Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Visiting Panama City’s Unesco site Casco Viejo

Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Visiting Panama City’s Unesco site Casco Viejo

 

Panama City’s historic district called Casco Viejo juts out into a Peninsula in Panama bay with stunning views of the city skyline and coastal landscape.  This fascinating area was on the verge of decline and destruction in the early 90s when it was saved and certified with Unesco to bring it back to life and now Casco Viejo, also known as Casco Antiguo is the must see place to visit in Panama City right next to the famous entrance to the Panama Canal.

 

The tip of Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

 

The historic district is rich in architectural details,  ornate restored landmarks and public buildings, elaborate churches and beautifully private buildings that have been recently converted into luxury hotels, restaurants, art galleries and other tourist focused attractions. Casco Viejo is now a must see destination when you visit in Panama City and see a combination of old and new, fantastic atmosphere and great food along with the impressive Unesco buildings that have revitalized the entire area and made this a fun place to explore in Panama City.

Here are some photo highlights to visiting around Casco Viejo

 

 

 

Architecture of Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

 

Street scenes walking around Casco Viejo

 

Street scenes of Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

When you walk down the streets of Casco Viejo, keep your eyes open to the street life – things happen unexpectedly and you find the most amazing visuals to photograph when you have an open mind and interact. The neighborhood is rich with incredible and bold colors, beautiful architectural details and locals living and enjoying their own historic center.

Street scenes of Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Street art walking around the historic district in Casco Viejo

Street art walking around the historic district in Casco Viejo

 

 

 

Even the president of the country has his home here perched on the perimeter of the district with magnificent views of the Malecon and downtown district – it is a privileged spot to see the entire city and coastal areas.

Presidential palace at Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

The presidential view of Panama City

 

Panama City skyline view from Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Visiting the historic landmarks around Casco Antiguo

 

Plaza de la Independencia Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

 

Plaza de la Independencia and the cathedral

The main plaza is impressive with grand buildings fronting the main cathedral of Panama City which is being renovated. The stately park in the center is beautiful, well maintained and a perfect spot to take photographs or grab a bite from the outdoor cafes around the square or just enjoy the stately buildings like the Canal Museum, Palacio Municipal and the Hotel Central surrounding the plaza.

 

Tip – later in the afternoon, restaurants on the square set up outdoor dining areas to enjoy an evening spent at the Plaza de la Independencia or just an evening drink.

 

 

 

Plaza Francia Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Plaza Francia

At the tip of the peninsula of Casco Viejo is this impressive monument called Plaza Francia dedicated to the French effort of initiating the build of the Panama Canal. You can climb up the walls for panoramic views of the coastal areas and the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.

Tip – Late afternoon is a perfect time to view this area for the beautiful afternoon light and into the sunset so you can capture nice photographs of the monument and surrounding area.

 

 

Plaza Francia Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Views of Casco Viejo from the top of Plaza Francia

 

 

 

Plaza Francia Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Coastal views and the Panama Canal from Plaza Francia

Beautiful churches of Casco Viejo

The churches around Casco Viejo from ornate and filled with golden details to simple. Take a look at some of these wonderful churches worth exploring around the peninsula area of the old town.

 

 

Iglesia San Francisco de Asis Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Iglesia San Francisco de Asis

Interior views of Iglesia San Francisco de Asis

 

 

Interior views Iglesia San Francisco de Asis in Casco Viejo

Interior views Iglesia San Francisco de Asis in Casco Viejo

 

 

Iglesia San Jose and it’s golden alter

 

Iglesia San Jose and it's golden alter at Casco Viejo

Iglesia San Jose and it’s golden alter at Casco Viejo

 

The façade and ruins of Iglesia de la Compania de Jesús

 

 

The façade and ruins of Iglesia de la Compania de Jesús at Casco Viejo Panama City

 

All about the details in Casco Viejo

 

The city is revitalized and yet raw – gorgeous restored palatial homes converted into luxury hotels are within access to lived in neighborhoods with locals bringing out sofas and having barbeques from friends in the street. It is real life and lived in and not just a scrubbed clean and tourist zone. I love seeing the decay amid the beautifully restored and elegant buildings all on the same block.  You pass by derelict old homes with faded colors and beautiful façade details that harken to a glorious past – the good thing is that the local government is fostering more restoration of these historic buildings to bring new life and commerce to these establishments.

 

 

 

Architectural details walking around Casco Viejo in Panama City

Architectural details walking around Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

 

 

 

Portals and doors Architectural details walking around Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

 

 

 

Stone façade Architectural details walking around Casco Viejo in Panama City

Brick façade Architectural details walking around Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

Arbored promenades and craft vendors at Casco Viejo

 

 

Craft vendors and promenade shopping at Casco Viejo in Panama City

Craft vendors and promenade shopping at Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

Where to find the authentic part of Casco Viejo

Along the walking promenades in the outer areas Casco Viejo away from the tourist zones, you’ll find the authentic places where all the locals shop, eat and go to the outdoor markets for their purchases and daily routine. With faded buildings, some with the upper facades in complete ruins but the bottom areas still functioning and open for business, I accidentally walked some of these promenades and saw the real Casco Viejo raw and bustling. It was enjoyable walking around the cheap department stores and street vendors,  watching all the activity and daily hubbub everyday people did in this area so alive and raw like the images below.

 

 

Outdoor markets in the shopping promenades of Casco Viejo in Panama City

Outdoor markets in the shopping promenades of Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

 

 

Outdoor markets in the shopping promenades of Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

 

 

A public square in Casco Viejo in Panama City

 

 

 

 

Ruined façade along the shopping promenades in Casco Viejo, Panama City

Ruined façade along the shopping promenades in Casco Viejo, Panama City

Locals living and working in Casco Viejo

 

Shaved ice vendor at Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

A musician strumming some tunes at Casco Viejo

The locals really enjoy living in the historic center while property is still affordable in this area.  You can tell they are a proud people, with warm hearts and smiles to visitors exploring this area of Panama City – I felt very welcomed and find everyone easy to engaged with any passerby.

Musician at Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Mother and son at a vista point smiling with Mickey Mouse

Mother and child at Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

I hope you enjoyed this tour highlighting the beautiful historic center of Panama City called Casco Viejo. If you enjoyed this post, check out my other posts on Panama city below:

15 things to do visiting Panama City

A Zip line adventure outside of Panama City

A white dog in Casco Viejo Visiting Panama City's Unesco site Casco Viejo

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on the Visiting Panama City’s Unesco site Casco Viejo, hopefully you will be able to see and experience Panama City and explore the rich culture and history of Casco Viejo – the old historic center of the city. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

 

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13 Responses to Visiting Panama City’s Unesco site Casco Viejo

  1. Katrin December 11, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

    This is my first visit to your site, but it will not be the last 🙂 Wonderful photos, they make me want to visit Casco Viejo. I’m not that interested in modern buildings and sky scrapers, but am intrigued with the stories behind old and wheathered houses and façades. Especially when it’s still very much alive with people living their day-to-day lives.

  2. Shannon-SoleSeeking December 9, 2016 at 2:05 am #

    Great photos, Noel. I agree that the rusty ‘decay’ of the place makes it authentic and attractive – more so than the modern skyscrapers.

  3. jane canapini December 8, 2016 at 5:28 am #

    Henk and I are heading to Colombia in February via Panama City, so your posts will be bookmarked, especially as both you and Henk are photographers!

  4. Rhonda Albom December 7, 2016 at 10:50 pm #

    I passed through the Panama canal but did not stop in Panama City. Your photos make me want to return and spend some time there.

  5. Jenny Freedman December 7, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    Gorgeous photos of what is obviously an interesting area. I haven’t been to Panama City but if I do I’d love to visit Casco Viejo.

  6. Doreen Pendgracs December 6, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    Thx for sharing this visit to Casco Viejo with us, Noel. I’ve not been to Panama City. It’s look like quite the cultural adventure!

  7. Sue Reddel December 6, 2016 at 5:54 am #

    Beautiful photos of Casco Viejo. I’ve never visited Panama City but you sure piqued my interest. Those local markets look like they would be a good way to spend an afternoon.

  8. Janice Chung December 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Love the photos of the little boy and dog poking their heads out! Hopefully the government will continue to put money into restoring these old buildings because the architecture is truly beautiful.

  9. Carole Terwilliger Meyers December 5, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    Panama City looks to be a colorful place to visit. I’d especially like to experience that craft vendors promenade at Casco Viejo. BTW, isn’t that orange doorway with the little boy at the top of this post the same one that shows a dog at the bottom?

    • Noel December 5, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      It really is a wonderful mixture of old and modern along with Unesco sites worth visiting.

  10. The GypsyNesters December 5, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    Wow, what a cool city! Panama is high on our list. Great job capturing it.

  11. Donna Janke December 5, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    You’ve really captured Casco Viejo in this photos. I loved walking through the area. The decay amid the beautifully restored is fascinating, as is the real life lived here.

    • Noel December 5, 2016 at 8:46 am #

      Thanks Donna, it really is a fun area to walk through – old and new

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