Panama city, or the city of uncomfortable inequalities

Panama City was the first stop on our road trip. After a 12 hours journey on the plane, this is where we first landed for three days, before flying off to Cali.

Panama City

To be honest, even though Panama City is quite famous and a well-known touristic destination, it was not our favourite.

Firstly because we stayed mostly in the city (big mistake), secondly because Panama City’s landscape is, in my opinion, filled up with too many skyscrapers. One side of the city is really rich, when the other is way too neglected. What I saw mostly during my stay over there was an apparent inequality.

Tourism in Panama City is growing. In 2012, Panama was picked #1 Place to visit by the New York Times. 


With a wide variety of exotic attractions: Indigenous cultures, exotic tropical rain-forests, stunning mountains, the Panama Canal: 8th wonder of the world, the Caribbean and Pacific Coast, and so on, Panama offers a exotic affordable destination. Panama City was shown to be one of the least expensive capital cities in the world.

Tourism has helped economic growth in the country, but this has not led to the people of Panama being able to live more decent lives but rather to a better tourism within the country. It hasn’t resulted neither in effective ways to reduce poverty or into sustainable ways to protect the environment.

While we were there, we mostly just wandered throughout the city. Because of the Jetlag, our first few days in South America consisted mainly in eating and sleeping. We needed to recharge our battery before starting our Colombian Road trip.

After exploring Colombia, we had to fly back there for another couple of days. Our fly back to Europe was also from there. For our second stay in Panama City, we stayed for 4 days and decided to sojourn somewhere else than in the middle of Panama City. Our second experience there was not much more different. We ended up in a really fancy area where most people where from North America, and predominantly speaking English.

All the schools of the areas where also predominantly English speaking schools.

Panama is a country still in development, which is why tourism is an important factor. However, tourism can also be use as a sustainable way for development.

Published by

Ophélie Lawson

I am a passionate and creative young adult, dedicated to make this world a better place by sharing ideas, stories and projects committed to encourage a sustainable development. Enthusiastic and dedicated person from France with an excellent attitude to work, I have good communication skills. Using my journalistic expertise, my photography and story telling skills, as well as my curiosity, I travel the world looking for inspiring content to write about. And I am not scared of standing up for what I believe.

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