Making travel arrangements to visit Panama? Make the most of your vacation time in Panama, we have compiled a list of our favorite things to do in Panama. Explore the top attractions and activities in the best places to go in Panama by scrolling down! Wondrous Drifter is a cutting-edge, Web 3.0 travel startup that aspires to change the world.
Table of Contents
- Amador Causeway
- Avenida Balboa
- Be amazed by El Tornillo or the F&F Tower
- Bocas del Toro
- Casco Viejo
- Go out and Get Your Own Panama Hat
- Have a lunch at El Trapiche
- Hike up the Ancon Hill
- La Iglesia del Carmen
- Metropolitan National Park
- Panama Canal
- Plaza de Francia
- Punta Chame
- San Blas Islands
- Soberania National Park
- Starfish Beach
- Surfing in Santa Catalina
- Take a dip in the river at Los Cangilones
There is no better way to see Panama than by driving over the Amador Causeway!
A well-known road in Panama City, the Amador Causeway is home to some of the country’s best activities and attractions, showcasing the best of Panama.
People from all walks of life in Panama have been flocking to this area, just a few minutes from the city center, for decades.
On the Causeway, you’ll find a perfect balance of clean air and exciting activity.
Even though this is a popular trail for trail running and walking, you can find some peace and quiet if you go at a slower time of day.
The cherry on top? The trail is open all year round and is a lovely place to stroll through at any time of year.
Enjoy the best views of the Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean while you’re there.
Address: Panama City, Panama
Stroll to Avenida Balboa in Panama City if you’re seeking inexpensive activities.
Avenida Balboa is a major road, but it is also home to some of Panama City’s tallest buildings.
Because of this, you’ll probably find yourself on Balboa Avenue a few times throughout your time in Panama, as it links many of the city’s most notable landmarks.
Avenida Balboa is the largest boulevard in the Panama City metropolitan area and the most modern avenue in Latin America. It is a hotbed of high-end real estate, and additional development is expected in the area in the future.
Along with a lovely oceanside walking path, Avenida Balboa is home to a slew of commercial centers, boutiques, and eateries.
Also, renting bikes and using the cycle lane on the avenue are popular pastimes for many visitors.
It’s clear why Balboa Avenue is so popular with people, professionals, tourists, and families.
Everything you could want in a downtown neighborhood can be found on Balboa Avenue!
Why don’t you join in on the fun? During your vacation in Panama, take a stroll down Balboa Avenue.
Address: Panamá, Panama
Be amazed by El Tornillo or the F&F Tower
Looking for a twist? It’s time to discover a real-life twisted building! – It’s enough to make you dizzy just to look at it!
Once known as the Revolutionary Tower, this building is now commonly termed the F & F Tower.
This tower is one of the city’s most impressive skyscrapers and stands out among the rest.
It is one of Panama’s most famous and creative examples of modern design.
Designers have worked hard to ensure the building’s $50 million budget doesn’t hurt its classic status and prestige.
Still, it has become a landmark in Panama’s skyline.
The F & F towers, which have 47 floors, rise 243 meters into the sky and can be seen from afar.
Beyond this tower lies a pricey shopping center filled with high-end designer brands.
If you have the chance, try passing through this area in Panama. You’ll be amazed!
Address: C. 50, Panamá, Panama
Inquiring minds need to know.
For a better understanding of Panama’s impact on biodiversity and its dedication to environmental protection, check out Biomuseo while you’re there!
This museum has plenty to keep you occupied for a few hours at the very least. Frank Gehry, a world-renowned architect, designed the Biomuseo.
First of all, it’s the world’s first biodiversity museum.
The Biomuseo has a cafe, a shop, a gallery, and a place to hold temporary artwork exhibitions.
Various angular metal enclosures cover this atrium, which is brightly colored and decorated.
When the weather is nice, you can take a walk through the gardens adjacent to the museum and take in the beauty of the surrounding nature.
Some ships that pass through the Bridge of the Americas and the Canal may be visible from this vantage point. So be on the lookout for that as well.
Address: Amador Causeway 136, Panama City, Panama
Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of outdoor activities.
Considering Bocas del Toro’s well-kept, it’s a true hidden gem in the Caribbean.
Located in Panama, Bocas del Toro is an archipelago of islands. This town attracts visitors from all over the world because of its vibrant vibes.
As a starting point for exploring the entire island, it’s a great choice.
In fact, Bocas del Toro has a wide range of things to do for people of all tastes and budgets.
Known for its incredible variety of wildlife, the area around Bocas del Toro is popular with eco-tourists as much as it is with surfers and scuba divers.
Do not fret if you prefer to attend events as a spectator. There are many fun things to do in Bocas del Toro, such as tours of the Nivida Bat Cave and sailing.
Take advantage of the opportunity while in Panama and visit Bocas del Toro!
Do some sightseeing in the historic neighborhood of Casco Viejo!
When you visit Casco Viejo, you feel like you’ve stepped back to an earlier era of Panama’s history.
This lovely spot is tucked away on a peninsula cut off from the rest of the world by the ocean.
It is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is one of the most popular places to visit in Panama City.
There are beautiful historic mansions and art galleries in this area, as well as the city’s most important gastronomic hubs.
The French, Spanish, and neoclassical styles can be seen in the tall, cobblestone-lined houses of Casco Viejo.
Casco Viejo has a lot of high-end hotels and restaurants, as well as many real heritage sites, thanks to recent investments and repairs.
Furthermore, it’s one of the city’s most popular lodging options for tourists because it’s so close to other parts of the city, making it easy for visitors to get around.
Casco Viejo is a great place to simply walk around and see sights. It’s a great place to spend the day, and you’ll never get bored.
Address: Panama City
Go out and Get Your Own Panama Hat
For your amusement, here’s a tidbit of trivia: Ecuador is where most of the hats on top of Panamas come from.
Even though Panama hats aren’t crafted in Panama, you can find them all over the city in different tourist shops.
In particular, at the shops in Casca Viejo, you’ll find an abundance of Panama hats for sale.
Concerning souvenirs for travelers, Panamanian hats are among the most searched for items.
Panama hats are universally adored, and their lightweight materials and broad brims make them ideal for the hottest days.
Indeed, the Panama hat adds a touch of class to any summer ensemble you choose to wear.
But, regarding quality, the straw and the weave are the two most important aspects to keep in mind.
So before you buy, make sure that your product is authentic.
The gorgeous Panama hat will instantly put you in a relaxed and refined mood! Get one while you’re in Panama!
Have a lunch at El Trapiche
Panama’s cuisine is a cultural treat that you should not miss while in the country!
El Trapiche is a common pick for classical Panamanian cuisine for its convenient setting and affordable cost.
Not to mention, you will enjoy all of your favorite regional dishes here!
From low-cost set meals to a classic Panamanian breakfast, there’s something for everyone.
Well, it’s hard to go wrong with the “Panamanian Fiesta,” an eight-course meal that showcases some of the best of Panamanian cuisine.
El Trapiche offers a wide range of plant-based choices to ensure that no one is left out.
This establishment has a wide selection of food to fulfill your appetite. Is your stomach growling yet?
Furthermore, tables can be reserved on a veranda or inside in a large room with a straw-hut-like mock-up on one side at El Trapiche.
Your culinary explorations in Panama City will undoubtedly begin with El Trapiche.
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Hike up the Ancon Hill
Ah! A trip to Panama would not be complete without this.
Ancon Hill is one of the most popular places to look out over Panama City.
The Canal Zone, the Central Business District, and the old Casco Viejo neighborhood can be seen.
At the bottom of the hill, there are a lot of small shops where tourists can buy cheap souvenirs.
Hiking is the only way to reach the summit and enjoy the spectacular views.
A 30-minute hike will take you to the top of the hill’s highest point.
Even though the incline is fairly steep, it’s still manageable for everyone.
What’s the best part about this? To everyone’s delight, it is completely free.
You’ll see the city from the top of Cerro Ancon and the enormous flag flying there for years. Aren’t you thrilled?
This is a beautiful and peaceful way to see the city from the top down.
As part of your Panama vacation, climbing the Cerro Ancon is a must.
La Iglesia del Carmen
Explore the gothic-style architecture of Iglesia del Carmen, one of Panama City’s most eye-catching structures.
It is the most popular place for tourists to visit in Panama City. It is on Via Espana, the main street in the city.
In fact, this church seems to be the only Gothic-style building in the country.
The church is named after Our Lady of Mount Caramel, the patroness of those who seek salvation (or Carmen).
The Carmelites, a religious order that moved to Panama, built La Iglesia del Carmen.
Even though the outside and inside of the church look medieval, it was built in the 20th century.
With a rose window, twin bell towers, and more, this Catholic church has a lot of intricate details.
The architect drew inspiration for the Iglesia del Carmen from Toledo’s late XIVth-century Gothic architecture.
If you ever find yourself in Panama again, La Iglesia del Carmen should be on your list of places to visit.
Metropolitan National Park
This quiet spot in the middle of a busy city is home to the only wildlife preserve in the city.
It’s a great way to get away from the nearby city, and nature lovers will love it as a place to relax.
It’s also a great place to see birds, mammals, snakes, and amphibians despite its proximity to the city.
Take a guided tour to learn about flora and fauna of the park while you’re there to maximize your experience.
The tour generally starts in the early morning to get a good look at various animals and birds.
However, there are various distinct hiking trails if you’re feeling active.
The park is a short drive from the center of business in Panama City and is easy to get to by taxi.
You’ll never forget this refuge when you’re in Panama!
Address: Panama City, Panama
You should make time to see the Panama Canal while you’re in Panama.
France attempted to construct the canal. Sadly, their first attempt didn’t go as well as expected.
As of 1904, it had been taken over by the United States and completed by 1914.
Since its construction in 1914, the Panama Canal has become one of the world’s most important shipping routes.
The canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to avoid going around South America.
As a bonus, the Panama Canal is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, making it a must-see on any trip to the region.
Visitors can observe a passage in various ways, including on one of the Panama Canal tours that travel through the locks and allow them to witness it firsthand.
There are, of course, several more fascinating tidbits about the canal that you’ll discover when you visit.
The Panama Canal is now yours to explore!
Plaza de Francia
This public square bears the name of those who sacrificed their lives to build the Panama Canal.
The Plaza de Francia, initially a barracks patio, was crafted by Leonardo Villanueva Meyer.
The southernmost point of the town is marked by the French Square or Plaza de Francia.
Large stone tablets and other markers all over the plaza show how the French helped build the Panama Canal.
Hence, the square honors the approximately 22,000 workers who died while building the canal. Yellow fever and malaria claimed the lives of the vast majority of the workers.
There is plenty of welcome shade in the plaza, thanks to the many Poinciana trees that line the perimeter.
Furthermore, at the Instituto Nacional de Cultura, a theater and cultural events can be found just a few blocks away from the plaza.
The plaza is full of vendors selling trinkets and souvenirs, as well.
If you’re in Panama, don’t miss out on Plaza de Francia.
Address: C. 2a Oeste 85-81, Panamá, Panama
For a while, don’t be afraid to take risks and let yourself get lost in nature. Fun outdoor activities can be found at Punta Chame.
Punta Chame has many sights and experiences that make it a worthwhile destination.
It’s nestled near Panama City, on Panama’s Pacific coast, at Cape Chame.
Since few people know about Punta Chame’s kite spots, it’s considered a secret spot.
Punta Chame is an excellent location for kitesurfing since it has a large beach with plenty of room for beginners and experts alike.
The wind and water conditions in the area are ideal for this type of activity.
Furthermore, there are no rocks or other hazards in the water to trip over.
Allow yourself to be enthralled by the lagoons, their expansiveness, and the constant breeze that permeates them.
The only way to discover this Panamanian gem is to come and see it.
San Blas Islands
In Panama, a trip to San Blas is essential for a vacation.
There is nothing else in the world like San Blas’ unique concept.
The San Blas Islands are a group of 378 uninhabited islands near Panama that you may not have heard of.
These islands are largely uninhabited, but those that are home to native Kuna people, also recognized as the “Ganna,” have a population of their own.
As a tourist destination, San Blas lacks the luxuries of the modern world.
Rather, it serves as a reminder of nature’s scenic beauty and astounding authenticity.
You don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing or how you look here; you can enjoy the sights and sounds.
Natural beauty can be found on many islands, from small to large, inhabited to deserted.
These islands are peaceful because they are surrounded by clear water and fine white sand, and each beach has a few coconut palms.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit a tropical island, the San Blas Islands should be at the top of your list.
No need to look any further for a sign! See for yourself how stunning the San Blas Islands are!
Soberania National Park
For birdwatchers and hikers alike, this will be a haven of serenity.
Soberania National Park is one of the most convenient national parks. It is only a short drive from Panama City and is a great place to take the family to enjoy nature.
To escape the city, visit Soberania National Park, a lush rainforest barely 40 minutes away.
An optimum distance for a peaceful yet thorough ride among the park’s natural beauties is 6.5 kilometers.
In the park, you can find more than 500 different kinds of birds and more than 100 different kinds of mammals.
A great place to see migrating birds is along the Pipeline Road, which is also great for trekking and getting a nice workout in the process!
On top of that, you can go for a walk around the trails and immerse yourself in nature.
Time to escape Panama City’s bustle and take a trip into the wild instead.
Address: 38FR+P38, Las Cumbres, Panama
Is starfish something you enjoy? If so, then Starfish Beach has you covered!
A narrow strip of light sand known as Starfish Beach can be found between the lush rainforest and the ocean’s blue waters.
One of the best places to see starfish and clear waters. Many palm trees can be found along the shoreline.
From Bocas Town, the only way to get to the beach is by boat or other transport to this remote part of the island.
No matter what, it’s one of the best islands to visit in Panama, with a lot to do to keep you busy.
Starfish Beach is a great place to spend an afternoon because of the numerous small restaurants and bars that line the beach.
It’s worth a visit because hundreds of starfish are on the ocean floor.
Just keep in mind not to disturb the starfish while you’re admiring the scenery.
Take as many pictures as possible to preserve the memories!
Address: Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
Surfing in Santa Catalina
Take advantage of the chance to practice your surfing skills at Santa Catalina when you’re in Panama.
Santa Catalina is one of the best places to surf in Panama and has one of the area’s most reliable rock bottom point breaks.
Santa Catalina used to be a sleepy fishing village with few tourists. Now, it has become a major surfing hotspot for experienced surfers and those just learning to catch waves.
It’s no wonder that Santa Catalina’s relaxed vibes and legendary waves attract surfers and beachgoers from around the world.
In addition to surfing, Santa Catalina is a great place to fish, scuba dive, and do many other things.
Santa Catalina is a great alternative vacation spot for those who just want to relax on the beach.
This is a great place to start if you’re planning a trip to Panama and want to see some of the country’s natural splendor.
Take a break from the sweltering heat of Panama City and head to Taboga Island!
In the middle of the ocean, the golden sand of Taboga Island is bathed in palm trees.
Known as “The Island of Flowers,” Isla Taboga has lush tropical vegetation, stunning beaches, and soft sand that make it a popular tourist destination.
It’s a popular destination for Panama City residents looking to get away from the city.
Undoubtedly, the beach is the most popular reason to visit this tropical vacation spot.
There are many wonderful walking trails on Taboga Island, so that’s another good reason to visit the area.
It’s not uncommon for locals to visit Taboga on the weekends, but it might be best if you can go during the week.
Suppose you’re interested in visiting Taboga Island. In that case, you can take a ferry from Panama City to Amador Causeway, which departs frequently.
The Isla Taboga invites you to take a break and enjoy the scenery!
Take a dip in the river at Los Cangilones
If you’re in Chiriqui for the day, stop by this river canyon to unwind and take a break from the busy city.
Near Boquete, a small swimming hole called Los Cangilones is one of the best things to do in the area.
“Cangilon” translates to “bucket” in Spanish, but it can also mean “deep water vessel.”
For obvious reasons, tourists flock to Chiriqu’s province, where natural swimming holes like Los Cangilones de Gualaca are popular.
Due to this unique natural phenomenon, the river Esti carved a canyon and a slew of seemingly man-made pools out of the stone beneath it.
The canyon is crossed by a river, which provides ample opportunity for river jumping (up to 12 feet or 4 meters).
Nothing beats a refreshing dip in the river on a warm summer day and gliding through rocks until you reach the canyon’s end.
Visitors are raving about it all. As a result, crowds can form, which can be disruptive.
However, this location is still regarded as a must-visit. Take a short detour if you happen to be in the area and have the time.
Is there anything else holding you back from making Panama your next vacation destination? Visit reasons to visit Panama at least once in your lifetime here.
Address: GPV2+92V, Gualaca District, Panama