Welcome to Panama City
The most cosmopolitan capital in Central America, Panama City is both vibrant metropolis and gateway to tropical escapes. Many worlds coexist here. Welcoming both east and west, Panama is a regional hub of trade and immigration. The resulting cultural cocktail forges a refreshing 'anything goes' attitude, more dynamic and fluid than its neighbors.Unflinchingly urban, the capital rides the rails of chaos, with... Read More
Top experiences in Panama City
Panama City activities
Panama City and Canal Walking Tour
After morning pickup from central meeting point, your full-day tour begins at the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal. These fascinating locks are an essential part of the process of getting ships through the canal from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans (or vice versa). Tour the facility with your local guide, learning about the locks' history and watching ships being raised and lowered between sea level and Miraflores Lake. Then visit the Miraflores Visitor Center, a museum where displays and exhibits help tell the story of the incredible feat of engineering that is the Panama Canal. Next, hop back in your tour van to head to the top of Ancón Hill (Cerro Ancón), a 650-foot (200-meter) hill that overlooks Panama City, providing panoramic views from a lookout platform. Walk around a bit to look for some of the local animals that inhabit the hill, such as armadillos, deer, tamarins and even elusive sloths, if you’re lucky. Continue your tour to a local artisan market, where your guide will tell you about Panama City’s market culture. Shop for local handicrafts, if you wish, to take home as souvenirs or gifts for friends. Then head south into Panama Bay, traveling down the Amador Causeway, a palm-lined road that runs across the sea, offering a great view of the Bridge of the Americas and connecting the mainland to three small islands. The area is a lively dining, entertainment and activity district where you’ll have free time to get lunch at one of the many restaurants at the end of the causeway. After lunch, take a 20-minute outdoor stroll at the Punta Culebra Nature Center, an open-air museum located on Naos Island at the end of the causeway. Operated by the Smithsonian, the center features aquariums, exhibits on marine conservation and a nature trail. Finally, visit your last destination of the day, the historic neighborhood of Casco Viejo (meaning ‘Old Quarter’), which dates back to the 1670s. Embark on a 1.5-hour walking tour through the World Heritage-listed district with your guide, who will point out important landmarks and tell you little-known facts that you probably won’t read in your guidebooks. See its main sights like Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palacio de las Garzas (the residence of the President of Panama), the Church of St Francis of Assisi and the National Theatre. Your day tour ends with return to the central meeting point, the American Trade Hotel.
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.
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.
Panama City Food Tour
Meet your local guide and fellow culinary explorers at Café Unido Coffee Roasters, where you’ll begin your Panama City food and drinks tour with a tasting of high-end coffee. Sip a sample made from Geisha beans — some of Panama’s best (and one of the world’s most expensive) — and learn about the country’s coffee industry from a local coffee farmer and roaster. Now that you’re a bit caffeinated, move on to your next stop, a gourmet food shop that specializes in rich Panamanian chocolate. On your way there, enjoy your walk through the World Heritage-listed Casco Viejo district (also known as Casco Antiguo), passing by historical landmarks like the Arco Chato (Flat Arch). When you arrive at the food shop, sample a piece of organic chocolate from the Bocas del Toro province, where the chocolate is produced by the Ngöbe, an indigenous group. Then take another walk through Casco Viejo toward your next destination, stopping along the way for photo ops of the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral and white-washed Presidential Palace (Palacio de las Garzas). Next up is a local microbrewery, where you can enjoy a tasting of four beers — whichever are on tap that day. Take a look at the brewery facilities to see how the local beer is made, and learn a bit about beermaking in Panama from your guide. Continue your adventure along the malecón (sea wall) to a seafood market, where you’ll enjoy some fresh ceviche, a Panamanian specialty that’s also common throughout Central and South America. Panamanian ceviche typically consists of small pieces of fresh raw fish cured in lime juice and flavored with chopped onion and cilantro, and it’s one of the best things you’ll eat all day. Finally, head to your last stop, a rooftop bar, for a rum cocktail made with 7-year-old Ron Abuelo, which comes from one of Panama's oldest rum producers. As you sip your drink, watch the sunset over the city. Your tour ends here, where you can stay on your own to continue your evening in Panama City, or find perhaps another spot in Casco Viejo to have drinks and dinner.
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.
City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
See some of Panama City's most famous attractions on this easy and convenient City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off tour! The complimentary recorded commentary throughout the tour along the Canal Route will give you interesting historical facts and background information on each stop. Visit the impressive Miraflores locks and discover how the Panama Canal works. This 50-mile (80.5-km) waterway first opened in 1914 and transports ships from sea level to 85 feet (26 meters) via a series of gravity-powered locks. Then, head to the Revolution Tower and admire the unique architecture of the structure. Stop at Mi Pueblito, a replica of an authentic Panama village, where you can watch different cultural performances and observe how homes were built using mud and straw. Hop off the bus for a visit to the Biomuseo, a unique building designed by Frank Gehry, to explore Panama's immense biodiversity. Stop at Parque Urraca, a green oasis among Panama City's high skyscrapers, and admire the lush landscape.If you feel like getting some shopping done while in Panama City, hop off the bus for a visit to the modern Multicentro, where you will find numerous restaurants, local shops and cafés. Try out a few authentic Panama dishes (own expense), including ceviche, corvina and sancocho. To explore even more shops and restaurants, stop at Isla Flamingo.