For the week of Semana Santa, or the holy week here in Costa Rica, a small group of us made the 16-hour bus ride bound for Panama City. And it was worth every minute.
With a plan of seeing as many sights, obviously including the Panama Canal, we decided to stay at a hostel in the city that was close to cheap transportation that took us almost everywhere we wanted to go.
Just down the street from our hostel was a bus stop where we could hop on a bus and travel around the city for 25 cents. A did have to take a taxi a couple times .. but that only cost a dollar or two per person.
|Decorating your bus started out as a competition between bus drivers, but now it's simply tradition.|
Casco Viejo, the historic 1500s center of Panama City, was our first stop. It's ancient churches and buildings, definitely influenced by the Spaniards, were beautiful.
The housing units were beautiful as well. Some were remodeled, but residents were still living in the old housing units.
Third stop ... Panama Viejo, the ruins from the 1500s Panama City when it was founded.
In addition to visiting all the must-sees, we also spent a day at the "Enchanted" Taboga Island about 30 minutes offshore from the city.
|A funny couple we met on the boat.|
|Rachel, Rachel, and Caroline.|
And in between the travels, we of course did some shopping at various markets .... AND celebrated our friend's 20th birthday. Overall it was an amazing trip! Everyone returned home safe and sound and we got to experience Panama at its fullest :)