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Panama Travel Tips

Last Updated: September 1, 2023

tropical palm trees and beaches in Panama

Its importance in global trade has helped the country proper (it’s one of the most developed in the region). And in recent years, Panama has also become a major tourist destination as flights from the US have become increasingly affordable and more Americans begin to retire here.

Most travelers visit Panama either at the end or the beginning of their journey through Central America here and stick to the well-worn tourist trail of Bocas del Toro, Boquete , the San Blas islands, and Panama City but, if you head to some of the lesser-known destinations, you’ll be rewarded with better food, amazing scenery free of tourists, and lower prices.

Panama is a beautiful country with an up and coming food scene (finally because, honestly, the food here is a bit bland) that I would say you need longer than you think to explore!

This travel guide to Panama can help you plan the perfect trip there without breaking the bank.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Panama

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Top 5 things to see and do in panama.

traffic and city skyline views in Panama City

1. See the Panama Canal

Opened in 1914, the Panama Canal is one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World and sees around 13,000-14,000 ships cross between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean each year. The Canal is 80 kilometers (50 miles) long and raises ships an impressive 27 meters (85 feet) using a complex lock system. It took a decade to create, relying on the labor of over 40,000 people — and over 5,000 of them died in the process. The Miraflores Locks are the easiest to reach from Panama City. Admission is $20 USD, and this includes the exhibitions at the visitor center as well as seeing the ships pass through from the observation deck.

2. Hang out in Bocas del Toro

Bocas is Panama’s most popular backpacker destination, combining a laid-back Caribbean attitude with the pristine natural setting of jungles, forests, and mangroves. Surfing is extremely popular here and there are always water taxis to take you to secluded coves, beaches, and the best snorkeling spots. This area is made up of three main islands: Isla Colon, Isla Bastimentos, and Isla Carenero. Bastimentos is calm and there are fewer people here so it’s a nice place to chill out away from it all. This area is also home to the Ngäbe and Naso Tjerdi indigenous cultures.

3. Relax in Boquete

Boquete is a laid-back village located in the mountainous region of the Chiriquí Highlands. There are several coffee plantations nearby, the ‘Mi Jardin es Su Jardin’ private garden, and several hiking trails of varying difficulty should you need to stretch your legs. This is a wonderful place to hike, bird watch, try some of the delicious regional coffee, and enjoy nature. One of the highlights here is the Volcán Barú volcano, where you can hike or take a 4X4 jeep tour up to the summit to catch the sunrise. The views are truly spectacular and you can enjoy panoramas of both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts at the same time.

4. Sail the San Blas islands

This collection of 378 islands is a popular spot for sailing and boat tours (there are lots of resorts here too). These mostly uninhabited islands are under control of the Guna indigenous people and are still very rustic (no Wi-Fi, limited electricity), allowing them to maintain their raw beauty for ecotourism. The lodging there is made up of simple huts, hammocks, and tents. You can also opt to do a sailing tour around the area and stay on a boat. Most 3-day/2-night sailing tours cost around $285 USD, including food, while a 4-day sailing trip costs $559 USD. You can also visit on a day trip if you’re short on time

5. Tour a coffee plantation

Other things to see and do in panama, 1. check out the ruins of panama viejo.

Founded in 1519 by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila, Panama Viejo (“Old Panama”) was once the country’s capital. It was one of the Pacific coast’s busiest Spanish trading towns until it was destroyed by Captain Henry Morgan in 1671. The remaining ruins are spread out over 57 acres and include the original cathedral (you can climb the bell tower for an amazing panoramic view), a hospital, and churches and convents. Because of it is historic significance, in 1997 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo neighborhood. Admission is $15 USD for adults and $2 USD for kids. It’s only a 10-minute drive or 30-minute bus ride from Panama City.

2. Bike along Amador Causeway in Panama City

This 6-kilometer (4-mile) causeway is made from the excavated rocks of the Panama Canal and links Panama City with three islands: Flamenco, Naos, and Perico. It’s an easy ride and you’ll have a view across the canal on one side and the city skyline on the other. There are plenty of restaurants to stop at along the way too. You can rent bikes on the causeway; expect to pay $10-20 USD for a rental.

3. Take the Panama Canal Railway

The Panama Canal Railway connects Panama City with Colón and runs from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean with this scenic 76-kilometer (47-mile) route. The train is an old-fashioned locomotive complete with an observation car that offers views of the canal, Gutan Lake, and the passing rainforests. The three-hour round-trip journey costs $50 USD ($30 USD for children aged 2-12).

4. Visit Portobelo

Christopher Columbus named this settlement Puerto Bello or “Beautiful Harbor” when he arrived there in 1502. Over time, it was shortened to Portobelo . The settlement became an important town at the northern end of the Gold Road, and its 18th-century fortifications were built by the Spanish to protect their gold from pirates. You can still see the original canon battery and the crumbling ruins of the fort. Portobelo is also a good launching point for sailing trips to San Blas. The cuisine in Portobelo has a lot of African influences as well, including curries, coconut, seafood, and fragrant spices (head to Casa Congo for an authentic taste of Congolese food).

5. Hit the beach in Pedasi

Located on the Pacific side, this town is located five hours from Panama City and is known for its surfing. Though it has become a haven for expats in recent years, it’s still not really “on” the tourist trail. Not a lot of people go here and you’ll have the beaches mostly to yourself. The water is warm and you can find surf lessons at Shokogi Surf School starting from about $40 USD for one hour for a private lesson and $30 for a group class in Playa Venao. This is also a prime spot to see humpback whales from May-November.

6. Hike in the rainforest parks

Parque Metropolitano is a rainforest in the center of the city, a short 15-minute walk from the Albrook Shopping Center. Admission is only $4 USD and, if you hike up to the top of Cedar Hill, you’ll have fantastic views over the city. Keep an eye out for sloths, toucans, hummingbirds, pacas, monkeys, and anteaters. Parque Soberania (admission $5 USD) stretches along the shores of the Panama Canal and is the most easily accessible rainforest from Panama City. This park is a bird watchers’ paradise, with over 500 different species. The ride from Panama City takes 25 mins. Parque Chagres (also $5 USD) is a bit further away (it’s about 65 kilometers/40 miles north of Panama City) but worth the trip for the variety of wildlife: 114 mammal species (including big cats), 96 species of reptiles and 396 species of birds!

7. Spot wildlife at Volcan Baru

Volcan Baru is the only volcano in Panama, and, at 11,500 feet, also the highest point in the country. The lower slopes are home to dozens of coffee plantations, while the higher ground is part of the Volcan Baru National Park. Bring your camera as the rainforest here is a good place to spot the colorful Resplendent Quetzal, which is considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world for its bright coloring. Expect to pay around $75-85 USD for a guided hike. For $120-150 USD, you can take a bumpy 4×4 ride up to the summit at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise. You can also hike the volcano independently.

8. Surf in Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina, located on Panama’s Pacific Coast, a six-hour drive west of Panama City, is a hotspot with the surfing community. Only 300 people live in this town on the Pacific coast, so don’t come here expecting fancy resorts or high-end dining. This is the place to be if you want to catch some fantastic waves and relax on some sandy beaches. If you want to learn how to surf, check out the surf camps where you can pay $225 for two-day camps and that includes accommodation, food, surfboard rentals, and lessons. For private lessons, expect to pay around $40 USD for a two-hour class.

9. Canoe to Embera Indian Village

To get to this village, which is located inside Chagres National Park, you’ll need to paddle up the Chagres river in a dugout canoe and then walk through a rainforest, giving you the chance to really immerse yourself in the surrounding nature. When you finally meet the Embera tribe you’ll be offered traditional food, music, and dancing followed by the chance to buy the tribe’s handicrafts or go for a swim under a waterfall. Day tours from Panama City cost between $85-175 USD per person, depending on how many people are going.

10. Explore Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo (“Old Quarter”) is the historic district of Panama City and the oldest city in all of the Americas. These days, the city’s red-bricked streets are lined with restaurants, cafes and bars, though the Spanish-colonial style architecture makes Casco Viejo feel worlds apart from the glitzy skyscrapers of the newer parts of Panama City. There’s a coastal fortification walk, churches, and cute little squares to admire. It’s a popular place to stay and eat in and watch the sunset from one of the many rooftop bars. Head to Mercado de Mariscos (the fish market) for a $3 USD cup of ceviche (a dish of diced fish that has been cured in lemon juice, with onions, peppers, and spices).

  For more information on specific cities in Panama, check out these guides:

  • Boquete Travel Guide
  • Panama City Travel Guide

Panama Travel Costs

along the river in Boquete

Note: Panama uses both the Panamanian Balboa (PAB) and US Dollars. Even though the PAB still exists, US Dollars predominate in day-to-day use (you’d be hard pressed to even find Balboas when visiting Panama).

Also, be advised that ATMs can be found in all larger towns and in touristy areas like Bocas del Toro, but if you’re planning to venture off the beaten path, check beforehand if there’s an ATM, or take out enough cash in advance. The San Blas Islands, for example, do not have any ATMs. Be aware that in most of Panama outside the capital, cash is king, and credit cards aren’t accepted in a lot of places.

Accommodation – Accommodation is cheap in Panama with a night in a hostel dorm costing $12-30 USD for a 6-8-bed dorm. A 10-bed dorm is usually around $10 USD. Private rooms range from $25-45 USD per night. All hostels offer free Wi-Fi and some include free breakfast.

Prices don’t really fluctuate much in the off-season – you might end up paying $1-2 USD less per night, but it isn’t significant.

Camping is available around the country at $5-10 USD per night for a basic plot for a tent without electricity.

Budget two-star hotels start around $30 USD per night. For a 3-star hotel or higher, expect to pay at least $65-80 USD per night. In the off-season, prices drop $5-10 USD per night.

Airbnb is available around the country, with an entire home or apartment starting at $50 USD per night (but average double that price or more). Private rooms start at $20 USD per night but usually average triple that price. Book in advance for the best deals.

Food – Panamanian cuisine features rice, black beans, yuca (a starchy vegetable similar to the potato), plantains, beef, chicken, and seafood. Common dishes include empanadas, chicken and rice, fried fish, and ceviche (a raw fish dish with lemon).

Local food-stall meals cost around $3-5 USD and get you chicken, rice, and beans. In a specialty coffee shop, you’ll pay between $3.50-5 USD for a coffee in Panama City, and between $2-4 USD in Boquete. Fish markets anywhere in the country usually have freshly-caught lunches for around $6 USD.

Breakfast is around $5 USD in a sit-down restaurant while a sandwich in a restaurant with table service averages $6-9 USD. Restaurants with table service generally cost around $10 per meal but remember to avoid restaurants with English menus as they’re usually more expensive.

For a nice meal with wine, expect to pay around $40 USD for 2-3 courses. A pint of domestic beer at a bar costs around $2.50 USD.

If you want to cook for yourself, expect to pay between $35-50 USD for a week’s worth of groceries including staples like fruit, veggies, rice, beans, and some meat.

Backpacking Panama Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking around Panama City, expect to spend about $45 USD per day. This includes staying in a hostel dorm, limiting your drinking, cooking your meals, using public transportation to get around, and doing mostly free and cheap activities like hiking and wandering the Old Town.

On a mid-range budget of around $150 USD per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, enjoy a few drinks, eat out for a few meals, take the occasional taxi, and do some paid activities like visiting the canal.

On a “luxury” budget of $220 USD per day or more, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink more, take more taxis, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in USD.

Panama Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Panama isn’t hugely expensive but it is more expensive than other countries in the region so you’ll have to work a little to save money here. Here are some of the best ways to save money in Panama:

  • Travel off-season – Traveling is cheaper during the rainy season, between April and November. Most tourists visit Panama between December and April – that’s when hotel prices go up, especially in popular destinations like Bocas del Toro.
  • Eat at the local food stands – Meals at local food stalls cost between $4-5 USD. You’ll get rice, chicken, beans, and a drink. I didn’t love the food in Panama (it’s quite greasy) but at those prices, it made eating very cheap.
  • Avoid taxis – I found taxis here to be a complete rip-off. As my friend JP says, “You get Gringoed.” They were also far more unwilling to negotiate. I’d try to avoid them if possible.
  • Refill your water – In most of the country, you can drink the tap water. There’s no need to always buy new water bottles so save yourself a few dollars a day and fill up from the tap. The only places you can’t drink from the tap are the islands (including Bocas del Toro). To ensure your water is safe, use a LifeStraw water filter .
  • Stick to beer – Beer is much cheaper than cocktails so stick to beer if you go out drinking. It’s much cheaper!
  • Carry small change – Most taxis and small shops won’t accept larger bills for small purchases so make sure you carry change.
  • Embrace the bus! – Long-distance buses in Panama are a few steps above the infamous “chicken buses” so often found here in Central and South America. While a far cry from luxurious, they are good enough for long-distance journeys if you’re on a budget (there are still plenty of chicken buses though if you want to give them a try!).
  • Stay with a local – There are tons of hosts (and lots of community events) in the larger cities of Panama, making this a great country to Couchsurf in. Pick up some tips and save some money by staying with a local!
  • Barter hard – If you’re hopping ferries around Bocas del Toro make sure you barter hard. Much like the taxis in the city, you’ll likely be charged more than the locals so barter hard and make sure you know what you should be paying.

Where to Stay in Panama

Panama has plenty of fun and social hostels to stay at. Here are some of my suggested places to stay:

  • Hostal Casa Areka (Panama City)
  • Magnolia Inn Casco Viejo (Panama City)
  • El Machio (Panama City)
  • Bambuda Castle (Boquete)
  • Spanish By the River (Boquete)
  • Bambuda Lodge (Bocas del Toro)

How to Get Around Panama

A boat along the beautiful shores of the San Blas Islands in Panama

Long-distance buses are usually modern and air-conditioned, and night buses exist for longer journeys (like Panama City to Bocas del Toro). There is no online ticket booking system in Panama, you just show up at the bus station and buy your ticket at the counter.

For most routes, you can buy same-day tickets, but for night buses and longer journeys, it is recommended to buy your ticket a day in advance. Expect very basic buses in the smaller towns around the country – you’ll be riding Diablos Rojos (“Red Devils”): old repurposed American school buses that are colorfully painted.

There are two companies that offer services from Panama City all the way to Costa Rica: Expreso Panama and Tica Bus. Their ticket offices are inside the main bus station in Panama City which is inside the Albrook Mall.

Train – Train travel doesn’t exist in Panama. The Panama Canal Railway operates one train between Ciudad Panama and Colon on weekdays and that’s it.

Flying – Air travel is possible within Panama but is not recommended. The most common domestic connection is between Panama City and Bocas del Toro. The 1-hr flight is between $130-$145 USD. You can also fly from Panama City to David (near Boquete), Pedasi, Chitre, the San Blas Islands and the Pearl Islands. The 1-hr flight from Panama City to David costs $134 USD, vs. a 6-hr bus ride for only $9 USD.

If you’re on a budget, I wouldn’t recommend flying.

Car Rental – It is safe to drive in Panama, but be aware that rental agencies are scarce outside Panama City. Rentals cost around $15-20 USD per day. Websites like Expedia often advertise car rentals from $1 USD per day, but be aware that rental agencies charge additional fees and insurance. Most rental agencies require drivers to be at least 25, though some will accept drivers at 21 if they have a credit card.

For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Panama

Panama has a short dry season between December and April, which is when you’ll get to enjoy clear blue skies. That said, Panama is less than 9 degrees north of the equator, which means temperatures are consistent year-round. The lowland regions are always hot and humid, but the highlands (Boquete, El Valle, Cerro Punta) can give you a bit of retreat from the heat – at least at night when it is a little cooler there.

Daytime temperatures in Panama average 30-33°C (86-91°F), and nighttime temperatures are around 21-23°C (69-73°F).

The rainy season lasts from May to December, but keep in mind that it usually only rains from late afternoon into the night. That means mornings and early afternoons can still be enjoyed. The rainiest month is November. If you visit during the rainy season, pack a rain jacket and avoid the highlands.

You never really have to avoid peak-season crowds in Panama; it’s never very crowded here, aside from certain areas (like Panama City) where cruise ships dock and crowds flood the streets for a few hours each day.

How to Stay Safe in Panama

Like neighboring Costa Rica, Panama is one of the safest countries for traveling and backpacking in Central America . That said, you’ll still want to be vigilant for petty crime.

Petty theft (including bag snatching) is one of the most common types of crime in Central America and it happens a lot in parts of Panama City as well as Colon. Always be vigilant and make sure your bag is properly worn and never left unattended.

The only city in Panama that is considered dangerous is Colon. Colon has the highest homicide rate of any municipality in Panama and you don’t want to wander after dark. Panama City, Herrera, and Chiriqui also have higher petty crime rates than elsewhere in the country so keep your valuables secure and do your best to fit in.

Some neighborhoods in Panama City can be a bit sketchy, including Curundu, El Chorrillo (which surrounds the neighborhood of Casco Viejo) and El Marañón. Avoid these areas after dark and don’t flash valuables like your phone or expensive jewelry.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, However, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

The Darien Gap, the border region between Panama and Colombia, is considered extremely dangerous due to Colombian rebel groups and drug traffickers who operate there, but it isn’t really on travelers’ itineraries so it’s unlikely you’ll be anywhere near that but, if you are, keep a watchful eye out.

Don’t carry more cash on you than you’re planning to spend, and leave your passport and credit cards in your hotel room/hostel. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID.

Keep an eye out for common scams against tourists , such as fake ATMs, taxis that don’t use a meter, and questionable tour operators.

If you experience an emergency, dial 911.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past.

Panama Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • Booking.com – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Panama Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Central America and continue planning your trip:

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for Costa Rica?

The Best Tour Companies in Costa Rica

The Best Tour Companies in Costa Rica

The 6 Best Hostels in Panama City, Panama

The 6 Best Hostels in Panama City, Panama

Is Belize Safe to Visit?

Is Belize Safe to Visit?

Is Central America Safe to Visit?

Is Central America Safe to Visit?

How to Get Around Central America on a Budget

How to Get Around Central America on a Budget

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all travel panama

A land radiating with life, perfectly imperfect, and full of authenticity. Where Northern and Southern worlds connect, old and new worlds coexist, and cosmopolitan landscapes live in harmony with wild, untamed rainforests.

A country for those who seek beyond expectations, that dares you to see more. Taste more. Connect more. Feel more. A place for those who long more stimulation, connection and transformation. Panamá is not the destination, but the journey to discover more of what truly matters.

Make more lasting memories through an explosion of inspiration and purpose. And let the spirit of Panamá unlock a sense of belonging.

Panamá. Live for More.

Panamá's unique location provides the experience of a lifetime. We are gifted with having a wide range of rainforests, a desert, and breathtaking beaches on both coastlines, the Caribbean and the Pacific, all within driving distance of a cosmopolitan city. Ready to start exploring?

December to February

Marlin sportfishing season, january to february, congo culture festivities, march to october, best swell for surfing, november to march, coffee harvest season, birdwatching, hiking & waterfalls, visit indigenous communities, places to visit, panama city.

Panama City is much more than the country's capital. Here you can pedal in front of a skyline with some of the tallest skyscrapers in Latin America, enjoy the Pacific breeze as you ride along the Bay of Panama, walk among archaeological sites and trails, and see how colonial history and the night come alive in the same place. Panama City is a high-contrast destination where greenery, indigenous peoples and vibrant city life are waiting for you.

Bocas Del Toro

Bocas del Toro is one of the favorite destinations among Panamanians and visitors. Just a 45-minute flight from Panama City brings you to the north-westernmost province of the country. Immerse yourself in its cultures, cross forest-covered mountains, sail through mangroves, swim among reefs, surf the perfect wave and discover the good vibes of Bocas.

Boquete is a colorful, wooded valley surrounded by the mountains of Chiriquí, in northwestern Panamá. The valley of dreams? Maybe so. This is a recurring destination for those who dream of trails with waterfalls and exotic animals, climbing natural rock formations, tasting the best coffee and enjoying excellent seasonal meals. Discover this unique place where peace and adrenaline converge.

Tierras Altas

The Tierras Altas region is a quite different place from the rest of Panamá. It is a mountainous district located in the extreme west of the country, in the province of Chiriquí. Take in its peaks, forests, rivers, and set out on an adventure among agriculture and culinary activities it has in store for you. Can you fathom how it feels to see both oceans at the same time? Well, in Tierras Altas, you can!

Riviera Pacifica

The Riviera Pacifica extends along the Pan-American Highway, a 25 mile (40 km) stretch of road dotted with beaches and mountains. On your way out of Panama City, just 50 miles (80 km), on your left, you’ll see a number of beaches where you can enjoy the best plans in the Pacific. And on your right, mountainous areas await that are brimming with trails, waterfalls and adventures in a cooler climate. Which one sounds best to you?

Pedasí & Tonosí

The province of Los Santos, located in the south of Panamá, is the cradle of folklore. At the end, towards the Pacific, there are two unique points: Pedasi and Tonosi. Here you will enjoy natural beauties such as the migration of humpback whales from July to October. You can also visit Isla Iguana to dive over the oldest and largest coral reef in the Gulf of Panama and see many of the birds and iguanas that live there.

Pacific Coast of Veraguas

The province of Veraguas in central Panamá is an exciting destination full of epic adventures. Its Pacific coast is a true jewel where lovers of the sea and wildlife coexist to enjoy the beauties of the region.

In the province of Colón, facing the Caribbean Sea, you'll find Portobelo. Legend has it that Columbus named Portobelo as soon as he saw it. The color of its deep blue sea, the white of its beaches, along with the intense green of its forests and mangroves, deserve no other name: it is a beautiful port. Come and discover it for yourself!

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$150 per person, travel protection plan, panama all inclusive resorts.

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Make the most of your time in Panama by exploring the outdoors. The region’s striking beauty is something to admire while its history and culture have stories to tell. Travelers can spend a day in Casco Viejo for an authentic experience in a diverse community. For those who want to witness breathtaking views and don’t mind a challenge, hike the Volcán Barú. The San Blas Islands are perfect for a peaceful escape to enjoy sunbathing on the white sand and snorkeling through warm waters. And of course, the Panama Canal is a must-see to complete your experience. Book a full or partial tour to witness this world-known site and learn about its fascinating history.

Combine new adventure with exotic luxury on your vacation. Panama all inclusive resorts feature beachfront views and lush vegetation where you’ll spend quiet moments relaxing under the sun. Friendly staff members are available day and night to make sure your every need is met, and accommodations invite you into your own private oasis for the utmost comfort. 

No matter where your interests lie or who you’re traveling with, Panama all inclusive vacations are the perfect ways to experience this beautiful country for a price you can afford. 

Getting There

Travel to Panama City from the US is available via several major airport hubs. New York, Newark, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale provide service on a variety of carriers. Connecting flights to the cities should allow the majority of travelers to reach this destination.

Attractions

Panama vacations provide travelers access to some of the most exciting attractions and locations on Earth!

The Panama Canal is one of the world's greatest engineering feats. This is a must-see when visiting the area.

The Gamboa Rainforest features canopy tours, Monkey Island, birdwatching and a host of adventure tours.

Casco Viejo is the oldest city on the Pacific Coast of the Americas and lies at the foot of the Panama Canal.

Weddings & Honeymoons

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41 Things to Do in Panama + 3 Things NOT to Do

May 22, 2023 by Silvia 25 Comments

My top tips for things to do in Panama:

My friend Rachel and I were chatting about our summer plans and when we realized we both had the same two weeks in August free Rachel suggested we visit Panama together!

Neither of us had been to Central America before so we were super excited to get to explore a new region, but also at a bit of a loss as to where we should actually go. In the end we opted for Panama, and I’m so glad we did because I can’t imagine a better introduction to Central America.

Basically we wanted to go somewhere with lots of beautiful nature, fun towns and cities, cute boutique hotels, and a good variety of things to do so we didn’t get bored over the two weeks. And Panama totally delivered.

Now, as we’re both full time travel bloggers, Rachel and I are both  super into travel planning. You should have seen the spreadsheets and Google docs that went into planning this Panama trip. It was a little over the top, to say the least. I probably spent more time researching the best things to do in Panama and the best places to visit in Panama than I actually did, well,  in  Panama.

We drafted so many different Panama itinerary possibilities and it seemed like as soon as we had decided where to go in Panama we were discovering another cool place to go. But in the end we did manage to narrow down a two week Panama itinerary that I LOVED.

It’s just such an amazing country, and really made for the best experience in Central America.

So, if you want to fall in love with Panama too, here are my top choices to do in Panama:

things to do in Panama

Table of Contents

Visit Panama City

I spent four days in Panama City and absolutely loved it, so you definitely shouldn’t skip it! In fact we had originally planned to stay in Panama City for three days but we loved it so much once we arrived that we extended our stay for an extra day.

I had expected Panama City to just be the necessary starting point for our trip, but actually the city ended up being a highlight of my entire time in Panama. It’s a beautiful and diverse city with so much going on, and I feel like I could have spent an entire week there exploring.

Here are some things to do in Panama City, Panama (and you can simply scroll down past the stars for things to do in Panama outside of Panama City)

 ★ The Panama Canal

Okay, you guys know I’m not usually one for museums and historic sites, but I was super excited to get to see the Panama Canal in real life! And while I had a sneaking suspicion the canal would be underwhelming in person, it actually was really cool and one of the highlights of my time in Panama City.

You might remember from your middle school history class, but the Panama Canal was an enormous project – in fact it was started several times before they actually figured out how to complete it. And it’s had a great impact on the country. The Panama Canal museum goes into all the history of the project, and then you can go outside and watch the canal in action.

panama canal panama city museum

★ Get lost in Casco Viejo

I really enjoyed Panama City and could have happily spent more than just four days there, and my favorite area was definitely Casco Viejo.

This area used to be really run down, but now Panama City is investing a lot in it and a lot of the old buildings have been refurbished and transformed into boutique hotels, stylish cafes and restaurants, and beautiful little shops.

I asked a local what he thought about Casco Viejo’s transformation and he said that while in a way it’s a bit sad to see the area change, the revitalization has thankfully had a really positive impact on locals and it’s great to have an area that has such tourist appeal as well.

Plus Casco Viejo is simply the best place for a photoshoot! I mean, you can’t expect two bloggers to go anywhere without taking an embarrassing number of photos for Instagram. What can I say?

★ Stay at a really unique boutique hotel in Panama City

I split my time between two gorgeous hotels in Panama City, and I really couldn’t say which I enjoyed more!

First I stayed at the American Trade Hotel , which was the perfect luxury hotel experience in the heart of Casco Viejo. The rooms were beautiful and the breakfast delicious, and I sort of felt like I was on a movie set. You can read more about my stay at the American Trade hotel here .

And then for my final two nights in Panama City I stayed at Las Clementinas , which has beautiful apartments. It was so fun getting to pretend like I was a local in Casco Viejo, and they had so many lovely touches like filling my fridge with breakfast treats. You can read more about my stay at Las Celementinas here .

★ Have lunch at El Trapiche

One of the best meals I had in Panama was at El Trapiche in the city center. I loved that it’s in a less touristy area of the city, but still super easy to get to (our taxi driver knew the name of the restaurant so we didn’t need to bother with directions).

This also felt like the most authentically Panamanian food in Panama City, and our waiter was really friendly and gave us some other recommendations for what to do in Panama City. Definitely stop by and try one of their sandwiches if you get the chance!

el trapiche panama city lunch

★ Have lunch at Super Gourmet in Casco Viejo

Super Gourmet is like an American style deli with a Panamanian twist. Another place well worth checking out for lunch! We both had sandwiches and ordered some cookies for takeaway, because who can resist a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie? Definitely not me.

Granted this place was full of Americans when I visited, so you might not be getting the most “authentic” experience here. But hey, I don’t live in the US and really miss American food, so I really loved feeling like I was back home in Massachusetts for half an hour!

★ Sample the chocolate at Oro Moreno Tropical Chocolate Cafe

This is another lovely place to visit in Casco Viejo, where they make their own chocolate. They use local flavors and I seriously could have spent all afternoon sampling their amazing chocolates. You can also stay a while and get a coffee or hot chocolate to drink here.

This would also be a great place to pick up some gifts for people back home – as long as this is the end of your trip, as those chocolates will definitely be melting when you’re in San Blas.

★ Visit the golden altar at the Church of San Jose

If you visit you can read about the altar’s interesting history (which I won’t spoil here!), plus it’s right in Casco Viejo so there’s really no reason not to pop in to see it. You only really need five minutes to check out the altar, so pop in and get a quick taste of Panama’s history.

★ Have a drink at a rooftop bar in Casco Viejo

There are so many lovely rooftop bars to choose from in Casco Viejo, and they have the best views! I went to Barlovento which had a really nice vibrant yet laidback vibe. It’s definitely a backpacker hub so a great place to meet people – but don’t worry, the feel isn’t  too young. I’m in my 30s and didn’t feel too old there (unlike some other Panama City bars haha).

★ Take a walking tour of Panama City

I’m not usually one for walking tours, but Rachel loves them so she signed us up for the PTY Life Panama Detour . And it totally won me over!

We spent five hours exploring Joey’s favorite areas, stopping at food trucks, using public transport, and having cocktails at a rooftop bar. It was a great intro not just to Panama City, but to Panama as a whole, and it was really interesting to get an American expat’s perspective on the city and country.

★ Have a drink at the top of the W Hotel

I know I said to have a drink at a rooftop bar in Casco Viejo, but as part of our walking tour we also stopped at the W Hotel’s rooftop bar, which is in the new part of the city, and it was really cool to see the contrast! There’s a pool up there and it’s just a great place to hang out away from the bustle of the city below.

It’s also a bit more of a sophisticated crowd, if that’s what you’re looking for. Feel free to wear your prettiest cocktail dress here!

★ Ride the subway

And this is another thing we did on the walking tour. Panama City’s subway is actually pretty easy to navigate, it’s clean, tickets are like 30 cents and I always find riding public transport is a great way to get a feel for a new city. Just maybe try to avoid rush hour, as it can get pretty crowded.

★ Visit the Santa Ana market

If you head towards the Avenida Central from Casco Viejo you’ll get to Santa Ana, and right next to the church you’ll see a little covered market. Here you can find local handicrafts at local prices – way better than the fancier tourist boutiques in town.

We tried on local sandals, hats, and jewelry and it was such a fun way to get to know the local culture here a bit better.

★ Buy a real Panama hat

You know the iconic Panama hat that President Roosevelt made famous at the opening of the Panama Canal? Well, it’s actually from Ecuador.

If you want a real Panama hat you’ll need to go to a local market (like the Santa Ana market mentioned above) and look for a straw hat with black stripes. I think they’re actually cuter, plus Panamanians will get excited to see you sporting a real Panama hat, so it’s a great way to make friends!

★ Get a sim card on Avenida Central

I know a lot of people prefer to disconnect while traveling, but if you’re not one of those people, it’s super easy to buy a sim card in Panama City. Though if you don’t want to bring along your passport to register the new sim card, just buy one from one of the many phone shops along Avenida Central.

They don’t register them here, and a Digicel sim card will cost you $1. Then I paid $5 for each week I wanted service for, which gave me unlimited data (!!). So for $11 I got a sim card with unlimited data that I could use for two weeks in Panama. I had pretty good service too – it was only on San Blas that I lost connection.

★ Stop by Cafe Coca Cola

Apparently this diner has been around so long that Coca Cola doesn’t mind that it’s borrowed their name.

cafe coca cola panama city panama guide

★ Have lunch at Mahalo

This Hawaiian themed restaurant in Casco Viejo is super cute, plus the food was pretty good too! I had a hummus platter (I can’t get good hummus in Norway!) and Rachel had a curry. Definitely check out Mahalo if you’re in need of a meal. The greenery and tikka bar also make the perfect backdrop from and Instagram post, just saying.

★ Take an eco adventure through the Gamboa Rainforest

Did you know that Panama City is on the edge of a rainforest? You can take a day tour like this one through the rainforest to see some exciting wildlife, or this aerial tram tour through the rainforest. I didn’t actually have time to do this, but I really regret not seeing a bit of Panama’s rainforest, so it will be at the top of my list the next time I visit Panama.

★ Visit an Embera Village

I’m not really one for village tours as they tend to make me feel a little uncomfortable, but if you’re interested you can take a day trip out to a traditional Embera village, including a canoe ride up a river and a walk to a jungle waterfall. You can book a tour here .

Visit the San Blas Islands

Over my travels through some eighty countries around the world, I haven’t come across many places that look as picture-perfectly like paradise as the San Blas islands. In fact I think the only place that could maybe rival it was my boat trip island hopping through Indonesia, and then I was sort of really lucky my boat didn’t sink so… if you’re looking for a safer journey to paradise, San Blas is perfect!

I’ve also written a whole blog post about my three days sailing in San Blas , including everything you need to know when planning a trip to San Blas. I found the process of planning our trip there quite confusing as there was a lot of conflicting information online, so here I’ve tried to break it down for you, because actually getting to San Blas is really simple.

I definitely think that sailing on a private catamaran is the best way to see San Blas, so if you’re looking for something to splurge on for your trip to Panama, this is it. I mean, when else are you going to be able to sail through paradise on your own private catamaran? Unless that’s the sort of life you already lead, in which case I’m jealous tell me your secrets!

And on that note, if you only have time to visit one place in Panama, I’d choose San Blas. It’s just so unique and I’m already dreaming of returning one day. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, and the culture is so relaxed and calming.

I also loved getting away from cell signal for a few days and totally unwinding without worrying about my emails and work obligations. Because I’m totally the type of person who would book a relaxing holiday at a resort and then spend my time lying on the beach checking my phone every twenty minutes. So bad! So if I really want to disconnect and truly relax, I need to get somewhere where I can’t even check my phone – and for me San Blas was that place.

san blas islands panama

Talk to locals

I was a little nervous about my lack of Spanish skills (or more like guilty – what American doesn’t speak any Spanish??), but everyone I met in Panama was so laidback and friendly that communication was never a problem. Most people spoke really good English, and it turns out Spanish is kind of just a better enunciated version of French/Latin – who knew? (Everyone knew.)

And the people in Panama really are so nice. They’re clearly proud of where they come from and were always eager to hear where else we had visited and what we thought about the country. Like, I’m getting a huge smile on my face just thinking back to the conversations I had with locals in Panama.

Take taxis without worrying about getting ripped off

Speaking of friendly Panamanians, never have I ever traveled anywhere with such nice taxi drivers! And long time readers here will know that I’m not a fan of taxi drivers. But all of our drivers here were so friendly and never argued over prices with us. It was so refreshing to be able to take taxis without stressing over finding one, or finding one that wouldn’t hugely overcharge me.

Fingers crossed I’m not jinxing my taxi ride to the airport later today…

Enjoy being safe

I mean, there are safe and unsafe areas in any country, but as a whole I never felt like I needed to worry while traveling through Panama. People were friendly and helpful and I felt really comfortable wherever I went.

Relax – Panama is so easy

In fact if I were to sum up my sixteen days in Panama in one word it would be “easy.” I don’t mean that in a boring way, but I cannot remember the last time I had such an effortless trip through a country I didn’t live in – much less where I didn’t even speak the local language.

Transport was a breeze, they use the US dollar here so I didn’t have to worry about currency conversions, all of our accommodation was amazing – like, I can’t think of any big stresses I had on this trip.

Explore Panama’s idyllic island escapes

I already mentioned San Blas, but Panama has so many other gorgeous island escapes. I also spent four days on Isla Palenque on the Gulf of Chiriqui and four days on Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro, and would have loved to visit the Pearl Islands and more islands on the Gulf of Chiriqui.

Isla Palenque felt like my own secluded island in the middle of nowhere – I seriously felt like I was a character in a novel staying here! The vegetation was so unique, the water perfect, and I think my time on the island was the most relax I’ve been all year.

Plus how stunning is this bungalow? I loved how they combined traditional and modern here and it had all the luxuries I wanted while still feeling like an authentic island escape. And each bungalow is surrounded by trees so it felt like we were totally alone on the island – until we went to the pool and restaurant, which was like the social center of the island.

isla palenque gulf of chiriqui panama

Look out for sloths!

Rachel and I thought we wouldn’t see a sloth here because we had opted against taking a tour to see them or visiting a sloth refuge, so imagine our surprise when one morning we passed a group of people at our resort in Bocas del Toro and realized they were all pointing at a sloth who had (very slowly) wandered into their yard.

I’ve seen so many YouTube videos of sloths (who hasn’t?) but there’s nothing like seeing one in real life – they are such funny creatures! It was like watching a cartoon or something, except this was real life.

sloth bastimentos island bocas del toro panama

Drink all the coffee

To be honest I don’t know much about coffee and generally will enjoy a cup of instant coffee just as much as some fancy brew, but it was still fun to hear Panamanians talk about their local coffee beans. We spent two days in Boquete, which apparently gets referred to as the Napa Valley of coffee.

I tried the famous Geisha coffee, which is really exclusive, and to be honest it tasted just like normal coffee to me, but other people told me it was some of the best coffee they’ve ever tasted. So if you have more refined taste than mine you’ll probably love it.

I also really loved how there are so many cafes in Boquete. I might not be into coffee, but I love the atmosphere of a coffee shop (and the pastries!), and Boquete has some truly lovely ones.

geisha coffee boquete panama cafe

Stop by Boquete

Speaking of Boquete , there’s a lot more to this highland town than coffee! It feels totally different than Panama’s coastal areas, and offers lots of hikes, ziplining, and even hot springs. It’s also a big expat hub, which is great news for anyone craving an American-style turkey sandwich.

Boquete also was a favorite of old Hollywood stars, so you can feel like a total celeb hanging out here.

Go to Boquete Tree Trek

If you’re up for an adventure, definitely check out Boquete Tree Trek ! Here you can go ziplining and walk along the Cloud Forest’s famous hanging bridges.

hanging bridges boquete panama

Have a meal at Boulder 54 in Boquete

I talk more about places to eat in Boquete in my Boquete travel guide here , but Boulder 54 deserved an extra mention because it was one of the best meals I had in Panama! The atmosphere was lovely, and each dish was beautifully crafted.

It’s a new restaurant so you can feel like you’re truly in the know by going, and while I was there they had live music. This is definitely the sort of place to get a little dressed up for, if you feel like it! It was also a great place for eavesdropping on the expat crowd here – it turns out there’s quite a lot of gossip in Boquete – who knew?

Travel Panama on any budget

While you can travel fairly cheaply through Panama on the backpacker trail, there are also lots of mid-range and family options, as well as some seriously gorgeous luxury hotels. And the same goes with transport – most places it seemed like you could take the local bus on the cheap, a tourist shuttle for a bit more, a private car for more, Air Panama domestic flights, or even charter a private plane to get you where you want to go.

Or another popular option here is to rent a car for a road trip!

Eat all the food

I’m new to Central American food so I can’t really say if it’s better in Panama than in other parts of the region, but seriously, so much yum. My favorite food was in Panama City, though I also didn’t mind dining on freshly caught lobster every night in San Blas.

I was also impressed by all the options most places.

grilling lobster san blas islands sailing panama

Cover a diverse range of landscapes

When we originally started planning this trip we thought we’d spend about a week in Panama and then head into Costa Rica, until we realized how much there actually is to see in Panama. Remember how I said we had to redraft our Panama itinerary so many times? It was just so difficult to narrow down where to go in Panama when there is such a diverse range of options there.

From the deserted islands of San Blas to the skyscrapers of Panama City, the highlands of Boquete, and the backpacker party scene on Bocas del Toro, it feels like we visited about five different countries on this Panama trip. And that’s what makes Panama such a good introduction to Central America as well. It really feels like you’re getting a taste of all sorts of aspects of the region.

But if you don’t have much time, my personal favorite areas to explore where Panama City, San Blas, and the Pacific islands. San Blas would probably top the list because the beaches and water there is just unreal, though Panama City is a close second – I’d say it’s one of my favorite cities that I’ve visited in a long time!

Visit both the Caribbean and Pacific

Speaking of Panama’s diverse offerings, you can also hang out on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts while here!

Everyone warned me that the Pacific is a disappointment after the Caribbean, but I actually really loved my time on the Pacific. It was quieter with fewer tourists (and fewer hotels – so book in advance), the weather was a bit more stormy, but during the day we still had enough sun for me to get sunburnt, as usual. I actually found the thunderstorms at night really exciting, plus it meant that it wouldn’t get too hot.

But if it’s white sand beaches and turquoise water you’re looking for, then you really need to head to San Blas. I mean, everyone needs to visit San Blas once in their lifetime, if they can. It’s really like a true-life paradise! It’s hard to believe how close it is to the US. Like, I used to think you had to go way out into the Pacific Ocean to find water and beaches like that.

And definitely check out the Gulf of Chiriqui

Speaking of the Pacific, you can read more about my time on the Gulf of Chiriqui here , but for now I’ll just say that if you’re looking for an idyllic island escape, definitely come here. It felt like being on a deserted island, and was definitely the most unique experience I had in Panama.

Like, I think most people visiting Panama go to Panama City, San Blas, Bocas del Toro, and even Boquete, but I don’t know many people who ventured down to the Gulf of Chiriqui. And the culture there seems quite unique too. The islanders have their own history and traditions, and seem very proud of their little corner of the country. And for good reason! The Gulf of Chiriqui is seriously stunning.

In fact, if you’re looking for a quiet getaway – or even a honeymoon retreat! – you could consider heading straight to Isla Palenque. Sure, you’d miss out on a lot of Panama’s other offerings, but you could also skip the exhausting of traveling all over the country and simply bliss out on the beach. I would love to return with my boyfriend someday and just hang out on the beach all week.

See whales on the Gulf of Chiriqui

If you visit the Gulf of Chiriqui between July and October you’ll have the chance to spot the humpback whales that have come from both the north and south poles to give birth!

I had gone on whale watching tours in Africa and Norway before so I wasn’t sure if this would just feel like more of the same, but I swear, seeing whales in real life will never get old. They’re so enormous, it’s really crazy to get so close to them and watch them surfacing and then diving down to find food.

whales gulf of chiriqui panama

so I’m probably not going to quit blogging to become a wildlife photographer

Go snorkeling on the Pearl Islands

I really wish I had squeezed in a trip to the Pearl Islands – especially considering you can even go as a day tour from Panama City! This tour here will take you snorkeling on the Pearl Islands, and it really does look like such a dreamy escape.

I spoke with some expats in Panama City who go to the Pearl Islands at least once a year, and they said it’s an insider’s favorite in Panama. And transport there is really well organized so you don’t need to stress about making your way down there.

Have a grown up holiday on Bocas del Toro

You guys, Bocas del Toro is not just for backpackers! You can read about my relaxing holiday at Red Frog Beach Resort here . The resort is huge, with beautiful landscape (this is also where I saw the sloth!), plus they organize lots of day trips around Bocas so you’ll never be bored.

Though to be honest I mostly just wanted to be an old woman and lounge at the pool and the beach, haha. It was just so relaxing there. They take care of absolutely everything for you – they have several restaurants, a spa, and the activity organizers are really helpful with recommendations based on what sort of holiday you’re looking for.

Or party it up on Bocas del Toro

Of course, if you do what to party with the backpacker crowd, you will love Bocas del Toro. Try to come on a Friday for their famous island hopping party.

We met some backpackers in Panama City who had just spent a few weeks traveling around Panama on a budget and they said that the best partying was on Bocas del Toro. If I were looking to party, I’d probably make Bocas town my base, as it has a strong nightlife of its own and then you can organizing island hopping tours from there.

Explore a working chocolate farm in Bocas del Toro

If you like chocolate, you can check out how it’s harvested and made! A few people I spoke to said this chocolate farm tour was a highlight of their time in Panama.

I’ve done chocolate tours in other countries so I decided to skip it here, but based on my experience in other places I can say that seeing the whole process of how chocolate is made is so interesting – especially if you are as obsessed with chocolate as I am.

Enjoy a boutique accommodation paradise

While my hostel days are long gone , I’m not a huge fan of the big chain luxury hotels that look the same regardless of what country you’re in, so I was so excited to find so many beautiful boutique hotels in Panama! Each featured such beautiful and unique designs that I sort of want to say that each and every hotel I stayed at in Panama was my favorite.

The American Trade Hotel is perfect old school luxury and has an interesting history of its own. While Las Clementinas offers gorgeous apartments that will make you feel like a local – well, a local living in a super stylish apartment getting breakfast baskets delivered to your room each morning. Can this be my life forever?

american trade hotel panama city

3 Things NOT to do in Panama

But what should you skip out on in Panama?

I would highly recommend NOT visiting the San Blas Islands at the start of your Panama trip. You see, I visited them first, and they sort of ruined the rest of Panama’s islands for me, because nothing else can compare to San Blas. So try to save the best for last, if you can.

San Blas is such a special experience, but I feel like I couldn’t fully appreciate it because I was still so excited for the rest of my Panama trip. Whereas if I had saved it for last I would have realized that it was the best part of Panama.

I would also avoid booking accommodation in Bocas del Toro on Airbnb. I usually love Airbnb, but I had a bit of a nightmare experience trying to book this place , and I heard from other travelers that they had similar problems in Bocas del Toro. It was just such an unnecessary stress in an otherwise totally stress free trip planning process.

And finally, don’t just visit Panama City and skip the rest of the country! Panama City is a great starting point, but if I had only visited the city I really don’t think I would have left with an accurate impression of Panama. The beaches are really where it’s at!

Or if you only have time for Panama City, promise that you’ll come back to explore Panama’s islands one day. I promise it’s worth it!

Though I feel like I should add that I’m also SO happy I made time for the city. When I first started planning my Panama trip I figured the best of Panama would be at the beach, but now I know that the country has amazing things to offer from beaches to cities to highlands to the rainforest – you really will fall in love with Panama if you give it a chance. That’s a promise!

Getting to Panama

As a US/Norwegian citizen, I could visit Panama for up to 180 days without a visa.

I flew KLM from Amsterdam direct to Tocumen International Airport and it was a really easy, straightforward flight. When you exit the airport there will be a lot of people trying to get to take their taxi. I ignored them and walked straight through the crowd and found a driver who wasn’t hassling me, but my friend Rachel took one of the first people and we both ended up paying the same (I think it was $20 to my hotel downtown).

And I really loved flying out of PTY. They’ve just redone it and there are lots of American chain restaurants – which was very exciting for me as an American living abroad, haha. I definitely had my fill of bagel sandwiches at their Dunkin Donuts!

Packing for Panama

Panama is super laidback, so you can really wear whatever you want here. I lived in dresses and shorts, as it was so hot here.

Oh and be sure to bring sunblock and a hat (or buy a hat in Panama City!), as the sun here is no joke. I got so burnt on San Blas, it was really bad.

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Justine says

August 31, 2018 at 4:09 pm

I’m severely missing Latin America. I did a two-month trip through Central America years ago but we didn’t make it to El Salvador or Panama. But Panama has always called my name. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to actually get back to that amazing region of the world. Following your and Rachel’s trip is sparking some serious wanderlust in me!!

Silvia says

August 31, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Yeah it’s been so crazy exploring a new region – I feel like my wanderlust has been reawakened now too and I need to see all of Central and South America!

Victoria@TheBritishBerliner says

September 3, 2018 at 6:18 am

Wow! ‘Love the post Silvia!

I haven’t yet been to Panama or even Central America. And I have absolutely no idea why!

But isn’t it cool that you literally bumped into seeing a sloth casually wandering along the yard, and minding it’s own business, doing what sloths do.

That’s travel!

September 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Ooooh I want to go to Panama too now! And the f it’s easy and safe, it will also be the perfect place to take my boyfriend :).

Your statement about Spanish made me laugh! LOL 🙂 But seriously, Panama will also be great for mi novio qui (que?) no habla español :). What’s the weather like there? As in, how hot and how wet?

Can’t wait to read the rest of this series and find out where that gorgeous organic roof with a cool modern white box underneath is!

September 12, 2018 at 2:33 pm

It was very hot – like around 30 I think – but also quite cloudy so it rarely felt unbearably hot. I was there in rainy season but most days it only rained for part of the day and then the sun would come back out.

April 2, 2019 at 5:35 am

Nice post!! I’ve been living in Panama for the last 10 years and there’s too much to do and incredible places to visit. My recommendation for your next trip to Panama: Visit El Otro Lado Private Retreat at Portobelo Bay. Portobelo is a small town, 1.5 hours away from Panama City on the Caribbean Coast. This is where all de treasures from latin america were shipped to Spain in the colonial times, so it has a lot of history about the conquest, the treasures and the real pirates of the caribbean, such as Francis Drake (who died in Portobelo) and Morgan. It was declared as Unesco World Heritage Site and the Congo Culture (Art expressions of the slave descendants) was declared by Unesco as intangible world heritage.

The crystal caribbean beaches, the nature, adventures, hiking on the ruins of old forts, the culture.. Its a place you should visit on your next trip.

Michelle M says

July 11, 2019 at 4:53 am

Loved your advice and read this just before my last trip to Panama. My boyfriend and I took your advice and bought some Panama hats but they got totally destroyed in the rain on the way to an island by boat lol. Probably best to save the Panama hats for dry season! Thanks for your post, I wanted to show you everything we did during our time in Panama, thanks to what you shared here! https://youtu.be/5yabOTcm5Wk

Luis A says

July 27, 2019 at 2:34 am

I am very happy you had a unique time in Panama.

I wanted to say that you guys were lucky with the Taxi drivers. It is better for a tourist to take a uber or consult the prices with their local hostel, hotel, or BB before taking them.

Besides that, got To Panama

Glenn S Richardson says

October 12, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Planning to visit Panama for the momth of Feb. 2020. Can I wing it , or should I make reservations in Panama City and other touristed areas? Thanks, Glenn

October 14, 2019 at 10:37 pm

I would keep an eye on accommodation and see if things start booking up, otherwise you can probably wing it if you aren’t picky about where you stay.

Mike Troublefield says

January 26, 2020 at 1:41 am

Feb. Is a great month to visit if you enjoy golf. The North American Korn Ferry your is in town near pty. Besides golf still a great time to visit .

Jeanne Urban says

November 26, 2019 at 4:27 am

we plan to travel a lot in-country an are wondering…did you rent a car and travel on your own or take buses or fly from one place to the other? what is your recommendation. thank you

November 26, 2019 at 4:01 pm

I love it. Panama is my native country but I left when I was just 18 years old. I am 44 and I cannot remember much. It has changed a lot and it sounds just like paradise

December 30, 2019 at 9:42 pm

I totally agree with you! And Bocas and AirBnB is a huge No! Learned the hard way 🤣

February 12, 2020 at 8:19 pm

What an excellent run-down of what to do in Panama! I definitely agree with you on the San Blas Islands, that’s one of the most magical places in the world.

David Hatfield says

March 15, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Nice article! I married a Panamanian woman 30 years ago and have spent a lot of time there- we even built a retirement home in Playa Santa Clara about 12 years ago. I would also recommend to your readers that they take time to visit the surfing villages in Playa Venao- a fun, bohemian location where lots of young travelers meet.

May 7, 2020 at 2:00 am

Great list! Thanks for sharing! My family loves visiting Panama City!

Ho Lien says

May 12, 2020 at 4:36 pm

You have nice pic and memories Unfortunately Getting Panama from Vietnam not easy 🙂 Thank for your great post

Dinora says

August 21, 2020 at 12:31 am

Hi guys!!! Omg thank you very much for all the beautiful things you wrote about my country, hope you guys come again after this whole covid situation goes away… And if any of you have any question about Panama, feel free to ask me, I’ll be happy to answer you 🙂 My gmail is [email protected]

August 2, 2021 at 2:52 pm

one place that you forgot to mention or to visit is: Isla Iguana.

its not as good as San Blas, however you get the feeling of the pacific ocean and the sorrounding area of Isla Iguana is a must.

October 29, 2021 at 3:09 pm

Amazing blog, please keep on writing blogs like this.

Cathy Turner says

March 17, 2022 at 2:22 am

Hi, I’m thinking of going to Panama in May 2022 with my son. We will be going probably only for 5 days. I would like to make the most out of my trip. Son has other things he has to do. I was going to tag along with him until I read what you wrote. Can you give my any info of what I can see in such a short time please? Thank you, Cathy

Alex I says

April 7, 2022 at 9:52 am

I am traveling to Panama May 7-11 and extremely excited to take in as much as i can during that period.

April 12, 2023 at 1:07 am

What vaccines do you need to visit??

July 19, 2023 at 3:52 pm

Your blog serves as a reminder to live life to the fullest and embrace new experiences.

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Dear Traveler, Welcome to a great vacation at an affordable price. Your Panama tour is fully guided and includes most meals, all hotels, and all activities. Happy Travels! Caravan

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"Amazing. This was our first trip with Caravan and we will be taking another adventure with you. Couldn’t ask for better accommodations, the hotels were all topnotch. Enjoyed all the meals, something for everyone. Friends told us about Caravan and they were 100% right. We will be telling all my other friends about Caravan Panama." Mr. & Mrs. G.S., Ormond Beach, Florida
"This was our third Caravan tour and once again, it was wonderful. The detailed schedules and activities allow us to enjoy the tour with no concerns about logistics. Wonderful job of providing background and history. Every meal offered tremendous variety and diverse regional cuisine of Panama. Thanks to our Director and the many people helping with the tour, we learned a lot, experienced wonderful opportunities, and enjoyed local culture." Mr. & Mrs. M.L., Brussels, Wisconsin
"Panama is a spectacular place. The hotels were beautiful, the last one being the best I’ve ever stayed in. The food and drink was great. We had such an informed director, he knew history and current affairs. Very helpful and always there if needed. This was a wonderful tour that I will remember." Ms. M.N., Buffalo, New York
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"I selected this trip as an alternative to taking a cruise which visited the canal. What’s not to like about this trip? It totally went beyond my expectations. It provided so much more than the cruise we were considering. I am glad I found Caravan to give you a try. Our party of four would at dinner each night, review and evaluate the day, giving each other a high point or low point of the day. This was the first time trying to come up with a low was extremely difficult. Caravan has got traveling down to an artform." Mr. & Mrs. D.G., Rockville, Maryland
"We have fallen in love with guided tours. We don’t know how Caravan does it. We wanted to see the Panama Canal and we got to see every angle. Everything planned perfectly. The entertainment at night was very interesting, showing pride in the Panama culture. There is not enough space about our amazing tour director. His heart and soul was into the tour and travelers, his experience shows. Not only did we learn from the trip, we learned from fellow travelers. They became our family for a week." Mr. & Mrs. D.M., Tampico, Illinois

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The Perfect Panama Itinerary – 1 Week to 10 Days

Red Frog Beach, Panama

Providing the bridge between Central and South America, Panama is an important yet overlooked country. Only slightly larger than Ireland, the ‘Crossroads of the World’ is a great destination for high-end travellers and backpackers alike. 

As Panama is relatively under-visited, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to planning a trip there. Luckily for you, the below Panama itinerary can help!

My two months in the country have put me in good stead to help you plan your trip. Below you will find routes for one week and ten days of travel in Panama. So kick back and relax, all you need to do now is book your flights! 

Read more: (opens in new tab)

  • A Guide to Backpacking in Panama
  • Getting from Panama to Colombia
  • Iconic Hikes in Panama 

Epic Panama Itineraries

This post contains affiliate links. If you use them, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

1-Week Panama Itinerary 

The following Panama itinerary is a whistle-stop tour of the country’s main highlights. It has been created to optimise your time in the country which means it is jam-packed, allowing little time for relaxation! 

If you’re looking for a more slow travel experience, check out this suggested one-month backpacking route around Panama . There is so much more to see and do than the below Panama itinerary allows for! 

Panama City neighbourhoods

Panama City – 2 nights

The capital Panama City is one of the most easily accessible cities in Latin America. Serving a range of domestic and international flights from both Europe and North America, it is generally easy to reach. Your trip to Panama will likely begin here. 

Day 1 – Spend your first day in the capital exploring the beautiful Casco Viejo district. The city’s Old Town has plenty of character, with luxury hotels set in colonial buildings to crumbling graffiti-filled streets along the outskirts. A walking tour is a great way to explore this part of the city and get a feel for Panamanian culture. 

Head to the city’s fish market for a cheap and delicious lunch. This is a fabulous way to sample ceviche, one of the country’s most famous dishes. From the fish market, you can walk the Cinta Costera and head to Ancon Hill in the afternoon. 

Monkey Panama

Get an Uber here to avoid walking through any sketchy neighbourhoods. When you’ve reached Mi Pueblito, head up the path towards the flag that waves from the hill above. During your walk, keep an eye out for Panamanian wildlife – this is a great place to spot sloths and other exotic animals. 

Make the most of your evening by enjoying dinner and drinks in one of the many rooftop restaurants in Casco Viejo. These offer a fantastic view of the city skyline lit up and provide the perfect backdrop for a toast to your trip. Stay in Casco Viejo overnight. 

Day 2 – Rise early in the morning and grab a traditional Panamanian breakfast at Cafe Coca Cola in Casco Viejo. This is the oldest cafe in the city and offers great value for money. From there, head out on a trip to the famous Panama Canal, one of the city’s best day trips . 

Panama Canal

While it is possible to visit the Miraflores locks independently using public transport, I’d advise hopping on a tour. Not only will you save a lot of time but having a guide to explain how everything works is a worthwhile experience. Check out some recommended Panama Canal tours here . 

Once you have finished your visit or tour of the canal, head to the Amador Causeway. Here you can grab lunch in one of the swanky restaurants or cool off with a raspado from one of the street vendors. Walk the Amador Causeway right up to where the boats depart for Taboga Island and the Pearl Islands and enjoy a bit of duty-free shopping.

Head back to your accommodation in Casco Viejo and enjoy some food at Mahalo Cocina y Jardin before turning in. You’ll need to get an early night because you’ll be heading out early tomorrow on your San Blas trip! 

Recommended accommodation in Panama City: 

  • Selina Casco Viejo 
  • Las Clementinas
  • American Trade Hotel

Casco Viejo

Also read: 

  • Where to Stay in Panama City
  • Cheap Things to Do in Panama City 

San Blas/Guna Yala – 1 night

Day 3 – Prepare to be picked up early by your tour provider. You will then be whisked away to the San Blas islands (a.k.a. Guna Yala). The journey by car will take several hours so if you’re feeling tired, you can catch some shut-eye while you travel.

Once you arrive at the dock, hop on board your boat and prepare to be whisked off to one of the archipelago’s many islands. Enjoy the day snorkelling, playing volleyball and relaxing on some of the finest beaches that the Caribbean has to offer. Stay on one of the San Blas islands overnight. 

– How to Get to San Blas, Panama

Palm trees on San Blas

Panama City – 1 night

Day 4 – Enjoy a couple more hours in San Blas paradise that morning before you embark on your journey back to Panama City. You will likely arrive back in the city early evening. Grab some food close to your accommodation when you arrive and pack up your stuff ready for a new destination tomorrow. 

Bocas del Toro – 2 nights 

Day 5 – Take a morning flight to the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Once you arrive on Isla Colón, head out to Starfish Beach . If you have arrived early, consider getting a colectivo to the beach and doing the hike. Alternatively, you can pay for a water taxi to take you there. (This is the quicker option.)

Spend the remainder of the day enjoying the beautiful beach and spotting starfish. If you are lucky enough to see these wonderful animals, do not touch them – it can be harmful . 

Starfish underwater

Return to Bocas Town and head off to the famous floating bar for a few drinks. Enjoy food, drinks and an epic sunset here. After this, grab a water taxi back to your accommodation in Isla Colón. 

Recommended accommodation on Isla Colón: 

  • Koko Acqua Lodge
  • Azul Bocas Town
  • Hotel Bocas Town

Also read: Things to Do in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Day 6 – Head out on a day trip to Cayos Zapatilla. Depending on the tour that you choose, you will likely stop at a few notable places in the archipelago on your way to this beach paradise. Once you get there, enjoy sunning yourself on the sand and taking in the magnificent views. 

Depending on your flight on the final day of your trip, you can either return to your accommodation in Bocas Town, ready to fly out of the archipelago early tomorrow morning or catch a water taxi to Isla Bastimentos. 

Bocas del Toro

If you are leaving Panama late the following day, I’d advise heading to Bastimentos Island overnight so you can see a little more of what the archipelago has to offer. Visit the Firefly Restaurant for a delicious seafood dinner before turning in. 

Recommended accommodation on Isla Bastimentos:

  • La Loma Jungle Lodge
  • Selina Red Frog
  • Palmar Beach Lodge

Day 7 – Those with an early morning flight will need to make their way to the airport in Bocas Town to fly back to Panama City before catching their connecting flight home. 

If your flight leaves Bocas later that day and you are on Isla Bastimentos, head to the beautiful Red Frog Beach and spend the morning sunning yourself or doing yoga on the hidden deck. 

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Catch a water taxi back to Bocas Town for lunch. Cafe del Mar is a great eatery with a range of dishes to suit various dietary requirements. After lunch, grab a taxi to the airport and hop on board your return flight to Panama City. 

10-Day Panama Itinerary

If you have ten days, follow the above week-long Panama itinerary but add Boquete into the mix. Instead of flying from Panama City to Bocas del Toro , head from the capital to the mountain town of Boquete. 

You can either get a bus from Panama City, transferring in David or fly to the city of David and catch a bus from there to save time. 

Road near boquete 2

Spend two nights in Boquete, enjoying the cooler climate and incredible hiking opportunities. There are countless amazing treks in Boquete but I would wholeheartedly recommend you do at least one of the following:

  • Volcan Baru (overnight trek)
  • Pipeline Trail
  • El Pianista
  • The Lost Waterfalls

Spend your second day at Boquete Tree Trek where you can take on Panama’s Hanging Bridges , go zip lining over the cloud forest or embark on a coffee tour. 

When your time in Boquete comes to an end, arrange a transfer from Boquete to Bocas del Toro – these can be booked with various tour agencies across town. From here, pick up the above Panama itinerary again. Those spending 10 days in Panama should spend an extra night on Bastimentos Island on Bocas del Toro, and use the extra time during the day to explore the incredible Nivida Bat Cave . 

Recommended accommodation in Boquete:

  • Selina Boquete 
  • Boquete Garden Inn
  • Bambuda Castle

Also read:  

  • Best Places to Stay in Boquete, Panama
  • Getting From Panama City to Boquete
  • Things to Do in Boquete, Panama

Waterfall 2

Panama Itinerary FAQ

How many days are enough in panama.

In my opinion, the longer the better! While a week or 10 days will provide a good introduction to this country, I’d recommend staying at least a month if you want to get off the beaten track a little too. 

Is Panama cheap or expensive? 

Panama is not the cheapest country in Latin America nor is it the most expensive. The United States Dollar is commonly used in Panama which keeps prices comparatively high. For a reference point, Panama is cheaper than Belize and Costa Rica but more expensive than Colombia. 

Are two weeks enough for Panama? 

Two weeks is an ideal length of time for vacationers visiting Panama. If you are staying for two weeks, follow the one-week Panama itinerary and double the amount of time spent in each place. You will certainly find plenty of interesting attractions and activities to fill your time! 

Which of these Panama itineraries are you choosing? Share the highlights from your trip in the comments! 

The 13 best things to do in Panama

Richard Arghiris

Dec 1, 2023 • 10 min read

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Immerse yourself in Panama's national parks, beaches and cultural traditions © Cavan / Getty Images

With rugged trails and blazingly colorful neotropical life, Panama's national parks are some of the best in the world. Its highlands are steeped in rambling coffee fincas, thunderous rivers and waterfalls. Its coastline boasts kaleidoscopic coral reefs and epic swells that have drawn daring wave-seekers since the 1970s. 

And if all that sounds unbelievable, there are hundreds of Caribbean islands where you can sip a dram of rum and indulge in some hammock time.

Panama, the bridge between the Americas, is a powerhouse of possibility – the only challenge is choosing what to see when you get there. Here's our pick of the top things to do on your Panama vacation.

Woman walking the streets and a vendor sleeping, in historic Casco Viejo district of Panama City, Panama.

1. Stroll the winding streets of Casco Viejo

If the booming, high-rise Banking District is the economic engine of Panama's capital, the urbane quarter of Casco Viejo is its spiritual heart. 

Established in 1673 after the pirate Henry Morgan transformed the original settlement of Panama City (now Panama La Vieja) into an inglorious pile of rubble and ash, Casco Viejo , once a defensive outpost, has gone through enormous change.

After falling into ruin during the reign of dictator Manuel Noriega, this neighborhood is now one of Panama's most prestigious and popular locales.

Stroll through its warren of streets, where handsome plazas play host to fine mansions, buzzing terraced cafés, ritzy art galleries and a restaurant scene to satisfy the most ravenous gourmand. 

Don’t miss the historic sites – the district’s defensive walls have long been dismantled, but its wealth of 16th and 17th structures remain. Among them, the church of San José features a priceless, baroque gold altar that miraculously escaped Morgan’s sacking of Panama La Vieja.

A boat sits on the Panama Canal, an 80 km-long international shipping channel

2. Watch giant ships move through the Panama Canal 

The age of engineering reached its pinnacle with the Panama Canal , an 80km-long (50 miles) international shipping channel that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea.

Unlike the Suez Canal , which is entirely at sea level, the Panama Canal utilizes a series of enormous, mechanized locks to raise and lower ships over the continental divide.  

The canal is an obligatory attraction for first-time visitors to Panama, and you have several options for getting close to the action. Just outside Panama City, Miraflores is the most popular of the canal’s locks, as it's reliable and easy to reach. 

Gatún sees fewer visitors on the Caribbean side but boasts a larger three-step lock system. However, to see the canal at its grandest, you should head to Agua Clara Locks, also on the Caribbean side.

Completed in 2016, the locks were designed to accommodate a new generation of behemoth container ships, known as "Neo-Panamax" ships, which have twice the capacity of previous vessels. 

3. Steep your weary bones in Caldera’s hot springs

If you intend to do any serious hiking in the Chiriquí highlands, it’s worth scheduling a recovery day at the hot springs of Caldera. With temperatures ranging from tepid to piping hot, several thermally heated pools of mineral-rich spring water supply a soothing remedy for aches, pains and general fatigue. 

Located 18km (11 miles) outside of Boquete, the springs are rustic and low-key. Amenities are basic, and you should arrive early to beat the crowds. During the dry season, you can dig your own pool out of the banks of the Río Chiriqui. Public transport to the springs is infrequent; consider a taxi or a tour instead.

Traditional congo dancers in colorful costumes in Portobello, Panama

4. Celebrate Afro-Panamanian culture in Portobelo

The impregnable fortress of Portobelo  once served as the Atlantic terminus of Spain’s transcontinental supply chains. It lies at the heart of the Costa Arriba – a remote Caribbean shoreline running east of Colón .

At the height of the Spanish colonial empire, bars of plundered Peruvian gold filled its customs house. Such extraordinary wealth invariably drew pirates like Henry Morgan and Admiral Edward Vernon.

Portobelo today is a small fishing town filled with rusty relics of a bygone era. Much of the town's soul comes from the Afro-Panamanians, descendants of Congolese people enslaved and trafficked by the Spanish. 

The town truly comes alive during a pair of festivals – the Festival del Cristo Negro and the Festival de Diablos y Congos. The Festival del Cristo Negro is held annually in October and honors a 1.5-m tall (5ft) Black Christ. The statue is paraded around town as pilgrims in crowns made of thorns and purple robes follow. 

The Diablos y Congos festival occurs every two years. The event evokes the twin themes of enslavement and emancipation through dances and devilish costumes. The tradition dates back to the trade of enslaved people when Black people escaped bondage and found a haven and, eventually, a community in the jungle. 

It's a wonderful, colorful celebration that draws people from around the region.

5. Unwind in El Valle

When the heat and frenzy of the capital become too much to bear, city residents retreat to the flower-festooned spa of El Valle . Located in the lush foothills of Coclé Province , El Valle is a mere 2.5 hours from the capital but a world away in style and atmosphere. 

Cool, quiet and refreshingly down-to-earth, El Valle boasts a plethora of diversions. If you want to relax, hot springs promise to restore and rejuvenate.

If you’re up for an adventure, several fine hikes lead through verdant, chattering forests, many of them punctuated by mysterious petroglyphs and thundering waterfalls. 

The jagged peaks of the India Dormida are the most challenging of all. Don’t miss El Valle’s famous artisan market , where you can shop for pottery, masks, baskets and other excellent handcrafted items. 

A surfer trying to get barreled on a big wave in Santa Catalina, Panama.

6. Ride epic waves at Santa Catalina

Back in the 1970s, only a handful of intrepid travelers knew about Santa Catalina . Today, the word is out: Santa Catalina boasts some of the most spectacular waves in Central America .

And as such, this remote fishing village on Panama’s Pacific coast sees a steady stream of sun-kissed adventurers, but not enough to disrupt its low-key ambiance.

Strictly for experienced surfers, the point break at La Punta generates powerful and consistent swells year-round, reaching colossal heights of up to 9m (30ft) from February to August. 

Beginners should steer clear of such monsters and practice their moves at the infinitely calmer Playa El Estero, one of the best training grounds in the country.

Naturally, there are many other excellent breaks in Panama’s central provinces, mostly in the Azuero Peninsula .

7. Enjoy the sunrise on Panama’s highest peak

Rising from the Talamanca mountains in western Panama, Volcán Barú is the only place in the world where you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans at the same time – but only if you’re very lucky. At 3,474m (11,398ft), Barú’s windswept summit is subject to highly changeable and occasionally inclement weather conditions. 

Dawn is your best chance to catch clear skies and fiery hues. As such, you should set out at midnight from the nearby town of Boquete  or plan to camp under the stars.

You're still guaranteed a decent hike through several vegetation zones, even if the weather gods don't smile on you. Cloaked in forest and farmland, the extinct volcano is home to seven craters and 10 rivers, many endemic mammals and abundant birdlife. 

Of course, there’s no shortage of meandering countryside in the shadow of Barú. Endless hiking trails crisscross the rugged hills of Chiriquí Province , taking in enchanted waterfalls, aromatic fincas, Indigenous communities and cloud forests. After conquering Barú, take the time to ramble on. 

8. Sip Panamanian coffee on an estate in Chiriquí

All coffee lovers know that the finest beans can deliver a full-blown mystical experience. Forget communion wine, a cup of the black stuff is your ticket to heaven. In Chiriquí , coffee production has been the mainstay of the local economy since the 19th century. 

Dozens of mist-drenched estates pepper the fertile hills under Volcán Barú. Established in 1922, Finca Lérida is one of the country’s oldest growers, and its extensive property includes hiking trails and secondary forests jumping with birdlife.

In Boquete, Café Ruiz is one of the largest and most famous exporters, founded in 1979.

A diver records a large giant potato grouper swimming near the Coiba Islands in Panama. A school of yellow fish surround the grouper.

9. Swim with fish off Coiba Island  

Shimmering shoals of multi-colored fish swirl through the ocean waters off Coiba Island – a global hub for marine life; located 20km (12 miles) from Panama’s Pacific mainland, Coiba is the largest of Panama’s many phenomenal isles.

Teeming with life, the ocean here is an underwater wonderland that will leave you mesmerized. In addition to substantial reef colonies, Coiba hosts many large pelagic animals including multiple species of turtles, whales, sharks and dolphins.

Visiting Coiba is one of the most adventurous things to do in Panama, but if you can’t make it out, several decent dive sites in Bocas del Toro Province are well-served by local infrastructure. The remote Indigenous enclave Guna Yala shelters some exceptional reefs, too, but the local authorities only permit snorkeling.

10. Go whitewater rafting in the Chiriquí highlands

Beyond its rambling knolls and sleepy hamlets, the bucolic province of Chiriquí has some seriously steep and torturous peaks. As such, it is one of the best destinations in Central America for whitewater rafting. 

For the uninitiated, the experience involves hurtling over torrid eddies while paddling for your life, hopefully avoiding any obstacles of rocks and deadly vortices. Wild stretches are punctuated by moments of calm and drift, and there’s just enough time to catch your breath before the next onslaught begins.

If this sounds like good wholesome fun, trips can be staged in the town of Boquete. Families and cautious types may prefer the tamer Class II-III rapids on Majagua and Gariche Rivers. 

Pluckier souls and unrepentant adrenaline freaks should head to the Chiriquí Viejo, a true beast with more than 60km (37 miles) of class IV rapids and some horrifying class V sections, too. Naturally, all the rivers are noticeably wilder in the wet season.

11. Encounter rare, resplendent quetzals in Cerro Punta

Adorned with iridescent emerald plumage and trailing tail feathers, the aptly named resplendent quetzal ( Pharomachrus mocinno ) has long featured in the myths of Mesoamerica. 

Quetzals are increasingly rare, but with luck and perseverance, you might just spot one in the high-altitude cloud forests around Cerro Punta, deep in the tierras frías (cold lands) of the Talamancas. 

Covered in strawberry plantations, Cerro Punta is a major gateway to La Amistad International Park , one of Central America's largest and wildest protected areas.

Of course, birders are spoiled for choice in Panama, and some of the most prolific habitats are the lowland rainforests around the Panama Canal. You won’t see any quetzals there, but the 17km (10.5-mile) Pipeline Trail in Soberanía National Park is a truly world-class site. In 1985, birders clocked an astonishing 385 species in just 24 hours. 

Colorful Guna artist creates tribal art at her workbench in the beautiful Rainforest Mountain village of El Valle de Anton, Panama. The Guna are the indigenous people of Panama.

12. Find serenity in the Comarca de Guna Yala

More than 400 islands and islets make up the homeland of the Indigenous Guna (formerly the Kuna), most of them blissfully uninhabited. The region is largely devoid of modern infrastructure and self-governed as a semi-autonomous territory in Panama’s remote eastern Caribbean. 

Most of its scattered isles offer little more than a white sand beach and a solitary stand of palm trees. The Comarca de Guna Yala is the place to disconnect from the outside world and rediscover your innate tranquility.

Guna society is matriarchal and staunchly conservative. Fishing, coconut cultivation and, to a lesser extent, tourism are the main economic activities in the region. Unless you have a yacht, independent travel here is tricky. 

Guna families typically host visitors and provide food, accommodation and day trips. Your options include relaxing on remote beaches or exploring pristine coral reefs. Don’t forget to stock up on  molas – colorful embroidered panels that form part of traditional Guna attire.

13. Spot neon frogs in Bocas del Toro

The far-flung Caribbean islands of the Bocas del Toro archipelago are a bastion of biodiversity. Encounters with clambering three-toed sloths, croaking toucans and roaring howler monkeys are common. However, the poison dart frogs that inhabit the islands’ rainforests are unique in so many ways. 

Not much bigger than a human thumbnail, the frogs are iridescent with lustrous red, blue, orange and green shades, reflecting their innate toxicity. Some islands feature a single morph. Others are home to several species.

And each morph, according to biologists, is destined to evolve into its own unique species. Poison dart frogs are easy to find in the undergrowth, but don’t handle them.

This article was first published August 2022 and updated December 2023

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Top All inclusive vacation packages in Panama

Dreams Playa Bonita Panama - All Inclusive

Dreams Playa Bonita Panama - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Feb 6, 2024

Hotel Riu Plaza Panama

Hotel Riu Plaza Panama

Reviewed on Jan 31, 2024

The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2024

Playa Blanca Beach Resort - All Inclusive

Playa Blanca Beach Resort - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Jan 30, 2024

5* All inclusive vacations in Panama

3 night all inclusive vacations in panama, 4 night all inclusive vacations in panama.

Royal Decameron Panama All Inclusive

Royal Decameron Panama All Inclusive

Reviewed on Jan 28, 2024

Riu Playa Blanca - All Inclusive

Riu Playa Blanca - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Jan 15, 2024

All-inclusive Panama vacations: everything you need to know

Can i book a panama vacation with airfare and meals.

On an all-inclusive vacation, your mind and body can wander far from your wallet. Pay one simple price when you bundle your accommodation and airfare, and you avoid all those yucky bills after conversation-starting cocktails or decadent dinners.

How can I find Panama all-inclusive vacations that are adults only?

All the best all-inclusive, all-adult vacations are a click of a filter or two away. Choose from great grown-up features. Say, a spa for a couple’s massage, a hot tub to soak away the stresses of the day, or a swim-up bar to get the party started.

How much is an all-inclusive trip to Panama?

Affordable all-inclusive is yours, whatever your budget. Packages start tempting you from just $643. Prices and availability are subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

How can I book cheap all-inclusive trips to Panama?

For an all-inclusive trip your wallet will love, too, book a break in the quieter months of . Whenever you book your travel, sorting by price and filtering by budget shows you what’s out there in your price range.

What are the benefits of all-inclusive Panama vacations with airfare?

Create your dream getaway by bundling your flight and hotel and you get delightful deals and discounts. Add your car rental, too, and you save on all three.

What should I think about when I book an all-inclusive Panama family vacation package?

With little tummies taken care of, you just need to put smiles on their faces. Easy! Book an all-inclusive vacation with a full-on water park or epic pools—or book your stay near the world’s biggest theme parks and attractions.

Why should I book an all-inclusive honeymoon package in Panama?

You can start your married life how you mean to go on with an all-inclusive honeymoon package. Eat and drink to your heart’s content, waltz around in happy harmony, and have your fill of delights. Together, you can book up adventure excursions and return to a pool-side cabana for cocktails at sunset.

Can I book an all-inclusive Panama package with free cancellation and/or flexible dates?

When you’re searching for your all-inclusive getaway, filter your results by payment option to find free cancellation and buy now, pay later options. That way, you can rebook without worry, should your plans change.

Why should I book an all-inclusive Panama package vacation with Expedia?

Book amazing all-inclusive adventures, all in one place. Choose from a vast inventory of deals, adding every little extra to build your brilliant break in minutes.

Top All inclusive Panama Hotels

Royal Decameron Panama All Inclusive

  • 2 hours drive from Albrook Shopping Mall

Bijao Resort by Evenia - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2024

Royal Decameron Panama Plus - All Inclusive

All Inclusive Vacations

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LGBTQ+ Vacation Packages

LGBTQ+ Vacations

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Adventure Vacations

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Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

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Panama Travel Advisory

Travel advisory july 17, 2023, panama - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution in Panama due to  crime . Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Parts of the Mosquito Gulf due to  crime .
  • Parts of the Darién Region due to  crime .

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Panama.

If you decide to travel to Panama:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Panama.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.

Parts of the "Mosquito Gulf" – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The “Mosquito Gulf” is an extremely remote and inaccessible area along part of the north (Caribbean) coast.

Do not travel within 10 miles of the coastline, from Boca de Rio, Chiriqui to Cocle del Norte. Drug trafficking and other illicit activities occur in this area.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in this region as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved.

Visit our website for  Travel to High-Risk Areas .

Parts of the Darién Region – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Do not travel to the following areas of the Darien:

  • All areas south of Jaque to Manene to Yaviza to Lajas Blancas cities to the Colombian border
  • The city of Lajas Blancas
  • The city of El Salto

Criminal elements and drug and human trafficking networks operate in these areas. Police presence and emergency response are extremely limited.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these regions as U.S. government personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling there and face additional restrictions before such travel is approved.

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for u.s. citizens, search for travel advisories, external link.

You are about to leave travel.state.gov for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on travel.state.gov, click the "cancel" message.

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Top Panama All-Inclusive Vacation Packages

Book a hotel + flight or car together to unlock savings.

I only need accommodations for part of my trip

Plan, book, travel with confidence

  • payments icon Better together Save up to CA $760 when you book a flight and hotel together*
  • lob hotels icon Find the right fit With over 300,000 hotels worldwide, it's easy to create a perfect package
  • lob packages icon Rest easy Plan, book, and manage your trip all in one place

Flight and All inclusive hotel deals in Panama

Dreams Playa Bonita Panama - All Inclusive

Dreams Playa Bonita Panama - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Feb. 6, 2024

Hotel Riu Plaza Panama

Hotel Riu Plaza Panama

Reviewed on Jan. 31, 2024

Playa Blanca Beach Resort - All Inclusive

Playa Blanca Beach Resort - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Jan. 30, 2024

5* All inclusive holidays in Panama

4 night all inclusive holidays in panama.

Royal Decameron Panama All Inclusive

Royal Decameron Panama All Inclusive

Reviewed on Jan. 28, 2024

What makes Panama good for all-inclusive vacations?

All-inclusive vacations are good for allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty of an area in style, and Panama has plenty of natural features to offer. The biodiversity alone is impressive, with 3 times as much biodiversity as Europe, Canada and the United States have put together. All-inclusive resorts and accommodations here make it easy for you to explore the natural features, whether it's by a simple tour, a lovely hike or something more extreme like whitewater rafting. With an all-inclusive stay, you can plan it all out in advance, so you know exactly what to prepare for.

Where are some of the best spots for all-inclusive vacations in Panama?

Panama has a lot of variety to offer in its vacations, so the best spot for all-inclusive fun depends on what you're interested in. Guna Yala is a favourite option for travellers who are interested in spending some time at the beach. The small island chain off the coast features plenty of welcoming beachfront with fun in the sun available virtually all year long. You'll find a different kind of natural splendour to explore in Boquete . All-inclusive vacations there allow you to enjoy stunning mountain vistas with luxury nestled among small-town charm. 

What to expect from an all-inclusive vacation in Panama

All-inclusive Panama vacations make it easy to enjoy the country's breathtaking rainforests, alluring beaches and rich history. See how you can make the most out of your 2024 vacation to one of the crown jewels of Mexico and Central America.

What are some benefits when booking an all-inclusive vacation in Panama?

When booking an all-inclusive vacation in Panama, you can enjoy the freedom and peace of mind that comes with booking multiple aspects of your vacation in advance. With your budget set and finalised before you even get on the plane, all that's left for you to do on the trip is to sit back and enjoy the experience.

Can I book all-inclusive vacations to Panama with airfare and meals?

Airfare and meals are commonly booked alongside all-inclusive Panama vacations, and you can get them for yourself by using search filters and our flight finder. We offer a wide variety of flights, and additionally feature package deals that offer savings of up to 31% when booking flights and accommodations together. As for meals, simply activate the search filter for whatever meal plan you want, and your results will only show properties that offer that kind of feature.

Why should I book an adults-only all-inclusive vacation to Panama?

With an adults-only all-inclusive vacation to Panama , you'll find all the relaxation and tranquillity you need, as they offer a calm environment that makes it simple to take it easy. Adult-oriented activities and amenities are often available as well whether you're interested in spa treatments, playing golf or going to a nightclub. Plus, adults-only resorts often have special couples amenities as well, which come in handy if you're looking to enjoy a trip with your partner. 

How can I book all-inclusive vacation packages to Panama?

To book all-inclusive Panama vacation packages, simply input your travel dates as well as any search filters you'd like into your search. Our filters vary quite a bit and cover just about everything relevant you can imagine including amenities, price, star rating, proximity to certain attractions, neighbourhood and more. Keep in mind that booking closer to your travel dates may even allow you to seize last-minute deals.

Can I book a cheap Panama all-inclusive vacation package?

Yes, cheap Panama all-inclusive vacation packages are available, and you can find them by sorting your results by price. This will automatically put the cheapest options available at the top of your list. Prices range quite a bit and change constantly, but you'll find some options for as low as CA $979.

What should I look for when booking a luxurious all-inclusive vacation to Panama?

If you're looking for something a bit more luxurious with your all-inclusive vacation to Panama, you'll want to keep an eye out for high-end amenities like full-service spa facilities and room service. Take Los Establos Boutique Resort , for example, which features a full-service spa offering massages and body treatments along with opportunities for couples dining and a fitness centre. You may also be interested in the Westin Playa Bonita Panama , which is a 5-star resort offering 4 restaurants, 24-hour room service, a full-service spa, kayaking, a steam room and shopping opportunities all set on a private beach. 

What should I consider when booking an all-inclusive family vacation in Panama?

Family-friendly fun on a vacation in Panama that's all-inclusive typically involves an accommodation that has amenities all ages can enjoy. Properties like Red Frog Beach Island Resort , for example, have babysitting services along with outdoor pools and easy beach access. You'll also find fun for kids and adults alike at Summit Rainforest & Golf Resort , which is pet friendly and has laundry facilities, a playground and a special kids' pool. 

How can I find deals on Panama all-inclusive vacations?

The easiest way to find deals on all-inclusive Panama vacations is to travel during the off-season, which lasts from April to December. This is the country's wet season, and availability is more common, which drives prices down. Additionally, you can sort your results by price after entering as many search filters as you'd like, including filters for high-end amenities like hot tubs, and see what the cheapest option is that still meets your criteria. Remember, available deals are already showcased in your search results' pricing.

Can I book an all-inclusive vacation package to Panama that is fully refundable?

Yes, some all-inclusive vacations to Panama are fully refundable, and you can tell which entries on the search results page qualify because they'll be marked as such with green text over the price estimate. You can also filter for this feature specifically if you'd like.

Why should I book an all-inclusive package vacation to Panama with Expedia?

Booking an all-inclusive vacation to Panama or the greater Mexico and Central America with Expedia makes it easy to plan your flight, accommodation and activities all from a single platform. Plus, Expedia Rewards members get extra benefits by earning points on eligible purchases that can be later redeemed for discounts on future travel. Membership is free, so don't hesitate to sign up.

All inclusive Hotels in Panama

Royal Decameron Panama All Inclusive

  • 2 hours drive from Albrook Shopping Mall

Bijao Resort by Evenia - All Inclusive

Reviewed on Feb. 4, 2024

Royal Decameron Panama Plus - All Inclusive

All Inclusive Vacations

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Tao Travel 365 - Panama

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BLISS in San Blas Islands Panama Includes Tour & Transport from Panama City

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All inclusive San Blas Islands Day Tour from Panama City

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Gamboa Wildlife and Sloth Sanctuary Tour with Pickup

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Embera Village Day Tour, Chagres River & Waterfalls + Lunch, Fruits & Water

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Full-Day SAN BLAS ISLAND Tour + Transport from Panama City

Patel

2024 Tao Travel 365 - Panama - Tours & Tickets (with Prices)

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Ocean & river cruise, latest cruise deals.

Silversea Single Supplement

Silversea is delighted to welcome solo travelers aboard our intimate ships with single supplements at 0% on selected 2023 voyages. Every voyage includes a champagne Welcome Reception, to make it easier to meet and mingle with solo travelers, and on select voyages, Gentlemen Hosts are also available as dance partners or dinner companions. All-inclusive fares include a spacious, ocean-view suite, personalized butler service, complimentary wines and spirits, fine dining, sophisticated enrichment and entertainment programs, and all onboard gratuities.

Solo Supplement

For guests undertaking an Ocean Journey solo and those who simply prefer to enjoy a suite to themselves, we are delighted to offer a lower supplement fare on selected Journeys.

Book Early Save 10%

Welcome to Explora Journeys. With Ocean Journeys to inspire you to travel further, immerse deeper and linger a little longer, let Explora Journeys extend your horizons. Get up to 10% savings off cruise fare on select suites on all sailings! Early Booking Benefit is applicable to all sailings when booking up to 180 days prior to departure

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LAND VACATIONS

Latest land deals.

Carpe Dink’em Pickleball at Pura Vida House!

Costa Rica- May 4-11, 2024

Find your happy place - Pickleball in Hacienda Pinilla, Costa Rica’s most prestigious beach resort! Engage in friendly Pickleball games with locals and explore Tamarindo's vibrant beach town. Included private round-trip airport transfers, two daily meals by a private chef, and access to dedicated pickleball courts will make this the Pickelball vacation of your dreams. Choose from exciting activities like zip-lining, ATV rides, horseback riding, or a soothing massage. Open to all levels, including novice to advanced level players. Play Pickleball at a fabulous location while on vacation!

Calling Punta Cana Picklers 2024

Punta Cana-  January 13-18, 2024

Find your happy place - Pickleball at Club Med in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! Pickleball play includes professional instruction and coaching, open play, round-robin, plus a variety of skill-building games and activities. Open to all levels, including novice to advanced level players. Play Pickleball at a fabulous location while on vacation!

Punta Cana- January 18-23, 2024

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The all-travel difference.

We know all vacations are not the same. With the guidance of our global travel experts and first-hand experience, we are able to customize every aspect of your vacation. We create travel packages that exceeds our clients’ expectations and we have been doing it for over three decades! We invite you to discover what you’ve been missing.

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Our insider connections ensure that you'll always receive personal preferntial treatment, exclusive savings, behind-the-scenes access and complimentary extras.

Planning a vacation takes time, patience and perseverance. We'll organize all the logistics, from coordinating your itinerary to finding the best guides in a foreign country.

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We'll leverage our expert knowledge of the finest hotels, cruises, tours and activities to create a vacation you can't find online.

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All-Travel is here for you before, during, and after your vacation!

All-Travel brings you the best travel deals and vacation packages to some of the hottest destinations across the seas. Whether it's the vacation of a lifetime on a Mediterranean cruise, a family vacation at a Caribbean all-inclusive resort or a European river cruise that highlights Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna, you can book the trip of your dreams with one of our online travel agents. All-Travel brings you the best travel deals, cruise packages and exclusive vacation packages from resorts like Club Med and Apple Vacations and top cruise lines, including Celebrity Cruises , Oceania Cruises , Regent Seven Seas Cruises , and Silversea .

We know WHEN the best time is to go on a trip and the absolute BEST places to see and things to do during a visit. Our team of online travel agents are here for you every step of the way: before your vacation, during your vacation, and even after you've finished traveling. We want to make your travel experience the most memorable and rewarding experience possible. To make our vacation packages and travel deals a possibility, our travel partners include escorted tours, boutique and luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts and major cruise lines.

Our expert online travel advisors always recommend a pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel stay so you don't miss any aspect of your trip, and are fully rested and prepared for the greatest experience of your life. When we say we tailor our cruise packages to your custom vacation needs, we really mean it. We are delighted to find a veranda balcony suite on a European luxury vessel cruise ship with world class charm and Italian-inspired décor. Nothing is too big, too small, or out of reach.

Maybe you're a foodie and have a love for world class wines, caviar and culinary art. There are amazing culinary cruises that cater to sophisticated palates, vinos, and appetites. You could spend a morning with organic food purveyors or in a vineyard learning about the family culture, customs, traditions and the intricate process of pairing fine wines with local cuisine. Then you return to your spectacular luxury cruise ship to meet and join world class chefs from around the world who will cater to your culinary desires.

Are beaches, rest and relaxation your thing? Mexico, Hawaii, Caribbean, Sicily, Tahiti and Fiji are terrific choices! Our online travel agents are vacation destination experts and will advise you on the best island, beach resort, or land vacation package that will fulfill your wildest desires. You can sip on drinks, have adventures in caves, snorkel in crystal clear blue waters, dine in restaurant grottos, or get a complimentary spa and facial treatment: the list of things to do are endless and we have quite the imagination. In addition to making your dream vacation a reality, All-Travel will get you the very best deal on your personalized vacation package.

If you've always dreamed of going on a world cruise and the time has come for planning, our travel advisors can help. We will find the perfect world cruise vendor with the most fitting itinerary and travel destinations. Whether it's an extravagant trip on a Celebrity Cruises ship or a relaxing vacation on an AmaWaterways river cruise line, we have the best cruise packages, recommendations, travel deals and knowledge.

Now is the time to get started. Imagine the cruise and vacation destination possibilities!

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Travel Insurance with AIG Travel Guard

We have plans. Lots of them. Why? So you can easily find the one that fits. And with our plans, it’s not just about coverage. It’s about unique services. Lost your bag? We can help track it with Bag Trak®. Or we can cover your losses if it isn’t found. It’s simple. We have the coverage options and assistance services you want for your globetrotting travels. Read More

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Panama City, Panamá

Panama City

Panamá

Around the Globe

Hurricane tracker, radar & maps, news & features.

Max UV Index 9 Very High

Wind N 10 mph

Wind Gusts 28 mph

Probability of Precipitation 25%

Probability of Thunderstorms 0%

Precipitation 0.00 in

Cloud Cover 40%

Wind NNW 5 mph

Wind Gusts 22 mph

Probability of Precipitation 7%

Cloud Cover 51%

Sunrise/Sunset

Temperature history, further ahead.

Top Stories

Winter Weather

Dangerous storm to hammer Southwest, including Las Vegas and Phoenix

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State of emergency as deadly storm pummels California with flooding

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New problem found on Boeing 737 Max planes

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More than 100 killed by raging wildfires in Chile

23 hours ago

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Featured Stories

Geoff Cornish shares a day in his life as a volunteer firefighter

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Ancient species looks like it could be from the mind of Dr. Seuss

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Piece of history from 1800s discovered on Canadian beach

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Spanish region of Catalonia declares drought emergency

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The Best Places to Travel in March

Posted: January 8, 2024 | Last updated: January 8, 2024

<p>You're reading this because you're likely deep in internet research, trying to determine the best places to travel in March. It's that awkward month between winter and spring, when it can get surprisingly hot and still unseasonably cold at the flip of a switch. Whenever leaving the house, it's a toss up—is this <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/best-winter-coats-for-women?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">puffer</a> weather, or the time to switch to <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/best-walking-sandals-for-women?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">sandals</a>?</p> <p>Flee the indecisive climate and get thee to somewhere that's properly hot. Or properly cold. Though the notorious <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2014-03-11/spring-break-alternatives?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">spring breakers</a> tend to command all the attention at <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-international-airports-readers-choice-awards?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">airports</a> and <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/best-trains-in-the-world?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">train stations</a> this month, there's so much more to traveling in March than sipping margaritas with a herd of Gen Zers (sorry, Gen Z). As spring looms in the northern hemisphere, some destinations begin to emerge from winter hibernation with <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/15-beautiful-pictures-of-spring-flowers-around-the-world?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">blooming flowers</a>. Meanwhile, buzzy spots in South America and Asia offer a blessed lack of the humidity (and crowds) you might experience in the busier summer months (did someone say shoulder season?).</p> <p>Whether you’re looking to warm up with a tropical beach vacation or want to cling to the last days of winter with a ski trip, this is the month to do it. Here are nine of the best places to travel in March, from Big Sky in Montana to the Okavango Delta in Botswana.</p> <p><em>All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.</em></p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

You're reading this because you're likely deep in internet research, trying to determine the best places to travel in March. It's that awkward month between winter and spring, when it can get surprisingly hot and still unseasonably cold at the flip of a switch. Whenever leaving the house, it's a toss up—is this puffer weather, or the time to switch to sandals ?

Flee the indecisive climate and get thee to somewhere that's properly hot. Or properly cold. Though the notorious spring breakers tend to command all the attention at airports and train stations this month, there's so much more to traveling in March than sipping margaritas with a herd of Gen Zers (sorry, Gen Z). As spring looms in the northern hemisphere, some destinations begin to emerge from winter hibernation with blooming flowers . Meanwhile, buzzy spots in South America and Asia offer a blessed lack of the humidity (and crowds) you might experience in the busier summer months (did someone say shoulder season?).

Whether you’re looking to warm up with a tropical beach vacation or want to cling to the last days of winter with a ski trip, this is the month to do it. Here are nine of the best places to travel in March, from Big Sky in Montana to the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

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<p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/panama-sech-locals-guide?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Panama</a> is a great place to visit any time of year, thanks to its biodiverse jungles, sprawling beaches, and relative lack of crowds compared to neighboring Costa Rica. But March is an especially great time to experience that outdoor splendor, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s and lots of sunshine (the rainy season kicks off in April). The Caribbean-facing province of Bocas del Toro is a one-stop shop for both gorgeous beaches and active wildlife. For a truly memorable experience, take a nighttime snorkeling trip through bioluminescent waters with <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/B7jB7s3t6nATFJV4pCCRFrUby3L2TRLUPC75MJnXLAfXSdP8ju1avNSzgFT9Gj72UL1sYLtFgJhKoHtpprmvCV1zrxnwnyEqs3SDJmPQpSyxUGNsJJn5AbPN7ow4DTJS2miAduGNJRuLJrVxU9zxzMYSWdxYo9o2WAR22oST" rel="sponsored">Hello Travel Panama</a>.</p> <p>A straight shot south from Bocas del Toro, the Pacific Ocean-facing province Chiriquí offers an equally beautiful, but wholly different slice of nature. Here you can hike through cloud forests, swim beneath roaring waterfalls, and witness the panoramic sunrise from the summit of Volcán Barú. Check in at the 10-room boutique hotel <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/b46nAxmqAqPJ6LQazvhz6spVy4oxmiEcqC4C6d5x5hypnxRX8VjshcgEXqiCrSPJ2JiN3G2BqnQBkQyyBWf7RF9URv7wtjjkSwiZRRtXqXwxHAjJU1edstYcoShZ" rel="sponsored">Finca El Oasis</a> right on the edge of the volcano, or venture a bit off the Pacific Gulf to the remote, luxurious 400-acre resort of <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/3bJgWNyAscQZQSYf74g3u2wJerTpHAM179ho5ypGr7msowqdDz5rEnGUAj7zsKD3QD88vD2SeWmZZsEJFxjZVi7jVg8vHxMd6LFVvqCH4YUnoA9LSYio6drmnG4Vrb" rel="sponsored">Isla Palenque</a>. And make sure to allow time for Panama City, where a revived historic center thrives—no wonder we recently named it one of the <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/best-places-to-go-in-central-and-south-america-2024?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Best Places to Go in Central and South America in 2024</a>.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Panama is a great place to visit any time of year, thanks to its biodiverse jungles, sprawling beaches, and relative lack of crowds compared to neighboring Costa Rica. But March is an especially great time to experience that outdoor splendor, with temperatures in the 70s and 80s and lots of sunshine (the rainy season kicks off in April). The Caribbean-facing province of Bocas del Toro is a one-stop shop for both gorgeous beaches and active wildlife. For a truly memorable experience, take a nighttime snorkeling trip through bioluminescent waters with Hello Travel Panama .

A straight shot south from Bocas del Toro, the Pacific Ocean-facing province Chiriquí offers an equally beautiful, but wholly different slice of nature. Here you can hike through cloud forests, swim beneath roaring waterfalls, and witness the panoramic sunrise from the summit of Volcán Barú. Check in at the 10-room boutique hotel  Finca El Oasis right on the edge of the volcano, or venture a bit off the Pacific Gulf to the remote, luxurious 400-acre resort of  Isla Palenque . And make sure to allow time for Panama City, where a revived historic center thrives—no wonder we recently named it one of the Best Places to Go in Central and South America in 2024 .

<p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/where-to-stay-in-cartagena-right-now?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Cartagena</a> is one of the best places to travel in March, thanks to weather primed for both city exploration and beach relaxation. Temperatures stick around the high 70s and low 80s without too much humidity, and ocean breezes make for cool and comfortable evenings. Visit the UNESCO-listed Old Town, complete with cobbled streets and colonial-era architecture, as well as the high-rise-heavy neighborhood of Bocagrande and street-art haven of <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-01-11/guide-to-getsemani-cartagena-colombia?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Getsemaní</a>.</p> <p>While there are several city beaches to enjoy, it’s worth taking a quick drive outside city limits to see some truly pristine stretches of sand. Take a 1.5-hour bus ride to Isla Barú, where you can swim in the cerulean waters at Playa Blanca and sample plates of ceviche at local restaurants. You can also take a boat ride to the Rosario Islands, a coral archipelago about one hour southwest of the city, to experience some of the region’s best snorkeling. Back in town, rest up at <em>Condé Nast Traveler</em> Readers' Choice Awards darling <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/hotels/colombia/cartagena/sofitel-legend-santa-clara-cartagena?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Sofitel Legend Santa Clara</a>, located right at the northern edge of Cartagena’s historic district.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is one of the best places to travel in March, thanks to weather primed for both city exploration and beach relaxation. Temperatures stick around the high 70s and low 80s without too much humidity, and ocean breezes make for cool and comfortable evenings. Visit the UNESCO-listed Old Town, complete with cobbled streets and colonial-era architecture, as well as the high-rise-heavy neighborhood of Bocagrande and street-art haven of  Getsemaní .

While there are several city beaches to enjoy, it’s worth taking a quick drive outside city limits to see some truly pristine stretches of sand. Take a 1.5-hour bus ride to Isla Barú, where you can swim in the cerulean waters at Playa Blanca and sample plates of ceviche at local restaurants. You can also take a boat ride to the Rosario Islands, a coral archipelago about one hour southwest of the city, to experience some of the region’s best snorkeling. Back in town, rest up at Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards darling Sofitel Legend Santa Clara , located right at the northern edge of Cartagena’s historic district.

<p>This northeastern corner of New South Wales was ravaged by massive floods in 2022, but after recovery efforts in 2023 partially boosted by tourism, the area excitedly began welcoming visitors again this year. That, paired with its reputation for coastal resort towns, scenic seaside drives, gorgeous Pacific beaches, and adventuresome hikes and treks, earned it a spot on our list of <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/best-places-to-go-in-2024?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Best Places to Go in 2024</a>.</p> <p>March will be an especially fun time to visit the land Down Under: Since it's the southern hemisphere, the weather will just be cooling off from summer—ideal if you prefer more temperate climes. The wave-lashed town of Byron Bay will be hosting the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=605335745062666&set=a.586552143607693&type=3&locale=de_DE&paipv=0&eav=AfbBFJD0IA8YW8x9CozWDcBDBcityVfGGq4JGWBI6aXmf__FpJXZLUuKh7mRDxuSBwY&_rdr">2024 Australian Pro Adaptive Surfing Championship</a>, the country’s first international event for surfers with disabilities, which should make for some exciting energy along the coast.</p> <p>Locals and visitors alike will be spoiled with a bevy of openings in Northern Rivers: <a href="https://therangeestates.com.au/pages/copperstone">Copperstone by the Range Estates</a> will open its equestrian-style ranch in Bangalow in early 2024 (their properties <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/W9sg9CqXij8AFkDvLuTp5H974vhUg5bMJ7DX61Cmi1UGUvbr56yRH8m4R8wrJMGt6JojhoQRBeEHEwfnibf1rFSNYokbq4V1hz8GQWjmR8BH91KawUyFTuA63Xc9shwFxuU4KxQ72C4HBFvSccTqVtPYe5NVWcxHP2LF1WS2sWSv9njVLoXrrrU2UkLRgc5gtC7927R6gYwoZ58zHsq2bUbT66x5y" rel="sponsored">Swell Hotel</a> and the California-style <a href="https://www.sunranch.com.au/">Sun Ranch</a> in Byron Bay are both epitomes of Aussie style and chill), while in Yamba on the southern fringe of Northern Rivers, the designer and stylist Sheree Commerford will open a breezy seaside inn called <a href="https://www.instagram.com/ildelfino__/?hl=en">Il Delfino</a> in early 2024.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Northern Rivers, Australia

This northeastern corner of New South Wales was ravaged by massive floods in 2022, but after recovery efforts in 2023 partially boosted by tourism, the area excitedly began welcoming visitors again this year. That, paired with its reputation for coastal resort towns, scenic seaside drives, gorgeous Pacific beaches, and adventuresome hikes and treks, earned it a spot on our list of Best Places to Go in 2024 .

March will be an especially fun time to visit the land Down Under: Since it's the southern hemisphere, the weather will just be cooling off from summer—ideal if you prefer more temperate climes. The wave-lashed town of Byron Bay will be hosting the 2024 Australian Pro Adaptive Surfing Championship , the country’s first international event for surfers with disabilities, which should make for some exciting energy along the coast.

Locals and visitors alike will be spoiled with a bevy of openings in Northern Rivers: Copperstone by the Range Estates will open its equestrian-style ranch in Bangalow in early 2024 (their properties Swell Hotel and the California-style Sun Ranch in Byron Bay are both epitomes of Aussie style and chill), while in Yamba on the southern fringe of Northern Rivers, the designer and stylist Sheree Commerford will open a breezy seaside inn called Il Delfino in early 2024.

<p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-05-20/iceberg-spotting-on-greenlands-frozen-coast?mbid=synd_msn_rss">Greenland</a> is icy, mysterious, and one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet. And while the concept of the summertime midnight sun is appealing, there are many advantages to skirting the June to September crowds in favor of a late-winter sojourn. The coastal town of Ilulissat is particularly appealing in March, when there are less tourists, lower hotel prices, and a lack of mosquitoes and other pesky bugs (a major problem in the summer months). The town also happens to shine most beautifully at this time, with a thick layer of snow shrouding the region in a peaceful silence.</p> <p>You can reach Ilulissat via an Air Greenland flight from either <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/destinations/copenhagen?mbid=synd_msn_rss">Copenhagen</a> or Reykjavik. The Ilulissat Icefjord (one of the northernmost UNESCO World Heritage Sites) can be seen from your plane window, but you’ll want to get an even closer look at the massive collection of icebergs. <a href="http://airzafari.com/ilulissat#ilulissat-tours">AirZafari</a> offers small-plane flights in Ilulissat, while you can find helicopter tours through <a href="https://www.airgreenland.com/charter/products/sightseeing">Air Greenland</a>. If you book a stay at <a href="https://hotelarctic.com/en/">Hotel Arctic</a>, you can also book boat and helicopter tours (along with dog sled rides, walking tours through town, and more) directly through the concierge.</p>

Ilulissat, Greenland

Greenland  is icy, mysterious, and one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet. And while the concept of the summertime midnight sun is appealing, there are many advantages to skirting the June to September crowds in favor of a late-winter sojourn. The coastal town of Ilulissat is particularly appealing in March, when there are less tourists, lower hotel prices, and a lack of mosquitoes and other pesky bugs (a major problem in the summer months). The town also happens to shine most beautifully at this time, with a thick layer of snow shrouding the region in a peaceful silence.

You can reach Ilulissat via an Air Greenland flight from either Copenhagen or Reykjavik. The Ilulissat Icefjord (one of the northernmost UNESCO World Heritage Sites) can be seen from your plane window, but you’ll want to get an even closer look at the massive collection of icebergs. AirZafari offers small-plane flights in Ilulissat, while you can find helicopter tours through Air Greenland . If you book a stay at Hotel Arctic , you can also book boat and helicopter tours (along with dog sled rides, walking tours through town, and more) directly through the concierge.

<p>If you think ski season is over by the time March rolls around, think again: Montana’s Big Sky Resort doesn’t close its slopes until late April, meaning you can still enjoy prime conditions during this month. <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/big-skys-sweeping-revamp-moves-the-montana-resort-beyond-ski?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Big Sky</a> features an incredible 5,850 acres of skiable terrain, with sizable portions dedicated to both beginner and expert runs (keep an eye out for the brand-new Lone Peak Tram opening this winter.) It’s easily one of the best ski destinations in the country, but the region offers so much more than rides down the slopes. <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/yellowstone-national-park-guide?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Yellowstone National Park</a> is just an hour away, for example, and the park’s geothermal pools look even more brilliant set against a backdrop of snow.</p> <p>You could also have your fill of skiing at <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-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" rel="sponsored">Montage Big Sky</a>, an alpine resort that offers ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort. On top of that, the property also provides guests with opportunities for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, hiking, and fly-fishing—not to mention some seriously luxurious interiors. Cozy up by the lobby fireplace or snuggle in the fur throw at the foot of your bed, then treat yourself to a massage or grab a craft cocktail at the après-ski bar. Consider these just some of the reasons Big Sky is one of the <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/best-places-to-go-in-north-america-and-the-caribbean-2024?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Best Places to Go in North America</a> this year.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Big Sky, Montana

If you think ski season is over by the time March rolls around, think again: Montana’s Big Sky Resort doesn’t close its slopes until late April, meaning you can still enjoy prime conditions during this month. Big Sky features an incredible 5,850 acres of skiable terrain, with sizable portions dedicated to both beginner and expert runs (keep an eye out for the brand-new Lone Peak Tram opening this winter.) It’s easily one of the best ski destinations in the country, but the region offers so much more than rides down the slopes. Yellowstone National Park is just an hour away, for example, and the park’s geothermal pools look even more brilliant set against a backdrop of snow.

You could also have your fill of skiing at Montage Big Sky , an alpine resort that offers ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort. On top of that, the property also provides guests with opportunities for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, hiking, and fly-fishing—not to mention some seriously luxurious interiors. Cozy up by the lobby fireplace or snuggle in the fur throw at the foot of your bed, then treat yourself to a massage or grab a craft cocktail at the après-ski bar. Consider these just some of the reasons Big Sky is one of the Best Places to Go in North America this year.

<p>It takes a bit of effort to reach the <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2014-05-22/the-remote-beauty-of-raja-ampat?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Raja Ampat Islands</a>—flying first to <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-05-12/5-things-you-must-do-in-jakarta?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Jakarta</a>, then to Sorong, where most travelers hop on a liveaboard. But once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by lush jungles, blue channels, and biodiverse reefs. The archipelago is truly a scuba diver’s dream, where an average dive gets you up close to manta rays, hawksbill turtles, and around 1,300 species of colorful coral-dwelling fish. There’s really no bad time to visit, but March typically yields the best diving weather (think less rain and calmer waters).</p> <p>The most popular way to explore Raja Ampat is by booking a small cruise or yacht, and you have several great options to choose from. You could try Aqua Expeditions and set sail on the long-range cruising yacht, <em>Aqua Blu</em>, which offers seven-night, <a href="https://www.aquaexpeditions.com/indonesia-cruise/raja-ampat">island-hopping itineraries</a>. The boat has 15 sea-facing suites and a spa, and guests can partake in activities like snorkeling, kayaking, diving to manta ray cleaning stations, and searching for elusive bird of paradise species on guided hikes.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

It takes a bit of effort to reach the Raja Ampat Islands —flying first to  Jakarta , then to Sorong, where most travelers hop on a liveaboard. But once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by lush jungles, blue channels, and biodiverse reefs. The archipelago is truly a scuba diver’s dream, where an average dive gets you up close to manta rays, hawksbill turtles, and around 1,300 species of colorful coral-dwelling fish. There’s really no bad time to visit, but March typically yields the best diving weather (think less rain and calmer waters).

The most popular way to explore Raja Ampat is by booking a small cruise or yacht, and you have several great options to choose from. You could try Aqua Expeditions and set sail on the long-range cruising yacht, Aqua Blu , which offers seven-night, island-hopping itineraries . The boat has 15 sea-facing suites and a spa, and guests can partake in activities like snorkeling, kayaking, diving to manta ray cleaning stations, and searching for elusive bird of paradise species on guided hikes.

<p>Southeast Asia's Lion City is aptly named because it's facing the new year with a great big roar. There's always lots to do in Singapore, especially in the year ahead (the cosmopolitan city-state is on our list of <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/best-places-to-go-in-asia-2024?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024</a>), but there's something happening in March that's whipping the island into a tizzy: The pop princess Taylor Swift is bringing her Eras Tour to the Singapore National Stadium for her sole stop in the region. Hotels bookings are reportedly through the roof, and <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/taylor-swift-eras-tour-travel-demand-new-flights?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">additional flights have been added</a>, but keep an eye out for the openings of the new <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/9wuTcQB4CMStrYY1qthwYN4Zxxzrs4BSbBxLPomCw9g7ubDETkXmoQVPh7e89TdrVnCrbVG1jULGekKFDnEX6xWTShrC8UkrC71heib6UMcPk1JSQ4KxbAa43PtFZxFfmFNs8qz4GbLj5fb4byCiXwZwuwRBdSJfLfuUw4ZHBLkpwohMN2ftJiMaXbQybNfSwYzAuLLUAqMtc4J2F" rel="sponsored">Grand Hyatt</a> and the latest <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/Ehjr9t1bfyFgZV2gMR4reDtE5ywy8dy5EwapBXc2EcBtUcYkEVQULn19HKY2kEhmBQjQDoobB5wbmxxp3TkuaoQTTmmrwj5XDT5js7CccNWosF7qZ9fo8g32UCHeMDALgAo6EA6c6Wh1svCg1vBeVitJdRC4T" rel="sponsored">Raffles on Sentosa Island</a> for more room at the inn, as it were.</p> <p>Beyond the Swiftie reasons to swing by Singapore in March, there's also the return of glamorous and ultra-luxury train travel with Belmond's <a href="https://www.belmond.com/trains/asia/eastern-and-oriental-express/journeys/wild-malaysia?adults=1&departureDate=2024-03-04&packageCode=EWILD">Eastern & Oriental Express</a>, which will, in February, have begun their new itineraries from Singapore into the Malaysian peninsula and back, featuring excursions into Taman Negara National Park and culinary tours on Penang Island, which should be incredibly fun and engaging—that is, if you can tear yourself away from your plush state room or the swanky dining car.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Southeast Asia's Lion City is aptly named because it's facing the new year with a great big roar. There's always lots to do in Singapore, especially in the year ahead (the cosmopolitan city-state is on our list of Best Places to Go in Asia in 2024 ), but there's something happening in March that's whipping the island into a tizzy: The pop princess Taylor Swift is bringing her Eras Tour to the Singapore National Stadium for her sole stop in the region. Hotels bookings are reportedly through the roof, and additional flights have been added , but keep an eye out for the openings of the new Grand Hyatt and the latest Raffles on Sentosa Island for more room at the inn, as it were.

Beyond the Swiftie reasons to swing by Singapore in March, there's also the return of glamorous and ultra-luxury train travel with Belmond's Eastern & Oriental Express , which will, in February, have begun their new itineraries from Singapore into the Malaysian peninsula and back, featuring excursions into Taman Negara National Park and culinary tours on Penang Island, which should be incredibly fun and engaging—that is, if you can tear yourself away from your plush state room or the swanky dining car.

<p>Dana Point, a small harbor city along California’s southern coast, is known for its incredible dolphin and whale populations. That reputation was cemented in early 2021, when the town was dubbed the first “Whale Heritage Site” in the United States, courtesy of the World Cetacean Alliance. Dana Point is now one of five global destinations to receive such an honor, specifically created to recognize destinations that offer dolphin- and <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-best-spots-for-whale-watching-in-the-us?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">whale-watching experiences</a> that are both responsible and sustainable.</p> <p>While you can see some whale species year-round, February and March are known as peak season to see the California Gray Whales as they make their annual migration to <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/story/a-five-day-road-trip-through-central-bajas-artsy-towns-and-pristine-beaches?mbid=synd_msn_rss&utm_source=msn&utm_medium=syndication">Baja California</a>. Book a 2.5-hour tour with <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/372k3dFnGNnsakKFitAVxaWFMVAwLcVLCaPdP6iMxFLmK9DbmAM23Tsh8tyUChMGSNyzjmzPRxFtPKcrS?cid=58b5a29288488d0d23ab69f4" rel="sponsored">Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari</a>, where you can see the magnificent mammals from an underwater glass pod while listening to a live narration from expert naturalists. Or, book the <a href="https://cna.st/affiliate-link/K3zshu2hrSdjcug28S1ZNHiJ3RvYsoPCJCVGSCUzGoxBnKa6DkfVz2c1abX9NstKgnvcB5SfWv3kSCMnGMVtsiZTNuiLg6quzETHgC7GUHJf7mxaTpWwhZtXUAAJqgUuX6e?cid=58b5a29288488d0d23ab69f4" rel="sponsored">OC Wine Cruise</a> with Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, which lets passengers sample four different organic wines while they scan the sunset-lit waters for breaching whales.</p><p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Dana Point, California

Dana Point, a small harbor city along California’s southern coast, is known for its incredible dolphin and whale populations. That reputation was cemented in early 2021, when the town was dubbed the first “Whale Heritage Site” in the United States, courtesy of the World Cetacean Alliance. Dana Point is now one of five global destinations to receive such an honor, specifically created to recognize destinations that offer dolphin- and whale-watching experiences that are both responsible and sustainable.

While you can see some whale species year-round, February and March are known as peak season to see the California Gray Whales as they make their annual migration to Baja California . Book a 2.5-hour tour with Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari , where you can see the magnificent mammals from an underwater glass pod while listening to a live narration from expert naturalists. Or, book the OC Wine Cruise with Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, which lets passengers sample four different organic wines while they scan the sunset-lit waters for breaching whales.

While most safari camps stay in one place like a traditional hotel, the private canvas safaris by <a href="https://www.barclaystenner.com/private-canvas-luxury-mobile">Barclay Stenner Safaris</a> are totally mobile, meaning you can pick up and move locations based on weather conditions and wildlife movements. The outfitter’s Botswana itinerary moves across the country to fauna-rich areas like the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans—get ready to follow groups of lions, hippos, elephants, and more.<p>Sign up to receive the latest news, expert tips, and inspiration on all things travel.</p><a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/newsletter/the-daily?sourceCode=msnsend">Inspire Me</a>

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Picture it: Seasonal floodwaters rolling into parched sands and transforming them into a delicate tracery of glittering rivers and channels—the dry plains once again dripping with new life. That's the scene that greets you at the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the world's largest inland river delta. It plays host to a wide variety of wildlife, thriving across great swathes of the land held by the Moremi Game Reserve. You may encounter safari lions, leopards, giraffes, and rhinos; and when the floodwaters quench the land, you'll paddle in canoes past hippos, elephants, and crocodiles.

In the summer (that's January and February in Botswana, given it's the southern hemisphere), rainfall from the Angola highlands is drained by the Okavango River into the delta, where the water levels will rise and fall over the next four months, from March through June, making this month the best time to see the transformation happen before your very eyes.

Looking for a place to stay? African Bush Camps opened the riverside Khwai Lediba in 2023, and will open Atzaro Okavango in March 2024. The latter will feature 10 lagoon-side suites and offer peak safari-luxe vibes and a strong sense of place through design. (To no surprise, it's one of the Best Places to Go in Africa in 2024 .)

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IMAGES

  1. 7 Different Things You Should Do When Visiting Panama City, Panama

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  2. 10 Best Places to Visit in Panama

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  3. Panama City Vacation Packages with Airfare

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  4. Top 10 Things to See and Do for Free in Panama City

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  5. Travel to Panama: What To Do on a 12 Hour Layover

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  6. Panama is reopening to tourists from all countries in October

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COMMENTS

  1. INICIO

    INICIO - All Travel Panamá San Blas Home Video Traslado Pago Visita a 2 isla + Piscina narutal Almuerzo + bebida Guía Turístico Playa Blanca Disfruta de lo mejor de Panamá en nuestro Resort Todo Incluido View Offer Video VIAJA POR EL MUNDO Con los mejores planes internacionales que te ofrece AllTravelPanamá Contactanos Ofertas y Promociones

  2. Panama Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    Most travelers visit Panama either at the end or the beginning of their journey through Central America here and stick to the well-worn tourist trail of Bocas del Toro, Boquete, the San Blas islands, and Panama City but, if you head to some of the lesser-known destinations, you'll be rewarded with better food, amazing scenery free of tourists, a...

  3. 18 things to know before going to Panama

    If you're looking for idyllic islands, rolling surf, untamed nature and showstopping wildlife, Panama is an ideal destination. It sits at the crossroads of the Americas, connecting two oceans, and beyond its cosmopolitan capital and legendary canal, Panama is a biodiversity hotspot.

  4. Panama travel

    All the reasons Panama is great place to travel with kids. Jan 2, 2024 • 6 min read. From babies and toddlers to young children, tweens and teens, here are the best experiences in Panama for families of travelers.

  5. Requirements to Travel to Panama

    Plan Your Vacation / Travel Requirements Requirements to Travel to Panama To enjoy your trip to Panama, you must comply with the following documents and regulations: Valid passport within at least six months of expiration Return ticket to the country of origin or the next destination to visit

  6. Welcome to Panamá

    welcome to Panamá A land radiating with life, perfectly imperfect, and full of authenticity. Where Northern and Southern worlds connect, old and new worlds coexist, and cosmopolitan landscapes live in harmony with wild, untamed rainforests. A country for those who seek beyond expectations, that dares you to see more. Taste more. Connect more.

  7. Panama All Inclusive Resorts & Vacation Packages

    Panama. Hot Deal - 4 Nights w/ Air from $959. All. Ages. Dreams Playa Bonita Panama is a luxurious all-inclusive resort is located on the beautiful Pacific Panama Beach, just minutes away from the world-famous Panama Canal. Dreams Playa Bonita Panama is a s …. Read More.

  8. The 8 best places to visit in Panama

    The 8 best places to visit in Panama Sarah Gilbert Dec 1, 2023 • 6 min read Experience the best of Panama with our guide to the top places to visit © Matthew Micah Wright / Getty Images There's so much more to Panama than its world-famous waterway.

  9. 41 Things to Do in Panama + 3 Things NOT to Do

    Travel Panama on any budget. While you can travel fairly cheaply through Panama on the backpacker trail, there are also lots of mid-range and family options, as well as some seriously gorgeous luxury hotels. And the same goes with transport - most places it seemed like you could take the local bus on the cheap, a tourist shuttle for a bit ...

  10. Panama Vacation

    Panama Vacation - All-Inclusive Packages by Caravan Tours Choose A Tour — #1 In Value Latin America Tours Costa Rica Natural Paradise Costa Rica & Manuel Antonio U.S.A. Tours 2 3 4 5 6 78 9 10 11 12 13 14 1516 17 18 19 20 21 22 2324 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Feb 1 2 3 4 5 67 8 9 10 11 12 13 1415 16 17 18 19 20 21 2223 24 25 26 27 28 29 Mar

  11. Panama International Travel Information

    July 17, 2023 Panama - Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution C Exercise increased caution in Panama due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. ... [READ MORE] Embassy Messages Alerts View Alerts and Messages Archive Quick Facts PASSPORT VALIDITY: 3 months beyond date of arrival BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

  12. Panama All-Inclusive Resorts

    Apple Vacations top-rated All-Inclusive Panama hotels and luxury resorts: Dreams Playa Bonita Panama - All Inclusive in Panama City for $206 per night and a 5-star rating. The Westin Playa Bonita Panama - All Inclusive in Panama City with 5-star rating. Riu Playa Blanca - All Inclusive in Playa Blanca with 4-star rating.

  13. The Perfect Panama Itinerary

    Bocas del Toro - 2 nights. Day 5 - Take a morning flight to the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Once you arrive on Isla Colón, head out to Starfish Beach. If you have arrived early, consider getting a colectivo to the beach and doing the hike. Alternatively, you can pay for a water taxi to take you there.

  14. Panama All Inclusive Resorts

    Searching hundreds of travel sites to find you the best price Clear all filters. Sort by: Best Value. Best Value. ... Over the last 30 days, all inclusive resorts in Panama have been available starting from $104.00, though prices have typically been closer to $142.00. Price estimates were calculated on June 15, 2023.

  15. 13 best things to do in Panama

    5. Unwind in El Valle. When the heat and frenzy of the capital become too much to bear, city residents retreat to the flower-festooned spa of El Valle. Located in the lush foothills of Coclé Province, El Valle is a mere 2.5 hours from the capital but a world away in style and atmosphere.

  16. Panama Vacations Packages All Inclusive 2024

    $1,146 per person Mar 29 - Apr 1 Roundtrip flight included New York (JFK) to Panama City (PTY) 7.4/10 Good! (883 reviews) The property was amazing. The staff is attentive and friendly. They are very accommodating. They go out of your way to help you have the best experience at the hotel.

  17. Panama Travel Advisory

    If you decide to travel to Panama: Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Country Security Report for Panama. Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler's Checklist.

  18. Panama Canal Travel Destinations & Tours

    10 Next Linking the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Panama Canal provides one of cruising's most unforgettable experiences. Over 10 years and more than 10,000 men were needed to complete the canal's 51 miles in 1914 - so avoiding the lengthy and often dangerous voyage around Cape Horn.

  19. All Inclusive Panama Vacation Packages 2024

    CA $1,924 per person Feb. 27 - Mar. 3 Roundtrip non-stop flight included Toronto (YYZ) to Panama City (PTY) 7.4/10 Good! (883 reviews) The property was amazing. The staff is attentive and friendly. They are very accommodating. They go out of your way to help you have the best experience at the hotel. Reviewed on Jan. 18, 2024 Hotel Riu Plaza Panama

  20. Tao Travel 365

    About. At Tao Travel 365 we believe in eco-friendly travel preserving the beauties of nature and forming meaningful human relationships with the locals, while adhering to our Tao philosophies that focus on being in balance with yourself and with nature. Every adventure we offer to our guests has been handpicked and personally experienced by our ...

  21. All-Travel

    Welcome to Explora Journeys. With Ocean Journeys to inspire you to travel further, immerse deeper and linger a little longer, let Explora Journeys extend your horizons. Get up to 10% savings off cruise fare on select suites on all sailings! Early Booking Benefit is applicable to all sailings when booking up to 180 days prior to departure Learn More

  22. Weather Tomorrow for Panama City, Panamá, Panama

    Everything you need to know about tomorrow's weather in Panama City, Panamá, Panama. High/Low, Precipitation Chances, Sunrise/Sunset, and tomorrow's Temperature History.

  23. The Best Places to Travel in March

    Panama is a great place to visit any time of year, thanks to its biodiverse jungles, sprawling beaches, and relative lack of crowds compared to neighboring Costa Rica. But March is an especially ...