Panama
National Parks

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Our most recommended Panama National Parks

Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

1. 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 cacique or chief, while enjoying some seasonal fruit, then a live performance of traditional music and dance.

Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

2. Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

Following pickup from your hotel, you will travel to Alajuela Lake where you will board a piragua, a traditional indigenous canoe. From there you will head to the Mono Waterfall where you can swim and refresh yourself. Following that, head to Tusipono Embera, a small traditional village located on the bank of the Chagres River in the middle of the rainforest. There the Emberas will show you their traditions, including their way of dressing and how they elaborate their handcrafts. They will then perform their traditional dances and music, before you are provided with some time to interact directly with them. You'll finally enjoy a local lunch as prepared by the Embera community, before being returned to your tour starting point.

Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

3. Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup at 7:00 AM. Travel west of Panama City to start your exploration of the Panama Canal. Embark on a 90-minute boat tour on the Canal and Gatun Lake. Ride along the canal and get an up-close view of the ships passing through as well as the abundant wildlife along the shores. Visit the famous Monkey Islands, where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Then, head 45 minutes north to the Caribbean side of Panama to visit the Agua Clara Visitor Center to see the new expansion locks operating up-close. Observe transiting vessels passing through the Agua Clara Locks on the way to the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean from a scenic lookout point. Learn first-hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in world markets, and the importance of its watershed. Make your way to a scenic and quiet spot beneath the Gatun Dam and have a picnic lunch at the fork of the French West Diversion Channel and the Chagres River. Next, travel to San Lorenzo National Park, where you can visit a remote rainforest full of flora and fauna, followed by a tour of Fort San Lorenzo. Discover a 400-year-old Spanish fort on a scenic cliff overlooking the Caribbean. Hear about the many attacks by pirates and privateers at one of the most historically important places in Panama. Finally, be returned to your hotel in Panama City.

From Panama City: Rainforest Zipline Adventure

4. From Panama City: Rainforest Zipline Adventure

Get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling zipline adventure through the Panamanian rainforest. After getting picked up from your hotel in Panama City, head to Gatun Lake for your ziplining adventure. Discover different ziplines across a 2-kilometer route that offers spectacular views of the rainforest and maximum safety and security.

From Panama City: Monkey Island and Sloth Sanctuary Tour

5. 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: Gamboa Rainforest Resort Aerial Tram Tour

6. Panama City: Gamboa Rainforest Resort Aerial Tram Tour

Enjoy sweeping views of the local wildlife on an aerial tram ride through the rainforest near Panama City. Get picked up from your hotel in Panama City and head into the rainforest. Take in the views from the tram and enjoy even more fabulous, 360-degree views from the top. See ships moving through the Panama Canal and amazing views down the Chagres River, around beautiful Soberania Park, and the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

From Panama City: Monkey Island Boat Tour with Transfer

7. From Panama City: Monkey Island Boat Tour with Transfer

Monkey Island Jungle Boat Adventure In the morning a Panama Expeditions Hub will meet you and take you to Gamboa, a former US Military base for the operation of the Canal and a small town settled by the Chagres River and Gatun Lake, surround by the Panama Rainforest and the Soberania National Park and Nature Reserve. Your guide will take you to the Gamboa Pier at the Chagres River mouth to the Panama Canal. Once at the pier your guide will provide you with the live jackets, safety instructions and start boarding the Jungle Boat to start the adventure. the first part of the journey includes a boat ride under the historical Train Bridge and the Panama Canal waters where you will have the opportunity to see the huge vessels and container ships transiting the Canal, you will also observe the Dredging process of the Canal expansion and maintenance with the gigantic drills and cranes and the professional engineers and operators performing while your guide explains all the interesting facts about the project and the benefits to the country and the world, continuing the tour you will reach one of the northern corners of the lake where the dense jungle full of wildlife will take you to a whole different world and you will experience a close contact with nature. The Panama Rainforest is inhabited by thousands of different species and if you are lucky, you will see some of them like the white face capuchin monkeys, the howler monkeys, the Geoffrey’s tamarin monkeys, Cayman, Snail kites, herons and many other animals in the wild. After this amazing adventure your guide will take you back to your hotel.

Full-Day Chagres River Rafting Challenge with Meals

8. Full-Day Chagres River Rafting Challenge with Meals

Head to Chagres National Park in a 4x4 before starting your trek through the jungle, which is so dense that you’re unlikely to get a glimpse the Chagres River! During this full-day excursion you’ll travel by raft and later by a piragua motorboat. Your rafting adventure takes place on a section of the river characterized by currents alternating with backwaters. It is considered Class II, and several rapids are considered Class III by the International Classification of River Navigation. The river water is very clear as a result of dense tropical forest that protects the river from sedimentation. The vegetation is typical of a tropical rainforest, with more than 300 species per hectare. Although this is the natural habitat of large mammals such as tapirs and jaguars, they are very seldom encountered. You’re likely to spot several other types of local wildlife, such as monkeys of the rainforest, including spider, howler, whiteface capuchin, and Geoffrey's Tamarin, sloths, river otters, iguanas, toucans, and lots of fish.

Frequently asked questions about Panama National Parks

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What people are saying about Panama

Overall rating

4.1 / 5

based on 43 reviews

Everything was amazing. The driver was very friendly and knowledgeable. Made our ride fantastic. The zipline was beautiful and the people were also amazing. It was one of the best trips we have taken. Thank you!

I would highly recommend this tour. Our guide, whose name I unfortunately forgot, was wonderful. We saw crocodiles, toucans, monkeys and of course the sloths at the sanctuary. Time and money well spent!

Juan was amazing. Super knowledgeable about everything we asked, and patient with our two little kids needing bathrooms and melting down! He made the tour easy and enjoyable, thank you so much!

Cesar is a good guy, he will look after you. Don't worry too much about the hike, it's fairly straightforward. But your feet will get wet!

Plenty of excellent sites, guide was knowledgeable and personable