Panama’s eponymous capital city is located on the Pacific coast of the Central American isthmus nation. Founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1519, the city soon became an important port of trade, though this reputation left it vulnerable to pirate attacks, and the original settlement was destroyed by a fire in 1671. In the centuries following, Panama rebuilt, though no economic endeavor was as remarkable as the completion of the Panama Canal in 1914. The U.S. relinquished control of the canal to Panama in 1999, and the resulting profits have helped Panama City develop into a modern hub of banking and tourism. Visitors take note – the tropical waterfront, diverse architecture, and efficient public infrastructure make running in Panama City some of the best in Latin America.
The best place to run in Panama City is the Cinta Costera multi-use path along the waterfront, which offers up stunning views of the skyline. The Amador Causeway path has a similar boardwalk vibe, while parks like Omar Torrijos and Cerro Ancon also host paved trails. Additionally, runners can take in the sights of the old town on our 5k Runseeing Tour of Casco Viejo, while adventurous trail hounds will want to explore Metropolitan Natural Park, Camino de Cruces National Park, and Soberanía National Park. For those who want to see the Panama Canal in style, we’ve also mapped a novelty run to the Miraflores Locks.
Wherever you run in Panama City, keep in mind it’s quite humid, and the sun can be brutal. Remember to hydrate, wear solar protection, and try to run early to beat the heat. Traffic in the city can be a bit of a headache, so while taxis are a fair option for getting around, we don’t recommend renting a car. Most routes are accessible by Panama’s MetroBus system, just be sure to double check your destination, and expect some crowds.