Things to do in
Panama City

Thanks to its ideal location, this Central American city boasts both tropical escapes and cultural highlights.

Our most recommended things to do in Panama City

Panama City: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

1. Panama City: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

See Panama City from the top deck of an open top tour bus. New to the city, the tour takes you to all the major attractions of the Panama capital. Set amidst the Pacific Ocean, the rainforest and Panama Canal, Panama City is a striking modern city, not least because of its unique attractions. The tour is designed to ensure that you see all main attractions beginning with the World famous Panama Canal. Learn about the construction of this 8th wonder of the world with a live guide. The bus also travels to the colonial city of Casco Antiguo, as it is known in Spanish. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it boasts wonderful colonial Spanish and Italian architecture. Panama also has splendid examples of French architecture, due to the French presence during the last decade of the 19th century when the French attempted to build the canal. Visit the islands that are connected by a Causeway. From here you will experience great views of the Panama Canal entrance and the Bridge of the Americas, as well as stunning views of the Panama City skyline and skyscrapers. On the way to the islands, and at the entrance of the Causeway, is the amazing Frank Gehry-designed Bio-Museum. Also known as the "Bridge of Life," it explains how Panama rises from the seas and links North with South America. As well as taking in Panama´s key places of historical interest, the city has a vibrant outdoor scene with several cafés, which are a delight to hop-off and linger at. You can visit areas where you will find restaurants and bars that cater for all palates, as well as shopping areas like the Albrook Mall, which boasts brands from around the world, sometimes sold at bargain prices. Tour Stops: 1. Balboa Boutiques Plaza 2. Parque Urraca 3. Mi Pueblito 4. Albrook Mall / Pasillo del Koala 5. Esclusas de Miraflores (Canal de Panama) 6. Biomuseo 7. Punta Culebra 8. Isla Flamenco 9. Isla Perico 10. Sabores del Chorrillo 11. Casco Antiguo 12. Mercado del Marisco 13. Multicentro

Panama: Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise with Lunch & Open Bar

2. Panama: Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise with Lunch & Open Bar

Explore the serene waters of Panama on an all-inclusive day tour on a Mega catamaran. Dive into the water for a refreshing swim before moving to the Island of Taboga for a beach and town visit. Enjoy morning snacks, lunch, and open bar. After reaching Taboga, sail to the backside of the island to a secret spot, where a bay with beautiful natural views is waiting for you. Jump off the Catamaran and enjoy your first swim (there are also stairs to access the water if you do not want to dive in). After some fun in the water, climb back onto the Catamaran to drink a cold beer. Rest in the boat's nets or dance with the crew while you sail towards the town side of the island. With an easy disembark at the Island´s dock, you can head to the beach or visit the small and historical village of Taboga. Spend time on the beach relaxing or learn about the historical landmarks the Island has to offer. After your beach and town visit, hop back aboard for lunch with Chicken in Tomato Sauce, Rice, Vegetable Salad, Potato salad, and Pomodoro Pasta. Sip on drinks from the open bar like rum, vodka, Seco Herrerano, local beer, mixers, and cocktails. If the wind conditions are right, open the sails and continue the party as you cruise along the open water.

Panama City: Half Day City and Panama Canal Tour

3. Panama City: Half Day City and Panama Canal Tour

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.  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, ending in the Plaza de Francia on the old walls that protected the city from invasion over the years.

From Panama City: San Blas Island Hopping Day Tour

4. From Panama City: San Blas Island Hopping Day Tour

Explore the San Blas Islands on this day trip from Panama City. Experience paradise as you see the tropical palm trees of Isla Perro, snorkel amongst marine life at Arena Blanca, and visit the white-sand beaches of Isla Diablo. Enjoy a freshly made lunch and time to relax along the way. Your island hopping tour starts early in the morning with a pickup from your Panama City hotel. Relax during your drive through the spectacular jungle highlands to the Port of Carti. Stop at a grocery store along the way in case you want to purchase items, such as snacks, water, or fruit. Arrive in Port of Carti, meet your San Blas tour guide, and board your "lancha" boat. Enjoy the thrilling ride to the first island with waves and some ocean spray possible and take advantage of the space and sun protection to make your journey more comfortable. Reach Isla Perro and be greeted by a tropical palm-fringed island paradise and calm waters with various shades of blue and green. Spend time here swimming and snorkeling amongst colorful fish and around a sunken shipwreck reef located close to the beach. Have time to relax in the shade of a palm tree, explore the island, meet the local Kuna population, or bathe in the crystal clear ocean. At lunchtime, savor a freshly prepared lunch, with a choice of fresh fish, chicken, or a vegetarian option. Depart Isla Perro and head to Arena Blanca. Stand waist-deep in the middle of the ocean on soft sand and admire the many sea stars populating this vast, shallow area. Whether using your snorkel gear or not, have a glimpse of the amazing underwater world only a few feet below the surface. From Arena Blanca, make your way to Isla Diablo, another San Blas island of white sand beaches, and with a local Kuna family living there. Have the chance to use fresh water showers to rinse off before heading back to the port. In the late afternoon, leave this island paradise and head back to the Port of Carti. Your driver will be waiting for you and safely drive you back to Panama City, dropping you off at your lodging in the evening.

From Panama City: 4 San Blas Islands Day Trip with Lunch

5. From Panama City: 4 San Blas Islands Day Trip with Lunch

Be collected from your accommodation in Panama City 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. First arrive to our main island an exclusive and private island just for our clients. Enjoy a light breakfast of fresh fruit and take some time to sunbathe with hammocks. Then take the kayaks or paddle boards and your snorkel gear and go paddle around the Island. Discover a variety of colorful fish species. Afterward, we go to a remote island where is the best spot for Instagram pictures, with a double swing in front of the ocean enjoy a lunch of fresh fish, rice, and salad. After lunch, head to the natural swimming pool. Chill out on a bank of sand in the middle of the ocean where you can walk or swim around to find your starfish. Finally, snorkel in the sunken boat in perro chico island. Sail back towards the port and return to Panama City in the evening.  We are a social responsible agency who pays fair price to support economy of the local communities.

Panama City: Legends and Hidden Gems of Casco Viejo Tour

6. Panama City: Legends and Hidden Gems of Casco Viejo Tour

Step into the enchanting world of Panama City's Casco Viejo with a local guide who's passionate about sharing the stories, history, and culture of this vibrant part of town. Our "Legends of Casco Viejo" walking tour takes you on a journey through time, where you'll discover the hidden gems, stunning architecture, and authentic local spots that only insiders know about. Our knowledgeable guide will captivate you with fascinating tales of love, glory, and fortune, as well as stories of intrigue, war, and conflict that have shaped this remarkable area. You'll also receive insider tips on the best places to eat, drink, and experience the city like a true local. This tour is perfect for anyone who loves outdoor walks and wants to connect with a friendly and personable guide who truly loves this city. Choose to meet us at the starting point or enjoy the convenience of a hotel pick-up from any location in Panama City. Rain or shine, we've got you covered with plenty of umbrellas.

From Panama City: Chagres Rainforest and Embera Village Tour

7. From Panama City: Chagres Rainforest and Embera Village Tour

Explore Chagres National Park on a day trip from Panama City. Enjoy a traditional canoe ride on the Chagres River and hike to a preserved waterfall for a swim. Have lunch in an indigenous Embera village and find out about their culture. The day begins with a transfer by car from your hotel or residence in Panama City to the Chagres National Park, one of the most important forest and water reserves in Panama. Enjoy a traditional canoe ride on the Chagres River, followed by a half-hour walk through the jungle, walking on mud, water and slippery rocks to a beautiful and pristine waterfall. Take a refreshing some free time at the waterfall to swim, relax, and enjoy the scenery. Then, walk back to the canoe and continue to visit a real Embera indigenous community that will welcome you to enjoy lunch, traditional music and dances in a hut. Afterward, learn about the culture and way of life of this tribe via a conversation with the chief or one of the leaders before returning to Panama City.

Panama: Monkey Island, Sloth Sanctuary and Panama Canal Tour

8. Panama: Monkey Island, Sloth Sanctuary and Panama Canal Tour

Explore a rich variety of ecological attractions on a guided trip from Panama City to a butterfly farm, a frog exhibition, a sloth sanctuary, and an orchid garden. Ride a boat into the Chagres River and into the Panama Canal, watching large cruise ships sail by. Meet your guide at your hotel, starting the tour early to see more monkeys before their bellies are full from other visitors feeding them. As you begin the 40-minute drive, see colonial American neighborhoods that served as homes for the Canal construction families and pass the Culebra Cut. As you arrive at the shores of Lake Gatun, be greeted by the dense rainforest and all its intriguing sights and sounds. Embark on a boat ride into the Chagres River, which will lead you into the artificially created Gatun Lake, which is a hotspot for biodiversity. Spot wildlife such as the coati, howler monkeys, squirrels, and sloths, as well as beautiful birds like the toucan and parrots. Take a path parallel to the Panama Canal and into Soberanía National Park on your way to the Gamboa Public Docks, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. A couple of minutes into the boat ride, enter the Canal and take a quick ride past the Dredging Division's facilities and along the shipping lane toward the Monkey Island area. With Panama’s abundant biodiversity, a bit of luck, and your boat captains’ sharp eyes, keep an eye out for wildlife. As you land on Monkey Island, listen for the different primate sounds and the rustling in the trees as monkeys jump amongst the branches. Prepare for monkeys to come up to you and inspect your clothes, hats, and bags. Next up, visit the Sloth Sanctuary located inside the Gamboa region, nestled within the lush rainforests of Panama. As you arrive at the sanctuary, find yourself surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Upon entering the sanctuary, be greeted by passionate staff who will provide you with an introduction to the world of sloths. Listen to interesting facts about these slow-moving creatures, their behaviors, and their importance in the ecosystem. Next, visit the Orchid Gardens within walking distance from the sloth sanctuary to admire wild species native to the country, including some miniature ones and Panama’s national flower. Then explore the Frog Exhibition, home to hundreds of frogs native to tropical America. For your last stop, head to the Butterfly House to observe the endemic butterflies that live in the Panamanian rainforest such as the colorful Blue Morpho Butterfly. Finally, make your way back to Panama City.

From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

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

Spend half a day exploring the Panama Canal while learning about its history and creation. See the famed Miraflores Locks in action and take a scenic boat ride in the Panama Canal. Get picked up at your hotel or other location in Panama City, and journey to the Panama Canal Visitors Center for 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. Drive by Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to 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 as large ships pass through the canal to get a sense of the magnitude of this masterpiece of engineering. Arrive at a group of islands to see different species of animals and monkeys. Return to Panama City and get dropped off at your hotel.

Panama City: Embera Indigenous Tribe & River Tour with Lunch

10. Panama City: Embera Indigenous Tribe & River Tour with Lunch

Ride a canoe up the Chagres River, 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 Lake Alajuela, inside the Panama Canal watershed. Board a motorized canoe for a 40-minute trip along the river, then stretch your legs on a short walk around the community. Return to the 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.

All activities

Frequently asked questions about Panama City

What are the best day trips and excursions from Panama City?

The best day trips and excursions from Panama City are:

Colón

Other Sightseeing Options in Panama City

Want to discover all there is to do in Panama City? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Panama City

Overall rating

4.5
(1,947 reviews)

I would highly recommend this bike tour to everyone! Daniel is an amazing and knowledgeable person and will tell you all you need to know about Panama and Panama City from a cultural, economical, biological, architectural and sociological point of view. He takes you along murals, markets, the sea shore, squares, monuments, the old town and elaborates on everything you see or hear. He’s engaging, enthusiastic and kind. I felt he knows the town and the people that live there like no one else (and gets greeted by people every 5 minutes!). He thinks along about the rest of your stay in Panama too and is full of good suggestions and ideas. The tour was truly one of the highlights of my visit to Panama!!

I absolutely loved everything about it. Beginning to end! I love that it was at her apartment, and it was comfy and cozy. Chef Winnie was super nice. From mojitos to food! Everything tasted like it was made with love.

Amazing experience, and Esteban was wonderful. Not only did he enthusiastically answer every question asked about his country and his people, but he seemed genuinely thrilled to be doing so. Highly recommend it.

Perfect! No delays at all with the pickup schedule. We got to see more than monkeys and it was just amazing. We got to hold a small crocodile and it was just perfect

Great trip, highly recommend. Our guide spoke many languages, including the indigenous, and engaged all tour guests with ease. We truly enjoyed our day.