Frank Gehry Biomuseo de Panama and Amador Causeway to Panama bay

Frank Gehry Biomuseo de Panama and Amador Causeway to Panama bay [English]

Hotel Radisson Panama canal

I had booked only the most basic room option, but as a Radisson Rewards platinum member, I was offered an upgrade to a business room with canal view, along with complimentary breakfast everyday.

Waking up for my first day in Panama in my room of the Radisson hotel Panama canal, I quickly went to open the shutter to admire the view, as I arrived just for dusk the day before. And, wow, what a view on the Panama canal entrance on the Pacific ocean side !

With small boats docked a pier right next to the hotel, and the occasional huge boats crossing the Panama canal, I took some time to admire this magnificent view, under a covered cloudy sky - my friends in Colombia would joke about it, saying that weather in Panama is always horrible.

Cheap flights Panama

Starting the day right by using the gym of the Radisson Panama canal hotel, with a good hour long training, I then had a consequent breakfast, managing to get there right before the end, in order to make it a brunch, and therefore skip lunch.

I then went for a great refreshing swim in the pool, right next to the ocean, with a small view between the trees on a huge construction, the bridge of the Americas. Well, time to make something useful today, I'll get back to swim later.

The hotel offers free shuttle to Albrook mall, which is around 5km away. After my breakfast, close to 10:30 am, I enquire about the timing: 10am, 12:30 and 14:30.

Radisson Hotel Panama Canal
Hotel Radisson Panama Canal

Well, fine then, I'll take the one at 12:30 ! This allows to prepare a coffee in the room, which is equipped with a filter coffee machine, a nice change from the usual hotel instant or capsule coffee, and drink it while enjoying the perfect view on Panama canal's entry.

Getting ready on time, I go down to the reception, asking about the shuttle.

  • Sir, shuttle is only upon booking.

  • Well... I didn't know ))) Fine, then what can I do around ?

  • There is the Biomuseo Panama at a few minutes walk, and then you can take a taxi to go shopping on an artificial island, Flamenco island, where there is a duty free shop.

  • Sounds good, thanks! Can I walk there?

  • Sir, you can... but it's like 13 kilometres, do as you please.

  • Well, it does sounds perfect, it seems like a beautiful day!

Bridge of the Americas

As the bridge of the Americas is also very close to the hotel, I ask where to get the best view of it, around the hotel. He recommends me to go on a pier, right next to hotel.

So that will be my first stop.

I go to that pier, and enjoy the magnificent view for a while.

This bridge is amazing. It has one part on the North American continent, and the other one on the South American continent.

Standing on the pier, looking at the Panama canal on one side, and the Pacific ocean on the other side, I realize one thing: I am literally standing at the exact frontier of two continents!

The view is amazing, and the funniest part is that while Pacific ocean is perfectly clear and sunny, on the other side, on the Panama city side of the bridge, it is covered by big black clouds. Well, good for me, I'm heading towards the Pacific sun for my next stop.

Biomuseo de Panama

Taking the direction of the Biomuseo, of which the top of the building is visible above the trees, and walking along the Gulf of Panama, I start asking myself one question. It is like close to 30°C outside, under the sun, I didn't put sunblock, and I'm wearing pants - I was expecting weather to be bad, not to be perfect like that.

Well, already about a kilometre away from the hotel, it is not worth it, I will surely get used to it.

Arriving at the Biomuseo, it starts with an interesting surprise. It is surrounded by an outdoor botanical garden, hosting among other things, a fig tree 25 meters tall and 45 meters wide. This marvel of nature keeps me entertained for a while, and the garden is surrounded by interesting explanations and facts.

Okay, it's getting very warm, and I'm melting, so let's get a bottle of cold water and get in the air conditioned museum.

For 18$US entrance (by the way, U.S. dollar is the official currency of Panama - they also have their own currency, the Panamanian Balboa, indexed on US$), and 2.5$US for a bottle of water, I am given an audio guide, which I put on English, having also choice with Spanish and French, and I get in the museum.

From the entrance to the exit of the museum, very helpful guides will give me more detailed explanations, which I take always in Spanish, trying to improve my skills.

Biomuseo Panama city

Biomuseo Panama city

The museum visit takes about 2hours, depending on how fast and how much you read and play with the installations, including an amazing 10 minutes movie displayed on the 3 walls, ceiling and floor.

During the movie, I'm seated with a group of school trip 8 years old local, which keep looking at me, probably because of my blond hair, not very common in Panama.

Anyway, the whole museum visit is interesting, with plenty of information on the formation of Panama, which results from the merge of the Americas, but also the biodiversity, the history of Panama and of the canal, and also the global role of Panama in world weather, and its history.

I not only learn that the Canal de Panama actually mimics what was the case some million years ago, a natural water frontier between the Americas, but also that the creation of Panama land actually permitted seasons to appear, with the Gulf stream appearing, and also most likely human life, as the new seasons allowed for different way of living, in Africa and all over the world.

The indoor visit ends on beautiful fauna room, with great explanations on many species found in Panama.

The next step is an outdoor reading, about the history of Panama population, from the indigenous Indians to the colonization, and some interesting Panama canal facts and its impact on the local economy.

Very interesting and detailed, plus once again with extra explanation from the friendly guide, it ends as a feeling of an interesting visit, and money well spent.

I will learn later that the Biomuseo was designed by Frank Gehry, which seems to be a famous American-Canadian architect. Well, I do not know much about it, but the museum is a beautiful building.

Frank Gehry biography

Amador Causeway

Time to start the big piece of the day, getting to that island and reach the duty free shop.

Exiting the museum, I immediately stop. The view on Panama city skyline is stunning!!!

Poor them, I can see that huge clouds are pouring rain over the city, while I'm under a very enjoyable sun.

I write to the few contacts I have in the city, and send them a picture, asking how they feel under the rain =)

Continuing with my walk on Causeway Amador, the view is beautiful, surrounded by the Pacific ocean and a beautiful sky, but also the Causeway Panama, which was created with rock excavated for the Panama canal construction, like the island, is very beautiful as well. With a new road, walking paths and bike paths on both sides, it is a great work and perfect for tourist.

After having walked a few kilometres on the Causeway de Amador, I notice a cyclist that stopped to take some selfies.

Amador Causeway bike rental

As he is alone, and me as well, I ask him to take a picture of me, which he does with pleasure.

Ariel, that's his name, is also very friendly, and tells me he's got his car parked on the island to which I'm heading, and could have some lunch. As it is also my case, he nicely decides to join me until there, which is probably still about 3 or 4 kilometres away.

We have a nice discussion on the way, and keep looking at amazing view on the causeway islands and Panama bay.

The causeway islands consists of three islands:

  • Naos island, which host the Smithsonian Panama Amador, the Marine Exhibition Center of Punta Culebra,

  • Perico island, with karting and Amador Ocean View Hotel & Suites,

  • Flamenco island (or Flamingo island), with the Amador duty free and great restaurants.

Punta Culebra Smithsonian research institute
Panama karting
Amador Ocean View booking
Amphora duty free causeway Panama

Duty free Causeway Panama

Arriving at the duty free on Flamenco island, he explains me that he cannot enter the duty free. Really? I wait for him while he drops his bicycle in his car.

We enter the Amador duty free Panama, and the security guard stops us. Do we have an identification? Well, I don't, I only have a copy, I don't take my passport with me and leave it in hotel safe. The hotel room key is enough however, so I show and he lets me enter. Ariel asks if he can enter - the security guard confirms he can't, it is only for tourists. However, as he is with me, he can enter, making it his first time being able to enter this place.

Having a quick look, imported stuff do not seem to be especially cheaper. About 6$ for a phone cable - I bought one for 2.5$ in France a month before - or 20$ for GoPro accessories replica, it all seems pretty excessive.

Well, I only really want a bottle of rum, and I'm running out of sunblock. The bottle of local rum sells for 18$, which is cheaper than the retail price of 22$. The sunblock price also seems fair, and I take a 50+ to make sure I won't get sunburned.

Getting out of the duty free, we find the Panama big letters sign, perfect for a picture with Panama skyline in the background.

Causeway Panama restaurants

Time is getting close to 4pm, and we're getting hungry ! Ariel takes me to one of the restaurants, Cayucos, which he has already tried. Awesome =)

KYUCO bar and restaurant telephone and address

The restaurant is of course on the ocean side, as we are on a small artificial island. We have view on the Panama city skyline, and order some drinks. Light beer for him, and local rum with coke for me.

For food, we take a fish fillet with patacon, and a meat skewer with some kind of local potatoes, which are not potatoes, have another name which I now forgot, but taste very similar and look like potato)))

Patacon on Wikipedia

Anyway, it is very tasty, and we share the dishes.

It is the first time I try this fish, called corvina, which only exists along the Pacific coast in South and Central America. It is good, and I try to find the name in French, but Wikipedia doesn't even have a page in French about this fish... but it has one in Polish and Swedish? Anyway =)

Corvina on Wikipedia

After the walk and the meal, I start to feel tired. Ariel offers to hang out a little bit more, by taking his car to go in Panama city Casco Viejo, the old town.

Casco Viejo Panama city

To get to the old town, the best way is through the Cinta Costera, which literally means "coastal ribbon", and is a city highway on the ocean literally just going all around the old town. View surely is beautiful, but why not make a tunnel or a bridge?

Anyway, Ariel finds a parking spot next to the French embassy, which is ideally situated on the so called French square, at the tip of the old town area on the ocean.

Having a walk on the fortifications, the view is amazing. A few street sellers are there trying to catch tourists.

They mostly sell Panama hats, and leather goods. Nothing really catches my attention, but I'm not the kind of person to buy things I don't need, especially as I live with my luggage and space is limited.

I start thinking about getting myself a Panama hat though – it would have been more than useful that day, under the strong sun.

We go to see the Bolivar square, with its monument to Simon Bolivar, which liberated most of South America from Spanish empire.

The old town is really beautiful, of French architectural inspiration, with its balconies and small streets. It does feel like Provence probably, although I'm French and I've never been there. What is sure is that it is a pleasure to wander in these streets.

Casco Viejo Panama
Hotels in Casco Viejo Panama city

Next to the square, we arrive next to a military barricade, from which we can see the Panama presidential office. Right at 6pm, it is also time for some military flag procedure, which we can admire from far.

Well, we are getting tired, aren't we? Time to get a drink!

We go back to the car, and find what must be one of the best restaurants in Casco Viejo Panama, Finca Del Mar, right next to the Embassy of France.

Best restaurants in Casco Viejo Panama Finca Del Mar

The restaurant has a great outdoor seating area with nice decoration, and beautiful trees - they do look boring to my friend, but to me, with their lianas and nested trunks, they keep looking interesting.

We start with a mojito, as the Colombian waitress tells us it is the happy hour, 3 mojitos for the price of two. But are only 2? No problem, Ariel will only have one as he has to drive, and I'll have two. Okay, perfect !

Next to us, we hear some French, which must be employees from the Embassy next door.

After some discussion, Ariel tells more about him. On top of being an IT teacher, job from which he got a day off in honour of the school anniversary (I did tell him this would just not happen in Europe), he is also a published writer.

Very interesting ! He writes SF, science fiction, which is one of my favourite genres.

He even has a fan club, I'm very impressed. He stays humble, saying he is a local author, but that does sounds extremely interesting. I tell him I have to find his book, if possible in English, which I intend to do, if possible to read it on the beach in the coming days!

Cheap flights and hotels Panama

Genticks book introduction

Earth must be a perfect place. Finally human beings are living in the peace and harmony that, all through history, they have always dreamed of. I like history. I like to know where I come from. And even though I was born on Mars, my terrestrial roots call me deeply to know and feel the place where my parents were born. Going to Earth could be a dream for me. Those were Surina Iacobelli’s first thoughts when she knew that in her academy, Barsalles, a contest was going to take place. The most outstanding student would follow a two-year course in the prestigious academy of science, Genticks, located in the south hemisphere of Earth. Six months later, with much effort, Surina was selected as the student who would travel to Earth to represent Barsalles. Since then, Surina didn’t doubt recording all things in her journal. With enthusiasm, she investigated the fashion, tendencies, and customs. Also, she analyzed all the TV shows and Earth’s history. Surina didn’t know, but this was going to be the beginning of a great adventure in which she wouldn’t only know every detail of that place named Earth but would reveal, with her new friends, the secrets, mysteries, and a big conspiracy that would try to go beyond the Earth’s frontier. This would also make her know human nature better, which, even with technological advances, has not changed much through the years. Genticks shows us, through a teenager’s eyes, a future society where the innate behaviour of human being prevail.

Genticks science fiction novel
Genticks on Twitter
Genticks on Facebook

In short, the Amador Causeway Panama

The Amador Causeway Panama is a great place to visit, either by walking or going by bicycle, which can be rented at the beginning of the Causeway Panama road. That road starts at a short walking distance from the Radisson hotel Panama canal which is also one of the best hotel in town, for a simple reason: the Radisson hotel Panama canal has a great view on the Panama canal, and is a great hotel.

At the end of the Causeway Panama you will find the Smithsonian Panama Amador tropical research institute, also called the Punta Culebra Nature Center, and that can be visited by tourists. The best way to visit any of these places, should it be Causeway Panama or the Smithsonian Panama Amador is to either stay at some of the Casco Viejo hotels or, to be even closer and at a relative walking distance from them, to stay at the Radisson Amador Panama.

Smithsonian Panama Amador
causeway Panama
Casco Viejo hotels
Radisson hotel Panama canal
Radisson Amador Panama

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