She honoured the past in Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations & took in Guatemala’s jaw-dropping scenery, now Stephanie Hower continues her Latin America journey in Panama City.

With Panama taking out fourth place in Lonely Planet’s top 10 countries to visit in 2019, a visit here is a must on any trip to Central America. But while other parts of the country may appear more appealing than Panama City, there is surprisingly more to do in the nation’s capital than you might think.

Aside from visiting the famous Panama Canal, here are five other ways to get your fix of culture and nature during a visit to Panama City:

 

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR WILDLIFE

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A sloth in the city? Really?

Yes, really. The metropolis of Panama City is also home to some of the country’s exotic wildlife, including sloths, toucans and monkeys, which regularly appear in the city’s parks.

A walk through Reserva Cerro Ancón provides plenty of opportunity to spot the local fauna or venture slightly further to the Metropolitan Natural Park to try your luck.

 

VISIT TABOGA ISLAND

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Crystal clear waters and lush green hills aren’t really the first thing that come to mind when you think of Panama City, but a visit to Taboga Island is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.

Located only half an hour away by ferry, this island paradise is one of Panama’s best-kept secrets and the perfect place to relax or take a dip away from the crowds.

 

GET LOST IN CASCO VIEJO

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Take a stroll through the colonial streets of Casco Viejo, Panama City’s old quarter, buzzing with colour, history and charm.

Whether you’re after a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, or somewhere to buy your own Panama Hat, each corner of the UNESCO district is Instagram-ably photo worthy. Cute rooftop bars are also in abundance!

 

HOP ON YOUR BIKE

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The waterfront provides an ideal cycling route to take in the skyline of downtown, without having to ride through the city centre.

Pedal along the picturesque Amador Causeway at sunset or start your day with a morning ride along the Cinta Costera for the best views.

 

DISCOVER THE STREET ART

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Panama City’s edgy side is evident through the colourful artworks draped around different walls of the city, each telling their own story and carrying a unique message.

Wandering through the streets of Casco Viejo is the perfect starting point, with bright murals lying around many of its corners.

 

Is Panama on your 2019 travel list?