Six Tips for Fab Photographs in Panama City28th July 2015
With a vibrant art and architecture scene—not to mention fantastic dining options—Panama City is a world capital well worth exploring. In this age of digital photography and increasingly artistic selfies, it’s increasingly important to come away with inspiring vacation shots.
Thankfully, bright colors and sunny days make for a vivid palette in Panama. And whether you’re toting a 35-millimeter, a digital mini, an iphone, or anything else, you’re sure to come away with some spectacular photos.
You’ll find picture-worthy subjects virtually anywhere you go in Panama. Even the people are interesting (and oh so photogenic). But we’ve handpicked some smoking locations we know you and your camera won’t want to miss.
1. Panama’s Bio-Museum, Designed by Frank Gehry:
In a picturesque on-the-water spot, you’ll find the only Frank Gehry designed building in Latin America. The famous architect is known for his off-the-wall creations, which showcase cutting edge construction. His tropical-themed imagining for Panama’s Bridge of Life Museum took years to complete. From its conception in 1999, it was nearly fifteen years before the “Biodiversity Museum” opened its doors. Today, green lawns and a flashy origami-like structure make for tremendous photos.
2. The Panama Canal…with a twist:
No first-time visit to Panama is complete without a visit to the world-famous Panama Canal. The waterway’s main visitor center at Miraflores houses viewing platforms, a restaurant, event rooms and a carefully curated museum. If you’ve already seen Miraflores, however, we have two suggestions that could lead to out-of-the-ordinary photos.
First, consider visiting the new visitor center in Panama’s Gatun sector…all the way across the Isthmus, on Panama’s Caribbean coast. If you have in interest in the landmark Canal expansion (currently nearing completion), this is the spot for you!
Want to get even more up close and personal without spending thousands of dollars?
Book a partial transit of the Canal when you get to Panama. Unlike many full transits, partial transit tours offered in Panama grant passengers impressive views of the Canal’s giant locks and miter gates…without the cost of a ten-day-cruise.
3. Historic Panama La Vieja & Casco Viejo:
Panama’s rich history has been the subject of many a book, including the famed The Path Beween the Seas, by David McCullough. Explore the parts of Panama that were built before the famous Canal undertaking to put it all into context…and get some truly beautiful photos to boot.
We love the ruins at Panama La Vieja in Panama City. For amazing panoramic shots, climb to the top of the tower. And the French and Spanish colonial architecture in Casco Viejo is romantic and rustic. Start in the modest Plaza Herrera, where you’ll find the elegant American Trade Hotel. Then work your way further into Casco Viejo, till you reach the famed Plaza Bolivar.
4. Modern Architecture along the Panama Bay
Of course, not all of Panama’s sights are centuries old. The capital is shockingly modern, with a sparkling skyline that’s often compared to that of Miami. For great evening shots, walk the Cinta Costera along the Panama Bay. (Don’t forget to use your “night” or “low light” setting!) Or take a day to view some of the city’s more iconic towers, including the sail-shaped Trump hotel & towers, the corkscrew that is the F&F Tower, and the sumptuous Soho mall. Oh, and don’t forget to peer into the YOO, with décor by Philippe Starck.
5. Pipeline Road & Other Outdoor Oases
The above-mentioned Cinta Costera is just one of the great outdoor venues you’ll want to visit in Panama. For pure nature shots, we love the Gamboa sector, best known for Pipeline Road and its world-class birding scene. The Amador Causeway connects four small islands and is surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Pacific. You’ll find plenty of eateries here, so sit, have a beer, and enjoy the view!
For hiking enthusiasts, the Metropolitan Park offers opportunities to snap photos of Panama’s lush flora and fauna. And for expansive views of the canal and city, the viewing platform at the end of the Bridge of the Americas is hard to beat!
6. Fish Market & Photo-Worthy Fare:
Food photography has never been more popular. We agree, a perfectly composed platter is worth a thousand words. Not to mention, food pics on Facebook are a great way to make the gang back home jealous of your tropical vacation. You’ll find Panama is a Mecca for delicious and beautifully presented dishes. Try Asian restaurant Ginger at the Waldorf Astoria, elevated local cuisine at Luna in downtown Marbella, or flavorful Spanish fare at the boat-themed La Fragata.
If you’re a serious seafood lover, make sure to include a stop at the bustling fish market just outside Casco Viejo. There are displays of all kinds of creatures fresh from the water, as well as seafood stalls for immediate eating!
There are a great many restaurants—and sights—in Panama City. We can scarcely name them all, and it’s hard to go wrong, no matter where you go. Whether riding the metro, sitting down to a meal, or in your hotel in panama city panama, keep that photo lens ready.
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