Welcome to Panama

Endless Summer

With a spate of deserted islands, chilled Caribbean vibes on one side and monster Pacific swells on the other, Panama sits poised to deliver the best of beach life. And a whole other world begins at the water's edge. Seize it by scuba diving with whale sharks in the Pacific, snorkeling the rainbow reefs of Bocas del Toro or setting sail in the indigenous territory of Guna Yala, where virgin isles sport nary a footprint. Meanwhile surfers will be psyched to have world-class breaks all to themselves. Hello, paradise.

Cosmopolitan Panama

The dazzling blue coastline and shimmering skyscrapers say Miami, though many joke that you hear more English spoken in Panama. Panama City is culturally diverse and driven, rough-edged yet sophisticated. There's much that's new or improved. Central America's first subway is ready, the historic Casco district is renovated and a massive canal expansion nears completion. Take in the city's funky particulars. Pedal the coastal green space, explore the Casco or attend an avant-garde performance and you will realize this tropical capital isn't just about salsa: that's just the backbeat.

The Great Outdoors

In Panama, nature is all about discovery. Explore the ruins of Spanish forts on the Caribbean coast or boat deep into indigenous territories in a dugout canoe. Wildlife is incidental: a resplendent quetzal on the highland trail, an unruly troupe of screeching howler monkeys outside your cabin or a breaching whale that turns your ferry ride into an adrenaline-filled event. Adventure tourism means zipping through rainforest canopies, swimming alongside sea turtles or trekking to sublime cloud-forest vistas. One small tropical country with two long coasts makes for a pretty big playground.

Lost-World Adventure

You don't have to make it all the way to the Darién to get off the beaten path – though if you do, you've hit one of the most biodiverse spots on the planet. Go where the wild things are. Soak in the spray of towering waterfalls near highland Santa Fé. Visit one of Panama's seven indigenous groups through community tourism. Live out your castaway fantasies in the Guna Yala or idle on a wilderness beach in Península de Azuero. Howl back at the creatures sharing the canopy. Panama is as wild as you want it to be.

Top experiences in Panama

Recent articles

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

Image for

Panama activities

$100 Tours & Sightseeing

Panama City, Casco Viejo and Canal Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

After meeting your local guide, you’ll begin your Panama City tour by wandering through the old historic district of Casco Viejo, which is so beautiful it’s been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, your guide will point out landmarks and important features of the neighbourhood, and fill you in on the secrets that only locals know.  Continue on through Balboa, exploring some of the old U.S. military zone, and see the headquarters for the legendary Panama Canal before heading to the Miraflores Locks visitor centre. Here you’ll be able to see the ships on their journey through one of the most famous canals the world, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This part of your Panama Canal tour will tell you all you need to know about this incredible feat of engineering, with help from your local guide and a self-guided tour through the museum dedicated to the Canal. From here you’ll head to Ancon to explore more of this famous part of the city before moving on to the Amador Causeway to take in the view of the Bridge of the Americas. We’ll grab bite a bite to eat and enjoy a little nature walk on the Smithsonian-owned Punta Culebra. Enjoy this amazing and historic 'secret' part of Panama City – if you’re lucky, you might even spot a sloth!  Finally, your local guide will drop you off back at the start point. From here, you’re free to shop at a local market, enjoy the view from one of the many rooftop bars or take a well-deserved rest and reflect on all you’ve learned about the awesome Panama City!

$135 Tours & Sightseeing

Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

To start this tour, you will follow the Panama Canal north to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the canal. You will begin the wildlife viewing from a boat on the waters of the canal and Gatun Lake. You will ride along the waters of the Panama Canal right next to the ships passing through as well as have an up close view of the the abundant wildlife on its shores. You will visit the famous Monkey Islands where you will see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Once you finish with the canal and lake boat ride (around 2 hours), you will head 45 minutes north to the Caribbean side of Panama. You will visit the Agua Clara Visitor Center to see the new expansion locks working up close. Located on the west side of the brand new Agua Clara Locks, the Agua Clara Visitor Center allows you to observe transiting vessels from a scenic lookout point and learn first hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed. An observational deck lets you watch the ships pass through the Agua Clara Locks on their way to the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. The next stop will be a visit to San Lorenzo National Park where you will visit a remote rainforest full of flora and fauna, followed by a freshly made picnic lunch and a tour Fort San Lorenzo. A 400 year old Spanish fort on a scenic cliff overlooking the Caribbean, here you will recount the many attacks by pirates and privateers that happened at one of the most historically important places in Panama. The Fort of San Lorenzo, located on an 80 foot (25m) cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea at the estuary of the Chagres River, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 along with the fortifications of the city of Portobelo. It was part of the defensive system for the transatlantic trade of the Spanish Crown, and is a fine example of military architecture of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Fort of San Lorenzo is one of the oldest fortresses in Spanish America. Here you will recount the many attacks by pirates and privateers that happened at one of the most historically important places in Panama. Once you finish the tour of the fort, you will return to Panama City for hotel drop off.

$145 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

You'll be picked up from your hotel at approximately 8am and head towards the La Playita pier. Along the way, you'll drive through both the old and modern areas of Panama City along the Amador Causeway, arriving at the pier to board the vessel at 9:30am.Enjoy an approximate 60-minute scenic sightseeing cruise along the Panama Canal until reaching the famous Miraflores Locks. Depending on the number of boats present on your date of travel, you'll most likely have to wait a short while before cruising inside the locks. The wait is absolutely worth it, so relax and enjoy the scenery until it’s your turn!When going through the Miraflores Locks, your ship is raised up to 54 feet (16 meters) in a two-step process. This activity is achieved by sending water from Pedro Miguel's lake to fill the chambers where the ship is locked. Once the process is finished, you'll continue cruising to the Pedro Miguel Locks before arriving at the Gamboa pier, where you'll jump back into the coach for the return transfer to your Panama City hotel.

$70 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

To start this tour, you will be picked up in central Panama City and taken halfway up the Panama Canal to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the canal.  A professional bilingual guide and boat captain will be waiting for you in a spacious covered boat.  During your 90-minute boat cruise you will ride along the waters of the Panama Canal right next to the ships passing through on their way to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.  The destination is Gatun Lake, where you will cruise around islands created during the canal construction and see the abundant wildlife on their shores.  You will visit the famous Monkey Islands where we can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins in their natural habitat.  The islands are situated in a world renowned tropical birding area, and along the shores you might catch glimpses of crocodiles, capybara, coati, agouti, iguanas, and much more.  The tour will finish with transportation to central Panama City.

$140 Day Trips & Excursions

Soberania National Park, Monkey Island, Indian Village Tour

It’s time to wave farewell to Panama City and get out into nature! Breathe in the fresh air of parks, islands, rainforests, and rural villages. This Panama City jungle tour will turn its back on bustling city life and welcome the rainforest in with open arms – come along for the ride!You’ll be picked up from the American Trade Hotel in the historic district, and the first part of this Panama City wildlife tour will take you past Panama Canal’s famous Culebra Cut and towards Soberania National Park, Lake Gatun, and the Chagres River.Known for its huge variety of birds (the Audubon Society's annual bird count once spotted over 500 species in 24 hours!), Soberania National Park is full of wildlife and is a wonderful place to watch for monkeys, sloths, eagles, and plenty more. There’s no denying that this spot in the Panama jungle really is the jackpot for animal lovers. You’ll also catch a boat out to Monkey Island – doesn’t take a genius to guess what you’ll find here! Keep your eyes peeled to spot a number of different species of monkey.Next, you will continue your tour up the Chagres River to an authentic Indian village. This will be an opportunity for you to get in touch with the local community, and learn all about their culture, customs, history, and more. As part of the visit, you’ll take a short hike along the trails through the rainforest to learn about how the local plants are used for medicinal purposes. With your local guide by your side through this adventure, you’ll learn plenty about the culture around you.After your Panama jungle experience of a life time, you’ll head back into the city (perhaps a little begrudgingly…) where your local guide will drop you back off at the American Trade Hotel. During the rainy season in Panama, we are unable to reach the Indian Village for the Panama City Jungle Experience. However, we can offer travelers a nice walk in the jungle as a substitute. This alternate option will be effective from early October to late December.

$33 Tours & Sightseeing

City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

City Sightseeing Panama provides a fun, informative and easy way for tourists to see the city! Our handy hop on hop off feature allows you to explore at your own leisure, plus our onboard recorded audio commentary allows you to learn all about the key sights as you travel! Visit the impressive Miraflores locks, this waterway opened in 1914 and is one of three locks that form the famous Panama Canal. Take a stroll to the Canal and take in the beautiful views of this outstanding 50-mile waterway and discover the history behind its creation and its importance to ships! Another historic attraction along the route is the Biomuseo, one of the most unique and fascinating buildings in Panama designed by Frank Gehry, you’ll be able to have a great view of the attraction from our open-top deck where you can admire its multi-coloured and diverse exterior! Experience the historic district of Panama and hop-off at the Casco Viejo, a listed World Heritage Site. This interesting town is home to many of Panama’s oldest buildings, and was built following the destruction of Panama’s main city in the 17th century after it was attacked by pirates. If you’re a shopaholic, there’s plenty of places in Panama for you to enjoy! Hop-off at the Balboa Boutiques Plaza, one of the main shopping centres in the city, or at the Multicentro, where countless designers and boutiques can be found, as well as several restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy authentic Panama dishes!    Don’t leave Panama without hopping off at Flamenco Island! Take a stroll and admire the breath-taking views of the skyline, as well as the beautiful marina and array of yachts and boats. Flamenco Island comes highly rated for its selection of restaurants, particularly sea food, so enjoy a bite to eat whilst you take in the peaceful surroundings. The tour stops along the route: Balboa Boutiques Plaza Parque Urraca Mi Pueblito Albrook Mall Miraflores Locks - Canal Biomuseum Punta Culebra Isla Flamenco Isla Perico Sabores Del Chorrillo Caso Antiguo Multicentro