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Panama City

Updated on December 24, 2012

Ciudad de Panamá or the Panama City is one of the most exhilarating places in all of Central America. The city offers you a variegated trove of attractions, besides the world famous Panama Canal. It radiates a cosmopolitan buzz with its diverse ethnic population of about a million inhabitants, an attractive housing infrastructure and a host of recreational facilities such as fishing, water sports and arts. It’s also been selected as the American Capital of Culture for the year 2003.

The capital city of the Republic of Panama, it’s located in the Pacific coast of Panama, east of the Panama Canal. The city experiences a lengthy rainy season which lasts from May to December, and a relatively short dry season from January to April. The temperature is typically coastal, ranging from a comfortable 21°C to 35°C .The metropolis is a staple feature in the travel list of tourists who love to shop, the culture enthusiasts and the birdwatchers. Since the city’s ensconced in the heart of the lush Pacific rainforests, it throws open opportunities to view some of the planets’ most stunning bird species, replete with brilliant hues and forms. It boasts of a great skyline as well, packed with tall high-rises. Tourists can have access to the internet at virtually every nook and corner of the city. Besides, numerous stops for shoppers exist here, such as the Albrook.

It’s airport, the Tocumen International Airport offers daily flights to many international destinations like New York, Newark, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Amsterdam, Madrid, and all major cities in the Caribbean. It has another airport, the Marcos A. Gelabert Regional Airport, located in a former Air Force base. The transport here is pretty extensive. You’ll find many buses plying around, often having colourful sketches of local actors and musicians. Called the Diablo Rojo colloquially, these buses are efficient and connect you to all key parts of the city and the neighbouring towns. There‘s a bus terminal near the Marcos A. Gelabert airport too, which along with the airport serves as the main transport hub for the rest of the nation.

There are several world-class hotels available in Panama City like the Radisson Decapolis or the Royal Decameron Beach Resort. Among the most visited attractions are the Las Bóvedas, a beautiful walkway beside the waterfront; the picturesque Panamanian colonial village in Casco Viejo and the National Institute of Culture Building adjacent to the French Embassy. You’ll also get to savour some scrumptious food, available in the restaurants scattered near the embassy. There’s even the Casco Antiguo's Cathedral and the favourite stop for the artistically inclined, The Teatro Nacional. The theatre offers great natural acoustic features and can seat over 800 guests. Tourists often find sites such as the Museo del Canal Interoceánico and the Palacio de las Garzas equally striking. As the name suggests, travellers get to see real herons moving about in the compound.

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