TOUR DESCRIPTION The Half Day City Tour takes you onto a fascinating history journey starting in Panama Viejo, where Pedro Arias de Avila founded the first Spanish City on 15 August 1519, continues to Casco Antiguo, the historic center of Panama city with beautiful restored colonial houses, interesting museums, cathedrals and plazas.
4+ persons: US$75 per person plus 7% tax
2-3 persons: US$110 per person plus 7% tax
INCLUDED Bilingual naturalist guide, museum and related fees, bottled water, transportation from/to your hotel in Panama City (please note that a $35 per person roundtrip surcharge based on 2+ persons must be added to day tours beginning and/or ending at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Canopy Tower, Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort or hotels near Tocumen Airport)
DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
Begin your exploration today at the ruins of Panama Viejo (the old city). Panama City is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the Pacific coast of the Americas. It was founded in 1519 as a consequence of the discovery by the Spanish of the “South Sea” in 1513. The archaeological remains of the original settlement (known today as the Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo) include the Pre-Columbian vestiges of the Cuevan aboriginal occupation of the same name, and currently encompass a UNESCO protected heritage site covering 32 hectares. The settlement was a first rank colonial outpost and seat of a Royal Court of Justice during the 16th and 17th centuries when Panama consolidated its position as an intercontinental hub. Its growth in importance, as it profited from the imperial bullion lifeline, is reflected by the imposing stone architecture of its public and religious buildings. During its 152 years of existence, the town was affected by slave rebellion, fire and an earthquake, but was destroyed in the wake of a devastating attack in 1671 by pirate Henry Morgan.
Continue to Casco Antiguo (the old city compound) which dates from the late 1600's. At the folk market you will have the opportunity to admire and obtain local and indigenous handcrafts. Casco Viejo is home to monuments to Ferdinand de Lesseps and other Frenchmen instrumental in the ill-fated attempt of the French to construct a canal through Panama became the new Panama City of the times. This part of town was never successfully attacked, being protected by a wall that surrounded the new settlement. You will visit San Jose church with the famous Golden Altar, one of the few testaments to all the wealth that made its way through this city. You will walk along the French Plaza – a monument to the French canal effort and take a panoramic look of the modern city from this vantage point as well as the ships that are anchored in the bay awaiting transit of the canal.
Drop off at hotel by noon / early afternoon.
- 9:00 a.m. Approximate pick up time at your hotel in Panama City
- 12:30 p.m. Approximate return to your hotel in Panama City
This tour is available from Tuesday through Sunday (on Mondays the museums in Panama are closed).
Check our SPECIALS SECTION for current "open tours" with already passengers signed up or review our green season Specials!
WHAT TO BRING
- Binoculars (available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
- Cap or hat
- Sunscreen lotion
- Light clothing
- Light raincoat
- Tennis shoes or sandals
Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:
- Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
- Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Tour boat driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Hotel bellman: US$1.00 per person per suitcase
- International airport bellmen (red caps): US$1.00 per piece of suitcase
“It was a fantastic tour. Our guide, did a super job.
It was a great experience and would recommend it to anyone.”
Joseph G. Acker, USA
Just wanted to say thank you ever so much for your assistance with bookings and information for our trip. Both tours were excellent and the guides were exceptionally brilliant. I shall recommend your company to everyone I know.
We are on our way home to cold and wintery England but will return one day for sure."
Dominic Canti, England
“Unfortunately, our stay in Panama City was very short, just for three days… This means that we had to see and learn so many things in only a very short time. I think that the two day tours we took with your company gave us the opportunity to do so, but not only… we got much more than we had expected… MUCHAS GRACIAS!”
Chrystalla Koumi, Cyprus
“The trip met our expectations with respect to the people we met, the hotels, and the meals. It was a great trip. We enjoyed every day.”
Max Wilson, USA
From getting information on the telephone, to choosing a mutually agreeable location to meet, to the sign made up so we could find our guide, to our guide and what the tour encompassed - ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC MELANIE, all 4 of us loved it and believe we received good value for our money. We ate in a small restaurant in Casco Viejo, loved the atmosphere, food & service. No dislikes on the tour, would highly recommend it.”
Mauren Richichi, Canada
“Good Morning Katiana.
First I would like to thank you for all your assistance in getting my tour booked and arrangement for us. I had a wonderful time, learned a lot and was very enjoyable time. Lunch was excellent, nice and cozy restaurant, very well done.”
Nathalie Hains, USA
“We had a great day learning about Panama's history and having a tour of the city.
It was an excellent way to start our trip, and we'd ask for our guides again.”
Lucy Preson, USA