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Balboa, La Boca, and Amador Causeway, Panama City, Panama

In this Panama Special Report, we bring you the areas of Balboa, La Boca, and Amador Causeway, all located within Panama City.

Only a few miles away from the hustle and bustle, the bright lights, and the hectic honking of cab horns, brings you to what used to be considered the Canal Zone. You know you’ve entered this area when on one side you see multicolored storage containers stacked one on top of the other, like a Lego village, while on the opposite side of the street you see boxy, tan-colored old military barracks and government buildings.

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Balboa is home to the Panama Canal Authority, the old theater being used today as the site of Panama’s version of Dancing with the Stars, and the brand new Boston School International. This is a quiet residential neighborhood where kids play soccer in the park and residents are seen walking their dogs.

La Boca is a neighborhood much like Balboa, but perhaps even quieter and cozier. Glance up in any part of this town and you’ll see the Bridge of the Americas running past overhead. Houses here are sturdy and stable, remnants of what the U.S. military left behind when it turned the Canal Zone over to Panama.

Then there’s the Amador Causeway, a narrow strip of road that connects four small islands by the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. The causeway was made from rock extracted during the excavations from the Panama Canal. Nowadays it’s a meeting place for young couples wishing to take a stroll along the water beneath the old-fashioned lamps, it’s a place for families to ride six-seater bicycles, and a place for groups of friends to gather at some of Panama’s best restaurants. Amador Causeway is a hip place to visit, and a great place to live.