Panama City

So everything that ever happened, we knew about in Panama City.

~Ruben Blades

Panama City is the national capital of Panama and also the largest city of Panama. It is the most modern city not only in Panama but the rest of Central America. Panama City has been an incredibly popular tourist and retirement destination, particularly for U.S. and Canadian citizens, due to city prices being cheap compared to most other places.

Panama City is a very multicultural place, with large populations from many different parts of the world. On the streets, Panamanians are for the most part friendly and helpful and would love to give you some advice. There’s great shopping, from high-end stores in the malls around Paitilla and in the banking district around Via Espana.

Panama was chosen as the 2003 American Capital of Culture jointly with Curitiba, Brazil. It is among the top five places for retirement in the world.

History of Panama City

The city was founded on August 15, 1519, by Pedro Arias de Ávila, also known as Pedrarias Dávila. Within a few years of its founding, the city became a launching point for the exploration and conquest of Peru and a transit point for gold and silver headed back to Spain through the Isthmus.

In 1671 Henry Morgan with a band of 1400 men attacked and looted the city, which was subsequently destroyed by fire. The ruins of the old city still remain and are a popular tourist attraction known as Panamá la Vieja (Old Panama).

The construction of the Panama Canal was of great benefit to the infrastructure and economy. Of particular note are the improvements in health and sanitation brought about by the American presence in the Canal Zone.

In the late 1970s through the 1980s the city of Panama became an international banking center, bringing a lot of undesirable attention as an international money-laundering center. In 1999, the United States officially transferred control of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama, which remains in control today.

The city of Panama remains a banking center, although with very visible controls in the flow of cash. Shipping is handled through port facilities in the area of Balboa operated by the Hutchison Whampoa Company of Hong Kong and through several ports on the Caribbean side of the isthmus.

Top Destinations of Panama City

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