Must-see attractions in Panama

  • Biomuseo


    Panama City

    Celebrating Panama as the land bridge that has permitted astonishing biodiversity in the region, this world-class museum is a visual feast. Exhibits tell…

  • Basílica Menor Santiago Apóstol

    Coclé Province

    Natá's principal draw is this 16th-century cathedral, thought to be the oldest church built in the Americas still in use today. Indigenous artisans did…

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    Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos

    Isla Bastimentos

    Established in 1988, this 132-sq-km marine park was Panama's first. Protecting 130 islands of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, including the coral-fringed…

  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo

    Panama City

    This wonderful privately owned museum features the best collection of Panamanian art anywhere, an excellent collection of works on paper by Latin American…

  • Taller Dario López

    Península de Azuero

    One of Panama's top artisans, Dario López has been making colorful masks for folkloric dancers since the 1960s. These days most of his masks and satin…

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    Miraflores Visitors Center

    Panama Canal

    The easiest way to visit the Panama Canal is to head to the Miraflores Visitors Center, just outside Panama City. This modern center features a four-floor…

  • A howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) is seen in Barro Colorodo island, in the artificial Gatun Lake of the Panama Canal on November 23, 2015. The island was declared a nature reserve on April 17, 1923 by the U.S. government. It was initially administered by the Panama Canal Company, and since 1946 it has been administered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, forming the Barro Colorado Nature Monument together with five adjacent peninsulas. AFP PHOTO / Rodrigo ARANGUA / AFP / RODRIGO ARANGUA        (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden

    Bocas del Toro Town

    One of the joys of visiting Bocas is touring the 'Monkey Farm' botanical garden a couple of kilometers northwest of the center. Painstakingly carved out…

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    Parque Nacional Coiba

    Veraguas Province

    This national marine park contains Panama's largest island, the 503-sq-km Isla de Coiba, as well as astounding biodiversity; more than two dozen species…

  • Panama Viejo Ruins, Panama City

    Panamá Viejo

    Panama City

    Founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila, the city of Panamá was the first European settlement along the Pacific. For 150…

  • Toucan bird

    Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

    Panamá Province

    Geared toward ecotourism and environmental education, this is an excellent facility for birdwatchers and nature-lovers. Since you are probably here to…

  • Aerial overlooking two vessels during manoeuvres in Gatun Locks, Panama Canal.

    Gatún Locks

    Colón Province

    The impressive Gatún Locks, 10km south of Colón, raise southbound ships 30m from Caribbean waters to Lago Gatún. Just the size of them is mind-boggling:…

  • Plaza De Francia, Panama, Central America

    Plaza de Francia

    Panama City

    At the tip of the southern point of Casco Viejo, this beautiful plaza pays homage to the French role in the construction of the canal. Its large stone…

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    Parque Nacional Volcán Barú


    Volcán Barú is Panama's only volcano and the dominant geographical feature of western Panama. It is no longer active but has seven craters and its summit,…

  • Keel-Billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) in profile, Soberania National Park, Panama

    Parque Nacional Soberanía

    Panamá Province

    This 195-sq-km national park is one of the most accessible tropical rainforests in Panama. It extends much of the way across the isthmus, from Limón on…

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    Iglesia de San José

    Panama City

    This Casco Viejo church protects the famous Altar de Oro (Golden Altar), the sole relic salvaged after privateer Henry Morgan sacked Panamá Viejo.

  • Reserva Natural Punta Patiño

    Darién Province

    On the southern shore of the Golfo de San Miguel, this 263-sq-km wildlife reserve is owned by the private conservation group ANCON. It contains species…

  • Arte Cruz


    On the west side of Hwy 41, some 3.5km south of Volcán, you’ll spot this workshop where master carver and artist José de la Cruz González makes and sells…

  • Canal Museum (Museo de Historia de Panama), Old Quarter.

    Museo del Canal Interoceánico

    Panama City

    This impressive museum is housed in a beautifully restored building that once served as the headquarters for the original French canal company. The Panama…

  • Panama City, Panama, Panama, Central America

    Teatro Nacional

    Panama City

    Built in 1907, the interior of this ornate Casco Viejo theater has been completely restored. It boasts red and gold decorations, a once-magnificent…

  • Río Sambú

    Darién Province

    Traveling the wide and very brown Sambú River is a memorable experience: you'll glide past spectacular mangroves – five of the world's seven known species…

  • Gatún Dam

    Colón Province

    Constructed in 1908 to shore up the Río Chagres and create Lago Gatún, the Gatún Dam was once the world’s largest earthen dam, while Lago Gatún was also…

  • Iglesia San Atanasio

    Península de Azuero

    On the east side of Plaza Simón Bolívar, this national treasure was consecrated in 1782, although the foundation stone had been laid more than two…

  • Butterfly Haven

    El Valle

    One of El Valle's top attractions allows you to walk among up to 250 butterflies as they flutter by in a screened 'flight house.' Learn more about these…

  • Bayano Caves

    Darién Province

    On the south side of Lago Bayano, the Bayano Caves are a fun adventure. Cavers wade up Río Tigre though a sculpted Paleolithic cavern that is 850m long…

  • Isla Cañas

    Península de Azuero

    Isla Cañas is one of a handful of places that olive ridley sea turtles nest in high numbers (the others are two beaches on the Pacific side of Costa Rica…

  • Fuerte San Jerónimo


    Fuerte San Jerónimo, close to the center of Portobelo, was the largest fortress ever built to protect the bay. Some two dozen embrasures with 16 cannons…

  • Playa Blanca


    A 20-minute, US$45 return boat ride from Portobelo will bring you to this lovely white-sand beach on a tranquil cove surrounded by dense wilderness. It…

  • Playa Larga

    Isla Bastimentos

    This 6km-long beach on the southeast side of the island falls under the protection of the marine park. Hawksbill, leatherback and green sea turtles nest…

  • Red Frog Beach

    Isla Bastimentos

    Small but perfectly formed, Red Frog Beach is named after the rana rojo (strawberry poison-dart frog), an amphibian you're most unlikely to encounter here…

  • Área Protegida San Lorenzo

    Colón Province

    Centered on the ruins of the crumbling Spanish colonial fortress of Fuerte San Lorenzo, the 120-sq-km San Lorenzo Protected Area includes the former US…

  • Finca Dracula


    This orchid sanctuary, 500m from the center beyond the landmark Los Quetzales Ecolodge & Spa, is one of Latin America’s finest orchid collections, with…

  • Cerro Tute

    Veraguas Province

    With excellent open views of the valley, Cerro Tute is home to the area’s famed bird life and features a cliff blasted with up-currents that seem to…

  • Katuma

    Panamá Province

    The third most visited Emberá village in the park – and all the more interesting for that reason alone – is where you'll learn all about the history and…

  • Mirador Perú


    Atop a hill overlooking much of the bay is a small but well-preserved watchtower called Mirador Perú, which was built at the same time as Fuerte Santiago…

  • Puente del Rey

    Panama City

    Built in 1617, this Panamà Viejo landmark may be the oldest standing bridge in the Americas.

  • Panama City, Panama - 01/25/2019 People walking towards a view point in the Metropolitan Park in Panama City from which you can see the skyline of the city on a nice and sunny summer day.
Parque Natural Metropolitano

    Parque Natural Metropolitano

    Panama City

    On a hill north of downtown, this 265-hectare park protects vast expanses of tropical semideciduous forest within the city limits, and serves as an…

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    Centro Natural Punta Culebra

    Panama City

    Ideal for families, CEM is operated by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). This informative marine museum features two small aquariums and…

  • Fuerte San Lorenzo

    Colón Province

    Declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1980, Fuerte San Lorenzo is perched at the mouth of the Río Chagres on a promontory west of the canal. Despite…

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