Things to do in Panama City

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Tour The City.- Tour agencies offer city tours which take about two and a half hours. A typical city tour will take in the ruins of Old Panama, Colonial Panama (El Casco Viejo), the modern sections and Miraflores Locks. Another option is the hop-on hop-off open-top buses recently inaugurated in the city.

Visit The Canal. Tour agencies offer a tour of the Canal area and Miraflores. Locks which takes about two and a half hours. A partial transit is an excellent way to experience the Canal.

Visit Artesanias Nacionales located beside the ruins of Panama Viejo.

Visit the Reprosa Factory and see how the gold and silver treasures of Panama are made by virtually the same technique as the ancient pre-Colombian goldsmiths. Scheduled tours are at 9.30 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. Monday to Friday and cost $10 per person. Children under twelve get in free. The tour includes beverage, snack and “goodie bag”. To make a reservation call 271-0033.

Visit the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center at Gamboa on the fabled Pipeline Road known to birders world wide for its record numbers of species. From the 100 foot tall observatory visitors can see out over the canopy. Guides are available to help you explore the surrounding forest. Open every day from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance costs $30 before 10 a.m. and $20 thereafter. Call 264-6266.

Take a ferry to the Island of Taboga, situated at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. Call: 390-2402 or out to Contadora in the Perlas Islands, call 6780-8000.

Go racing at President Remon Race Track. Meets are held in the evening on Thursday from 5 p.m. and from 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.

Watch a folklore show with colourful typical costume and traditional dances. These are offered by Las Tinajas restaurant.

Go eco-touring: Consult a tour agency. There are number of options:

• Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

• Metropolitan Park– the only rainforest reserve in Latin America situated surprisingly within the city’s limits. It covers 265 hectares and is home to a variety of mammals, insects, reptiles and birds

• Barro Colorado Nature Monument which is situated on an island in Gatun Lake. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is the custodian and visits can be arranged through them or with a tour company.

• Summit Botanical Gardens and small zoo.

Ride the Train: Along the banks of the Canal to Colon for a day trip. Departs from Corozal 7:15 a.m. Returns 5:15 p.m. from Colon. One way $22, return $44 weekdays only. 317-6070.

Hang out at the Causeway: A perfect place to relax and enjoy the picturesque view of the city from the bay. Stroll, jog, bike or enjoy one of the many restaurants.

Visit The Canal Museum: The museum is located in Cathedral Plaza in San Felipe, the colonial district which is being restored.

Go Shopping: There are many malls available.

Events: For news of events and activities, get a copy of the newspaper “The Visitor” at any hotel.

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