Panama // Panama City //

Avenida Central

Avenida Central runs north all the way from the waterfront in the old city centre, through the scary, off-limits barrios of Santa Ana and El Chorillo – so don’t venture down the side streets – towards the more modern portion of the city. The pedestrianized, ten-block stretch between Parque Santa Ana, a small park, and Plaza Cinco de Mayo is the liveliest and most popular shopping district for the city’s less wealthy residents. Blasts of air conditioning and loud music pour from the huge superstores that line the avenue, while hawkers with megaphones attempt to entice shoppers inside with deals on clothing, electronics and household goods. Nowhere is the diversity and vitality of the city more evident.