Top things to do in Panama

Top Choice Panamanian in Panama City

Lo Que Hay

Neighborhood fondas (cheap restaurants) serve cheap Panamanian classics, but this one – by Panama's top chef – delivers a massive twist. Sexy rice (concolón) has a crust of crisp perfection, served with smoked tomat…
Top Choice Museum in Panama City

BioMuseo

Celebrating Panama as the land bridge that has permitted astonishing biodiversity in the region, this world-class museum is a visual feast. Exhibits tell the story of Panama's rich biodiversity through engaging, ove…
Top Choice Panamanian in Playa Venao

Panga

When chef Andres Morataya left award-winning Manolo Caracol and the hubbub of Panama City for Playa Venao, he opened this most inventive restaurant. The idea is to use products often discarded – deep-fried snapper g…
Top Choice Panamanian in Panama City

Donde José

Elevating humble Panamanian staples to haute cuisine, this 16-seat eatery is Panama's hottest reservation. Chef Jose prepares ñandu beans (native black beans), crisp, tender pork and ñame (an indigenous tuber) in …
Top Choice Gelato in Panama City

Granclement

Pure pleasure defines these intense tropical-fruit gelatos and rich, creamy flavors such as coffee, orange-chocolate and ginger. A few scoops of these fussy French creations will sweeten a leisurely stroll through t…
Top Choice Cathedral in Natá

Basílica Menor Santiago Apóstol

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 all the woodcarving in the church, including the six side altar…
Top Choice Park in Isla Bastimentos

Parque Nacional Marino 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 Cayos Zapatillas, and the wetlands in the center of Isla Bast…
Top Choice Panamanian in Panama City

Maito

With style and pedigree, Maito toys with the classics, folding in everyday Caribbean, Latin and Chinese influences. While results are mixed, it's still worthwhile. Start with a watermelon Waldorf salad. Ribs glazed …
Top Choice Seafood in Farallón & Playa Blanca

Pipa’s Beach Restaurant

Love, love, love this mostly outdoor bar and restaurant right by the beach and serving seafood with gourmet touches (such as Thai mussels and crab claws in three sauces). One of the delights of dining here is enjoyi…
Top Choice Mediterranean in Volcán

Cerro Brujo

A gourmet restaurant in a funky country house with garden seating. The chalkboard menu offers just three or four daily options. Gregarious owner-chef Patti Miranda's mouthwatering creations use organic and local ing…