This tour takes you from the town monument through the old Chiquita executive neighborhoods of Las Palmas (La Zona) and Spanish Town (Buena Vista). You are welcome to take a cool dip in the newly renovated Las Palmas Community Pool (cost: $3/adult and $2/child). There are several ‘fondas’, before and after the neighborhoods, where you can grab a bite to eat. At the bottom are photo landmarks, which are underlined and in blue, to help guide you at each step of your journey. Have fun exploring Puerto Armuelles!
Approximate TIME: 1 ½ hours
*Additional time if you include optional meals and/or swimming.
***Photo Gallery is located below tour guidelines.
Start at the Dolphin Monument, where the road forks going into Downtown. Stand in front of the large orange supermarket, called Farmacia y Super Puerto Armuelles, facing the Dolphin. On your left is the Credit Union CASCA.
Across the street in front of you will be some street vendors and a little to the right is El Regalo del Pueblo, with a fence covered in cardboard. This sight is known locally as the Cardboard Castle.
Head up the road on the far right: Avenida Presidente Remon.
There are two good choices for breakfast or lunch just ahead. On the right is a local favorite called Restaurante Marieth. Panamanian meals are typically around $3 – 4 each. Across the street at the end of the strip of businesses, is NOPS Bakery (no sign). It is a popular bakery that also serves sandwiches, pizza, and smoothies. They have yummy biscotti too, 5 for a dollar!
Continuing up the road, you will see the Catholic church Iglesia San Antonio de Padua on the right and on the left you come to INAC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura) – Centro de Estudios Superiores de Bella Artes Verisimo Castillo, the national art school. If the door is open, feel free to wander through and check out the artwork of our local children. Some pieces may even be for sale, so don’t be shy about asking if you see something you love!
On the right is a tall old radio tower. Here you will veer off the road onto the path that runs past the right side of the tower.
Next on your left will be the local fire station, Bomberos, next to one of the town’s baseball fields.
Walking along the trail, you will notice the Old Puerto Armuelles Airport on the left and, sometimes, even have an ocean view.
Soon, when you are getting near the yellow Courthouse Building, you will come upon a very large tree with a large cactus growing way up inside the center. Some elderly locals have said that they recall the Cactus in the Tree from their childhoods!
Continue along the trail until you are getting near to the school directly in front of you. Close to the paved road in front of the school, you will see the Blair House on your right. Read about the history of Blair House here.
You will continue to the paved road and turn to the right, heading towards the entrance of Las Palmas. The more adventurous can cross the narrow cement footbridge on the right side of the road, over the small river. Great for photos!
As you enter Las Palmas, the Las Palmas Community Pool will be on the right. If you are there Thursday through Sunday, between 10am and 6pm, feel free to go for a swim and cool off. Prices are $3 for adults and $2 for children under age 12.
Here, you can take an optional stroll around Las Palmas and see the old executive housing. There is only one road in and out, so you can’t get lost if you stay on the paved roads. There is a quick loop if you take the first road on the left around.
After you exit Las Palmas, head back on the trail past the Blair House. This time stay on the dirt road and then trail/sidewalk on the far left: Keep to the left. You will come to the old, vacant, Chiquita Administration Buildings on your right.
Pass the administration buildings and take the trail on the left to an Old Metal Footbridge that crosses the river, taking you into Spanish Town.
Head into Spanish Town and take the first road to the left, then go around the park to the right. Notice some of the interesting gardens, gates, and yard sculptures here.
When the road forks, go to the right on a footpath at the end of the pavement. This will take you to another Old Footbridge out of Spanish Town and back to the start of the tour.
Photos Gallery of sights you will see along the tour: