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Panama Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Panama Nature & adventure

Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

1. 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 explore the pool on a paddle board. Visit the island in front of Ucusubi to go snorkeling and sample some fresh local lobster for dinner during lobster season. Day 2 After breakfast, visit a local Guna community and learn about this tribe's culture and rich history. Next, take a hiking tour in the San Blas jungle up to a waterfall. As you hike, pass a local cemetery, and spot monkeys, sloths, many birds, and iguanas. Come back to Ina Island for lunch and then take your boat to the 2nD Island Aguja. 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 Perro Grande 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.

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.

From Panama City: Gamboa Rainforest Guided Tour with Lunch

3. From Panama City: Gamboa Rainforest Guided Tour with Lunch

Explore the Panamanian rain forest while gliding smoothly through treetops on an aerial tram. Learn the jungle's most interesting facts from a naturalist guide. Watch colorful birds flying around you.  Take a boat ride through the Panama Canal, observing marine life. End your tour with a delicious lunch. Board a tram bound for a 280-feet peak surrounded by leafy jungle. While going up to the observation tower, enjoy fabulous views of the Chagres River, the Embera indigenous community, and much of the Soberania National Park. Gamboa is home to many natural labs including a butterfly farm, an orchids center, and a frog pond. See around 20 species of butterflies native to Panama at the Butterfly House. Get up close to the sloths at the Sloth Sanctuary. This sanctuary hosts a rehabilitation and training program for injured, sick, and orphaned sloths. Enjoy a scenic boat tour along the Panama Canal's waterways. Observe the fascinating tropical wildlife of Gatun Lake and the surrounding forest. Get a chance to spot crocodiles, caimans, sloths, monkeys, and a host of birds with the help of your guide.

From Panama: 3-Day San Blas Islands Tour

4. From Panama: 3-Day San Blas Islands Tour

Enjoy a unique adventure in the San Blas Islands. Swim in crystal-clear natural pools, admire the blue ocean, and visit islands including Ucusidup, Pelican, Aguja, Perro grande, and Perro Chico on this multi-day trip. After getting picked up from your hotel in Panama, begin your adventure with a boat ride to the islands. Stay in a private cabin on Pelican Island (where scenes from the 3rd series of the Netflix series Money Heist were filmed). Paddle boards are available for your use. Take a paddle board and head out to a tiny island called Ucusubi which has one of the best spots for snorkeling in San Blas. On the 2nd day after breakfast, visit a Guna Community, and experience daily life at a school and health center. Afterward, continue to the Guna jungle, crossing the Sidra or Masargandi River. Make a stop along the way at the Rio Sidra Community Cemetery and learn more about its history from your guide. Along the way, admire colorful butterflies, various bird species, and with a bit of luck, maybe even some toucans. After a 40-minute hike, reach the beautiful Saiba Waterfall where you can dive and soak in the waters of this crystal-clear natural wonder. Then take your boat to the 2nd Island, Aguja. Explore the scenic sandy beaches and sleep in a private 2-person hut. On your final day, after breakfast, your guide Naidi will pick you up early in the morning. Take a tour to snorkel in the sunken boat at Perro Chico island, and explore Perro grande island with kayaks and paddle boards. After lunch, say goodbye to the islands and arrive at your hotel around 6 PM.

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: Panama Canal, Colón Rainforest and San Lorenzo Fort

6. 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.

Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

7. 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

8. 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.

Embera Tribe and River Eco Tour Panama

9. Embera Tribe and River Eco Tour Panama

Ride a canoe up the Chagres River, and visit the traditional Embera village on a full-day tour. Learn about their traditional food, see their lively dances, and immerse yourself in their fascinating traditions.  Start with a pickup and a 1-hour drive from Panama City to the Chagres River, the largest river in the Panama Canal watershed. Board a motorized canoe for a 20-minute trip along the river, then stretch your legs on a short walk around the community , where if weather conditions permit, you can take a dip in a small river. Return to the canoe for the 45-minute ride to an Embera village, who have traditionally lived and worked at the edge of rivers, and are known throughout Panama for their distinctive songs, dances, and costumes.  The Embera tribe originates from the Darien region in Panama and the Choco region of Colombia. They have lived in this area for centuries, long before the first Spanish explorer set foot in the new world.  You’ll have 2-hours to explore the village, get to know some local people, and learn about life in the community. Sit down for a traditional lunch, then watch a dance that depicts the Embera's relationship with the natural world.  Before departing the village, shop for traditional handicrafts and souvenirs made by the local people. Head back down the river by canoe, and board the vehicle for the return trip to Panama City.

Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Panama

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 154 reviews

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

Excellent experience. Our guide was on time. All including the villager always taking care of everybody during the trail trip to the waterfall. Embera people were very instructive about their culture.

Exceptional! Very pleasant trip, excellent tour guide and drivers. Totally respectful for the animals and nature. Speaking English

Guides were great. Saw a lot of monkeys and even toucan. Sloths and reserve were interesting too

Great trip, very well organized. Our guide Juan was amazing.