I’ve been in Panama approximately a month and once in a while I enjoy going for long walks, riding a bike and if I am brave and not feeling clumsy, roller blading! There are two outdoor recreation spots which are simply perfect, where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the city. These are the Cinta Costera, or “Coastal Beltway”, and the Amador Causeway. Personally I prefer to go either early in the morning or later in the afternoon (after 3pm) to benefit from the breeze and avoid the overwhelmingly radiant sun. It is quite popular to go to the Cinta Costera at 5:30 am to see the sunrise but I have not yet managed to witness this, as it is a bit too early for me!La Cinta Costera Panama
The Amador Causeway is currently being expanded so there are limited pictures available at the moment.
The first is the Cinta Costera which surrounds the Panama Bay and now leads all the way up to the second destination which I will elaborate on later. It was built in three phases with only the first phase costing 189 million USD. I remember when there only used to be two lanes, one in each direction, and how much closer the water was. Not only did the new development help with traffic, but the area now has basketball courts, water fountains, parking, recreational parks for children, several fountains and some monuments.
The Second Phase of the Cinta Costera begins at the Mercado del Marisco or “Fish Market” where I like to go sometimes in the afternoon to have some delicious ceviche. If you like ceviche and seafood this is the place to buy it. This phase ends at the beginning of the Casco Viejo, and along the way you will find the refreshing raspado as well as more football courts, docks where you can see beautiful yachts and much more.
The third phase is new to me as I only saw it this year. It begins at the Casco Viejo and leads all the way to the Puente de las Americas or “Bridge of the Americas”. It has several lookout points where one can sit and enjoy the view. Every Sunday there is a Ciclovia or “cycle path” that closes down for cars and can only be used for bicycles and sport, running from Phase 1 to Phase 3. The third phase is easily distinguishable at night when it is illuminated by lights that constantly change colour.
Calzada de Amador or Amador Causeway
The Causeway (short for Amador Causeway), which is easily reached after leaving the Cinta Costera, is where I spent a lot of time riding bicycles when I was younger. There is something wonderful about this approximately 6km strip of land that goes out into the Pacific and links several islands, I don’t know if it is seeing water on both sides or the salty breeze but I highly recommend it! It is currently under expansion and I am sure the results will impress. At the beginning of the Causeway you will find the Bio Museo or “Bio Museum”, which I wrote a previous blog post on and which you should definitely visit; as well as the Figali Convention Center, an indoor arena where I have attended a few concerts with the capacity of 10,275.
The Causeway, which was used to break the tide, is located at the entrance of the Panama Canal and was built with rocks during the construction of the Canal. It connects the islands of Noas, Culebra, Perico and Flamenco. It is under constant change and it never fails to surprise me every time I return to Panama, it now has many bike rentals, restaurants serving traditional and global cuisine, shopping areas, hotels, and marinas as well as the Smithsonian Research Facility. It is an ideal spot for picture opportunities as you enjoy a 360 degree view and sometimes manage to see the big ships waiting to enter or leave the Canal.
A little more history on the Causeway: during World War II it was also known as Fort Grant, and it was used by the United States as a military post to protect the Canal from attacks. It was always controlled by the United States until in 1999 it was turned over from the US to the Republic of Panama along with the Panama Canal.
If you want to visit Taboga, also known as the “Island of Flowers”, you can take a ferry from the Causeway and it is only a bit more than half an hour by boat. I am planning to visit the island soon for a break from city life, so stay tuned for the post!
Tips: Do not forget protection against the sun and some mosquito repellent depending on the time of day you visit, the more sun the more you avoid mosquitoes. Do not forget to take some water!
Arriving at the Causeway: Take a taxi or your own vehicle and avoid El Chorillo.
Planning to visit Panama? Book a room in the city center only a few minutes away from the Cinta Costera now!