Panamá Viejo is what remains of the old capital of the country. It is located just on the outskirts of Panamá City along the bay and can be seen from the southern corridor as you travel from the international airport Tocmen to downtown. Keep a keen eye out because Panama Viejo is easily missed, the mesmerizing skyline of the new city with hundreds of skyscrapers and the breath taking views of the ocean as you drive over the bay can be very distracting.

Panamá Viejo was founded in 1519 and has suffered numerous fires in the mid 1500s. At the beginning of the 17th century it was attacked by pirates and indigenous tribes from the Darien, a big earth quake in 1620, a terrible fire in 1644 but the city always came back. Finally in 1671 Captain Morgan attacked laying waste to most of the city and taking the lives of thousands of its residents. The city finally had enough. They left the stone buildings you see today and rebuilt the new capital a few kilometers away in what is now known as the Panama City.

Panama Viejo is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still today from time to time a new relic or treasure is kicked up and added to the collection at the site museum. The walk that takes you through the ruins is a short 2 hr walk and there are a few small cafes to sit and take in the view and for under 5$ it’s a great deal.