Tours and Places

History intact at new Casco Antiguo hotel

A new hotel called Las Clementinas has opened in Casco Antiguo. The six-room property also houses a cafe and bar. A rooftop patio has views of the neighborhood rooftops, Panama City, the bay and the Pacific Ocean, Ancón Hill and the entrance to the Panama Canal.

The Casco Antiguo area is where Panama City’s wealthy once dating back to since the 17th Century. Through fiscal incentives, a restoration bonanza began in the late 90’s. One trip through “Casco” today and it is clear to visitors that this neighborhood looks like its golden years are returning quickly.

Each suite is in Las Clementarias hotel a full one-bedroom apartment, with kitchen, 12-foot ceilings, and wrap around balconies. Some have sea views and others have views of Ancón Hill and the former Canal Zone. All suites feature sustainably-harvested tropical hardwood floors, double-pane glass windows for sound isolation, high speed Internet and central air conditioning.

Below the rooms is Las Clementinas Café and Bar, connecting with two internal gardens, known for their majestic twin palms, which at nearly 80 feet high are Casco Antiguo landmarks.

Las Clementinas Hotel in Casco Antiguo

History of the building

Las Clementinas was built in the 1930s by Clementina Herrera and her daughter Clementina Jaén, owner of a successful jewelry shop. The site sits on top of the original city wall built by the Spanish in the 1700s to defend Casco Antiguo from attack, which was dismantled in the booming 1850s to make way for more development.

After Doña Clementinas jewelry shop moved, the downstairs commercial space (now the Café and Bar) were leased to the National Police, whose nearby station known as “La Secreta” (the Secret Police) was notorious during the military dictatorship.


Contact Las Clementinas at 228-1907 or 228-6637 or write

School moves to Panama Pacifico

New name and new location for French centre of learning

Liceo Frances Paul Gauguin former French School

The French School in Panama, formerly located near Parque Omar, is moving to the new special economic area Panama Pacific on the other side of the Panama Canal, opposite the capital city. The school also has a new name: Liceo Frances Paul Gauguin.

The name change to include “Liceo” means that this international school is on track with France’s international school system. French students who transfer from other countries around the world with a “Liceo” are always on the same schedule. The diploma from this school is also recognized by the French and European university system and those who have it do not have to pay the inscription fee when beginning university in Europe.

The Paul Gaugin school was established in the 1970s. It has tripled its student body just in the last three years, from 70 students in 2007 to 200 students in 2010. Students at the school represent a mix of children of French expats and those from other countries as well as Panamanians. The new school will open its doors on October 14.

The new school will be much more spacious with over 15 class rooms, libraries, chemistry and physics labs, informatics space and sports facilities. The school offers 26 hours of classes a week for small children and 30 hours for teenage kids.

Liceo Frances Paul Gauguin former French School

The 30-minute workout

New gym opens in Marbella

Top Level Gym in Marbella
Boxing is one of the integrated disciplines that Top Level Gym in Marbella uses to create a fully-integrated,
fast and effective workout routine for its clients who seek to save time and focus their energy when exercising.

Top Level Gym (TLG) has opened in the Marbella area of the Panama City. The gym provides a variety of services to combine an ideal work out, including training, instruction and learning in a group.

The new gym combines a variety of disciplines led by qualified coaches. Working out at TLG can include jiu jitsu, boxing and kick boxing with mixed martial arts and “functional training” also known as cross fit. A full exercise routine using this discipline lasts no more than 30 minutes and is a complete workout. This kind of training has become popular around the world and in Panama as people are searching for effective options to keep in shape that do not take up too much time in their day.

TLG is open to the public and also offers special hours for classes for children and specialized training for women in self defense and martial arts. Readers of The Visitor are invited for a free work out to try out the new installations and to experience the kind of workout they offer. More information at 396-7506, 396-7516.