Panama November 2018: Casca Viejo

Casca Viejo is the oldest part of the city, built and settled in 1673 and declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. We Peace Corps volunteers stayed in a hotel there in the late 1960’s because it was the cheap and run-down neighborhood. Now, there are many tourists, and the old and decrepit structures are being renovated into classy boutique hotels, bars, restaurants, condos, galleries, and shops. You can pay as much as $500 a night for a hotel room there, as opposed to my $100 a night suite in our downtown hotel.

I love the old buildings, but in truth many were simply falling down. The renovations are quite lovely, even if I miss the older look. Here’s the quick tour. Upgraded buildings and decrepit ones live side by side.

Ten years ago I could have bought a small condo in the old Peace Corps hotel for $75,000 — pic below. Over a million now I imagine. 🙂


Lunch spot.

Golden altar.

Scenic spot.

Street vendors.

French embassy.



Peace Corps hotel now condo.


Side street.

Along the water.



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