If you’ve seen any of my other posts from Panama City you can probably tell by now that I fell in love with this magical place. The food, the culture, the people, the architecture, I was blown away by a place that still feels very undiscovered. Exploring Panama City, and in particular the neighborhood of Casco Viejo with Pam, a native Panamanian, was even more special. I must admit I was pretty embarrassed by my pathetic ability to speak Spanish, something I definitely need to work on (I studied French so I’m giving myself a little break but it was pretty bad). I don’t want to go on here too long because the photos speak for themselves. Hope you enjoy. xx
Where We Stayed
Pam and I stayed at the American Trade Hotel in Casco Viejo. I couldn’t wait to arrive at this hotel after seeing the incredible photos of the property. Sometimes places don’t live up to the online hype, but the American Trade exceeded my expectations. No detail goes unnoticed at this beautiful building with it’s incredible tile work and architectural beauty. We had an incredible lunch at their restaurant and the most amazing coffee and pastries at Cafe Unido attached to the building. And of course spent some time at the pool which overlooks Casco Viejo. In terms of location and ease of getting around it was really the perfect place to stay.
When packing for Panama, pack light! It was so hard for me to get out of the mindset of being cold and thinking I might need a jacket but it is hot, hot, hot. Think light dresses, shorts, sandals, bathing suits, etc. The only time I felt cold was at a few of the restaurants because most buildings have the AC cranking. Bring a light jacket and you’ll be fine but if you’re outside even at night you really don’t need anything. For more of what I wore in Panama see my outfit posts here, here, here and here.
What to Do
First things first, bring your camera! We could’ve spent hours just walking around Casco Viejo taking photos of the buildings, flowers and store fronts. It’s so fun to see the transformation happening in the neighborhood. If you happen to stumble upon an icey cart you have to get one, I recommend coconut. There’s plenty of shopping in Casco Viejo and I picked up lots of great gifts including the traditional mola made by the Kuna women. It wouldn’t be a trip to Panama City without getting a Panama hat. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, the one I wanted was $85 and I ended up getting it for $50.