Panama is a melting pot of diverse cultures, including those of Spanish, African and indigenous roots. Traveling around the country to see how these different societies live is fascinating, but it can be a challenge to fit them all into one trip. Close to Panama City is Mi Pueblito, however, a little tourist town that has them all in just one place.
The town has life-size representations of villages found throughout the country, including a typical Spanish-style colonial town, complete with a public square with a Catholic church and mayor’s office. There’s also a school, a barber shop and houses with traditional kitchens and furnishings.
One area shows the lifestyle of Africans who came to Panama to work on the canal, with a typical Protestant church, wood houses and representations of well-known buildings that form part of Panamanian history. Visitors can also get a glimpse into the culture of an indigenous village, with the huts, tools and instruments the country’s indigenous people use. Members of this group sell their beautiful handmade crafts in Mi Pueblito, and there are also restaurants and cultural events that are hosted here on the weekends.
The entrance to Mi Pueblito is on the Avenida de Los Mártires at the foot of Ancon Hill (Cerro Ancón). The site is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and taxis are available from Panama City. Admission costs $5 for foreigners.