If you’re looking for an escape from the city and want to get back to nature, you’re in luck! Panama City has some great nature parks within the city limits.
A great place to escape the city is Cerro Ancón, near Balboa. This hill is the highest point in Panama City and was under US administration in the old Panama Canal Zone. There is a trail to the top that takes about 30 minutes to walk up. Along the way, it’s possible to see sloths, lizards, and lots of birds along with a few small mammals. Cars can drive to the top of Cerro Ancón from 8am to 3pm. If you come any later, you have to walk. A taxi from Albrook should only cost US $2, but a drive to the top and waiting time will cost more.
Once at the top, there are excellent views of the modern city and Casco Viejo.
There’s also a gigantic Panamanian flag proudly flying at the top.
Parque Natural Metropolitano is the other nature park. It’s just north of the city and has a few walking trails with plenty of birds and wildlife to spot. I had planned to visit but unfortunately didn’t have the time.