Style in Casco Viejo
First things first. This dress was only $50! You can find it and a similar one below (also here). My sandals were snagged up in Italy last year. My bag is Timberland, also picked up from my time living in Italy last year. Old Navy has gotten so cute and I’m so happy about it!
Visit Casco Viejo
A day in Casco Viejo: We decided to sleep in, eat breakfast at the hotel, and relax by the pool. We left the hotel around 12:00 to grab a late lunch in Casco Viejo. I don’t enjoy waking up early while on vacation, but in Panama it’s absolutely necessary. The days are simply too hot. Usually it rains everyday mid afternoon but right now it’s shoulder season, so it’s not raining everyday, making the days feel longer and warmer. Regardless of the heat, Casco Viejo is beautiful! Talk about taking a step back in time. It’s full of romantic balconies, colorful walls, and Instagram worthy doorways. You never know what’s around the next corner or how bright it will be. Some streets are wide and some a narrow reminding me of a younger Barcelona, but brighter and more welcoming.
They renovated the entire neighborhood of Casco Viejo within the last 5 years respecting the integrity of the neighborhood by rebuilding historical buildings, ‘repaving’ the streets (with stones), and maintaining the beautiful colors! Most of the good restaurants, bars, and clubs are in Casco Viejo, all within walking distance. We explored, took photos, went shopping, and then off to lunch at the cutest restaurant, The Dodo. They serve delicious sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Plus they serve proper cappuccinos and espresso, which have been a bit difficult for us to come by in Panama City. Panamanians typically drink cafe con leche, coffee with milk, and they make a standard brew.
After lunch we walked along the seafront for some killer views of Panama City! The skyline in Panama has grown so much since I’ve last been here, it’s unbelievable. The cityscape goes on for what seems like forever. It’s definitely one of the best places to see the cities skyline. Along the seafront there are Kuna’s (Panamanian Natives) selling their molas (more on that later) and other goods.
After a full day of exploring Casco Viejo we were completely exhausted. We zipped back to the hotel to nap and shower. Then we went out to a local restaurant on Via Argentina called El Trapiche, a typical Panamanian eatery. Via Argentina is also a hip neighborhood filled with local restaurants and bars. You’ll find breweries, bars, and a large variety of food. Typical Panamanian food consists of: fried whole fish, grilled whole fish, ceviche, grilled chicken, coconut rice, beans, french fries, patacones / fried & smashed plantains, platanos fritos – fried sweet plantains, yucca. Plantains are in just about everything. So if you are visiting Panama you better get used to it! On the Caribbean side of the country they use a lot of curries / tropical seasonings. These exotic flavors were brought from Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands. Lastly, empanadas, meat filled biscuits are also a Panamanian specialty. My grandmother’s recipe was THE BEST. Let me see if I can dig it up. That’s all for now. See more Panamanian goodness here and here!