Casco Viejo (Spanish for Old Town), is the historic district of Panama City, Panama
. Completed and settled in 1673, it was built following the near total destruction of the original Panama City
, Panama Viejo in 1671, when the later was attacked by pirates. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1997. Owner Direct Vacation Rental offers accommodations ranging from a condo rental to villa rentals in this revitalized historic district.
Casco Viejo is Disneyland for history buffs. The neighbourhood’s rich and sordid history dates back centuries and a sharp eye can still find vestiges of every phase of growth on display. From the original colonial wall, to beautiful Art Deco building facades to the excellent Canal Museum there is much to experience in Casco Viejo
. Many of the vacation rental accommodations including condo rentals and villa rentals are in one of these historic buildings.
When you leave your accommodation of one of the exquisite villas, you are among streets filled with buildings that served as homes, cathedrals, and churches and government buildings over centuries and many architectural phases. The painstakingly restored structures near your lodgings, now house museums, gourmet restaurants, quaint shops and upscale accommodation
. In contrast there are buildings awaiting revitalization that offer an excellent peek into the varied history that the district has experienced. No matter the type of vacation rentals you choose, you will feel as though you are a part of the history of this part of Panama City.
Leave your villa rental and stroll down to Plaza Bolivar, a small plaza surrounded by 19th century architecture
. This is one of the most pleasant places in Casco Viejo, day or night. The plaza gets little road traffic and is trimmed with cafes and restaurants outfitted with large shade umbrellas and a casual atmosphere. The focal point of the plaza is a monument to the Venezuelan general Simone Bolivar, the “Liberator of Latin America”
From your vacation rentals which can include but is not limited to a villa rental, check out Iglesias San Francis de Asis, one of the smallest but most ornate churches in Casco Viejo
. It sits on Plaza Bolivar across the street from the National Theatre. Above all though, the unmistakably Panamanian sounds and smells that fill the Casco Viejo air are perhaps its greatest treasure. Street peddlers cry out “bollo”! as they sell soft corn wrapped up in corn leaves, a Panamanian favourite; the presidential honour guard’s cheerful cadence is performed early in the morning; Kuna Indians sell colourful molas on the Paseo de Bovedas as couples stroll hand in hand and old timers settle on park benches as their grandchildren play soccer around groups of passing tourists