The ruins of the original Panama City in Panama Viejo (destroyed
by the Welsh pirate Henry Morgan in 1671) are testament to the
first city built on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, and founded
to facilitate the transfer of Spanish-plundered riches from the
Incan Empire in South America to Spain.
The colonial influence is strongest in the 'Casco Viejo', known
as the 'second Panama City', and containing 17th century churches
and convents and handsome 18th and 19th century buildings.
Modern-day Panama City is set around the bay, and has a prosperous
business district, lively nightlife, a fantastic restaurant scene
and the only rainforest within city limits in the world: the
Metropolitan Natural Park. Panama was also recently put on the
Hollywood map thanks to the filming of the Quantum of Solace Bond
film in and around the city.