One of Panama’s oldest settlements, the city of Chitré is hardly geared up for travelers, but it’s an agreeable stop on the way to the peninsula's famed beaches. The capital of Herrera Province, it’s the largest city on the Península de Azuero and the region's cultural and historic capital. A handful of ornate red-tiled row homes hark back to the early days of Spanish settlement as does the main plaza. Colonial records indicate that there was a village here as early as 1558.
For most travelers Chitré serves as a springboard for nearby attractions such as the ceramic shops in La Arena, birdlife at Playa El Agallito, historic Parita, the seco (alcoholic drink made from sugarcane) factory at Pesé and the wildlife refuge at Cenegón del Mangle. Some of the country’s best festivals are just a short bus ride away, and Chitré hosts a few wild parties of its own.