A Visit to the Coastal Strip III

Yesterday morning, at daybreak, my wife and I visited the Coastal Strip III for the first time.  The Coastal Strip public project is a place to enjoy green recreational areas without leaving the metropolis. The strip covers over 35 hectares, 16 of which are completely devoted to green spaces.

Bordering the Bay of Panama, the strip links modern Punta Paitilla to the city’s Old Shell. As you walk along, the highway takes you from skyscrapers on one end to colonial-era constructions on the other.  It’s like moving back in time to the XVI century when the Spanish Conquistadores roamed the city.

Inspired by Brazil’s Aterro do Flamengo, or Flamengo Park, in Rio de Janeiro, the Coastal Strip features vast green spaces planted with trees and tropical plants and beautifully landscaped gardens adorned with flowers.

The Coastal Strip III is a new attraction for Panama City. The highway will connect the neighborhoods of El Chorrillo, San Felipe and Barraza with the rest of Panama City. Green areas have been allocated for outdoor pursuits as well as helping to resolve the traffic congestion in the area.

The strip construction cost approximately $782 million and was built by the Brazilian company Odebrecht. It will connect the Amador Causeway with four lanes to alleviate the vehicular gridlock. The Strip will offer 2.6 kilometers of landscaping, an intermediate green area that will divide the pedestrian zone with a bicycle lane, three marine lookouts and a natural green area that will separate the pedestrian viaduct with the vehicular one. Approximately 37.6 hectares of landfill was created to build this monumental strip.

Other amenities include squares for events, five children’s parks with facilities for the handicapped, a skateboard ring, sports courts, a “fritodromo” (where fried food can be bought, especially from the El Chorrillo sector) and 500 extra parking spaces.

The Coastal Strip III also includes a modern soccer stadium—El Maracaná.  Besides being a modern sports complex, Maracaná stadium will feature an enviable panoramic view.  From a sector of the stadium, you can see part of the Pacific Ocean in the background, the historic Cerro Ancón with a majestic Panamanian flag.  The stadium is designed to house more than 5, 500 fans.

This new stadium is one of the works carried out as part of the Coastal 3 which allow the interconnection of Chorrillo, Barraza, San Felipe and Santa Ana with the rest of the city of Panama. Its reconstruction is worth $8 million.

The Maracaná Stadium was inaugurated on April 11, 2014 in the neighborhood of El Chorrillo, with the presence of former Brazilian soccer stars, such as Rivaldo, Dunga, Careca, Bebeto, Viola and Ronaldo.

During the next days I’ll be posting interesting pictures of my photo-walk to this tourist attraction which I’m sure will be a hot spot for local and international tourism.  Here we go.

Snapshot of daybreak at the Cinta Costera III, at approximately 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, May 25, 2014. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

I prefer to go out and take my pictures early in the morning on Sundays.  There are very few people and cars around, and the morning light is perfect for picture taking.

Take notice of the dense fog above Ancon Hill. It was almost covered by a dense blanket of fog. The previous evening there had been a heavy rainfall and the city was still wet. The morning skies were dark gray. It rained heavily that afternoon. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the Old Shell of Panama City. Notice the emerging bell tower of the San Francisco de Asís Cathedral. This shot was taken from the Coastal Strip on the waters of the Panama Bay. Magnificent view of the city and a constant cool breeze wafting from the ocean. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

In this picture you can appreciate the mist covering the top of Ancon Hill like a snow-white blanket.  Underneath, the metropolis is fast asleep.  Sundays in Panama is the day when the bed has an extra fascination—it feels warmer, softer and cozier.

Take notice of the soft curve of the metal railing on the edge of the coastal strip. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

If you enjoy pictures of other lands and cultures, I invite you to return for more pictures of the Panama Costal Strip III.  Good Day.


2 thoughts on “A Visit to the Coastal Strip III”

  1. What a wonderful place. I’m really fond of the third photo, but the curve of the rail in the last one is nice, too. I wouldn’t mind a stroll through the fritodromo, either! (And now I suspect I know where the name of our snack food came from — “fritos”!)

  2. Morning Linda:

    I know this place will become a hot tourist attraction in the upcoming months. If you ever come to Panama City, this place place should be high on your “To Do” list. It will soon become an icon of the metropolis.

    I’m glad you are learning about Panama and the Spanish language by visiting Lingua Franca. It’s like killing two birds with the same stone.



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