Live #53, Panama City, Panama
09/02/2015 Waiting for the border to re-open after the weekend and about 23 hours in the bus coming from Paraguay left me with only two days here in Bonito, Brazil. It’s safe to say I made the most out of the first day by visiting the amazing Rio da Prata. If you ever wondered how it feels to swim in an aquarium, check this place out! Panama City has been a big surprise on my trip through Central America. I had no idea how nice it is there, especially the skyline really impressed me. Check it out in this post for some pictures, along with the famous Panama Canal 🙂
There is something really special about Panama City – at least in my eyes 😉 Parts of it feel like the usual Central American towns I have seen and visited so often in the past months; but other parts, such as the great skyline at the waterfront, reminded me a lot to more modern cities. It was the last big city before heading to Colombia via the San Blas Islands and also the time of Carnival, adding just a little bit of spice to my visit as well.
I was only able to spend a few days in Panama City because of a spontaneous trip down south towards Las Tablas for what was supposed to be the craziest carnival party in Central America (more on that in the next post..). While in Panama City, I checked out the Cementerio del Rosario, a cemetery with a great ambiance close to some of the poorer areas in town – make sure you don’t wander around in the wrong streets here as some locals warned about possible dangers there. I liked it there, having a huge run-down building just behind it. There was also some nice street art in the city and of course the old town, which contains pretty buildings along with some nice views on the skyline.
Checking out the Panama Canal was obviously a must-do as well. The Miraflores lock provide the easiest access if you are short on time (like me) and I got there at 09:30 AM to see the last ship of the morning passing through the locks. It is quiet impressive to see how it works, but really in the end it was not much more than a huge version of the canals close to my old neighbor hood in London 🙂 Paying 15$ for it was just within the boundaries to not make me feel bad about spending it.
My personal highlight, however, was a walk up the hill of the last island at the end of the Amador Causeway. It was actually forbidden to go up there, but sometimes it is good to ignore little signs like that if you are rewarded with an amazing panoramic view across the City, along with some cool remains of World War 2 bunkers and some wildlife. One huge Iguana crossed the plateau just when I got there and I barely could catch him on video, sadly I don’t have a good photo. There were also hundreds of birds gliding above and enjoying the amazing sunset as well as a huge spider with really nice colors – I got that one on a photo at least! 🙂
The carnival in town was pretty big, but not really impressive if you would look for a big party. Probably it was too early and unfortunately, I had to get up really early to start my trip to the San Blas Islands in the next morning. But at least I could see the skyline at night one more time; add a firework and I get myself a great ending to the chapter Panama City.