My last stop of the trip – Panama City, Panama! The old part of the city, Casco Viejo, is very chill and a nice place for accommodations and restaurants. The neighbourhoods of the city vary a lot! Casco Viejo is very nice but somewhat on the touristy side. The next neighbourhood, El Chorillo, is the city slum. Make sure you don’t accidentally wander into this area at night-time – but crossing the police guard may be a giveaway!
I took a nice walk along the waterfront and took in the beautiful views, palm trees, and warm weather. On Sundays there’s a lot of activity going on. Many of the streets are closed to cars so that individuals and families can enjoy the area for cycling. Good idea!
And obviously, I made a trip out to the Panama Canal. It lived up to all my expectations – which were actually very high! Three cargo ships went through while I was there, so I got to see the Miraflores locks in action. These are a set of locks that lowered the ship in stages from Gatun Lake (in middle of canal) to sea level in the Pacific Ocean. The engineering, expertise, and will-power to build the canal and the recent expansion is astounding. The museum at the Miraflores lock and the Canal Museum in the city are both very interesting and worth the time.
Another very unique museum is the Bio-Museum, which reviews the bio-diversity and geography of Panama. It’s a fascinating place as Panama is where the two continents met and exchanged a massive array of fauna and flora. Very cool!
This marks the end of my Mexico/Central America journey. This part of the trip has been a blast, with so many amazing experiences and people. I had so much fun scuba diving along the Caribbean and hiking the many volcanos of Central America.
Now I fly back to my home in British Columbia, Canada. It’s amazing how fast these two years of travel have gone. I’ll be making a post about my reflections of my backpacking adventures – so stay tuned!