This tour takes you from the Dolphin Monument through downtown Puerto Armuelles to the famous Banana Pier landmark, then loops around back to the start at the Dolphin. You will be exploring the plethora of small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures of the local residents. Street vendors are along the first block with “treasures” for sale and you may come across bicycle vendors with ice chest on their bikes, carrying cold drinks, pastries, and empanadas for 50 cents – $1. You’ll pass 3 parks with shade trees and benches, if you want to take a rest and enjoy the scenery. There are also numerous restaurants and small fondas where you can stop for a bite to eat. Have fun exploring downtown Puerto Armuelles!
*Be sure to read “ Tips for Walking Around in Puerto Armuelles“
Approximate Time: 1 1/2 hours
*Additional time if you stop for lunch or dinner.
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. It even has a queen!
Start walking straight ahead (southeast) towards the ocean.
As you walk the 3 blocks toward the beach, you’ll see lots of street vendors along the left side of the road and the 2-story Todo a Dollar on the right. There are a wide variety of knick-knacks and snacks for sale along the way.
Soon you will pass by Almond Park where you can sit and enjoy some people-watching, get your shoes shined, or buy a cool drink or snack from a bicycle vendor.
You’ll veer to the right and continue past Super Chiriqui, then straight ahead on the right will be a hostel called Balboa. You will turn right onto Avenida Malecón, which continues along the shoreline.
*Optional: Before turning right onto Avenida Malecón, you may like to take a detour to the left and visit the oceanfront Tisamar Bar. Grab a cool refreshment and enjoy the view of the beach (la Playa del Centro) to the north of town.
As you begin your shoreline walk, you will pass the Bus Terminal on the left. If you are ready for lunch, Marisqueria Don Juan is a good choice and has air conditioning. Look for the bright yellow building across from the bus terminal.
Along Avenida Malecón, you have a choice of walking along the sidewalk on the right side of the street to explore the shops, or walk along the sidewalk next to the beach through Malecón Park , also known as Parque Ecologica,and enjoy the beach and views of the famous banana pier. If you see a bicycle vendor selling Raspado (like a snow cone), be sure to cool off with the flavor of your choice!
As you approach the far end of the park, near the pier, you will come across the monument of Tomas Armuelles, who the town of Puerto Armuelles was named after.
From the monument you can enjoy a view of the historic Banana Pier and take some photos, or feel free to walk over and maybe walk down the pier a bit. It is in disrepair and visitors are sometimes not allowed to venture out.
After viewing or visiting the pier, return to Central Park,(Parque Municipal de Baru) across from the Tomas Armuelles monument. Here you can realx a bit under the shade of large trees and grab a cold drink from Farmacia Tiffany or Kiosko Irma Lorena across the street.
Continue your journey back to the Dolphin Monument by heading back into town on the street between Central Park and Farmacia Tiffany. Go one block past Farmacia Tiffany then turn right. Explore the plethora of shops and fondas (eateries) along the way.
After one block then turn left. Continue to explore the local businesses in downtown Puerto for one more block, then turn right at the gas station and head straight back to the Dolphin Monument where your tour began.
One more block takes you back to the start. We hope you enjoy the self-guided walking tour of downtown Puerto Armuelles! Before you embark, please read our Tips for Walking & Driving Around Puerto Armuelles.