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Panama Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Panama Family-friendly activities

Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

1. Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

Explore the serene waters of Panama on an all-inclusive day tour on a catamaran. Dive into the water for a refreshing swim before moving to the Island of Taboga to soak in the breathtaking views of the Panama City skyline, Cinta Costera, and enjoy a delicious lunch. 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

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

Spend half a day exploring the Panama Canal while learning about its history and creation. See the famed Miraflores Locks in action and take a scenic boat ride on the Chagres River. 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. Drive by Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to 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 as large ships pass 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: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

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

Be collected from your accommodation in Panama City 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. First arrive at Pelicano Island, made famous by the Netflix series Money Heist. Enjoy a light breakfast of fresh fruit and coffee and take some time to sunbathe with hammocks. Towels will be provided. Then take the paddleboards and your snorkel gear and go paddle to Ucubusi Island where you will find one of the best reefs to snorkel in San Blas. Discover a variety of colorful fish species. Afterward, enjoy a lunch of fresh fish, rice, and salad. After lunch, head to the natural swimming pool. Chill out on a bank of sand in the middle of the ocean where you can walk or swim around to find your starfish. Finally, visit a local community where you will see how the locals live. You can try the coconut bread made on the island, and see how molas are made by the grandmas on the island. Sail back towards the port and return to Panama City in the evening. 

Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

4. Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

Begin your full-day excursion with an hour-long drive from Panama City to the Chagres National Park. Established in 1984, the park comprises 334,000 acres of forest, lakes and rivers. Enjoy a traditional piragua boat ride on the Chagres River, followed by a half-hour walk through the jungle to a waterfall that’s hidden from civilization. Enjoy some free time at the waterfall to swim and relax, and then head back to the boat. Continue to an indigenous Embera village, where you’ll learn about their culture. Listen to a speech by the chief or one of the leaders of the community while enjoying some seasonal fruits, then taken in a live performance of traditional music and dance.

From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

5. From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

Travel to the Gamboa Marina in an air-conditioned tour vehicle with a guide and the rest of the tour group, before a transfer to a riverboat for a ride on the Chagres River, one of Panama's largest rivers, and head for Monkey Island. Observe the different species of monkeys that live on the island, from white-face monkeys, howler monkeys, and Geoffrey´s tamarinds, while taking some time to snap photos, and learn interesting facts and information about the different species from a knowledgeable guide. Return to the marina and to Panama City, and end the tour with drop-off at the hotel.

Boat Tour to Monkey Island from Panama City

6. Boat Tour to Monkey Island from Panama City

After collection from your hotel in Panama City you'll head directly to the canal to see the Miraflores Lake, the Pedro Miguel Locks and finally, the journey continues by car until the town of Gamboa, in the middle of the Panama Canal. There, at the edge of the Chagres River, you'll take a trip by boat to the Gatun Lake - the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal. There you will share space with large ships during the journey through the Panama Canal until you arrive at a group of islands to find 3 monkey species who live there plus a variety of wildlife including birds, turtles, crocodiles, sloths and more. After the trip, you will go back to the Panama City and enjoy the view of the tropical rainforest and the canal on your way back to the hotel.

Panama: Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest and San Lorenzo Fort

7. Panama: Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest and San Lorenzo Fort

Explore the Panamanian rainforest and walk in the footsteps of the Spanish settlers of the early 19th century. Learn the history of the pirates, visit the new lock system for tankers and cargo ships, and see various forest wildlife. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Panama City, and then journey by air-conditioned vehicle for approximately 1 hour as you make your way to Colón. First visit the Agua Clara Canal expansion to spend about 1 hour learning about the new canal system, built to support the passage of supertankers and large cargo ships as they pass along the Panama Canal. After the Canal visit, cross the new Atlantic bridge heading to the rainforest, and then get back to nature as you explore the ecological paradise by minibus. Discover the home of different species of mammals, reptiles and amphibious species. Observe the amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and enjoy plenty of stops to take souvenir photos.  Next, go to the historic monument of San Lorenzo Fort, renowned for preventing attacks by the real pirates of the Caribbean for almost 75 years. Learn the history of the fort, now in ruins after the Spanish largely abandoned it in the mid 19th century. Later, continue the ride into the rainforest to find more animals, and as an option, you can take a 20-minute walk with a machete along a jungle trail to experience the rainforest like the Spaniards 500 years ago.

Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

8. Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

Leave the city behind in the morning and head to the Chagres River where you will board a boat for a 2-hour tour of Lake Gatun (once the largest manmade lake in the world) and the Panama Canal. Explore the ins and outs of the nearby bays, search for wildlife, and visit the famous Monkey Island, home of the amazing white-faced monkeys. Also, keep an eye out for turtles, crocodiles, caiman, tons of bird life, and all kinds of other surprises. Return towards Gamboa, pass the dock, and head upstream to the Indian village. Unlike most Indian village tours, this one is authentic. Learn about the local culture, history, and crafts. Then, hike along a short trail to see the plants that grow in this area and how the locals use them (practical, artist, or medical uses) and see dance that is part of their custom. After visiting the village, return to Panama City and stop along the way for lunch and arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon.

Panama City: Private Airport Layover Tour

9. Panama City: Private Airport Layover Tour

Using your flight number and airline name, a driver will track your flight until it lands. After landing, the driver will be waiting for you outside with a sign highlighting your name. The driver will assist you to the car with your luggage. Once in the car, the driver will head to the Miraflores Visitors Center at the Panama Canal, where you will see the ships going through the Miraflores Locks on their way from one ocean to the other. The tour will be designed for you to visit the Panama Canal during the busiest time of the day, so you can watch the process from a terrace. After leaving the Panama Canal, the guide will take you to the Amador Causeway, a road that connects 3 islands, where you will have the opportunity to see the Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry. The following destination will be the Old Town (Casco Viejo) of Panama, where you can appreciate the beauty of colonial buildings and handcrafts shops while walking the quaint, narrow roads. After the Old Town, see the modern downtown of Panama City on your way back to the airport.

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.

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What people are saying about Panama

We had a 8 hour layover and decided to do the private Panama Tour. Our tour guide was Esteban, who was AMAZING!! He provided us a wonderful and unforgettable experience! We never felt rushed, he made the experience so enjoyable! He was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, kind and went above and beyond to make sure we had a beautiful experience and we did!!! Thanks, Esteban!

our guide was very good. he was prepared with food for the monkeys which helped us see them much better than other tour companies on the water and he even provided us with water for the day. very informative and thoughtful guide. safe and smooth driver. very good experience

Great trip with the Caramaran! All was very well taken care of. Good drinks, good food, nice swim and the island visit was very nice too. The crew really makes sure you are enjoying yourself too. Would highly recommend it!

Great trip to the locks and the monkey island was surprisingly fun too. I think this trip is a bit overpriced but all excursions in Panama air expensive… would still recommend going to this one!

Gonzo was an excellent guide and this is a great trip. Rainforest, canal, Indian village and lots of interesting information from Gonzo.