San Francisco

San Francisco is a small town in central Panama. The town itself is unremarkable, but it is home to one of Panama’s best churches. If you’re heading to Santa Fé, you’ll pass San Francisco. It’s worth stopping in for a quick look at the church.

0 - San Francisco, Panama
1 - San Francisco, Panama

Completed in 1727, Iglesia San Francisco de la Montaña is attractive and ornate. It was built a hundred years after the town’s founding and is undoubtedly the town’s most notable feature.

The church is large and whitewashed, with an impressive bell tower that rises from one end. The exterior recently underwent a renovation that restored it to its original state. The interior of the church is quiet and fascinating. Its eight altars are painted in strong colors and inlaid with intricate carvings. Look closely and you can see symbols that amalgamate indigenous and European influences. The pillars are carved in a similar style.

San Francisco is 12 miles (20 km) north of Santiago in central Panama.