What are the best things to do in and around the Panama City, Panama area of San Francisco?
San Francisco is a beautiful, safe, comfortable and central neighborhood in the main city, Panamá. In minutes you can do all your errands, as everything is close by: several bank branches, supermarkets, 5 star hotels, modern malls, pharmacies, movies, the ocean, a convention center, you name it, and most of all, the largest park in the city, that opens up 4:30 AM and doesn't close until 10 PM. Single residences has disappeared over the...
San Francisco is a beautiful, safe, comfortable and central neighborhood in the main city, Panamá. In minutes you can do all your errands, as everything is close by: several bank branches, supermarkets, 5 star hotels, modern malls, pharmacies, movies, the ocean, a convention center, you name it, and most of all, the largest park in the city, that opens up 4:30 AM and doesn't close until 10 PM. Single residences has disappeared over the time, and new apartment buildings have filled this space.
The park is the main attraction for residents, as they can start the day jogging or walking, followed by an exceptional natural fruit shake, a visit to the free gym, library, pool, or simply, relax under the gazebo under beautiful trees.
In addition, you can spend the day shopping, in which case a special bus will take you from one mall to the other. There are also the tourist buseses that, the same as in New York, have several stops and you can enjoy each one the time you want.
Only minutes away, you have the famous "cinta costera", which is a beautiful boulevard by the ocean, and a very new park with lookout to the Pacific Ocean and the causeway at the entrance of the Panama Canal, and the beautiful view to the Casco Viejo.
Also in San Francisco you might like visiting the Old Panama Tower ruins and the visitor center with lots of Panamá crafts. This is called "Torre de Panamá la Vieja", which was burned by the pirates in the 15th century, then rebuilt in Casco Viejo. Cost is only $6.00 to walk through the ruins.
Panamá is a very small city, and other interesting tourist sites are close to the San Francisco area. This could include a day city tour, especially on Sunday, when less traffic allows you to move freely from one place to another. For example worth a visit is of course the Panamá Canal, where it is wise to spend at least 3 hours for watching the ships going inside the canal locks, the theater and 4 story museum. You can have lunch there by the terrace watching the ships, with an English / Spanish guide.
But there are also other places, like: the national theater, the presidential palace, the St. Joseph gold altar, the "Bóvedas" to eat a good "raspado", little restaurants, the cathedral, the gold and emerald museum, and the antique narrow streets; all this in the historical Casco Viejo. In addition you may like to also visit Mi Pueblito, the causeway, breakfast at Riu Hotel or lunch at Mi Ranchito restaurant, Albrook Mall, Natural History Museum, the banking area, or Punta Pacífica. You may also like to take a nice boat ride around the Panamá Bay.
And, if you have extra time, you may like to visit Panamá Pacifica and industrial business area; or a good walk into the "Soberanía Park", which takes approximately 3 hours, and is a beautiful protected natural park, near to Albrook, as well as a good walk up the famous Cerro Ancón Hill, with the most beautiful view to the canal. But extending your trip, you can visit the "interior" in as little as one hour or so, visiting all kind of resorts, golf clubs, beaches, mountains, riding horses, and picturesque towns like El Valle de Antón, (3 hours driving), Pedasí ( 5 hours), or Boquete (7 hours driving, or one hour by plane).