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Panama City Small group activities

Our most recommended Panama City Small group activities

Panama City: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

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

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 at Pelicano Island, made famous by the Netflix series Money Heist. Enjoy a light breakfast of fresh fruit and coffee and take some time to sunbathe with hammocks. Towels will be provided. Then take the paddleboards and your snorkel gear and go paddle to Ucubusi Island where you will find one of the best reefs to snorkel in San Blas. Discover a variety of colorful fish species. Afterward, 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, visit a local community where you will see how the locals live. You can try the coconut bread made on the island, and see how molas are made by the grandmas on the island. Sail back towards the port and return to Panama City in the evening. 

From Panama: 3-Day San Blas Islands Tour

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

Enjoy a unique adventure in the San Blas Islands. Swim in crystal-clear natural pools, admire the blue ocean, and visit islands including Ucusidup, Pelican, Aguja, Perro grande, and Perro Chico on this multi-day trip. 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 Pelican Island (where scenes from the 3rd series of the Netflix series Money Heist were filmed). Paddle boards are available for your use. Take a paddle board and head out to a tiny island called Ucusubi which has one of the best spots for snorkeling in San Blas. On the 2nd day after breakfast, 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. Then take your boat to the 2nd Island, Aguja. Explore the scenic sandy beaches and sleep in a private 2-person hut. On your final day, after breakfast, your guide Naidi will pick you up early in the morning. Take a tour to snorkel in the sunken boat at Perro Chico island, and explore Perro grande island with kayaks and paddle boards. After lunch, say goodbye to the islands and arrive at your hotel around 6 PM.

From Panama City: Monkey Island and Sloth Sanctuary Tour

3. From Panama City: Monkey Island and Sloth Sanctuary Tour

After a pickup from your hotel, head to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort in the Soberania National Park. From here board a boat and sail on Gatun Lake next to the huge ships that cross the Panama Canal. Admire the fauna and vegetation of the tropical forest, as well as Monkey Island where you have the chance to see white-faced capuchin monkeys and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. Continue on to the Sloth Sanctuary to observe three-toed and two-toed sloths that have been rescued. Learn about the life and habits of the sloths, as well as the efforts for the conservation of the species through the volunteers and specialized guides. From the Sloth Sanctuary, move on to the Butterfly House where you can see the butterflies that live in the rainforest such as the colorful Blue Morpho Butterfly. You will also visit the orchid and frog exhibitions to discover more about the species that live in the rainforest.

Panama: Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest and San Lorenzo Fort

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

Explore the Panamanian rainforest and walk in the footsteps of the Spanish settlers of the early 19th century. Learn the history of the pirates, visit the new lock system for tankers and cargo ships, and see various forest wildlife. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Panama City, and then journey by air-conditioned vehicle for approximately 1 hour as you make your way to Colón. First visit the Agua Clara Canal expansion to spend about 1 hour learning about the new canal system, built to support the passage of supertankers and large cargo ships as they pass along the Panama Canal. After the Canal visit, cross the new Atlantic bridge heading to the rainforest, and then get back to nature as you explore the ecological paradise by minibus. Discover the home of different species of mammals, reptiles and 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. Later, continue the ride into the rainforest to find more animals, and as an option, you can take a 20-minute walk with a machete along a jungle trail to experience the rainforest like the Spaniards 500 years ago.

Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

5. 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 chief or one of the leaders of the community while enjoying some seasonal fruits, then taken in a live performance of traditional music and dance.

From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

6. From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

Travel to the Gamboa Marina in an air-conditioned tour vehicle with a guide and the rest of the tour group, before a transfer to a riverboat for a ride on the Chagres River, one of Panama's largest rivers, and head for Monkey Island. Observe the different species of monkeys that live on the island, from white-face monkeys, howler monkeys, and Geoffrey´s tamarinds, while taking some time to snap photos, and learn interesting facts and information about the different species from a knowledgeable guide. Return to the marina and to Panama City, and end the tour with drop-off at the hotel.

Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

7. 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.

Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

8. Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

Leave the city behind in the morning and head to the Chagres River where you will board a boat for a 2-hour tour of Lake Gatun (once the largest manmade lake in the world) and the Panama Canal. Explore the ins and outs of the nearby bays, search for wildlife, and visit the famous Monkey Island, home of the amazing white-faced monkeys. Also, keep an eye out for turtles, crocodiles, caiman, tons of bird life, and all kinds of other surprises. Return towards Gamboa, pass the dock, and head upstream to the Indian village. Unlike most Indian village tours, this one is authentic. Learn about the local culture, history, and crafts. Then, hike along a short trail to see the plants that grow in this area and how the locals use them (practical, artist, or medical uses) and see dance that is part of their custom. After visiting the village, return to Panama City and stop along the way for lunch and arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon.

Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

9. 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.

From Panama City: Gatun Lake and Monkey Island Tour

10. From Panama City: Gatun Lake and Monkey Island Tour

Following a convenient pickup from your hotel in Panama City, head to the town of Gamboa in the Soberania National Park. Get on board a boat and depart along the Gatun Lake next to the huge ships that cross the Panama Canal. Marvel at the fauna and vegetation of the tropical forest, as well as the residents of Monkey Island where you can admire the white-faced capuchin, Geoffroy’s tamarin, and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. In Gatun Lake you’ll also can find many species of birds like toucans, hawks, herons, snail kites, and other mamals like agoutis, coatis, and capybaras. After the boat trip and Monkey Island experience, return back to your hotel with a drop-off.

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What people are saying about Panama City

This is truly an excursion worth taking . Tony is very accommodating knowledgeable , entertaining and will customize the trip to maximize the experience in Panama . He does not sugarcoat what to expect and see. He will show you Panamá city in a way that you will see the different perspectives and lifestyles of the locals. He was kind enough to take us to lunch at a local fish market. What a beautiful experience.

It was a pleasant tour in a small group. Our guide made sure the experience was unforgettable and there was virtually no waiting. The lock tour was great. Attention, the entrance to the locks and the IMAX theater cost about 17.5 dollars extra.

Excellent experience. Our guide was on time. All including the villager always taking care of everybody during the trail trip to the waterfall. Embera people were very instructive about their culture.

Exceptional! Very pleasant trip, excellent tour guide and drivers. Totally respectful for the animals and nature. Speaking English

Great trip, very well organized. Our guide Juan was amazing.