This is Panama!

Published: August 11th 2012
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Made it to Panama City! My last stop in central America. I'm staying in Casco Viejo, which is the "old town" region across the bay over looking the city's skyline. I was very surprised when I first saw this city. I don't feel like I am in Central America. It feels more like Miami with large skyscrapers, fancy shops, people from all over the world, and super nice houses & cars. Not to mention its hot and humid here. It's a very nice and lively big city where you can go out to clubs any night of the week and still get away with having meals for under $3. I've stayed a total of 5 nights in this city. Probably more than I have in any other city thus far. I'm staying at a place called Luna's Castle. It is a old Spanish mansion with an indoor/outdoor bar with some DJs on the first floor, next to the bar is a cozy lounge/movie theater where the guest can request to watch any movie for free . The top two flours are the kitchen and the rooms. They mostly have dorms available here which forces a very social atmosphere. The beach is about a 3 minute walk. A short taxi for the nicer beaches and the city is a bout a 10 minute drive. I've pretty much gone out with the people staying at the hostel every night. On my second day here I visited the Panama Canal which is just outside the city. I spent a couple hours there watching these massive ships go up and down as the pass through this narrow water way. The Canal's fare is determined by how much the ship weighs and they usually announce the price as ship passes through. These ships were paying close to $350,000 to pass through a canal. The cheapest price ever to pass was $1.30 for a guy who swam through it ( I'm not sure when this happened) .

I spent the rest of the time exploring Casco Viejo and the City. There quite a lot of markets here to browse through in some really scenic neighborhoods. At first I noticed an increase in the amount of security and police around Casco Viejo but it turns out this is where the president lives and most government buildings are here. <br style="color:𶐎 font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;" />
I fly to Grenada tomorrow with a stop in Trinidad. From my experiences traveling throughout Central America, the must places to visit are Nicaragua and Guatemala, followed by Panama. I have had an amazing trip, one that I will remember for a very long time...Cheers

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