The Biomuseo, Panama City

We drove down from Gamboa and went directly to The Beach House Hotel where we were to stay overnight.

Once booked in and being quite pleased with our accommodation, we went to look for a restaurant to have lunch. Lyn had been told of one that is considered to be excellent and that was obvious from the fact that it was full and we were told we could wait up to 30mins for a table. After a few minutes, we decided not to wait as we wanted to visit the Biomuseum or Biomuseo in Spanish which closed at 4pm. We walked along the promenade and came to a mall called Isla Perico, Food Port and Market Place and found a suitable little restaurant. While we waited for our orders to be prepared and brought to the table, Lyn and I walked around the small mall. It was not very busy and a number of shops were empty.

Beach House hotelThe Beach House Hotel. Our rooms were the 2nd & 3rd from the right

Hotel oppositeThe hotel opposite ours when the tide was in

Where we had lunchThe Mall where we had lunch

As we walked back to the hotel to get the car Lyn told us that the Promenade, the Amador Causeway, was fairly new and stretched almost all the way around the bay. It was very popular with pedestrians and cyclists. Many people used it to get to the bay where their yachts were moored. We were almost back at the restaurant we had first approached when Lyn became very excited. One of the yachts which she was following on its trip around the world was moored there.

The Biomuseo was just a couple of kms from the hotel but just too far to walk to. On the circle near the parking lot was a huge statue of 4 people but we couldn’t find any plaque to say what it was about. It struck me as probably having something to do with labour and freedom.

Statue of 4 peopleStatue of 4 people

One cannot miss the Biomuseo, due to its very colourful and unusual structure. At one point we were asked what we thought of the architecture and I said that I thought it ugly. That was a major faux pas as it turned out that it was designed by Frank Ghery, a French architect who had designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain and this was his only work outside of Europe. It still did not make me like it though. It was opened in 2014 and is definitely a place to visit if you are in Panama City.

Vicky in front of museumFront of the Museum

Back of the museumBack of the Museum

This museum is a collection of information, artefacts and replicas of flora, fauna and rocks which all contributed to the development of the Isthmus of Panama. In my blog, Panama the Country, I wrote that Panama was created from a number of volcanoes 70 million years ago and gradually they joined to form the Isthmus. It is most unusual in shape and size in that it has developed with North East and South West Coasts and at some points the Pacific Ocean Coast is further East than the Atlantic Coastline. Panama is 772kms or 480mls long and between 60 & 177kms or 37 & 110mls wide.

At the Biomuseo we learnt the geological and geographic development of Panama starting with 70million years ago when the chain of volcanoes began to erupt. In the next 25m years they gradually grew closer together until they formed a single piece of land – the last to develop in the Americas. It was this joining of the North and South Americas that allowed a very large variety of animals, birds and plants to populate the land. In addition, a number of tribes from both North and South America moved into Panama with some remaining within their own groups today.

Animals birdsSome of the birds and animals which were in Panama

Animals big and smallAnimals big and small

Link between elephants and other animalsInteresting to learn that elephants from the norths and armidillos from the south are related

Igneous stone left by eruptionsIgneous Rocks from the volcanic rocks

Skulls discoveredA large Sloth Skull found in diggings

Flowers and insectsFlowers and insects

Although the Museum officially closed at 4pm, for those who were already in the building there was no hurry for us to leave. Each room and exhibit had a dedicated guide who was well trained and could speak fluent English.

From the Biomuseo we went back to the hotel to shower and change before heading into the City for dinner. When we first arrived at the hotel around 12:30pm the tide was right out. There was lots of dry sand and even a couple of Raccoons running and hiding under the rocks. At 5pm the tide was so high that it looked to be a completely different place.

Low tideLow tide. The Raccoons were in the rocks on the right

High tideSame spot at high tide

We drove into the Casco Vieja or Old City to a recommended restaurant for dinner. This one too was fully booked so we went to another next door where the food was good but not great. We visited this area of Panama City the next day.

About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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