Last weekend we had a scavenger hunt assignment in downtown Panama City so that we could orient ourselves to the nation's capital. After completing a few random tasks such as finding the hospital, Peace Corps approved hotel, and an awesome ice cream parlor, we had free time in the city.
Panama is definitely a business city, and it was a little hard to figure out where to go at first. After some time deliberating, my group decided to split a taxi ride to Casco Viejo- the historic downtown.
While Casco Viejo was Panama's main city in years past, after the canal was built in the late 1800s/early 1900s, Panama City moved to it's current location. After that, Casco Viejo became pretty run down and lost its charm, but there is currently a renovation project aimed at restoring the area and bringing back its historic beauty.
Casco Viejo is definitely a tourist place now, but there are still run down buildings and areas scattered about.
Overall, Panama City was a fun day trip, especially since we got to enjoy some first world pleasures like air conditioning and ice in our drinks!