DESTINATIONS TO VISIT IN PANAMA

Below you will find a list of places to visit during your visit to Panama. We offer the opportunity to take you and show you most of these locations, contact us for more information.

PANAMA CITY

Panama City is the capital and the most populous of the Republic of Panama. It is located on the Pacific coast at the entrance of the Panama Canal.


Where to go and what to see:


Panama Canal - At the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal is the Miraflores Visitors Center (CVM) which is an expression of the permanent commitment of the Panama Canal Authority to strengthen the public’s knowledge of the Canal. Located on the east side of the Miraflores Locks, the CVM allows the visitor to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn first hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed. 


Ancon Hill (Cerro Ancon) - Cerro Ancon is a 654-foot hill that overlooks Panama City, Panama. From here you can see downtown of Panam City with its majestic skyscrapers, the old town, the port and the Panama Canal. 


Amador Causeway - The Amador Causeway is a road that connects the mainland of Panama City with four islands in the Pacific Ocean that form a small archipelago. These islands are Naos, Perico, Culebra, and Flamenco. The road begins in an area near the southern entrance of the Panama Canal, near the township of Ancón. This causeway was built in 1913 with rocks excavated from Snake Cut during construction of the Panama Canal. The site was originally part of a U.S. military complex known as Fort Amador, established to protect the entrance to the canal. After its ownership was reverted to Panama under the Torrijos-Carter Treaty, the place was transformed into a thriving tourist attraction. Some vestiges of the military installations can still be seen in the area. 


Mi Pueblito - Meaning My Little Village, this little village showcases the prevailing customs, traditions and history of our country. In one place, you can step inside a typical Afro-Caribbean, peasant, or Indian house that showcases the main characteristics of these cultures.


Albrook Mall - It is the largest shopping center in Central America. The mall offers over 750 shops, valet parking, supermarket, cinemas, pharmacies, trains to transport adults and children, more than 100 restaurants in three food courts (terraces, magical zone with carousels), a Casino and lots of fun. You can find everything you need and more. 


Multiplaza Mall - This is the most modern and exclusive shopping center in Panama. With its 64,800 square meters, it offers more than 280 exclusive designer shops, department stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, an area of complete restoration and movie theaters. Keep yourself a little time to stop by Camino Del Sol at Multiplaza. A unique place to enjoy the most prestigious brands in the fashion industry such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier, Carolina Herrera, Bvlgari, Hermes and others. No doubt this is a place where luxury, glamor and fashion are merging to meet the most demanding needs of local and international visitors. 


Biodiversity Museum - Also known as Biomuseo, the museum of life is located on the Amador Causeway. It was designed by renowned Canadian architect Frank Gehry. This is Gehry's first design for Latin America. There are three million years, Panama has changed life around the world. The Biomuseo you tell this fascinating story. 


Panama Railway Company - The Panama Canal Railway is one of the great train rides of the world. Along with its colorful history, the railroad follows a picturesque path across the Isthmus of Panama. The line flanks the Panama Canal passing through lush rainforests, cruising alongside the Canal’s locks, through the historic Gaillard Cut and gliding over slender causeways in Gatun Lake. 


Metropolitan Natural Park - This amazingly accessible park claims to be Latin America's only municipal wildlife reserve, draped luxuriantly across 232 hectares (573 acres) in the city center. Though not exactly pristine (it was a key staging area the 1989 US invasion), it remains a remarkably well-preserved dry tropical forest, one of the world's most threatened biomes, walking distance from the modern city. Though hikers never quite escape the drone of civilization, it's easy to forget when wandering 4km (2.5mi) of trails along the Curundo River and up Mirador Cerro Cedro (150m/492ft), the second highest spot in the city. Squirrel monkeys (mono titis), two- and three-toed sloths, coatis, green iguanas, toucans, and many other animals call the park home. 


Panama Viejo - It is the remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of the country. Panama Viejo is located on the outskirts of the modern city. Together with the historic district of Panama City (Casco Viejo), it forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Abandoned in the mid-17th century, it was replaced by a "new town" (Casco Viejo), which also preserved its original street plan.

CASCO VIEJO

The historic center of Panama, known as Casco Viejo, is the name given to the place where Panama City has been moved and restored in 1673. Initially, it was located on a small peninsula surrounded by rocky reefs. Currently Casco Viejo is part of the district of San Felipe and since 1997, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will find several museums, churches and many other historic monuments.


Where to go and what to see:


Panama Canal Museum - The Museum of the Panama Canal is located in a beautifully restored building that was once the office of the French Canal Company, then the offices of the Isthmian Canal Commission of the United States and in 1912, the main post office. It is filled with objects and information on the planning, construction and current operation of this marvel of engineering that put Panama on the world map. 


Plaza de la Francia - The original main square of the fortified city, Plaza Francia was designed by Leonardo Villanueva and is dedicated to the effort that the French have put to build the Panama Canal and the thousands of people from around the world who have died during the process. An obelisk topped by a French Coque crowns the monument and a dozen marble plaques provide details about the canal construction. Around the Plaza are located the famous Las Bóvedas, the French Embassy, the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (National Institute of Culture) and many concessions with souvenirs, food and drinks. 


Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Panama - The National Institute of Culture (Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Panama - INAC) was once the building of the Supreme Court and now houses a small theater (Anita Villalaz) and events throughout the year such as theatrical representations, concerts and conferences. The building is not usually open to the public. 


Las Bóvedas - These are the dungeons or vaults that originally were part of the fortification wall around Casco Viejo, they create a border around the Plaza Francia. They were restored in 1983 and are now residing galleries, shops and a nice French restaurant with the same name. 


Teatro Nacional - The National Theatre was opened in 1908 and is built on the site of a 18th century monastery. At the time of its opening, it enjoyed a reputation as a glamorous destination for the elite of the city but gradually it fell into ruin, and at one point it was leased as a cinema. After two separate restoration, one in the 70s and the other in the early 2000s, it was reopened in 2004 and visitors can now enjoy a visit or a performance in its neo-baroque Old-World style. 


Presidential Palace / Palacio de las Garzas - Palacio de las Garzas (Heron's Palace), the official name of the presidential palace, named for the numerous herons that inhabit the building. The original building was constructed in 1673.  


Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus - The ruins of the Convent and Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, is one of the most striking once in Casco Viejo. Back in 1667 it was the home of the Royal Pontifical University of San Javier. In 1781 the church was destroyed by a fire and further damaged by an earthquake in 1882. Panama's government restored the ruins of the convent in 1983 but it is again undergoing reconstruction. 


Iglesia San Jose - This church is located right on Avenida A and famous for the distinctive baroque Altar de Oro (The Golden Altar), which was saved from Panama Viejo and transported into the "new" city. The altar was about the only thing of value salvaged after Henry Morgan sacked Panama Viejo. A priest painted the altar black to disguise it.  

Plaza de la Independencia/ Plaza de la Catedral - Also known as the Plaza Mayor and Plaza Catedral, is the main square in Casco Viejo. The country's independence from Spain and Colombia were celebrated here and sculptures of the founding fathers of Panama are scattered around the place. It includes a large pavilion in the center that hosts occasionally musicians. The square is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings. 


The Cathedral Metropolitana - The magnificent Cathedral of Panama, one of the largest in Central America, was completed in 1796 and virtually abandoned until a major renovation in 2003. Today it is located on Plaza Catedral (Independence Square) and is one of the main points of interest in Casco Viejo. The two towers on either side of the main entrance are encrusted with mother-of-pearl from the Pearl Islands that provide an interesting architectural contrast to the huge stone entrance wall and wooden doors. The interior is large, but modestly decorated besides the impressive altar made of marble. 


The Flat Arch / El Arco Chato & Church of Santo Domingo / Iglesia de Santo Domingo - Originally built in the 17th century, the church and convent of Santo Domingo were never rebuilt after a fire destroyed them in 1756 The only thing that survived for centuries, was flat Arc (Arco Chato) located at the entrance of the church. The Arc was a testimony to the fact that Panama was spared of significant seismic activity and was instrumental in building a major channel in the region. It eventually collapsed on a Friday night in November 2003, mainly due to age and negligence. Currently, the ruins of Santo Domingo are being restored and eventually will provide a space for cultural and artistic presentations. 


The Fish Market (El Mercado del Mariscos) - This is the main fish market of the city, open for business to the local restaurants and the public every day except the 3rd Monday of each month. This is the best place to buy fresh fish in Panama City. You will find everything from tuna to snapper, from lobster to octopus. Or, if you wish, you can buy a good ceviche from one of the many vendors. It is very busy with a lot of energy as a true open market and It includes a great casual restaurant upstairs.

GAMBOA

Gamboa is a small town in the heart of the rainforest. It was one of a handful of permanent Canal Zone townships, built to house employees of the Panama Canal and their dependents.


Where to go and what to see:


Aerial Tram at the Gamboa Rainforest - See the rainforest from a breathtaking perspective, while sitting comfortably in our Swiss-engineered aerial tram system. Gliding smoothly through the treetops, you will experience the sounds and peace of the tropical rainforest firsthand. The 1.2-kilometer ride culminates at a hilltop where you have the opportunity to visit the Observation Tower. After walking up the spiral ramp, you will discover a beautiful panoramic view.


Summit Botanical Garden and Zoo - This great little zoo and botanical garden is located in the national park Soberanía. Among its popular residents are jaguars, scarlet macaws, tapirs and monkeys - all housed in their natural habitats. The most popular exhibit in the zoo is home to the harpy eagle. This species, also the national bird of Panama, is the largest bird of prey in the world and can reach weights of 20 pounds and claim to a wingspan of seven feet. Summit Garden is also known for its collection of palm trees, one of the most diverse in the world. 

COLÓN

Colón is a port city on the coast of the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic) in Panama. The city lies at the entrance to the Caribbean Sea of the Panama Canal. It is the capital of the province of Colón and has always been known as the second largest city in Panama.


Where to go and what to see:


Portobelo - Portobelo is a port city in Colón Province, Panama, established during the Spanish colonial period. Located on the northern part of the Isthmus of Panama, it has a deep natural harbor and was used as a center for silver exporting before the mid-eighteenth century and destruction in the War of Jenkins' Ear. It slowly rebuilt and the city's economy revived briefly in the late nineteenth century during construction of the Panama Canal. But, today Portobelo is a sleepy city with a population of fewer than 3,000. In 1980 the ruins of the Spanish colonial fortifications, along with nearby Fort San Lorenzo, were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is also the church of the famous statue of the Black Christ. 


Fort San Lorenzo - Fort San Lorenzo is one of America's oldest Spanish fortresses. It was built in 1597 and was part of the city walls used to defend the opening of the Chagres, a stream which, at the time, was used as a transportation route to reach the post Venta de Cruces and then Camino de Cruces leading to the city of Panama. This is a magnificent example of the former military architecture, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site  since 1980. 


Isla Grande - Isla Grande is the furthest point north of Panama. It is a picturesque island in a Caribbean setting surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefs. Sun, sea, Caribbean food made from coconut milk and beautiful waves for surfing are the main attractions. As you walk from one end to the other of the island, you will discover different musical environments that invite you to sit in a restaurant or bar. However, if the music is not enough to convince you, go to the lighthouse where you can admire spectacular views. 


Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center, Agua Clara Locks - Discover the next 100 years of the Panama Canal at the Expansion Observation Center, located in the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. Witness history in the making while observing the construction of the new locks of the Panama Canal, one of the most important infrastructure projects of the early 21st century. Immersed in a tropical forest and from an unrivaled viewpoint (50 meters above the Panama Canal), visitors can enjoy two different views of the waterway: Gatun Lake and the Expansion construction site. Right next to it, visitors can also observe ships in Gatun Lake on their way to the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. A short movie details the story of the waterway and its Expansion project. The Expansion Observation Center also has an ecological trail, where visitors can discover Panama’s amazing tropical wildlife.

THE BEACHES

This area of the Pacific coast southeast of Panama City was nicknamed "The Beaches" by the large expat community that lives there. It extends from Punta Chame to Playa Blanca. The region is home to numerous towns, gated communities and beautiful beaches.


Where to go and what to see:


Punta Chame - The small fishing village of Punta Chame is located on the Pacific coast. The unique geography of the peninsula of Punta Chame results in over 22 miles of white sandy beaches. Views of the emerald mountains, on grazing land, the bay and the ocean can be enjoyed from Punta Chame during the day. At night the city lights twinkle in the distance from Panama. This area is a paradise for fishing and wind sports, specifically sailing and kite-surfing. It includes also a resort specializing in extreme sports: Nitro City Resort 


Altos de Campana National Park - This national park is located 50 miles from Panama City, in the province of Panama, on the Pacific coast. It was the first national park in Panama, established in 1966, Cerro Campana, high of 850 meters (2,789 feet) is the highest peak of the park, you will find spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Punta Chame, and on clear days, Isla Taboga. The only developed trail of the park, Sendero La Cruz trail, crosses several types of terrain, including tropical and humid forests. The remains of the volcano El Valle de Anton, which erupted the last time 200.000 years ago, are still visible in the fields of lava and igneous rocks that scatter the park. 


Coronado - Coronado has been a popular destination for Panamanians since it was founded in 1940 and became even more popular when the word spread out on the beauty and amenities of this resort town. Tourists come to Coronado for a seaside experience and since this is exactly what they find there, they often come back for vacation. Some like it so much that they buy a vacation condo or settled in the region on a permanent basis. 

EL VALLÉ DE ANTON

El Valle de Antón, generally called El Valle, or Anton's Valley in English, is a town of 4,500 habitants. This picturesque town is nestled in the crater of a giant extinct volcano, and ringed by verdant forests and jagged peaks. El Valle is a popular weekend getaway for urbanites in need of a little fresh air and scenery. With an extensive network of trails, it’s a superb place for walking, hiking or horseback riding. Nearby forests offer excellent bird-watching, and the valleys of El Valle are home to an impressive set of waterfalls as well as some rare golden frogs.


Where to go and what to see:


El Nispero Zoo and Botanical Garden - El Níspero Zoo is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by nature. This zoo is worth seeing if only for its breathtaking scenery. You will find many native animals in Panama and Latin America. Birds tapirs and monkeys to horses, Níspero offers a wide variety of interesting animals to see up close. The most popular attraction of the zoo is the golden frog is currently endangered. The golden frog is a native of Panama, particularly in the area of El Valle. You can see the golden frogs inside a large tank in the center of an exhibition hall that houses many types of frogs and toads. The little golden frog is hard to detect at first glance, be patient and search well to find it.


Chorro El Macho - Walk through the rainforest jungle to see the famous Chorro el Macho falls (85m high), you can also swim in a large natural swimming pool made of rocks, surrounded by rainforest and fed by river water.


Butterfly Heaven - Immerse yourself amongst the beauty and tranquility of many hundreds of living, jewel colored butterflies. Stroll through the screened tropical exhibit house and grounds and learn about these amazing creatures from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis and finally, to dazzling adult.


El Vallé Market - Here you can find fresh fruit, vegetables and various local crafts and souvenirs. This is one of the most popular markets in Panama.

KUNA YALA (SAN BLAS)

Although commonly known as the Archipelago of San Blas, the semi-autonomous region, or comarca, is named after the Kuna Yala, probably the best known indigenous group in Panama. The Kunas are known for their knit culture, colorful clothes and handicrafts such as mola tapestries. More than 300 beautiful islands, dotted with palm trees in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea make up the archipelago in what is really a preserved paradise. San Blas is a very popular cruise stop. However, staying on the islands requires a sense of adventure, as they can be reached only by small plane or boat. The accommodations are rustic and there are few activities other than swimming or relaxing in a hammock. These are also some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

BOCAS DEL TORO

Bocas del Toro is in the northwest corner of the country near the border with Costa Rica, and this is one of the most popular and easily accessible Caribbean destinations with a wide variety of hotels and amenities. The region is characterized by an eclectic mix of indigenous groups, Spanish descendants, Afro-Caribbeans, and, more recently, American and Canadian expatriates. It is also one of the most humid areas of Panama. Apart from a brief dry season in September / October and February / March, the rain is constant, think to bring an umbrella or rain gear. Although there are some beautiful beaches, there are also dangerous currents, and visitors come here especially for diving, snorkeling, boating, see wildlife, or just soak in the bohemian atmosphere of Bocas del Toro, the capital.

ISLA CONTADORA

Isla Contadora is a Panamanian island on the Pearl Islands archipelago in the Gulf of Panama. It covers an area of 1.39 km², making it the 11th largest island in the archipelago. It is the largest and most visited island of the Pearl Islands. It was named after the pearls counting house. It includes 13 spectacular beaches on three sides of this island. Five areas of coral surround the island and offer amazing diving experience where a fascinating marine life includes white tip sharks, lots of various tropical fish, rays and many turtles.

ISLA TOBOGA

Taboga Island, also known as the island of flowers ", is a tropical volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama. Located just a few miles of the coast of Panama City, accessible via a 20 min ferry, with only one road and no traffic on the island, Taboga is a pleasant escape from the bustle of the city of Panama.