Panama City
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Panama City Meet the Locals

Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

1. 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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Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

2. 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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From Panama: 3-Day San Blas Islands Tour

3. From Panama: 3-Day San Blas Islands Tour

Enjoy a unique 2-night adventure in the San Blas Islands. After getting picked up from your hotel in Panama, begin your adventure with a boat ride to the islands. Stay in a private cabin on Ina Island, visit Pelican Island (where scenes from the 3rd series of Netflix series Money Heist were filmed), swim in a crystal-clear natural pool and visit Demar Achudup island. On the 2nd day, visit a Guna Community, and experience daily life at a school and health center. Afterward, continue to the Guna jungle, crossing the Sidra or Masargandi River. Make a stop along the way at the Rio Sidra Community Cemetery and learn more about its history from your guide. Along the way, admire colorful butterflies, various bird species and with a bit of luck, maybe even some toucans. After a 40-minute hike, reach the beautiful Saiba Waterfall where you can dive and soak in the waters of this crystal-clear natural wonder. On your final day, sit down to breakfast before departing from paradise and heading back to Panama.

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Panama: Embera Village Private Day Trip

4. Panama: Embera Village Private Day Trip

Ride a canoe up the Chagres River, walk to a jungle waterfall, and visit the traditional Embera village on a full-day tour. Learn about their traditional food, see their lively dances, and immerse yourself in their fascinating traditions.  Start with a pickup and a 1-hour drive from Panama City to the Chagres River, the largest river in the Panama Canal watershed. Board a motorized canoe for a 20-minute trip along the river, then stretch your legs on a short walk to a pond and waterfall, where if weather conditions permit, you can take a dip.  Return to the canoe for the 45-minute ride to an Embera village, who have traditionally lived and worked at the edge of rivers, and are known throughout Panama for their distinctive songs, dances, and costumes.  The Embera tribe originates from the Darien region in Panama and the Choco region of Colombia. They have lived in this area for centuries, long before the first Spanish explorer set foot in the new world.  You’ll have 3-hours to explore the village, get to know some local people, and learn about life in the community. Sit down for a traditional lunch, then watch a dance that depicts the Embera's relationship with the natural world.  Before departing the village, shop for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs made by the local people. Head back down the river by canoe, and board the vehicle for the return trip to Panama City.

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Panama City: 1-Night San Blas Islands in Sea Huts

5. Panama City: 1-Night San Blas Islands in Sea Huts

Spend a full day and night on the San Blas Islands: swim, kayak, and paddle out on the water and overnight in a bungalow on stilts or on the beach. San Blas is an indigenous zone, so prepare for a rustic time. There’s no hot water, Wi-Fi, electricity, or other amenities, so you’ll spend 2 days experiencing what life is like for the Gunas. On the morning of Day 1, you’ll be picked up at 5:20 AM from the lobby of your Panama City hotel and taken on a 2.5-hour trip by 4WD over the San Blas hills up to Port Tupile. From there, take a typical Guna boat on a 30-minute ride to paradise over turquoise waters. Arrive on the white sand beach where you’ll spend 2 days and 1 night in a bungalow over the water or right on the beach. The Waily Lodge Islands bungalows are rustic and simple, but provide private bathrooms and real wooden floors.     On the island, taste the catch of the day around mid-day and then take a tour with a guide to Perro Chico, where you can snorkel in a sunken boat full of colorful fish. Then, visit a natural swimming pool and spot starfish and other marine wildlife. Spend the rest of the time kayaking, paddle-boarding, or just relaxing on the beach.   On Day 2, enjoy breakfast and transportation back to Panama City around 8:30 AM, arriving around 1:00 PM to your hotel.

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Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

6. Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

Following pickup from your hotel, you will travel to Alajuela Lake where you will board a piragua, a traditional indigenous canoe. From there you will head to the Mono Waterfall where you can swim and refresh yourself. Following that, head to Tusipono Embera, a small traditional village located on the bank of the Chagres River in the middle of the rainforest. There the Emberas will show you their traditions, including their way of dressing and how they elaborate their handcrafts. They will then perform their traditional dances and music, before you are provided with some time to interact directly with them. You'll finally enjoy a local lunch as prepared by the Embera community, before being returned to your tour starting point.

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Panama City: Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Tour

7. Panama City: Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup. Follow the Panama Canal north to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the canal. Begin your 90-minute cruise from a boat on the waters of the canal and Gatun Lake, riding along the canal near the ships passing through. Enjoy an up-close view of the abundant wildlife on the shores. Visit the famous Monkey Islands where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Once you finish your canal and lake boat ride, head 1-hour northeast to the rugged and remote Chagres National Park. Once you arrive at Puerto Corotu on the banks of Lake Alajuela, the indigenous Embera people will be waiting to take you up the Chagres River aboard their version of a motorized dugout canoe. From the canoe, witness pristine rain forest that is protected as part of the Panama Canal watershed. Discover one of the most biologically diverse national parks in the world, home to jaguars, harpy eagles, tapirs, monkeys, sloths, and hundreds of bird species. Arrive at the indigenous village where the hosts will be waiting. Learn about the local way of life with a cultural presentation and take the opportunity to explore the village. Enjoy a light lunch of fried fish, plantains, and fresh fruit prepared by the locals. Browse for traditional handicrafts and receive traditional temporary tattoos, which will fade away after a few days. Hop back in the canoe and begin your journey back to Panama City.

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Welcome to Panama City: Private Tour with a Local

8. Welcome to Panama City: Private Tour with a Local

Transform the way you travel and make it as much about the people you meet as the places you see. Get a welcome to Panama City from a local guide eager to share all the tips to help you make the most of your stay. Meet at your hotel or accommodation and get familiar with the neighborhood. Learn insider tips, such as the best places to eat, buy groceries and the easiest ways to get around. Alternatively, arrange to meet at a central landmark or intersection to start your walking tour. Hear about the top things to do, customized to your interests. By the end, you will feel more comfortable navigating the city with all the information you need.

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Panama City: Monkey Island and Indigenous Village Tour

9. Panama City: Monkey Island and Indigenous Village Tour

After being picked up at your hotel or address in Panama City, set off for the town of Gamboa, in the middle of the Panama Canal. There, at the edge of the Chagres River, take a trip by boat to the Gatun Lake begins, the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal, where you will share space with large ships during their traffic across the Panama Canal. Later you arrive at a group of islands to meet 2 monkey species living there. Then, travel along the Chagres River to an Embera indigenous village where you will be welcomed by the community. Learn about their culture and listen to a speech by the chief of the village or nocó. Watch a live performance of traditional music and dance. Finally, enjoy the view of the tropical rainforest and the canal on your way back to the hotel.

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Panama Evening Food Tour

10. Panama Evening Food Tour

Start your tour at American Trade Hotel's Café Unido. This is an "Ace" located in the World Heritage site of Casco Antiguo. Try the Number 1 ranked coffee, and some amazing chocolate before the walking tour beings. Walk 10th street, as seen in the Taylor of Panama, starring Pierce Brosnan, and discover the history of Panama, passing the oldest cathedral. Stop by a local brewery to sample some micro-brews, before walking to the seafood market, as seen on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. As the sun sets and temperatures cool off, get amazing views of the city, and finish on the roof top of one of the most popular bars for a sample of the rum made in Panama. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Panama City

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What people are saying about Panama City

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 36 reviews

Our tour guide Santiago gave us a great local’s view of Panama City. We started at Casco viejo and got to see the ancient part of the city, and then went to the Anador Causeway and saw Some more, When leaving at the end he gave advice on where to have awesome coffee, abs how to negotiate with taxi drivers for our ride home! Recommend a tour like this early on your trip to get a feel for the area!

So fun! The village is a real indigenous village and the food they serve you is so amazing. The hike and boat ride are so much fun and it is amazing to see the jungle up close and swim in the river. The guides were also so fun and friendly. Would go again!

Dan the guide is attentive to all who took part in the trip. A gracious host and considerate of the those we visited.

My guide was wonderful. He was very knowledgeable and I would definitely recommend him

This was an awesome day trip. Dan was our guide and he went over and above!