Tourism in Panama has gained the preference of travelers from all over the world in recent years. The destination includes an array of impressive natural landscapes of every tropical variety, Caribbean and Pacific beaches, iconic island archipelagos teeming with active reefs and colourful marine life, natural parks with rich biodiversity and historic ports of call.
Tourism in Panama: natural beauties, history and culture
The country, located in Central America, is perfect for those seeking natural beauty, history and lots of fun. Not to mention that the Panamanian cultures makes your trip even more special.
When is the best time to travel to Panama?
Although considered a year round destination, the country is warmer and wetter between April and November. However, if this time is right for you, there are ways to manage the heat and rain. The most recommended season is between mid-December and April, during the dry season. During this period, the beaches and tourist attractions are a bit busier and the forests a bit more lively with the sounds of bird song. Typically, the temperature remains near 30°C so best to pack accordingly.
Flights to Panama
The National air carrier is COPA Airlines which has an extension network of access points from many major cities in the US, Canada, Central, and South America. Many other airlines fly to Panama City. The country also boasts a great collection of domestic airports to make region jumping quite easy. Tours of Exploration by Adventica and our land partners are happy to assist with flight plans to and withing Panama. Other means of traveling to the hotspots are by road and boat.
Top 7 tourist destinations in Panama
Such a spectacular tropical destination would certainly have interesting attractions that guarantee unique experiences for its visitors. Here are our recommendations.
1. Panama City
In addition to beautiful landscapes, your trip to Panama should also include a stop in Panama City, which is very modern and full of attractions for all types of travelers. The city offers a wide range of attractions, such as historic buildings, shopping areas, trendy restaurants and bars that are lively, especially at night. On your tour of the city, take a partial Panama Canal transit. This is considered one of the greatest works of engineering in the world, responsible for connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The construction allows the passage of large ships between the waters of both oceans. Also visit Palacio de las Garzas, San José Chapel and Plaza de Francia. Don't miss the Metropolitan National Park, the Biomuseo and the Casco Viejo as well.
2. Old Panama
For those who like to know local history and culture, Panama Viejo needs to be part of your list. The site brings together the remains of the old city of Panama, which was even the capital of the country in the past.The site has become an archaeological site with ruins of millennial constructions made of stone, such as churches and convents. In the old town, visit the Puente del Matadero ruins and the Cathedral Tower.
3. Santa Catalina and Coiba Island
For travelers who like to catch a wave, the islands of Santa Catalina and Coiba, in the Pacific Ocean, are the best places to practice this activity. The waves in this part of the Pacific are gigantic and transform into very consistent cubes, perfect for the most experienced surfers. The region's scenery is also magical and the beaches are clean, with white sand, transparent waters and coral reefs. Visiting the island of Coiba is also one of the most popular tours in Panama, as the region is home to the Coiba National Park, full of islands, coral reefs, tropical forests and a diversity of animals.
4. Bocas del Toro
Among our tourist tips in Panama, getting to know Bocas del Toro is a rule, especially if you want to practice diving, either scuba diving or snorkeling.The region is famous for its clear waters and also for the rich marine life, which provides incredible experiences for divers and snorkelers. Stay on one of the main or remote islands. There, you can enjoy the most beautiful Caribbean beaches, with white sand and emerald blue sea.
5. San Blas Archipelago
On your trip to Panama, the San Blas Archipelago is one of those places that leaves its visitors speechless. Even though it is not a popular destination for international tourists, this is one of the most beautiful places in the whole country. The archipelago has 365 islands, some inhabited by the local Kuna people and many remain uninhabited. With postcard-worthy scenery, the destination is perfect for those looking for days of peace, adventure and beautiful landscapes. One of the most recommended activities there is snorkeling, as it is easy to see various marine species, such as colorful fish, starfish and corals. You may also take a boat or sailboat trip to admire the natural beauties of its islands. In this area, don't miss the Cayos Holandeses island, considered by the locals themselves to be the most beautiful island in the archipelago.
6. Darien National Park
For those who enjoy contact with pristine nature, the Darien National Park is a must-see. This reserve is considered the largest green area in the country and the second largest in Central America. When it comes to choosing interesting things in Panama, visit this almost untouched region of tropical forests on the border of Colombia. The park is home to more than 300 species of birds, such as harpy eagles, macaws and many others.Darien is also called the home of the indigenous Embera, Wounan and Kuna people, as well as being one of the best birding spots on the planet. We offer access to several jungle lodge and camps for those interested in bird watching, nature viewing, and jungle trekking.
7. Chiriqui Highlands
Chiriqui is the country’s “breadbasket” contains some of the most breathtaking highland scenery in Central America. After arrival to David Airport, you continue to the Eastern side of Baru Volcano, where you can the next three nights in the atmospheric town of Boquete. The town is surrounded by coffee plantations, flower rich towns, and orchid filled forests.
Accommodation in Panama
Throughout the country, you will find accommodation for all tastes and budgets, from luxury resorts to hostels, which offer a certain amount of comfort at very affordable prices. So, first of all, define the style of your trip, to find out how much you can invest in accommodation.
Panama offers a variety of activities, whether you want to unwind or seek for discovery and adventure. Panama is one of the most enjoyed travel destinations in Central America, and it's easy to see why with its friendly and welcoming inhabitants, exquisite food, and breathtaking natural beauty.
Therefore, Panama should be on your list of potential destinations if you're looking for your next big adventure. With so much to offer, you'll undoubtedly come home with lifelong memories.