Panama City: The New Bilbao?

Art Privee
Feb 8, 2014 1:35AM

Panama is poised to become the Bilbao of Latin America. 

In Panama City, the BioMuseo designed by Frank Gehry is opening soon and will be sure to draw tourists from all over the globe. The 100 million dollar museum highlights nature, biodiversity, and the fragility of the ecosystem. One can visit the museum now for their "soft opening." Before entering, visitors must first go to a special building where you sign in, pay a fee, and don a hard hat and vest for the tour, which lasts an hour and a half.  The building itself is remarkable with mappings that show which creatures are becoming extinct or already are extinct. Gehry's twisted, deconstructed building in vibrant colors will be the new icon of Panama. 

2014 is the 100 year anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal.  One must visit the the Miraflores Locks to witness the boats entering and exiting the locks of the Canal. During our visit, we marveled at the engineering that was developed more than 100 years ago, and is still relevant today, connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. 

When we visited Panama City's Museum of Contemporary Art  (MAC), we viewed an exhibition highlighting a political incident, which occurred in 1964. This small museum with a vibrant fresco on the exterior is worth a visit. 

In Panama, food is such an integral and fun part of the culture. Workers on the Canal from all over the world brought their food cultures to Panama City, which inspires unique culinary diversity. 

There is a small but flourishing art scene in Panama. Visit Galleria Habitante to see some of Panama's leading artists. We visited artist Olga Sinclair's beautiful home and studio with an extraordinary view of Panama. 

The Waldorf Astoria in Panama City was lovely, but there are also many new hotels from which one can choose. We met many people who were visiting from the United States and Canada who came for a long weekend looking for sun, good food, and fun—they found all this and more in Panama City's thriving art and food scene.

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Art Privee