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Things to do in

Panama

Cities in Panama

Our most recommended things to do in Panama

Panama City: Half Day City and Panama Canal Tour

1. Panama City: Half Day City and Panama Canal Tour

Enjoy 2 hours at the fascinating Panama Canal before exploring Panama City's history and sights. Discover 4 levels of exhibitions about the Canal at the Miraflores Visitor Center.  Take a panoramic drive along the Ancon foothills where you can take in the lush greenery and learn about the area's importance during the world wars. Stop at the Amador Causeway for a chance to get some incredible photos of the city, try one of its best ceviche places, have some amazing homemade ice cream, or do some shopping. Walk through the streets of the Old Town and visit the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Antigua. Take a guided walk, ending in the Plaza de Francia on the old walls that protected the city from invasion over the years.

Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

2. Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

Meet at the Balboa Yacht Club to begin your all-inclusive day tour on a catamaran. Take a 45-minute cruise to the Island of Taboga and enjoy breathtaking views of the Panama City skyline, Cinta Costera, and ships waiting to cross the Panama Canal while having light snacks. After reaching Taboga, sail to the backside of the island to a secret spot where an amazing bay with beautiful natural views is waiting for you. Have the opportunity to jump off the boat and have your first swim. There is also stair access from the boat to the water in case you don't feel like diving right in. After some water fun, climb back into the boat to enjoy a cold beer and lie in the boat's nets or dance with the crew while you sail towards the town side of the island. Dock so you can head to the beach and visit the small village of Taboga. Spend time on the beach relaxing or getting a game of volleyball in. After your beach and town visit, hop back aboard for a delicious lunch that includes chicken with veggies, parsley rice, vegetable salad, potato salad, and oleo pasta. If the wind conditions are right, open the sails and continue the party as you cruise along the open water.

From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

3. From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

Spend the day exploring the Panama Canal, learning about its history and creation. Visit the museum and make your way to the Chagres River to embark on a boat ride across Gatun Lake. Get picked up at your hotel or other location in Panama City, and journey to the Panama Canal Visitors Center for a detailed explanation about how the canal and famous Miraflores Locks work. Visit the museum to learn more about this important water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Return to the vehicle and pass Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to the town of Gamboa. Upon arrival at the Chagres River, climb aboard for a scenic boat trip across artificial Gatun Lake. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal. Watch the large ships passing through the canal to get a sense of the magnitude of this masterpiece of engineering. Arrive at a group of islands to see different species of animals and monkeys. Return to Panama City and get dropped off at your hotel.

Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

4. Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

Discover what local life is like in San Blas on this 4-days island hopping tour. Get to know the beautiful islands of this Central American paradise, and enjoy the white sand beaches and turquoise ocean. You may choose the standard transportation option which allows for a maximum of 6 passengers per vehicle, or choose the upgraded transport option to travel in a little more comfort with a maximum of 4 passengers per vehicle. Day 1 Pickup from selected hotels in Panama City begins at 5:20 AM. After pickup, you will stop by a supermarket in case you want to buy snacks or drinks. Then, head to the San Blas hills. The journey takes about 2.5 hours and is followed by a 30-minute boat ride to Ina island where you will sleep and have lunch and dinner. Pay a visit to a natural swimming pool and sample some fresh local lobster for dinner during lobster season. Day 2 After breakfast, enjoy a hiking tour in the San Blas jungle up to a waterfall. Spot monkeys, sloths, many birds, and iguanas. Come back to Ina Island for lunch and then take your boat to the 2nD Island Aroma. Relax and discover this island at your own pace. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Day 3 After breakfast, take a boat to Perro Chico island where you will sleep. You will first visit Iguana Island where you can kayak all around and visit another natural swimming pool. Once in Perro Chico, take your snorkel gear and visit the sunken boat which is just in front of the island and full of tiny colored fishes. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Day 4 After breakfast, take a boat back to Panama City. Breakfast is included.

Panama City: Legends of Casco Viejo Sightseeing Tour

5. Panama City: Legends of Casco Viejo Sightseeing Tour

Walk around Casco Viejo with a local guide, explore the historic centre and travel back in time to the golden days of this extraordinary part of the city. The guide will tell you interesting facts and stories of love, glory and fortune, but also of intrigue, war and conflict. She or he can also advise you on where to eat and where to drink during your stay. By the end of the tour you’ll know more than a local! This is a tour made for lovers of outdoor walks, it is made for people like you, who yearn to find experiences with real local people. After meeting your tour guide, she/he will lead you through Plaza Herrera, Plaza de Francia, Plaza Bolivar, Plaza de la Independencia, church of San Jose, the Cathedral, Santo Domingo church, the Presidential Palace, the “bóvedas” or dungeons, the Nacional Theater, and other interesting sites that Casco has to offer. There will also be opportunities to visit artisan shops, coffee shops, ice cream shops, and restaurant recommendations to make the most of your day in one of the most popular neighborhoods of Panama. You can eather meet your guide at the starting point or be picked up from a location, hotel or accommodation within the city area, just make sure to select the correct booking option. Also, we have enough umbrellas for everyone in case it rains, leave your worries behind.

Panama City: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

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

Be collected from your accommodation in Panama City between 5:20 AM and 6:00 AM 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. Here, enjoy a light breakfast of fresh fruit and take some time to sunbathe with provided umbrellas, beach chairs, and towels. You can also use kayaks or paddleboards to explore the island surroundings. Afterward, enjoy a lunch of fresh fish, rice, and salad. After lunch, sail onwards to Perro Chico, known as the best snorkeling spot in the San Blas Islands. Here, you can see a variety of colorful fish species and a sunken boat. Next, visit Island Pelicano, made famous by the Netflix series Money Heist. Finally, head to the natural swimming pool. This is a bank of sand in the middle of the ocean where you can walk or swim around to find your starfish. At 3:30 PM, sail back towards the port and return to Panama City in the evening.  On weekends, before coming back to the port, you'll visit one of the largest communities in San Blas to witness a traditional dance put on by locals.

From Panama City: Monkey Island and Sloth Sanctuary Tour

7. 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 City: San Blas Islands 2-Day 2-Night Sailboat Tour

8. Panama City: San Blas Islands 2-Day 2-Night Sailboat Tour

Explore the San Blas archipelago on this two day and two night trip from Panama City. Savor fresh locally sourced seafood meals onboard with drinks. Try to catch a fish with the fishing equipment or uncover the secrets of the underwater world with the snorkeling gear. Day 1: Be picked up from the comfort of your hotel in Panama City at 5 AM. Sit back and enjoy the scenic 3-hour drive to port Carti. Take a speedboat to the boat where you can settle in and relax. Sail to the turquoise waters of the Cayos Limones islands where you can snorkel and soak up some sun on the white sand beach. Have the chance to meet indigenous Kuna people and learn about their culture and way of life. Spend some free time looking at local handcraft shops or purchasing a fresh seafood lunch at a restaurant. Head back to the boat to rest for the evening. Day 2: Enjoy fishing in the sea as you cruise to the island of Cayos Nasargandub. Once at the island, chillout in a hammock in the shade of palm trees on the beach or go for a swim through the crystal clear waters. Rest in the boat in the evening. Day 3: After a delicious breakfast, catch the speedboat back to the port and transfer back to your accommodation in Panama City.

Panama City: Historic District and Canal Tour with Transfer

9. Panama City: Historic District and Canal Tour with Transfer

- pick up at your hotel - visit Miraflores Locks canal, you will see the transit of the ships through the locks, at the same time I will explain the operations of the Canal - Visit the Causeway Amador, I will drive you to the islands connected to mainland through a 6 kms road named Naos, Perico and Flamenco with a beautiful view of the skyline. - Lunch time (optional) you can enjoy the traditional panamanian food during your tour. - visit the historical district of Panama, the Casco Viejo, there we can walk around the narrow streets and I will give you all the information of that interesting site, also you can buy some handicrafts around the different plazas. - finally I can drop you off at your hotel, mall within Panama city.

From Panama: Gamboa Zip Line Experience

10. From Panama: Gamboa Zip Line Experience

Head to the Gamboa community for this exciting zip line experience. Elevate to the top of trees through a series of cables and get an unbeatably clear view of the rain forest’s greenery and landscapes as you make your way through 10 zip line platforms. To start, get picked up from Panama City before taking an approximately 1-hour drive to Gamboa. Meet the zip line instructor and get a basic zip lining lesson before starting your adventure. Completing the 10 zip line platforms takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. After enjoying your time in the rain forest, get dropped back off in Panama.

Other Sightseeing Options in Panama

Want to discover all there is to do in Panama? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Panama

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,217 reviews

What an adventure! Cesar (our guide) was wonderful. Group of 7 and pick up was directly from the hotel. Drove to the Chagres National Park, from their took a motorized canoe to the trail. Gorgeous ride through the forest. The hike was a medium, if you are used to an uneven, slippy, rocky path. Lots of wading through water, in some spots just below the knee. Wear waterproof non slip shoes and clothing you don’t mind getting wet. The scenery was fantastic and the reward of swimming at the waterfall, priceless! Boat ride back to the Embera Village for a great freshly prepared lunch of fish, plantains and fresh fruit. The villagers welcomed us and spent time telling the group about their culture. It was so interesting. Time to buy the crafts they make and enjoy a performance of music and dance. I cannot recommend this tour enough. Worth every penny. Thank you for an unforgettable experience. Julie

We booked the Panama City: Layover Private Tour and were incredibly satisfied with this activity. Our guide was prepared, friendly and knowledgable about the beautiful city of Panama!!! We were greeted and excorted to a comfortable, clean vehicle and given cold water upon entry. We toured the new city by car, the old city on foot and were able to witness the ship process through the canal as a perfect ending to our 5 hour tour. Dan Taylor was the best! Would highly recommend this activity to anyone visiting Panama City.

This was an unbelievable, once in a lifetime kind of experience that I am so happy that we took! Meeting the local tribe, experiencing their cooking and crafts and dancing… It was epic!

Manuel did an excellent job with our group of five people. I would highly recommend him if you’re in Panama and look into doing a tour

I wad lucky to get a private tour. The guide was great and I enjoyed the trip very much.