The city of Panamá, founded on August 15, 1519 by Pedrarias Dávila, is the main cultural and economic center of the country, with an intense financial activity, and an international banking center. The Panama Canal, and tourism, are both notable sources of income for the city’s economy, which has a tropical climate, along with natural parks and other attractive places of interest. Its wide cultural and gastronomic offer resulted in its election as the American Capital of Culture in 2003. The city of Panamá held the 93rd position worldwide, and the 3rd in the region, among the cities with the best quality of life in 2010.
Panamá is a multicultural city full of contrasts, offering more than a forced visit to the Panama Canal. The Old Quarter or Casco Antiguo of the city is a picturesque labyrinth of colonial churches, squares and palaces, and only 25 kilometers away is the Soberanía National Park, a perfect place for excursions and bird watching.
Most of the main monuments and historical buildings are located in the center, known as Casco Viejo or Casco Antiguo. This site is home to the Presidential Palace, boutique hotels, and multiple national and international gastronomic options. Panamá City is famous for its exciting nightlife, which takes place in three main sectors of the city: in the commercial district (Bella Vista, El Cangrejo, Calle 50, etc.); Casco Viejo, the historic Spanish colonial sector of the city; and the spectacular Amador Causeway, which connects three islands in the Bay of Panamá with views of the ocean and skyscrapers day and night.
The Casco Antiguo, the second most important tourist attraction (after the Panama Canal), is perfect for walking. It connects with the Cinta Costera, an extensive road, a favorite of runners, walkers and cyclists looking to exercise while enjoying the ocean view.