Panamá Viejo

Address: Panamá Viejo, Panamá, Panama

Established by Spanish colonist Pedro Arias de Ávila in 1519, Panamá Viejo is the first settlement on the Pacific coast for European colonists after arrival. About 150 years later, gold and silver mined by Spanish were delivered back to Europe via the port in Panamá Viejo. 

In 1671, Welsh pirate and later Admiral of the British Royal Navy Henry Morgan attacked Panamá Viejo, but the Spanish governor set fire to the city in advance to prevent the resources from being snatched by the pirates. The city, thus, was ruined and abandoned. Two years later, a new settlement, known as San Felipe (Casco Viejo) today, was established on a peninsula about 8km away from Panamá Viejo.

Although Panamá Viejo is dilapidated with only a better-preserved bell tower, it is still worth visiting as the start of the colonial history of Central America.