Day beds in the pool at Islas Secas resort allow guests to cool down while enjoying a spectacular view of the ocean | Islas Secas
A guest enjoys the magnificent sights on offer during the nature tours of the tropical wilderness of Islas Secas resort | Islas Secas
Two large birds fly over the horizon as the sun sets at Islas Secas resort | Islas Secas
A woman treads the shallows of the ocean on the beautiful islands of the Islas Secas resort | Islas Secas
Guests enjoy a spectacular diving experience at the Islas Secas resort | Islas Secas

So Much More Than a Layover: Panama City

So Much More Than a Layover: Panama City

Panama’s vibrant capital moves to a different beat from our laidback archipelago – so make the most of this fantastic city during a layover en route to Islas Secas.

written by Islas Secas
  • Panama


L eave the planning to us and we’ll arrange a tailor-made tour with an expert guide to Panama City during your stopover. Your first stop has to be the Panama Canal, one of just Seven Wonders of the Modern World, and the most famous site in the country. Head to the Miraflores Visitor’s Center for a bird’s eye view of the comings and goings of this fascinating feat of engineering – which has seen nearly one million vessels pass through between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans – as well as an exhibition and an IMAX documentary (featuring the voice of Morgan Freeman) on the history of the Canal. Consider a quick diversion to Frank Gehry’s colorful Biomuseo, too.


Next, head into the pumping heart of the city itself, for a guided walking tour of the magnificent Casco Viejo, also known as Casco Antiguo, or the “old quarter”. Dating back to the 17th century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gorgeous maze of cobbled streets, centuries-old churches, pretty squares and brightly-painted houses. Start with an artisanal coffee at the stylish American Trade Hotel, and then head out into this colorful neighborhood, to explore its palm-lined avenues and brick-paved streets, a joyful (and perfectly safe) way to experience Panamanian life. Pop by the fish market for live music and the freshest ceviche, admire the views from the seafront, or pause for a delicious lunch at on-trend Kaandela, with its open kitchen, leafy courtyard and modern Panamanian cuisine.


You might enjoy a cooling stroll along the Cinta Costera, which runs along Panama Bay, or stick to the Casco Viejo and head to a rooftop bar for a pre-dinner drink and views of the skyline. Panama City is famed for its excellent restaurants, so you’ll be spoiled for choice, but some favorites include Restaurante Tomillo, with its broad terrace and dishes cooked over a charcoal fire. Or head to fresh and fun Fonda Lo Que Hay, recently voted as one of the best 50 restaurants in Latin America, serving just-shaken cocktails and an elevated take on local dishes, presented on banana leaves.


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