Casco Life

Shopping at Avenida Central… the Real Panamanian Experience

I just got the last issue of THE VISITOR/ EL VISITANTE ( and to my great suprise it features Avenida Central, one of my favorite places in Casco Antiguo. The issue is printed, they take a few days to upload the article to their website, so here it is… hot from the press.

Section: Shopping with Patra Kastanopoulos

I wronged you! Avenida Central

All I actually knew about the pedestrian mall on Avenida Central was “Don´t take anything valuable there!”. So I avoided going. I´m ashamed, embarrassed, and am making amends. The day I visited I was enchanted with the extensive array of interesting shops and stores, the helful and amenable people who worked in them, and the mellow, mostly Panamanian shoppers, who filled the area. Never did I feel anything but joy as I trod this unique section that is the “real” Panama City. One can see and feel the culture with all one´s senses. Intriguing aromas waft into the nostrils, vivid colors hit the retina, music floods the ears, fabrics for sale are beckoning to be touched and taste sensations are available to explode upon the tongue. And then, there are the bargains!

Merchandise of every genre is plentiful at a cost to fit small budgets. People really buy here, not just browse like in many upscale malls. Everyone seemed to be toting several sacks of purchases and I mused about which items rested within. Produce? there are multiple stands selling fresh fruits and veggies. Yard goods= I´m not clever enough to sew on a button straight, but for thsoe who are gifted in seamstressing there exists a wonderland of every conceivable fabric available at very low cost. i saw bolts of cloth bearing signs for lenghts at under $1.00. Perfume shops are everywhere, but beware, some of the recognizable brands are actually fakes. Jewelry stores are also in abundance and I smiled when I saw the sign HAWAII, my former home, identifying one of them.

At the 3.story El Machetazo I discovered a huge, vinyl, zippered, carry bag for only $1.98. What I liked about it was that the design was a tasteful Scotch plaid as opposed to similar bags displaying Winnie the Pooh or Barbie. (Or worse!).

The American Outleat features gently used clothing at rock bottom prices. I gravitated to it like I was being beamed there by radar.

Army Force combines camping equipment, …

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Arco Properties is the leading real estate agency focused exclusively on residential and commercial properties in Casco Antiguo since 2005. We are the only real estate company specializing in Casco Antiguo that donates 10% of its profits and 5% of the time of its staff in volunteering to non-profit organizations dedicated to the revitalization of the Human Heritage of the Casco Antiguo.
Arco Properties is an affiliate of Grupo Conservatorio. We are committed to inclusive and sustainable urban revitalization. We believe in the value of socially diverse communities and in building one affordable apartment for each high-end apartment.

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