Casco Viejo, Panama Vacation Guide
The Casco Viejo of Panama, or Casco Antiguo or Panama Viejo as some also refer to it, is the historic center and a hip and elegant part of Panama City where magnificent Colonial buildings are being restored to their original glory. Many galleries, new bars and restaurants and other commerce attract not only tourists, but locals alike. Situated in the western part of Panama City and surrounded by the Pacific ocean, the Casco Viejo also hosts the Presidential Palace, the San Jose Cathedral, many museums and the French Park. At the French Park with the lovely French Embassy a monument tributes the French builders who began the Panama Canal. From the walkway around the monument, travelers have a nice view of the Amador Causeway and the Panama Canal, the Bridge of Americas and the skyscrapers of Panama City. One one side of the monument you will also find an old Spanish structure called Las Bovedas which is now used as a art galery and a French restaurant. And last but not least the Presidential House is another magnificent building from the Colonial times and can be toured only on Sundays.
As you walk along the roads of red bricks getting to know the Panama history, you will see beautiful courtyards, renovated buildings with ornate balconies, obelisks and memorials. The Casco Viejo is under UNESCO protection since 1997. After the first Panamanian settlement was destroyed by disease and pirates, the city moved onto this rocky peninsula and in 1673 the Casco Viejo was founded. Protected are its architecture with its special mix of Spanish, French and early American styles, and its original street plan. This historic part of Panama City should be part of every visit to Panama. We offer day tours that combine modern and ancient Panama in a convenient 4 hour tour.
In the last few years, several hotels opened their doors in Panama's Casco Viejo. Guests will find themselves in an environment so comfortable and relaxing, and with modern conveniences that international travelers desire. Historic photos capturing the Canal and its construction partially decorate this fine hotel. And their library boasts a fascinating collection of canal memorabilia and books about Panama's geography, history and political past. A good standard option is the Los Cuatro Tulipanes Apartment Rentals which offers 11 self-sufficient apartments in various sizes.
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