These impressive stone ruins are all that remain of the original Panama City, founded in 1519 by the feared conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila. Although the Panamá Viejo (or Panamá La Vieja) remains are now skeletal, a tour of the site is a crash course in local history. The looming cathedral tower is a national symbol, and the on-site museum is a veritable pantry of history, stocked with centuries-old pots and pans, plates, and household items left over from the Spanish, as well as extensive indigenous artifacts.
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Panamá Viejo is the remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of the country. The Old Panama's cathedral and its bell tower is the best-preserved building of the ruins. Best time to visit is either early morning or evening as these times the weather is much cooler.