Panama City Main Attractions - Tropical Discovery

Aerial view of Fort Sherman at Toro Point, Panama Canal, Panama

Portobelo Fortress

Portobelo is a protected area filled with rainforest and marine life. In a 86,000 acre area, Portobelo has a population of about 3,000 mostly black, descendents of slaves brought by the conquistadores. The major comercial activities are fishing, coconut exporting and tourism services.

In the center of the town we find the “Customs House”, a colonial building recently restored where the gold was stored until it was shipped to Spain. All the gold that came from the spanish colonies in South America was deposited in Portobelo. Treasures from Peru were loaded in mules through Camino de Cruces from Panama City to the town of Las Ventas and transported via boats by the Chagres river to Portobelo where it was shipped to Spain. The town of Portobelo was founded on March 20th, 1597.

Panama City Main Attractions - Tropical Discovery

Fort San Lorenzo – Panama

San Lorenzo Fortress

Located at the end of the Chagres river. To get to it, we need to go over the Gatun Locks and into Fort Sherman, a former United States base.

It is surrounded by thick rainforest rich in diversity. The protected area of San Lorenzo contains 9,653 hectares of rainforests, and 20 kilometers of ccoast.

The tourist attractions include the San Lorenzo Castle, the Camino de Achiote, bird-watching paths, the French canal, the Cagres River from kayak or boat, the Canal defense centers built in World War I.

Old Panama Archaeological Site

Panama City, the first spanish city on the american Pacific, is founded in 1519 by Pedradiras Davila, in an area that was part of an ethnic coastal village dedicated to fishing.

Panama City became an important geographic location for colonial trade. It is estimated that during the 16th and 17th centuries, 60% of all american silver went through the city which also operated as a connection point for interamerican trade. Products from countries such as Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costarica, Peru and Mexico arrived at Panama City to be reshipped to other locations in the continent. Panama’s position as one of the most important centers for expeditions, and it’s important strategic location for trading set forth the Isthmus’ destiny for international transit service.

Panama was located by an important river, which made it useful as a port. As every spanish built city it reflected the current social order in its spacing. The highest points were saved for Royal Houses and the High Church, simbols of the Crown and the Catholic Church, the icons of colonial society.

Old Panama started with a handful of simple huts. Afterwards, wood-based construction became widespread and this lasted through time. Stone was already used at the end of the 16th century but only in government building, churches and the best houses. Old Panama had a few government buildings, so the landscape was quite diverse.

Panama City Main Attractions - Tropical Discovery

The historic center of Panama. It combines its cultural wealth with the most exciting nightlife offerings for every preference.

Old Panama was also the host of a Royal Court, an iberic tribunal, and as such, a major government office. The elite of landowners and traders lived in the city and its population may have reached 10,000, which is a considerable amount for the period.
Its comercial importance brought the greed of pirates. In 1671 the city was attacked by English pirate Henry Morgan and the city was left in ruins. Two years later it was moved to what is now known as Casco Antiguo, abandoning the old site of the City for over two centuries. This left these structures untouched giving visitors a real view of the colonial Panama City.

Panama City Historic District (2000)

The city moved all of its centers, streets and everything following the attacks on Old Panama. From 1673 to 1910 the walled city suffered a great deal of transformations and the introduction of several european architectural styles from the 19th and early 20th century, of which the most widespread is the neoclassic. We can see a great deal of architectural tendencies: french, italian and spanish. The italian is found in the Municipal Palace, the National Theater, the Palacio de Gobierno y Justicia and the Supreme Court building (which has now been transformed to the National Culture Institute). The Presidency is clearly set in Spanish style.

Tropical Discovery Tours offered in this location