Things to do in
Panama

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Our most recommended things to do in Panama

Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

1. Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

Meet at the Balboa Yacht Club to begin your all-inclusive day tour on a catamaran. Take a 45-minute cruise to the Island of Taboga and enjoy breathtaking views of the Panama City skyline, Cinta Costera, and ships waiting to cross the Panama Canal while having light snacks. After reaching Taboga, sail to the backside of the island to a secret spot where an amazing bay with beautiful natural views is waiting for you. Have the opportunity to jump off the boat and have your first swim. There is also stair access from the boat to the water in case you don't feel like diving right in. After some water fun, climb back into the boat to enjoy a cold beer and lie in the boat's nets or dance with the crew while you sail towards the town side of the island. Dock so you can head to the beach and visit the small village of Taboga. Spend time on the beach relaxing or getting a game of volleyball in. After your beach and town visit, hop back aboard for a delicious lunch that includes chicken with white sauce, rice with vegetables, vegetable salad, potato salad, and pasta. If the wind conditions are right, open the sails and continue the party as you cruise along the open water.

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Panama City: 5-Hour Tour and Panama Canal

2. Panama City: 5-Hour Tour and Panama Canal

Enjoy 2 hours at the fascinating Panama Canal before exploring Panama City's history and sights. Discover 4 levels of exhibitions about the Canal at the Miraflores Visitor Center. See ships going through this iconic marvel of engineering. Take a panoramic drive along the Ancon foothills where you can take in the lush greenery and learn about the area's importance during the world wars. Stop at the Amador Causeway for a chance to get some incredible photos of the city, try one of its best ceviche places, have some amazing homemade ice cream, or do some shopping. Walk through the streets of the Old Town and visit the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Antigua. Take a guided walk through, ending in the Plaza de Francia on the old walls that protected the city from invasion over the years.

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Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

3. Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

Starting the day early will give you the chance to learn even more about the Panama Canal. Skip the traffic and arrive at the Miraflores Locks visitor center when it opens, so you can watch the action in peace. After the canal, head to Casco Viejo, the second city of Panama built in 1673. Walk around and enjoy the architecture and hear about its historical relevance.  Drive over the Bridge of the Americas for amazing views. Stop at the viewpoint to hear more about Panama City and its future. The Amador Causeway, Panama City's bustling boardwalk, is one of the most refreshing places in the city. End the tour with some recommendations for lunch and further exploration from your guide, leaving you with the tools to get the most out of your visit to this beautiful and modern city.

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Panama City: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

4. Panama City: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

Be collected from your accommodation in Panama City between 5:20 AM and 6:00 AM to start the day trip. Drive 2.5 hours to San Blas Port, Carti, and then take a local Panga boat to the first of the San Blas islands. Here, enjoy a light breakfast of fresh fruit and take some time to sunbathe with provided umbrellas, beach chairs, and towels. You can also use kayaks or paddleboards to explore the island surroundings. Afterward, enjoy a lunch of fresh fish, rice, and salad. After lunch, sail onwards to Perro Chico, known as the best snorkeling spot in the San Blas Islands. Here, you can see a variety of colorful fish species and a sunken boat. Next, visit Island Pelicano, made famous by the Netflix series Money Heist. Finally, head to the natural swimming pool. This is a bank of sand in the middle of the ocean where you can walk or swim around to find your starfish. At 3:30 PM, sail back towards the port and return to Panama City in the evening. On weekends, before coming back to the port, you'll visit one of the largest communities in San Blas to witness a traditional dance put on by locals.

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Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

5. Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

Discover what local life is like in San Blas on this 4-days island hopping tour. Get to know the beautiful islands of this Central American paradise, and enjoy the white sand beaches and turquoise ocean. You may choose the standard transportation option which allows for a maximum of 6 passengers per vehicle, or choose the upgraded transport option to travel in a little more comfort with a maximum of 4 passengers per vehicle. Day 1 Pickup from selected hotels in Panama City begins at 5:20 AM. After pickup, you will stop by a supermarket in case you want to buy snacks or drinks. Then, head to the San Blas hills. The journey takes about 2.5 hours and is followed by a 30-minute boat ride to Ina island where you will sleep and have lunch and dinner. Pay a visit to a natural swimming pool and sample some fresh local lobster for dinner during lobster season. Day 2 After breakfast, enjoy a hiking tour in the San Blas jungle up to a waterfall. Spot monkeys, sloths, many birds, and iguanas. Come back to Ina Island for lunch and then take your boat to the 2nD Island Aroma. Relax and discover this island at your own pace. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Day 3 After breakfast, take a boat to Perro Chico island where you will sleep. You will first visit Iguana Island where you can kayak all around and visit another natural swimming pool. Once in Perro Chico, take your snorkel gear and visit the sunken boat which is just in front of the island and full of tiny colored fishes. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Day 4 After breakfast, take a boat back to Panama City. Breakfast is included.

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From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

6. From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel or other location in Panama City, and journey to the Panama Canal Visitors Center to get a detailed explanation about how the canal and famous Miraflores Locks work. Visit the museum to learn more about this important water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Return to the vehicle and pass Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to the town of Gamboa. Upon arrival at the Chagres River, climb aboard for a scenic boat trip across artificial Gatun Lake. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal. Watch the large ships passing through the canal to get a sense of the magnitude of this masterpiece of engineering. Arrive at a group of islands to see 2 different species of monkeys. Return to Panama City and get dropped off at your hotel.

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Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

7. Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup at 7:00 AM. Travel west of Panama City to start your exploration of the Panama Canal. Embark on a 90-minute boat tour on the Canal and Gatun Lake. Ride along the canal and get an up-close view of the ships passing through as well as the abundant wildlife along the shores. Visit the famous Monkey Islands, where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Then, head 45 minutes north to the Caribbean side of Panama to visit the Agua Clara Visitor Center to see the new expansion locks operating up-close. Observe transiting vessels passing through the Agua Clara Locks on the way to the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean from a scenic lookout point. Learn first-hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in world markets, and the importance of its watershed. Make your way to a scenic and quiet spot beneath the Gatun Dam and have a picnic lunch at the fork of the French West Diversion Channel and the Chagres River. Next, travel to San Lorenzo National Park, where you can visit a remote rainforest full of flora and fauna, followed by a tour of Fort San Lorenzo. Discover a 400-year-old Spanish fort on a scenic cliff overlooking the Caribbean. Hear about the many attacks by pirates and privateers at one of the most historically important places in Panama. Finally, be returned to your hotel in Panama City.

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Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

8. Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

Begin your full-day excursion with an hour-long drive from Panama City to the Chagres National Park. Established in 1984, the park comprises 334,000 acres of forest, lakes and rivers. Enjoy a traditional piragua boat ride on the Chagres River, followed by a half-hour walk through the jungle to a waterfall that’s hidden from civilization. Enjoy some free time at the waterfall to swim and relax, and then head back to the boat. Continue to an indigenous Embera village, where you’ll learn about their culture. Listen to a speech by the cacique or chief, while enjoying some seasonal fruit, then a live performance of traditional music and dance.

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Panama: Miraflores, Canal, & Casco Viejo Private City Tour

9. Panama: Miraflores, Canal, & Casco Viejo Private City Tour

Discover the sights of Panama City on this private multi-stop day tour with a local guide. Visit the Miraflores Locks and the Panama Canal and its museum before continuing to Amador Causeway and Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial quarter. In the morning, meet your private Panama guide at your hotel or residence, then set out for an unforgettable excursion to the city’s most historical sites and the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks. Take a 30-minute ride to the Miraflores Locks to observe the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are from 9 AM to 11 AM and from 2 PM to 5 PM, so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Take in the views on the locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations of your guide. To complete your visit to the Canal, visit the Panama Canal Museum and Visitor Center to get a good idea of the construction of the canal, a masterpiece of engineering. Before the next stop, learn about the history of the canal and its significance for Panama and the entire world trade as well as on the current expansion project. Continue the tour to the Panamá Viejo, the ruins of Old Panama. Old Panama was the first European settlement and community on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. This first Panama City was looted and destroyed by the notorious English buccaneer Henry Morgan in 1671 and therefore was abandoned. Today, there are only ruins left of Old Panama. Still, the tower of the ancient cathedral is standing and has become a landmark of the town. Head to Amador Causeway next, a road that connects three Islands in the Pacific Ocean and offers unbeatable views of the canal on one side and of the city skyline on the other. Lunch will be served in a Panamanian restaurant on the causeway (cost not included). After lunch, the tour continues to the Casco Viejo, where you will feel set back in time as you admire and enjoy the view of the characteristic colonial houses, the narrow roads, and the awe-inspiring churches. Before drop-off back at your hotel or residence, get a better picture of Panama’s history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this historic quarter. 

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Panama: Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest and San Lorenzo Fort

10. Panama: Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest and San Lorenzo Fort

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Panama City, and then journey by air-conditioned vehicle for approximately 1.5 hours as you make your way to Colón. Upon arrival, board a ferry for the 20-minute crossing to a rainforest, and then get back to nature as you explore the ecological paradise by minibus. Discover the home to 159 different species of mammals, 98 species of reptiles and 65 amphibious species. Observe the amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and enjoy plenty of stops to take souvenir photos.  Next, go to the historic monument of San Lorenzo Fort, renowned for preventing attacks by the real pirates of the Caribbean for almost 75 years! Learn the history of the fort, now in ruins after the Spanish largely abandoned it in the mid 19th century. Continue to Agua Clara to spend about 45 minutes learning about the new canal system, built to support the passage of super tankers and large cargo ships as they pass along the Panama Canal.

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Frequently asked questions about Panama

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What people are saying about Panama

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 896 reviews

Gonzo was an amazing guide who went above and beyond to ensure his guests had a great tour. He knew so much about the indigenous tribe as well as the local plants. He also could call the monkeys and ensured we saw three different kinds! I would definitely recommend him and this tour!

Our tour was fantastic. Our guide John Acosta was very kind with the kids, very knowledgeable and always ready to assist us in any needs. Would definitively recommend this trip for anyone coming to Panama.

Good experience to discover the Panama way from the Pacific to the Atlantic and the Canal story from the Carlos Quintos project to the actual one.

Great boat ride. The crew was very friendly. The boat was clean and the atmosphere was very welcoming!!!!!

Driver was patient and friendly..I recommend this service if you’re ever in Panama