Panama City has reinvented itself more than once. After the original city was destroyed by a Welsh pirate it was rebuilt a few miles away in the San Felipe district also known as Casco Viejo, Casco Antiguo or the Old Part.It is undergoing a major revitalization with ramshackle buildings next door to those that have been carefully restored. The faded grandeur of buildings still inhabited but not yet refurbished is often compared to Havana and parts of New Orleans.

UNESCO declared Casco Viejo a World Heritage Site in 1997. Following gentrification trendy restaurants and bars have opened making it a fashionable destination for a night out. It’s a great place to wander and stumble across several squares, including Independence Plaza, the epicenter.

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