Panama tourist tips: Visit Casco Viejo and try local cuisine

Editor’s Note: SPJ Region 3’s summer intern Isaiah Singleton is working in Panama as a student journalist along with Savannah State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication’s aboard program this early June. Singleton will share his views and insights of his experience as a journalist in Panama.

Metropolitan church copy
Metropolitan Cathedral Church in Old Town, Casco Viejo, Panama City. Flickr photo

By Isaiah Singleton, SPJ Region 3 summer intern, Savannah State University

Buenas Tardes a todos!!

It is Day 3 in Panama. We visited the beautiful and enlightening sights of Casco Viejo. Casco Viejo is Panama’s oldest historic quarter. Between the streets, vendors, and skyline, I was overwhelmed by the simplistic beauty that lies in this city; I even put my camera skills to use. I learned so much just by walking around the quarter, down the narrowing walkways, seeing stray cats, and especially the people and how friendly they are.

We [Savannah State University Panamanian Express group] took pictures of a number of colonial buildings that made me even more interested in the area. I wanted to see the Metropolitan Church but we were not able to because there were no shorts allowed in the church, so we will have to come back at a later date.

Ropa Vieja food
Ropa vieja, a dish famous in Cuba and popular throughout the Latin Caribbean, features thin strands of shredded beef in a rich and flavorful sauce of tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices. This recipe updates the classic technique for improved efficiency and flavor. – Serious Eats photo 

Panama has a beautiful skyline and we walked along the area where all the city vendors were located (I brought a Panama bracelet for only $1). In addition to the beautiful sights, I finally got to try Ropa Vieja and it was worth every cent. The shredded meat mixed with the white rice and vegetables was a perfect mix.

Later that night, a few of us went to explore the nightlife in Panama City: 

The Majestic Casino also offered Salsa dancing. Photo by Isaiah Singleton. 
  • Majestic Casino  – I recommend this casino for anyone who wants to have a good time especially with a Salsa dancing class on the second floor on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. I really loved this place because it’s nothing I’ve ever experienced in the United States especially the Salsa dancing class. 
Hard rock
Hard Rock in Panama City. Photo by Isaiah Singleton
  • Hard Rock Café – Although we could not explore much, the café itself is amazing. The view from the café is amazing and breathtaking because it gives you a piece of mind on this quiet night but this is probably because it is only Wednesday. 

Isaiah mug

Isaiah Singleton is SPJ Region 3’s 2018 summer intern. He is a junior at Savannah State University majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in online print journalism. Singleton is a contributing writer for the University’s student-ran newspaper, The Tiger’s Roar. Raised in Stockbridge, Georgia, writing has always been his passion. During childhood, he wrote numerous fictional stories about his life and what he wanted it to be. 

“Coming to SPJ Region 3, I want to bring my passion for writing and ability to think on my feet to the table. My goals for interning here are to establish multiple networking relationships, learn more about the media industry with hands-on experience, and to enjoy the opportunity that SPJ’s “Sizing Up the South” has in-store for me. When it comes to long-term goals, I want to become an editor and eventually I want to own my own magazine/newspaper or publishing company. I want to make change in the world via my writing whether that is hard news or more personal/ controversial topics in the world.” – Isaiah Singleton

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.” – Benjamin Franklin


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