Self-Guided Walking Tour #1: Las Palmas & Spanish Town

Visit Puerto Armuelles

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!

Las Palmas & Spanish Town Self-guided Walking Tour #1

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Walking Tour #1 with photos

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Walking Tour #1 MAP

Approximate TIME: 1 ½ hours

*Additional time if you include optional meals and/or swimming.

***Photo Gallery is located below tour guidelines.

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Start your tour at the Dolphin Monument


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:


Visit Puerto ArmuellesVisit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

Visit Puerto Armuelles

14 – Bridge leaving Spanish Town

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  1. Michael Hamar

    My grandparents and my mother lived in Las Palmasin the 1930’s when my grandfather was the head of the hospital for United Fruit Company. I would love information on properties that are currently available.

    1. admin (Post author)

      You are on the newsletter list now, so you’ll be getting property updates. Hey, do you happen to know the house number of the home in Las Palmas that your grandparents lived in? These homes still have the original numbers on them. I could take a current photo and send it to you since I live in this neighborhood too.

      Debbie Fishell

    2. Lisa Allen

      My grandparents and my mother also lived in Las Palmas in the 1930’s. My mom was born here in 1930. My grandfather ran the commissary for the United Fruit Co. He died in February 1935 and my mom and grandmother moved home to New Orleans, LA. My mom is still living today and is 88 years old.

      1. admin (Post author)

        Wow! I wish I could talk to your mom! Does she have any old stories or photos that you could scan and email to me? We are working on building a good collection of historical photos and stories.

  2. Thomas Buchanan

    Will be staying in the area for 3 months looking forward to exploring this area. A lot to see.

    1. admin (Post author)

      Let me know when you will be here and I can help to hook you up with a rental. They go pretty quickly here! Look forward to meeting you in person and sharing info about the area. 🙂

  3. Lori OBrien

    Hoping to sell our house soon and head to Panama. Looking for places to live under $1000/mo. I notice no one ever mentions Puerto Armuelles. Why is that? I would love to hear more about this area. Please keep in touch.

    1. admin (Post author)

      Puerto Armuelles, though it has beautiful beaches and is the second largest town in Chiriqui, is still considered ‘provincial’ by most foreigners. There is a very small expat community compared to some of the more popular towns, like Boquete, Volcan, and Coronado. If having a large expat community is essential, Puerto may not be the place at this time. However, our expat numbers are growing steadily and things are changing here, for the better! It’s still one of the least expensive towns in Panama with all amenities nearby.


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