West of Balboa, the Calzada de Amador, originally designed as the canal’s Pacific breakwater, runs 6km out into the bay, linking the mainland with the tiny islands of Naos, Perico and Flamenco. It’s a popular weekend escape for the city’s wealthier residents, who come here to jog, swim, stroll, rollerblade or cycle – you can rent bikes – and to enjoy the sea air and the views of the city and the canal. The northern sector of the causeway is being redeveloped into a complex – still under construction – which will comprise luxury bars, restaurants and hotels, and a marina, as well as the much vaunted Museo de la Biodiversidad (wbiomuseopanama.com), a “biodiversity exhibition centre” designed by architect Frank Gehry. Building began in 2004 but has been plagued with controversy, and there is still no opening date in sight.

At the southern side of Punta Culebra, a small promontory at the end of Naos, 4km along the Causeway, and next to the unexciting Punta Culebra Nature Center, is the departure point for passenger ferries to Isla Taboga and for some of the canal transit tours. Beyond, Perico and Flamenco are home to more shops, bars, restaurants and a marina.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Panama features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

16 pictures that show the colours of Panama

After a recent trip to Central America, travel photographer Nori Jemil shares some of her best pictures of Panama.  The geographically strategic isthmus of …

30 Dec 2015 • Nori Jemil insert_drive_file Article
10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

10 things you didn't know you could do in Panama

There’s a whole lot more to Panama than its famous canal. Hiking, rafting, surfing and diving are just a few of the excellent adventure activities on offer, a…

08 Sep 2015 • Megan Eileen McDonough insert_drive_file Article
A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

A little piece of paradise: visiting Panama’s San Blas Islands

Let’s clear one thing up straight away: getting to the San Blas islands is not easy, whichever way you’re coming from. And that’s quite deliberate. The…

23 Oct 2014 • James Rice insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month