While visiting Panama City we got really impressed by the general lack of natural shadow in the streets. As Europeans we are used to walk along avenues surrounded by trees, parks and gardens.
In Panama, especially downtown, we noticed that the neighborhood is not actually made for walking: there are only a few pavements and they are often broken, it's a city designed more for driving than for going on foot.
The "Cinta Costera" is of course an amazing place to have a walk and admire the landscape, but it's not natural at all.
Lucky for us (and for you), if you are in Panama City longing for a bit of nature, there's an amazing space just one km away from the central station, know as Albrock.
Locals may tell that it's too far to go there walking, but it's just because people don't like going on foot :-), we actually reached the place in 15-20 minutes.
The park is called Metropolitan National Park and it's a protected area which aims are education, protection and preservation of the environment.
The entrance is just 4$ (2$ for children) and once inside you can spend as much time as you please roaming around and trekking.
The park is actually located on a hill and from the top you can get the most amazing view of the city and the canal, and if you are lucky you can even spot some wild animals (turtles, sloths...).
TIP: Inside the park you will need to keep well hydrated, so bring your own water or buy some before starting the trekking. If you plan to spend the day in the park, we also suggest that you bring your own food: we brought fresh fruits and it was the perfect meal for a hot Caribbean day.