Casco Viejo Panama City UNESCO World Heritage Site
Casco Viejo, Panama is a vibrant, atmospheric neighbourhood in Panama City steeped in history, culture, and colonial charm. A UNESCO World Heritage Site full of narrow cobblestone streets and boutique hotels, it’s the perfect place to explore by foot. There’s plenty to see, from beautiful Baroque churches and plazas to chic cafes and shops.
Casco Viejo Panama City UNESCO World Heritage Site Summary
- Attraction Name: Casco Viejo
- Country: Panama
- Continent: North America
- Capital Name: Panama City
- Language: Spanish
- Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
- Nationality: Panamanian
Casco Viejo Panama is an amazing and unique destination to visit. The old town area provides visitors with an unparalleled cultural experience. With an incredible architectural landscape, diverse culture, and a unique range of restaurants, shops, and art galleries, Casco Viejo Panama offers a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else. It is also home to a wide array of historic sites and monuments, making it a great destination for those interested in history and culture. In addition, it is known for its nightlife, making it the perfect destination for travelers who love to explore and party.
Tell Us About Casco Viejo Panama
Casco Viejo, also known as Casco Antiguo, is an historic district located in Panama City, Panama. This district was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1997. Originally constructed in 1673, Casco Viejo, or “Old Fortress”, was built to protect Panama La Vieja following its destruction in 1671. Casco Viejo features a wealth of old colonial architectural styles including Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Deco, and French.
This historic district is home to several important monuments and churches, as well as some stunning views of the city skyline and nearby islands. A number of important political and religious figures have lived in the district for centuries, and today it remains a thriving social, cultural, and economic hub. Many of the buildings have been refurbished into beautiful boutique hotels, art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques.
What are the Things to do in Casco Viejo Panama?
Things to do in Casco Viejo Panama are:
- Tour Panama’s Old Quarter: The Casco Viejo of Panama is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Central America and it is known as the “old town” because it is the oldest standing colonial city in the Americas. This area is filled with many buildings and monuments of historical importance. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn about the city’s history that forms its present-day charm. The tour will also make stops at some of the popular attractions in the area such as the Panama Canal, Cathedral of Natividad de Nuestra Senora, Plaza de la Independencia, and the San Felipe de Bastidas fort.
- Visit Museums: Casco Viejo is home to a variety of museums that can help visitors understand the history and culture of Panama. The most popular ones are the Museum of Natural History, Museum of Religious Art, Musueo Ermita de la Merced, and the Friends of Caxambas Museum.
- Sample Local Cuisine: Not only is Casco Viejo home to some of the best restaurants in Panama, but it is also known for its diverse culture and food. From street food to fine dining, there is something that will satisfy everyone’s palate. Don’t miss sampling the city’s signature dishes like tamales and ceviche or chicharron, a local specialty made with pork cracklings.
- Shop for Souvenirs: Casco Viejo is full of quaint shops where visitors can find one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts. From handmade jewelry and clothing to traditional Panamanian crafts and artwork, there are plenty of items to choose from. Prices are usually very affordable. Another great way to take a piece of Panama home is to shop at the weekly farmers’ market.
- Take in a Show: The Teatro Nacional, located in Casco Viejo, is one of the top venues in Panama for a show. Here, visitors can enjoy a performance by the National Ballet Company, the National Symphony Orchestra, or one of the many other companies that come to perform.
- Explore San Felipe de Bastidas Castle: One of the oldest and most historic sites in Casco Viejo is the San Felipe de Bastidas Castle. The fortress dates back to 1670, and was used to protect the city from pirates. Visitors can take a tour of the castle, which features some of the structures that are still standing today. There are also many vibrant murals on the walls of the castle, painted by local artists.
What are the Best Foods at Casco Viejo Panama?
Some of the best foods at Casco Viejo Panama include:
- Maragato- This traditional Panamanian dish consists of stewed lamb or beef, cooked with onion, tomatoes, garlic, and spices, served with a side of fried plantains and rice.
- Arroz con Pollo- This Panamanian staple is a delicious combination of rice, chicken and vegetables, cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce.
- Ceviche- Fresh seafood is marinated in lemon juice and spices and served cold with fresh cilantro and hot peppers.
- Patacones- Fried green plantains are mashed, shaped into thick discs, and fried until crispy and golden.
- Sancocho- This hearty beef and vegetable stew is a beloved comfort food in Panama.
- Empanadas- Empanadas are small, fried corn pastries filled with chicken, beef, cheese or other ingredients.
- Carimañolas- These popular treats consist of ground beef and potatoes, wrapped in a dough and deep-fried.
- Raspados- This traditional frozen treat is made from grated ice, milk, fruit and a variety of syrups, toppings and textures.
- Tamales- Authentic Panamanian tamales are made with a filling of pork or chicken, wrapped in aromatic banana leaves.
- Chicheme- This creamy beverage is made with sweetened corn, milk and cinnamon.
What are the Best Hotels to Stay in Casco Viejo Panama?
The best hotels to stay in Casco Viejo Panama City are:
- American Trade Hotel & Hall – An Autograph Collection Hotel
- Las Clementinas Boutique Hotel
- Hotel Las Aguilas Panamonte
- La Mescolanza & Hostel
- Townhouse Boutique Hotel
- La Casa Nostra Boutique Hotel
- Legend Hotel
- The Panama House Boutique Hotel
- Inquisitive Hotel
- Casa Pio Boutique Hotel
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