11 Dec 8 Things To Do At The Amador Causeway: Panama’s Boardwalk
The Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) in Panama is one of Panama City’s most famous roads, where visitors and residents alike will find some of the country’s top attractions and activities. Keep reading to learn more about the Causeway, including the top eight things to do while you’re there.
Named after the first President of Panama, Manuel Amador Guerrero, this 6km-long, one-lane road extends out into the Pacific where the sea meets the Panama Canal. This land bridge, which was recently renovated, was built using excavated soil and rocks from the construction of the canal. The Amador Causeway connects the mainland to the four tiny islands that make up the Causeway Islands. The biking and jogging path alongside the road is quite popular with cyclists, runners, and walkers, and the Causeway has some of the best view points in the country.
Here are eight things you can do while you visit the Amador Causeway:
1. Have a Meal at Mi Ranchito
This popular restaurant is on Isla Naos and is jam-packed to its conical thatched roof on weekends with locals enjoying the wonderful views, happening atmosphere, and delicious Panamanian food selection. Be sure to order the plantain, or patacones, and yucca frita. Other house specialties of Mi Ranchito include seafood chowder, ceviches, and a wide variety of fish.
2. Sunbathe at La Playita
If you’re looking to catch some rays, check out the bar and pool area of The Beach House, located between Isla Perico and Isla Naos. Pay the cover charge ($10 at time of writing) and you’ll gain access to the beach and the pool. If you’re looking for a lively night, on weekends at sunset, a DJ sets up and plays for your enjoyment. The Beach House also features regular theme nights.
3. Shop at Centro Artesanal
Don’t miss the entrance to the largest artisan market in the city: when you’re facing the water take a right turn just about 400m before the Biomuseo and watch for the handwritten sign that says “Centro Artesanal.” Don’t be put off by the run-down exterior, though, because inside you’ll be amazed by the rows and rows of stalls crammed full of arts and crafts. You’ll find Panama hats, embroidered fabric, animal masks, jewelry, Embera baskets, and much more.
4. Cycle the Causeway
The newly renovated Causeway is now the number-one place to cycle in Panama City. With bike lanes running the length of the road, everyone from road race junkies to kids on training bikes will enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. The Amador Bike Park offers four main areas, including a downhill trail with jumps, an indoor park for rainy days, a pump track for tricks, and a 4km cross-country trail that will lead those in the know all the way up to Isla Perico for amazing views of Panama City.
5. Check Out the Biomuseo
If you’re a museum-goer, or even if you’re not, the Biomuseo is a must-see. The museum was built by Canadian-born American named Frank Gehry who designed the origami-like structure. The Biomuseo features eight exhibition halls which allow you to explore Panama’s cultures, geology, and natural history via the use of interactive displays. Did you know this small country has more species of insects and birds and animals than Canada and the United States put together?
6. Paddle in Panama Bay
Take a stand-up paddle boarding class first thing in the morning as the sun rises over the city when the water in Panama Bay is smoothest. More experienced paddle boarders can head out to Isla Flamenco and back, while newbies will be shown around the marina. You’ll depart from La Playita Pool Bar when it’s time for your class, which are held Tuesdays and Thursdays between 6:00 am and 8:00 am. You must book and pay for your class in advance. For $50 an hour you will receive a lesson, paddle/board, and a photo.
7. Fish With the Locals
If you’d like to try your hand at fishing, pack your rod and bait and find the fishing platform just before the Canal Pilot’s dock at Isla Naos. Here you’ll find fisherfolk of all ages and skill levels meet to try to catch their supper. Even if you don’t have access to gear, you’ll still enjoy the views of the ships entering the canal, instead.
8. Meet Some Nature at Punta Culebra Nature Center
Situated on Isla Naos, the Punta Culebra Nature Center features sloths in the overhead trees, touching pools, a turtle and shark pool, and an indoor aquarium This Smithsonian-funded, small open-air museum is meant to showcase the country’s unique flora and fauna.
Did You Know?
Back in the cocaine smuggling days of Manual Antonia Norega, the Amador Causeway was notorious for being the spot where Norega had his private clubhouse.