Penonome is the capital of the Panamanian province of Cocle. The town is located along the Inter-American Highway in the wide, flat lowlands of central Cocle. Penonome was founded in 1581. The name of this town comes from the words "Peno Nome". Nome was a chief of a local native American tribe, who was put to death by the Spanish colonial officials. "Peno Nome" means "Nome was executed."
The town was the capital of Panama for a short period after Panama City was sacked by Henry Morgan in 1671. The Catedral de Penonome and the municipal government office (Casa de Gobierno) are located on the town's central plaza. The town also has a small museum, El Museo de Penonome, which is often closed. The town has two main shopping streets, Avenida Juan Demostenes Arosemena and the Inter-American Highway along the edge of town. The town is home to many descendants of Turkish, Chinese, and Arab immigrants.