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“NIce archeological site needing some care” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Panama La Vieja

Panama La Vieja
Panama City, Panama
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Ranked #16 of 59 Attractions in Panama City
Type: Ancient Ruins, Cultural
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Owner description: Panamá Laa Vieja es el nombre que recibe el sitio arqueológico donde estuvo ubicada la Ciudad de Panamá en su primera fundación en elsiglo XVI.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
441 reviews 441 reviews
185 attraction reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
211 helpful votes 211 helpful votes
“NIce archeological site needing some care”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

I´m for my third year back in Panama for a week working. At this time I managed to visit the archeological site called Panama La Vieja (Old Panama), which are the ruins of what was the first Panama city and also the first Spanish city founded in pacific of the Americas.

The city was totally sacked and destroyed by a pirate called Morgan in 1671. After that, the city was rebuild in a different place, nowadays called "Casco Antiguo".

The archeological site is really worth a visit, since it is a quite a big area with bridges, streets, some ruins that give you a hint of how the city was operating in its beginning. Some buildings, like the Mongas (nuns) convent and the tower of a cathedral have still a big part preserved and it is possible to visit inside. The tower has a wonderful view.

There is also a museum that explains the history of the Panama city which is advisable to visit first, since it gives you the background to understand the archeological site.

The walk is relatively big and there is no internal transportation for people with difficulties to walk. If it is your case, you need to take care yourself on how to go the way long.

It is a pity that the place needs care. There are some signs that some work might have been going on, but still a lot to improve. Specially most of the signs referring to the buildings are in bad condition, some even impossible to read. Not to mention some walls with writing from visitors that were not restored. But I hope the works in the site will get there.

Visited September 2013
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English first
Princeton, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Impressive ruins and fascinating history”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013 via mobile

The interpretive museum with archeological finds are the best place to start. There are two floors of exhibits, and although most of the explanations are in Spanish, there is enough English to get the idea. The ruins themselves are impressive--the tower in particular. One can climb to the top for a great view. The area is still being restored and will be done in a few years, but it is well worth going now.
It is not easy getting there, and I felt it was well worth it to hire a driver/tour guide, Ricardo Wilson (ricardowilson13@hotmail.com) who also took me to the Parque Natural Metropolitan. Mr. Wilson is a retired chef with a wealth of knowledge about his country. He was extremely helpful and trustworthy.

Visited September 2013
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Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“romantic, historic, splendid”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

this city is being redone with a lot of care to preserve all the history in it....great sights, lots of good restaurants....walk to the fish market for the best sight of fish, shrimps and everything else the ocean has to offer...cheaaaap!

Visited June 2013
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Guangzhou, China
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Looks like much older than it is”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

The maintain of the ruin is quite bad, and it looks older than it actually it. The road is very stony and I saw some ladies walked very difficultly in heels

Visited August 2013
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
58 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Ruins of Panama City”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

The fee is minimal and you can walk around leisurely to view the ruins of the original Panama City with the modern city of Panama in the background. Great picture-taking opportunities. Be sure to climb the old watch tower for magnificent views.

Visited September 2013
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