Strolling the streets of Panama City’s old town, Casco Antiguo

Casa Antiguo Panama City

The old part of Panama City is what remains of what pirate Henry Morgan didn’t plunder. Now called Casco Antiguo, it was a walled city founded in 1673 on a promontory when Panama was still a province of Columbia.

Time would probably have taken its toll if the area hadn’t been declared a World Heritage site a decade ago. So while many building remain in a crumbling state – and often inhabited by squatters – gentrification has taken hold with buildings rehabbed and now the residence of, among others, American ex pats. (The Adventurers ran into one who said he went to USC and knew OJ. Yeh, right).

Casa Antigua Panama City

What made their visit particularly pleasant was that they were there early enough in the morning – before many shops and restaurants were open, that you could still feel the presence of a spirit or two…

Photos of courtyard (top) by Dennis Nugent

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