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Panama Travel Guide – Best Places To Visit In Panama + Tips


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Noell Hufford



Welcome to Panama, a hidden gem in Central America with a wealth of natural beauty and cultural diversity. Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Panama offers a plethora of exciting destinations and experiences for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and unique cultural encounters. From the bustling capital city to the picturesque islands and pristine rainforests, Panama has something for everyone.


With its rich history and strategic location, Panama has become a melting pot of cultures, blending influences from indigenous tribes, Spanish colonizers, African descendants, and other immigrant communities. This diversity is evident in Panama’s vibrant music, arts, cuisine, and traditions, making it a truly fascinating destination to explore.


One of the top attractions in Panama is its modern and cosmopolitan capital city, Panama City. This dynamic metropolis offers a fascinating mix of old and new, with its historic Casco Viejo district featuring charming colonial architecture and narrow cobblestone streets alongside modern skyscrapers lining the waterfront. Visitors can explore historical sites, indulge in delicious cuisine, shop in upscale malls, and enjoy a lively nightlife scene.


For those seeking some relaxation and tranquility, Panama’s San Blas Islands are a must-visit destination. This archipelago consists of over 350 idyllic islands and cays, known for their pristine turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. The San Blas Islands are home to the indigenous Guna people, who have preserved their traditional way of life and provide visitors with the opportunity to experience their rich culture and customs.


If you’re a beach lover, Bocas del Toro is another paradise worth exploring. Located on the Caribbean side of Panama, Bocas del Toro offers stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back island vibe. Visitors can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and exploring the lush mangrove forests.


For nature enthusiasts, the mountain town of Boquete is a haven. Surrounded by cloud forests, coffee plantations, and picturesque hiking trails, Boquete is famous for its cool climate and panoramic views of the Baru Volcano. It’s the perfect destination for outdoor adventures like zip-lining, bird watching, and coffee farm tours.


No visit to Panama would be complete without witnessing the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal. This iconic waterway connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and has played a significant role in global trade for over a century. Visitors can take a boat tour or visit the Miraflores Locks to witness ships passing through this engineering feat.


These are just a few highlights of what Panama has to offer. From the tranquil Taboga Island, the rugged beauty of Santa Catalina, the lush Gamboa Rainforest, to the pristine Coiba National Park and the historic Portobelo, there are countless other magical destinations waiting to be explored in Panama. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Panama, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Panama City

Panama City, the capital of Panama, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis that offers a unique blend of historical charm and modernity. As you explore this bustling city, you will be captivated by its rich history, diverse architecture, delicious cuisine, and lively nightlife.


A highlight of Panama City is the Casco Viejo, also known as the Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautifully preserved neighborhood with cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and charming plazas. Wander through its narrow alleys and discover hidden gems such as boutique shops, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. Don’t miss visiting the iconic Panama Canal Museum, which provides fascinating insights into the history and construction of the Panama Canal.


For panoramic views of the city skyline and the Pacific Ocean, head to Cerro Ancón. This hilltop lookout point offers breathtaking views and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Another must-visit attraction is the Biomuseo, a striking museum designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Here, you can learn about Panama’s natural history and biodiversity through exhibits and interactive displays.


Panama City is also a paradise for food lovers. Indulge in traditional Panamanian dishes such as sancocho (a hearty chicken soup), ceviche (fresh seafood marinated in lime juice), and arroz con pollo (chicken with rice). The city is home to a diverse culinary scene, offering everything from street food stalls to fine dining establishments. Be sure to try the local favorite, the famous Panamanian “fonda” or “sancocho” on Sundays.


When the sun sets, Panama City comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. The Casco Viejo is a popular area for bars and clubs, where you can enjoy live music, dance to Latin rhythms, and savor delicious cocktails. The city also boasts a thriving arts and music scene, with various theaters, galleries, and music festivals showcasing local and international talent.


For those seeking retail therapy, Panama City offers an array of shopping options. From luxury brands in high-end malls such as Multiplaza and Soho Mall to bargain hunting in local markets like the Mercado de Mariscos (Fish Market) and the Albrook Mall, you will find something to suit every budget and taste.


Whether you’re exploring its historical sites, savoring delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in its vibrant nightlife, Panama City is a captivating destination that promises an unforgettable experience. With its blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, it truly embodies the spirit and energy of Panama.


San Blas Islands

Located along the Caribbean coast of Panama, the San Blas Islands are a tropical paradise that offers breathtaking natural beauty and an immersion into indigenous culture. This archipelago is composed of over 350 idyllic islands and cays, each adorned with pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs.


The San Blas Islands are home to the indigenous Guna people, who have maintained their traditional way of life and governance for centuries. As you explore these islands, you will have the opportunity to interact with the Guna community and gain insights into their customs, traditions, and intricate handicrafts.


One of the highlights of visiting the San Blas Islands is the chance to disconnect from the modern world and embrace a slower pace of life. The absence of electricity and limited internet access allows you to truly unwind and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. Spend your days swimming in the crystal-clear waters, sunbathing on pristine beaches, snorkeling among vibrant coral reefs, and exploring uninhabited islands.


The Guna people are known for their beautiful molas, intricate pieces of fabric art made by hand. During your visit, you can purchase these unique creations directly from the indigenous artisans, supporting their sustainable livelihoods. You can also learn about their traditional fishing and farming techniques, as well as their holistic approach to medicine and wellness.


Accommodation options on the San Blas Islands range from rustic cabins and eco-lodges to staying with Guna families in their traditional thatched-roof huts, known as “dulemas.” This allows you to immerse yourself in the Guna culture and gain a deeper appreciation for their way of life.


Getting to the San Blas Islands can be an adventure in itself. Many travelers opt for a scenic 4×4 jeep ride through the lush jungles of Panama or a domestic flight to the regional airport in El Porvenir. From there, you will board a small motorized boat, also known as a “lancha,” which will transport you to your chosen island.


It’s important to note that the San Blas Islands are an autonomous territory governed by the Guna people. Respect for their customs and rules is crucial during your visit. The community operates in a sustainable manner, prioritizing the conservation of their environment and culture. This includes practices such as limited tourism and strict waste management.


For travelers seeking a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path experience in Panama, the San Blas Islands are a must-visit destination. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, learn about the rich indigenous culture, and create memories that will last a lifetime on these enchanting islands.


Bocas del Toro

Located on the Caribbean side of Panama, Bocas del Toro is a popular destination known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and laid-back island vibe. This archipelago consists of several islands, each offering its own unique charm and attractions.


The main island, Isla Colón, serves as the gateway to Bocas del Toro and is home to the vibrant town of Bocas Town. Here, you will find colorful wooden buildings, lively bars and restaurants, and a bustling waterfront filled with boats and water taxis. Explore the town’s vibrant markets, where you can sample local delicacies like fresh seafood and tropical fruits.


Bocas del Toro is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will be delighted by the region’s diverse marine life and thriving coral reefs. The archipelago is also a popular destination for surfing and boasts world-class breaks suitable for beginners and advanced surfers alike. If you’re new to surfing, you can take lessons from experienced instructors.


One of the must-see attractions in Bocas del Toro is the Bastimentos National Marine Park. This protected area is home to pristine beaches, lush mangrove forests, and diverse marine life. Take a boat tour through the park, spot dolphins in the wild, snorkel among colorful fish, or relax on secluded beaches. Don’t miss a visit to Red Frog Beach, named after the tiny red frogs that inhabit the area.


For those seeking tranquility, head to the quieter and more secluded islands of Bocas del Toro. Isla Zapatilla, part of the Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park, is a pristine tropical paradise with untouched beaches, dense forests, and abundant wildlife. It’s an ideal spot for hiking, wildlife spotting, and simply relaxing in a secluded setting.


Bocas del Toro’s unique ecosystem also includes the famous “Starfish Beach,” where the shallow waters are teeming with vibrant starfish. Visitors can wade through the clear, knee-deep water and observe these beautiful creatures up close.


When it comes to dining, Bocas del Toro offers a variety of options to suit all tastes. You’ll find everything from local cuisine, such as coconut rice and fresh seafood, to international dishes, including pizza, sushi, and Mexican food. Enjoy a delicious meal while overlooking the stunning Caribbean Sea.


To get around the islands, water taxis are a common mode of transportation, allowing you to easily hop from one island to another. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle or a scooter to explore the main island at your own pace.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Bocas del Toro is a tropical paradise that won’t disappoint. Immerse yourself in the Caribbean charm, soak up the sun on pristine beaches, and experience the laid-back island lifestyle of this enchanting destination.



Nestled in the highlands of Panama, Boquete is a picturesque mountain town renowned for its breathtaking views, pleasant climate, and outdoor adventures. Surrounded by lush cloud forests and coffee plantations, Boquete offers a serene escape for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a cooler climate.


One of the highlights of visiting Boquete is exploring its stunning natural landscapes. The town is located near the Baru Volcano, Panama’s highest point. Adventurous travelers can embark on a challenging hike to the summit, where they can witness stunning panoramic views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on a clear day. The hike can be done overnight to catch the sunrise, an experience that is truly unforgettable.


Boquete is also famous for its coffee production, with the region known for producing some of the best coffee in the world. Coffee lovers can visit the local coffee farms and learn about the entire coffee-making process, from the planting and harvesting of the coffee beans to the roasting and brewing techniques. Enjoy a freshly brewed cup of aromatic coffee while taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding coffee plantations.


The town of Boquete itself exudes charm with its quaint streets, flower-decked gardens, and colorful houses. Stroll through the main square, where you’ll find local artisans selling handmade crafts and souvenirs. Indulge in delicious local cuisine at one of the many restaurants offering traditional Panamanian dishes and international fare.


Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to keep them entertained in Boquete. Hiking trails wind through the cloud forests, leading to pristine waterfalls and hidden natural wonders. Take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the Caldera River or try your hand at white-water rafting for an exhilarating adventure.


Birdwatching is another popular activity in Boquete, with the region being home to a diverse array of bird species. Grab your binoculars and spot colorful endemic birds such as the famous Quetzal or the Resplendent Quetzal, known for its vibrant plumage.


For a relaxing experience, head to one of the natural hot springs near Boquete. Soak in the therapeutic waters surrounded by lush vegetation, allowing the stresses of everyday life to melt away.


Boquete also hosts a range of annual festivals and events, including the popular Boquete Flower and Coffee Fair. During this event, the town comes alive with parades, music, dance, and a stunning display of flowers and coffee exhibits.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, Boquete offers a perfect retreat amidst the natural beauty of Panama’s highlands. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the cloud forests, savor the flavors of locally grown coffee, and create lifelong memories in this charming mountain town.


Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the most iconic and impressive engineering marvels in the world. Spanning over 50 miles, it serves as a crucial link between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, allowing ships to bypass the treacherous journey around the southern tip of South America.


A visit to the Panama Canal is a must-do when in Panama. Witnessing the massive ships passing through the locks is a truly awe-inspiring experience. The Miraflores Locks, located just outside Panama City, offers a visitor center where you can learn about the history and construction of the canal through exhibits and audiovisual presentations. From the observation decks, you can watch as ships navigate through the locks with precision and ease.


If you’re interested in delving deeper into the history and importance of the canal, consider taking a boat tour through the entirety of the canal. This unforgettable journey will take you through the locks, providing a closer look at the impressive infrastructure and allowing you to fully appreciate the scale of this engineering feat.


The Panama Canal is not only a marvel of engineering but also an important ecological corridor. The surrounding rainforest is teeming with diverse wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and a wide variety of bird species. Take a boat tour through the canal’s Gatun Lake, where you can spot wildlife in their natural habitat and learn about the importance of conservation efforts in the region.


For a different perspective, explore the canal by train. The historic Panama Canal Railway offers a scenic journey from Panama City to Colon, following the canal’s route. Enjoy breathtaking views of the lush landscape and glimpses of ships passing through the locks along the way.


In addition to its historical and engineering significance, the Panama Canal plays a vital role in global trade, serving as a major transportation route for goods from around the world. From enormous cargo ships to luxurious cruise liners, you’ll witness a diverse array of vessels navigating the canal, further emphasizing its importance on the world stage.


Visiting the Panama Canal provides a unique opportunity to witness the fusion of human innovation with the beauty of nature. Whether you take a boat tour, explore the locks, or ride the train, the Panama Canal offers a riveting experience that showcases the ingenuity and impact of human endeavor.


Don’t miss the chance to witness this extraordinary feat of engineering and gain a deeper understanding of the impact it has had on global trade and transportation. A visit to the Panama Canal is a testament to human achievement and a reminder of the incredible possibilities that can arise when determination meets ingenuity.


Taboga Island

Nestled in the Gulf of Panama, Taboga Island is a hidden gem just a short boat ride away from Panama City. Known as the “Island of Flowers,” Taboga is a tranquil oasis with a rich history, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere.


Taboga Island is renowned for its stunning natural beauty. As you step off the boat, you’ll be greeted by picturesque palm-fringed beaches, clear turquoise waters, and breathtaking panoramic views. Spend your days sunbathing on the pristine sands, swimming in the warm waters, or exploring the island’s hidden coves and secluded bays.


The island is also a haven for nature lovers. Take a leisurely stroll through the small village and you’ll discover vibrant tropical flowers, lush vegetation, and an abundance of bird species. Keep your eyes peeled for hummingbirds, parrots, and toucans that call this island home.


History buffs will appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Taboga Island. Known as “the island of the conquistadors,” it was one of the first stops for Spanish explorers en route to the mainland. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets lined with colorful colonial houses and visit the San Pedro Church, which dates back to the 16th century. Inside the church, you’ll find beautiful religious artifacts and stunning works of art.


If you’re feeling adventurous, embark on a hike up Taboga’s highest peak, Cerro de la Cruz. As you ascend the trail, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas overlooking the island and the surrounding azure waters. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views!


Taboga Island is also known for its delectable seafood. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor fresh fish and seafood dishes at the charming local restaurants and beachside cafes. Indulge in ceviche, shrimp fritters, or a traditional Panamanian fish stew while enjoying the gentle sea breeze and the sound of the waves lapping against the shore.


To get to Taboga Island, you can take a ferry or a private boat from Panama City. The boat ride itself is a delightful experience, offering scenic views of the Panama City skyline and the calm waters of the Gulf of Panama. It’s the perfect escape from the bustling city, allowing you to unwind in a peaceful and idyllic setting.


Taboga Island offers a serene retreat where you can relax, immerse yourself in nature, and experience the slower pace of island life. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on pristine beaches, exploring the island’s history and culture, or trekking through lush forests, Taboga Island is sure to captivate your heart and create lasting memories.


Santa Catalina

Tucked away on the Pacific coast of Panama, Santa Catalina is a paradise for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts. This small fishing village has gained popularity in recent years for its world-class waves, untouched natural beauty, and laid-back atmosphere.


Santa Catalina is known for its incredible surf conditions, attracting surfers from around the world. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are waves suitable for all levels. The village has a relaxed surf culture, with numerous surf schools and rental shops offering lessons and equipment. Catch a wave, feel the rush of adrenaline, and experience the sheer joy of riding the waves.


Aside from its surfing scene, Santa Catalina is blessed with stunning beaches and pristine waters. Playa Santa Catalina, the main beach in the area, offers a picturesque stretch of golden sand where you can relax, soak up the sun, or swim in the warm Pacific waters. Adventurous travelers can go snorkeling or diving to explore the vibrant coral reefs, abundant marine life, and even encounter sea turtles and dolphins in their natural habitat.


For those seeking a more secluded beach experience, head to Playa Estero or Playa La Coquita. These hidden gems are often less crowded and offer a serene escape surrounded by lush vegetation and captivating sunsets. Relax under a palm tree, take a leisurely stroll along the shore, or unwind with a beachfront yoga session.


Santa Catalina is also a gateway to the Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest marine parks in the world. The park is home to a diverse ecosystem, including numerous species of marine life, exotic birds, and lush rainforests. Take a boat tour to explore the park’s stunning islands, go snorkeling or diving in its crystal-clear waters, and immerse yourself in the untouched natural beauty that surrounds you.


When it comes to dining, Santa Catalina offers a variety of options to satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy fresh seafood, including succulent lobster and shrimp, at the local restaurants and beachside cafes. Don’t forget to try the ceviche, a refreshing and tangy dish made with marinated raw fish or seafood.


To truly embrace the laid-back atmosphere, take some time to wander through the village and interact with the friendly locals. Santa Catalina has a small community feel, and the residents are known for their welcoming nature. You’ll find a few art galleries, shops selling local crafts, and cozy places to grab a coffee and immerse yourself in the local culture.


Santa Catalina offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty. Whether you’re riding the waves, basking on pristine beaches, exploring marine wonders, or simply enjoying the tranquility of this coastal village, Santa Catalina is a destination that will leave you with cherished memories.


Gamboa Rainforest

Located just a short drive from Panama City, the Gamboa Rainforest is a lush and vibrant paradise that immerses you in the beauty of nature. Nestled in the heart of Soberanía National Park, this tropical rainforest offers a plethora of outdoor activities and opportunities to discover the incredible biodiversity that Panama has to offer.


One of the highlights of visiting the Gamboa Rainforest is exploring its diverse flora and fauna. Take a guided hike along the enchanting trails, where you’ll encounter towering trees, exotic orchids, and a chorus of chirping birds. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, as the rainforest is home to an array of species, including monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and vibrant toucans.


For a unique adventure, embark on a boat tour along the famous Panama Canal. Witness the magnificent cargo ships navigating through the canal’s locks while enjoying the sight of lush rainforest on both sides. Learn about the ecological significance of the canal and its impact on the surrounding environment.


Explore the rainforest from a different perspective by taking a thrilling aerial tram ride. Enjoy panoramic views as you glide through the treetops, gaining a bird’s-eye view of the forest canopy and the diverse ecosystem below. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the different layers of the rainforest and the vital role they play in sustaining life.


No visit to the Gamboa Rainforest is complete without a visit to the Gamboa Resort’s famous Monkey Island. Hop on a boat and cruise along the Chagres River to observe playful monkeys in their natural habitat. Watch as capuchin monkeys swing through the trees and howler monkeys make their distinctive calls.


If you’re a bird lover, don’t miss the chance to go birdwatching in the Gamboa Rainforest. With over 900 species of birds, including the majestic harpy eagle and beautiful hummingbirds, the rainforest is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Take a guided tour with a knowledgeable local guide who can help you spot and identify the diverse birdlife.


For those seeking a bit of relaxation, indulge in a soothing spa treatment or take a refreshing dip in the resort’s swimming pools. Unwind amid the serene surroundings and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.


As you explore the Gamboa Rainforest, make sure to savor the flavors of traditional Panamanian cuisine at the onsite restaurants. Taste delicious tropical fruits, fresh seafood, and mouthwatering dishes influenced by Indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean flavors.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, wildlife encounters, or simply a peaceful retreat in nature, the Gamboa Rainforest offers a unique opportunity to connect with the natural wonders of Panama. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of this biodiverse ecosystem and create unforgettable memories in this captivating rainforest.


Coiba National Park

Coiba National Park is a pristine natural paradise located off the Pacific coast of Panama. As one of the largest marine parks in the world, it is a haven for diving enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking untouched beauty. The park encompasses the Coiba Island and several smaller islands, offering a diverse range of ecosystems and an abundance of marine and terrestrial wildlife.


Coiba Island itself was once a penal colony, isolated from the mainland and largely untouched by human development. Today, it serves as a protected sanctuary, showcasing the incredible biodiversity of the region. The park is home to over 800 species of marine fish, a variety of endangered sharks, humpback whales, and five species of sea turtles.


As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Coiba National Park boasts thriving coral reefs teeming with colorful fish and an array of exotic marine creatures. Diving and snorkeling opportunities abound, allowing visitors to explore the underwater wonders. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters, marvel at the vibrant coral formations, and encounter an impressive array of marine life, including manta rays, hammerhead sharks, and whale sharks.


For nature enthusiasts, Coiba’s verdant rainforests and mangrove swamps offer opportunities for fascinating hikes and wildlife encounters. Explore the inland trails, where you may spot endemic species such as the Coiba Island agouti, crested eagle, and boa constrictor. Keep your camera ready to capture the sight of mischievous monkeys swinging through the treetops.


The remote location of Coiba National Park has helped preserve its pristine state, making it an idyllic destination for eco-tourism. The park’s limited accessibility ensures a sense of tranquility, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the untouched beauty of the surroundings. Its secluded beaches and secluded coves offer a sense of solitude and serenity.


To visit Coiba National Park, it is advisable to join an organized tour or hire a local guide who can navigate the park’s protected zones and adhere to conservation guidelines. Keep in mind that certain areas of the park are restricted, ensuring the long-term preservation of its fragile ecosystems.


Whether you’re diving into the depths of the ocean, hiking through lush rainforests, or simply basking on pristine beaches, Coiba National Park is a destination that will leave you in awe of its incredible natural beauty. Immerse yourself in this ecological haven and create unforgettable memories in one of Panama’s most stunning national parks.



Nestled on the Caribbean coast of Panama, the historic town of Portobelo is a destination steeped in rich history and surrounded by natural beauty. This charming town is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a glimpse into Panama’s colonial past, with its well-preserved fortifications and cultural landmarks.


Portobelo was once a strategic port and important trading hub during the Spanish colonial era. Today, visitors can explore the remnants of this fascinating history through its impressive forts, such as the San Felipe Fortress, which served as a defense against pirate attacks. Marvel at the massive stone walls, cannons, and battlements that still stand as a testament to the town’s strategic importance.


One of the key attractions in Portobelo is the Church of San Felipe, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic church houses the famous Black Christ of Portobelo, a revered religious image that attracts pilgrims from all over the world during religious festivals. Witness the devotion of the locals as they pay their respects to this iconic statue.


The town itself is a charming maze of cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and vibrant marketplaces. Explore the local artisan shops, where you can find intricate handicrafts, traditional textiles, and unique souvenirs. Take a stroll along the waterfront and witness the busy activities of local fishermen or enjoy a delicious seafood meal at one of the cozy waterfront restaurants.


For nature enthusiasts, Portobelo offers proximity to beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush mangrove forests. Take a boat trip to Isla Grande, an idyllic offshore island with pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs, perfect for snorkeling or simply relaxing under the shade of palm trees.


Visiting Portobelo during the vibrant Congo Festival is an extraordinary experience. This unique festival celebrates the African heritage of the region with traditional music, dance, costumes, and rituals. Join in the festivities, listen to the mesmerizing rhythms of the drums, and witness the traditional Congo dances performed by locals dressed in colorful attire.


Portobelo’s strategic location also makes it an excellent base for exploring nearby natural wonders. The surrounding area is home to national parks, rainforests, and beautiful waterfalls, offering opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and eco-adventures.


To reach Portobelo, you can take a short drive from Panama City or opt for a scenic boat ride along the coast, enjoying breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. While public transportation is available, many visitors prefer to hire a local guide or join a tour to fully experience the town’s history and culture.


Portobelo is a destination that offers a unique combination of history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. From its historic forts and churches to its pristine beaches and lush surroundings, this magical town invites you to step back in time while experiencing the warmth and charm of Panama’s Caribbean coast.


Tips for Traveling in Panama

Traveling to Panama offers an incredible opportunity to explore diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. To make the most of your trip, here are some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  • Climate and Packing: Panama experiences a tropical climate throughout the year, so pack light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent. Also, don’t forget to bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings in the highlands.
  • Language: The official language of Panama is Spanish. While some locals may speak English, especially in tourist areas, it’s useful to learn a few basic Spanish phrases to help with communication.
  • Currency: The official currency in Panama is the Panamanian balboa (PAB), but the US dollar (USD) is widely accepted. It is advisable to carry cash, as some smaller establishments may not accept credit cards.
  • Transportation: Panama has a well-developed transportation system. Public buses are a cost-effective way to get around, while taxis are a convenient option for short trips within cities. Ride-hailing apps like Uber are also available in major urban areas.
  • Health and Safety: It’s recommended to drink bottled or filtered water and take precautions against mosquito bites to avoid mosquito-borne diseases. Additionally, ensure you have travel insurance and keep your belongings secure, especially in crowded areas.
  • Visa and Entry Requirements: Check the visa requirements for your country of citizenship before traveling to Panama. Most visitors can enter Panama with a valid passport for stays of up to 180 days.
  • Local Customs: Panamanians are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness. It’s polite to greet locals with a smile and a handshake. Respect cultural customs, such as dressing modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in Panamanian cuisine. Try local specialties like ceviche, sancocho (traditional soup), arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), and a variety of tropical fruits. Be open to trying new flavors and street food, which can offer a unique gastronomic experience.
  • Exploring Nature: Panama is blessed with abundant natural beauty. Take care to follow guidelines for responsible ecotourism, such as not disturbing wildlife or damaging fragile ecosystems. Engage in activities like hiking, snorkeling, and birdwatching, while being mindful of leaving no trace.
  • Adapting to the “Panama Time”: Panamanians have a more relaxed concept of time known as “Panama time”. Embrace this laid-back attitude and be prepared for things to operate at a slower pace than you may be accustomed to.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to explore the wonders of Panama and have an unforgettable travel experience. Embrace the vibrant culture, appreciate the natural beauty, and immerse yourself in all that this beautiful country has to offer.



As we conclude our journey through Panama, it’s clear that this Central American gem has so much to offer travelers. From the bustling streets of Panama City to the serene beaches of the San Blas Islands, from the lush jungles of Boquete to the historical treasures of Portobelo, Panama captivates with its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or a blend of it all, Panama has something to suit every traveler’s interests and desires. Explore the iconic Panama Canal, witness the wonders of the Gamboa Rainforest, dive into the underwater paradise of Coiba National Park, or simply unwind on the idyllic shores of Taboga Island.


Throughout your journey, embrace the blend of influences from indigenous tribes, Spanish colonizers, African descendants, and other immigrant communities to truly appreciate the unique cultural tapestry that makes Panama so vibrant. Try the local cuisine, engage with the warm-hearted locals, and immerse yourself in the traditions and customs that echo through the cobblestone streets and vibrant neighborhoods.


As you venture through Panama, remember to take in the breathtaking scenery, allow yourself to be captivated by the marvels of nature, and relish the moments that connect you with the true essence of this remarkable country. Whether you’re climbing mountains, exploring rainforests, or basking in the sun-kissed beaches, let the beauty of Panama inspire and rejuvenate your spirit.


Panama, with its rich history, natural wonders, and warm and welcoming atmosphere, invites you to explore, discover, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Panama, and embark on a journey that will leave you with lasting impressions and a deep appreciation for this enchanting country.