Casco Viejo, Panama City's old town, was completed and settled in 1673, followed by a pirate attack that caused the Governor to pre-emptively burn the city. It was labeled a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The old town is easily walkable, and the best approach is simply to wander and turn down whichever narrow alleyways you like. In some of the open doorways, you would see a fat guy smoking with his feet up on a stack of newspapers, watching an old TV. Other times it would seem like nobody, and nothing, was inside.
Walk through the souvenir stands, where Kuna Indians sell tapestries, to the promenade, for a view of the city skyline amongst the kissing couples.
Despite being founded in the 1500s, some people say Panama is only 13 years old, marked by the year we handed over full control of the canal. Panama is "beautiful, but it makes no sense," says a renown Panamanian artist, referring to the city's striving to find a solid sense of identity. Much of life seems quite simple in the old town, as evidenced here by this boy playing football.