 300-year-old district is full of historical significance and houses the Presidential Palace, Canal Museum, and the bustling Plaza de la Independencia public market. Riding a bicycle along the Amador Causeway is always exciting, as is exploring Metropolitan Park, one conveniently located in the city core, and which is home to a diverse array of rainforest wildlife.
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