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Casco Antiguo and Its Historical Significance: A Tremendous Tourism Opportunity for Panama

Posted by Leydi Chong on October 5, 2023

Casco Antiguo, or the Old Town, stands as a centerpiece in the comprehensive development of tourism in Panama. Its unique attributes set it apart as an alluring destination for visitors, making it imperative to drive a tourism strategy rooted in its promotion and preservation.

In this discussion, we focus on Casco Antiguo’s role as a historical center and the reasons underpinning its status as a prime tourist attraction.

Travelers often seek experiences tailored to their personal preferences when exploring a country. As a general rule, before embarking on their preferred experiences, they yearn to understand the country through a foundational grasp of its history. Panama is no exception to this rule, as most of our tourism data underscores that Casco Antiguo outpaces even the Panama Canal as the most frequented place by tourists.

With over three centuries of history, Casco Antiguo witnessed the birth of the new capital following the plunder and destruction of Panama City (now known as Old Panama) by the infamous English pirate, Henry Morgan. It became the epicenter of political, social, and cultural elite life, hosting pivotal events that shaped our nation’s history. These chronicles are imprinted in the structures, churches, and monuments—many of which, despite substantial wear and tear, maintain their original form thanks to visionary Panamanians who recognized the imperative of preserving this city sector.

Casco Antiguo offers tourists a comprehensive narrative of Panama City’s history. Its streets and some ancient buildings reflect our Spanish colonial heritage from the 17th and 18th centuries. Moreover, the architecture of its charming edifices and squares reflects the era when Panama was part of Colombia, marked by influences from architectural trends of the time. A leisurely stroll through Casco Antiguo unveils the captivating story of the Canal’s construction and the birth of our new republic in 1903.

Why not use Casco Antiguo as the launching pad to showcase the rest of our country? Investing in the development of the most modern visitor’s center in Latin America right here could be transformative. From this center, we could promote Panama’s other remarkable attractions—our iconic Canal, awe-inspiring biodiversity, pristine rainforests, beautiful beaches, and our modern cityscape with its skyscrapers.

The question remains: how do we efficiently market these treasures? We need a central hub, a welcoming starting point that leaves an indelible impression on visitors.

In line with this vision, our proposition is straightforward. There’s no easier and more compelling way to promote tourism in Panama than by narrating our history through the narrow streets of Casco Antiguo, all while raising awareness about the rest of our splendid tourist destinations. This strategy should be swiftly

implemented at the governmental level, especially considering the recent inauguration of the Amador cruise port, just minutes from the historic center. Moreover, the influx of major luxury hotel chains into Casco Antiguo and the robust commercial and residential developments through private sector-driven restoration projects underscore the urgency of this approach.

At Compañía Inmobiliaria San Felipe, we remain committed to contributing from the private sector to the recovery and revitalization of the historic center. We actively engage in dialogues with authorities to champion the priorities of Casco Antiguo, envisioning a comprehensive, well-organized, and sustainable future to benefit all Panamanians.

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