The Casco Antiguo/Viejo
The Casco Antiguo (also called Casco Viejo) is the most interesting sight in Panama city and should not be confused with Panama viejo. This is in another part of town and it's the place where the first city was founded. In Panama viejo you see only ruins, in casco viejo you see real people, living in real houses that were part of old colonial panama... The Casco Viejo is now part of the UNESCO Heritage Trust. It's located on Panama Bay and for quite some time it was regarded as a rough part of town... but it is no longer so and it is slowly being restored to its former glory. All the most important city's attractions are located in this historical areas, as well as most governmental buildings. Even the president has his house, there.
relax in paradise without the the high dollar
If anyone is looking to get away from the city's husle and busle rat race take a trip to the north central carribean side of panama, to a place called playon chico.A place where once you arrive you think you are in paradise and the longer you stay there the more you like it better.This area has a few tiny islands that are owned and ran by the Kuna Yala indians.Here I spent only 2 nights and three days(not enough time) and had a wonderful time.I stood at the" Yandup" a great place.You get your own little thatched hut with priavte bath(optional) three meals a day and each day a boat tour to different islands to :snorkle,managroves trek,visits to the ky indians villages where you get to see how they live,plus more.
So ,if your looking for a place to get away from it all or just to crawl into book this is the place.
Don't even think about Manolo Caracol
Hi Guys! Manolo Caracol is one of the most popular restaurants in Old Town in Panama City. Popular normally means good. But not in this case. I think it's popular because of its "ways of workin" I mean, to go there you make a reservation,and then you're served starter, main meal and dessert. It's said that a those chef prepares something special. So sinde I found out that restaurant existed,about One year ago,i've always wanted to go there, thinking WOW it must be grate ,a chef prepares sth special for me. Finally i managed to go there 2 days ago with a group of 7 friends. Describing this restaurants in a few words: DISASTER or simply " gran ripp-off". Why? Because: 1- food or tatally normal,nothing special or sometimes even bad(crap),2-amount of food served is ridiculous, they stopped serving("That's all" I heard)when we though "now start to see the main course, because those starters couldn't be worse". Disappointing!,3-looks like there's no service in there, many waiters,but nobody gives a *** about you, water glasses empty all the time,missing wine glasses(nobody is willing to bring them,even after we asked 4 times)4-missing paper towels in the toilet.5- AND ON THE TOP OF THAT,PRICE 20 BUCKS (ONLY FOOD) PER HEAD+2.5 SERIVE. Come on! When I asked my group," so when we come here next time" I heard "never again". Funny thing that even biencuidado(person that watches client's cars, admitted that that it's nicely saying"not the best place to hang out for eating". Why I write it all? Beacause, I just don't like to be ripped off in such a scandalous way. So you you're planning to go there, don't even think of it. I could recommend e.g. Marriott buffet(20-25$),you eat what you want,as much as U want,chefs prepare what you want, and the food is great,as well as atmosphere. Look at the description of that evening in point 5(next one)-"What's Your Favorite Dish From This Restaurant" Just nothing good. Here goes email I sent to Manolo Caracol,after that crappy evening:
Estimados Senores en ManoloCaracol,
Siempre he querido ir a su restaurante, de la cual había oído que el chef preparaba comidas especiales, mucha comida, y en general todo súper. Finalmente, hoy fui a su restaurant con 6 amigos. Mis experiencias de esta visita:
- entrada ensalada –nada especial, lechuga, zanahoria un poco de cosas mas, honestamente mas simple ya no podía ser
- almejas al ajillo, que mas malas nunca había comido en mi vida
- gambas a la plancha, sabor totalmente normal, nada de super, lo mismo que en otros lugares corrientes
- un brochetita con carne, buena, pero sobresaliente, además tan pequeña que se podía meter dos de estas al mismo tiempo a la boca
- un trocito de pescado, bueno, pero tmbn tan chico, que ya mas chico no podía ser
- arroz – honestamente tan malo que nadie del grupo se lo comió
- postre – mejor no mencionar
- para colmo el precio de todo como si fuera de otra planeta, 100% ripp-off, mas añadieron propina que el servicio no se lo merecía en absoluto(pero de esto mas tarde)
- además – faltaba copa de vino de una persona, casi 5 minutos teníamos que llamar que alguien la trajera, faltaba papel en el baño, todo el tiempo nos faltaba agua, la ultima vez cuando daban agua a 2 de mis compañeros, pedí al camarero tmbn para mi, pero como ya se le acabo, parece que no tenia ganas de venir, que ya no regreso con agua para mi
Así pues, no me extrañe que cuando pregunté a mis compañeros sobre la cena, todo en coro contestaron ”nunca mas”.
La misma pregunta nos hicieron los biencuidados, les contesté la cena era muy mala, y me dijeron que lo mismo dice otra gente, que simplemente el Manolo Caracol no vale la pena. Y estoy de acuerdo con esto, por ejemplo en Marrito el buffet cuesta 25 con bebida, súper bueno, como cuanto quiero, que quiero y además los chefs preparan lo que me da la gana.
Entonces ya saben, si todavía no sabian, los dias de Manolo Caracol son contados.
Pizza and more!
Tamburelli´s is a chain of 11 Italian restaurants in Panama City and one in David owned by Rino Tamburelli.
Most are in neighborhoods throughout the city. There are also locations at Albrook Mall food court and Multiplaza Pacific and the main bus terminal at Albrook. The neighborhood places have pizza and other Italian fare and the location on Belasario Porras has a bakery, too.
Most Tamburelli´s outside the Malls have full-service bars.
They are mostly known for their pizzas, but they also have pasta, lasagna and seafood dishes. I love their steamed clams, on the shell, with garlic sauce. It is very good and a good bargain at $4.50 for the mountain of clams they give you!
Their pizzas are very good, thin crust, NY-style. They have three sizes, we get a small, they are plenty for two people! After getting Tamburelli pizza, I won´t even consider Domino´s or Pizza Hut here, Tamburelli is much cheaper and they deliver, too! So you don´t have to go out to get it!
Nothing on the menu is super-expensive. Most of the pizzas and entrés are in the $5-10 range and some are less. It´s a good deal for a semi-fancy place to bring your family to and not have to break out the Amex card! They are all very clean and nicely decorated, they are sportsbarish, as Rino is a big boxing fan, there is almost always sports playing on the TVs in the restaurants.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Panama
The Cathedral of the Casco Antiguo is, perhaps, one of my favourite things to see in the Casco Antiguo of the city, as it has such an air of the Colonial adaption of Spanish designs to tropical climates. The Cathedral was begun in the 1680s but only finished in 1798. The façade is allegedly Renaissance with elaboration, but I think that it looks far more like a Baroque church – which would, in some way, jive with the dates of design and construction. The interior has 67 columns, as well as brass lamps from Brazil, relics from Spain and plenty of beautiful dark wood that contrasts perfectly with the white washed and stone walls of the structure. The doors are permanently open. This is probably because of the heat of the area and the humidity, as worshippers would otherwise die of dehydration while at Mass. There is a large, ornate altar as well, which although the emptiness of the Church makes it seem more like an exhibit in a gallery than a place of worship.