A Long Layover in Panama City

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Flights from St. Martin to Mexico City were either ridiculously expensive or had some ridiculous legs and layovers. Since we’re on the cheap this year, we chose the latter. Using some leftover Untied miles, we flew from St. Martin to Mexico City via a 15 hour layover in Panama City. Our incoming flight flew right past the canal, providing us with an awesome view of the structure as well as an impressive amount of ships going to/from the port. We landed around 5 pm, made a reservation at a cheap hostel near Casco Viejo (the old Spanish historical district), and spent the next several hours exploring the area.

Our walk to Casco Viejo was spent along Avenida Balboa which - in addition to being an insanely busy road - has an awesome pedestrian walkway right along the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Our stroll here provided some amazing panoramic views of the city’s skyline and sunset views over the roofs of the old city. We joined the countless amount of people out biking, jogging, or just enjoying the beautiful evening.

We then got lost in the streets of the old city, wandering around and enjoying the architecture, smells, and people. We stumbled upon a gathering outside the Cathedral, Vesper found a cheap watch at a local market, and for dinner we had some delicious street food consisting of stewed chicken, lentils, and spaghetti all served over rice. It seemed random, but was quite delicious! As evening settled in, we walked back along Avenida Balboa to see the city lit up at night before heading back to our hostel.

Skyline at night along Avenida Balboa
Wandering around Casco Viejo

We had a cab arriving at 4:30 the next morning to take us back to the airport, for another short layover in San Salvador, before we finally arrived in Mexico City around noon - 24 hours after leaving St. Martin.

We’ve been in Mexico City almost a week now, and we’re planning our next leg of the trip. It looks like it might involve either really long bus rides or some more goofy layovers - hopefully they’ll turn out to be just as successful!

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