Panama was my starting point for a new travel journey into Central America. From Amsterdam there is a direct flight to Panama City with KLM, this line is operating for many years now and it’s the best way to get to Central America from Belgium. Flight from Brussels to Amsterdam is only 30 minutes and my flight to Panama was about 11 hours which was ok.
Once in Panama City I decided to go see the old town Casco Viejo or Casco Antiguo as it’s also named sometimes. The modern part of the city where the skyscrapers are is more the centre of the City. The Panama Canal is little further away and enough ways to go there. I chose to take a hop on hop off bus because it was the best way for me to see the different parts of the city and it includes a stop at the Panama Canal with entry ticket to the Miraflores locks visitor center. The busticket was for 2 days, thats enough time to visit every major sight that the City has to offer.
First stop I got out of the bus was at the Panama Canal, There was not much movement cause at that moment there where no ships. I didn’t feel like I missed something with the ships not being there cause I already seen a cruiseship and a big cargo ship passing by in Curacao where the port is also narrow and as a child I remember being on a nilecruise with my parents where our boat also had to go through narrow locks to get to the other side. Offcourse it would have been less boring cause if it wasn’t for it’s worldfamous status I would have skipped it. There was a little musem with pictures of when and how the Canal got build, a movie theatre where they show a short movie about Panama and the history of how the country changed during the years, not much about the Canal itself, so for me that movie was irrelevant and since it was only 20 minutes I went to see it, just to be out of the heat for a while, cause the sun was burning outside.
After the Panama Canal I visited the Biomuseo which is a museum about the fauna and flora of Panama and Central America in general. There is also a big fishtank with tropical fish. The museum is open the whole week except on monday. I was there on a sunday and even though it was in a weekend it was not overcrowded. Entry ticket for adult was 18 usd.
The 2nd day I used my hop on hop off busticket to visit Ancon Hill with Mi Pueblito and Casco Viejo the old town of Panama with it’s Cathedral and colonial houses.
Ancon hill took me about 45 minutes to get to the top where the big flagpole is with the Panamanian flag and you can enjoy the view over the city between the trees. In the trees I saw some Tucans flying from one tree to to next, but they are so fast and hard to spot when they are in the trees, it was impossible to snap a picture of this beautiful bird with it’s colored beak. When I came down I walked around at Mi Pueblito which is at the foot of Ancon Hill. It’s like an openair museum of how a Typical Panamanian folk village looks like. There is a church and a souvenir shop and a snackbar selling some drinks and snacks.