March 21, 2009

Panama Viejo and the Metropolitan Natural Park

This morning, I decided to go and visit Panama Viejo which are the remains of the old city built by the Spanish in 1519. I wanted to go by bus but after waiting for 20 mn I took a taxi and ended up paying USD8 (because it's Saturday said the driver... right!)

Founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Avila, the city of Panama was the first settlement along the Pacific. In 1671, 1200 pirates led by Henry Morgan confronted the Spanish infantry who fall to pieces. Soon after everything of value was either plundered and divided up or destroyed by fire. In 1976 the government declared the ruins a protected area but most of the old city had already been dismantled and overrun.

After I decided to go for a short hike at the Metropolitan Natural Park, a 265 hectares of tropical semideciduous forest within the city limits. I saw a few birds and animals, and went to the Mirador where you can have a great view on the city and area. It was nice to get away from the hot weather and enjoy the fresh forest for a few hours.

1 comment:

lise said...

Hi Nono, Have you thought worth it to visit Viejo (old Panama City)? Lonely Planet has an alert on Viejo for not being too safe especially I believe in the outskirt of the city. Have you felt any of that? I am planning a trip to Panama by myself and since I am a single woman I figure I would ask. Thanks. Lise