Our first stop in Panama was an area of town called Casco Viejo. Casco Viejo is an older part of town and is where Spanish settlers moved to when they were forced out of the original Panama City by Henry Morgan. This means that this part of town has lots of old colonial style buildings and cobblestone streets. A lot of the buildings in Casco Viejo are currently being restored in an effort to preserve the history of the city. We went straight here after checking in to a hotel to wander through the streets and enjoy the colonial atmosphere with some coffee in a plaza.
Many of the buildings along the waterfront are already restored and are private residences. The presidential palace is also located here and we were able to wander around the grounds after a short security check of my purse.
A view looking back at Casco Viejo as we walked back to our hotel along the Malecon. Casco Viejo is built on a mini-peninsula.
Those are fishing boats in the foreground of the picture…right next to the entrance to Casco Viejo is the fish market for the city where the general public and merchants come to buy fresh seafood.