Experience Highlights

  • Duration: Half day

The tour starts at the neighbourhoods located at the foot of Ancón Hill – the highest point in the city which belonged to the so-called Canal Zone where U.S. army officers and officials lived in during the U.S. administration of the canal.

The tour continues at Amador Causeway, which offers one of the most spectacular panoramas of the city. At the Biomuseo or Museum of Biodiversity designed by Frank Gehry, the creator of the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum in Spain. The next stop is at the Old Quarter of the city, inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, thanks to its eclectic fusion of colonial, neoclassic and French architecture. This stop includes a walk in the streets, squares and gravel roads and a visit to emblematic colonial buildings, churches and palaces. San José church is one of them and the Plaza Francia which is probably the most beautiful square due to its extraordinary location in front of the sea, at the end of the peninsula. Among the historic buildings surrounding the square, there are the Embassy of France, the National Institute for Culture and the Anita Villalaz Theatre.

A few metres away, there is the Plaza Bolívar, also the little but attractive San Francisco Church and the sumptuous National Theater. If you raise your eyes, you will find the bell tower, decorated with mother of pearls, of the Church of San Felipe Neri and its adjacencies where it is located the oldest house in the Old Quarter that survived several fires, Casa Góngora where art exhibitions are currently performed. The Independence Square is other of the bastions of the Old Quarter and ends at the Executive Mansion (entrance is not guaranteed), also known as Palacio de las Garzas.

Note - The Biomuseo is closed on Tuesdays and it is open from 10am to 4pm. Cerro Ancón may be visited in small buses (15 people max.) only. The Executive Mansion is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Entrance is not guaranteed. Casa Góngora is closed on Mondays.

Sarah Frankish

Travel Specialist

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