The capital of Coclé Province is a bustling crossroads city with a rich history. Founded in 1581, Penonomé blossomed so quickly that it served as the temporary capital of the isthmus in 1671 after the destruction of the first Panama City (now known as Panamá Viejo) and until Nueva Panamá (today's Casco Viejo) was founded a few years later.
Today the lifeline of the city is the Interamericana, which bisects Penonomé and ensures a steady stream of goods flowing in and out. If you’re heading west, it’s likely that you will pass through here at some point, though it’s worth hopping off the bus for the city’s two principal attractions: its annual festivals and its traditional hats. Penonomé also serves as a good jumping-off point for the nearby artisan town of La Pintada.