This is the ideal trip for a first-time visit to Panama. Throughout this adventure, you will get to experience many of the unique traits of Panama, and truly come to understand why it is such a great destination. The country is blessed with stunning Caribbean beaches, exotic tropical jungles, Pacific surf, colonial history and a 21st Century capital city. The Panamanian Highlights itinerary will give you an opportunity to visit many of Panama’s main attractions over the course of 8 days.
The Panama Highlights will discover much more than just the Canal! After customs and baggage claim, head towards the Arrivals area, where a representative will meet you and assist you with the transfer to your centrally located hotel.
Panama’s iconic capital city and commercial centre is like nowhere else in Central America; where big business and giant skyscrapers meet cobbled colonial streets and a mix of cultures formed by centuries of immigration and trade. It can seem chaotic at times, but there’s plenty of fun to be had, especially around the vibrant UNESCO-listed Old Town – Casco Viejo – where many of the best bars, restaurants and hotels are found.
Home to the country’s main airport and located on the Pacific Coast, within a couple of hours you could find yourself lazing by the beach, exploring lush rainforests or sailing along the famous Panama Canal. Take a look at some of the hand-picked experiences to make the most of your time in this unique city.
Transfer to the domestic airport in the city to board the flight to David City, then take a ground transfer to Boca Chica for an escape in the Pacific.
The Gulf of Chiriquí is one of the highlights of Panama’s Pacific Coast, encompassing 25 islands across both the Coiba National Park and Golfo de Chiriquí National Park. The area is home to a unique maritime ecosystem, with some 19 coral reefs in the surrounding waters, and snorkelers and divers can spot dolphins, sea turtles, starfish and even humpback whales throughout part of the year. The islands are home to a variety of animals and birds, as well as a good selection of luxury resorts for those looking to stay a while in this beautiful part of the world.
Alternatively, you can choose to visit Golfo de Chiriqui as a day trip, by boat or seaplane from mainland Panama.
The next day, you are free to enjoy some leisure time in Boca Chica. This will give you some time to enjoy the islands.
In the morning, transfer to Boquete for a nice retreat in the mountainous area. In the afternoon, you will enjoy a coffee tour.
Boquete is a picturesque mountain town on the edge of the beautiful Barú Volcano National Park. With a cool climate and a welcoming small-town atmosphere, it makes a lovely break from the busy cities and the heat of the coast. The area is an outdoor-lover’s dream, with a variety of nature trails to explore, as well as opportunities for climbing, rafting and canopy tours. The rich, volcanic soil around the town results in some wonderful local produce to enjoy, including one of the world’s most sought-after coffees – Geisha.
Enjoy a visit to a local small coffee farm located in the highlands of Boquete, where you will get a deep hands on experience in the productive process of coffee, from a visit to the fields to hand roasting of beans, besides cupping and tasting.
The next day, Day 5, takes you on an adventure.
In the morning, visit Cangilones Canyon for a fun walk and swimming.
Enjoy a half day adventure to Cangilones Mini-Canyon, a secluded nature paradise located in Gualaca, consisting of unique rock formations that have survived over time and diverse weather conditions. The canyons hosts a local river allowing visitors to swim in the tranquil waters and be adventurous while jumping to the river from up to 12 feet, besides climbing the canyon walls or relaxing in the rock surfaces.
Transfer from Boquete to Almirante, where you will take the boat for Bocas del Toro island. At your arrival you will enjoy a city tour, then continue to your accommodation in Bluff Beach.
An idyllic group of Caribbean islands surrounded by turquoise seas near to the Costa Rican border, Boca del Toro province is undoubtedly one of Panama’s highlights. Here the taxis are all boats, and the gentle pace of life makes a perfect ending to any vacation. Across the six larger islands and countless smaller islets there are dense forests filled with native wildlife, and centuries-old communities still maintaining their traditions, whilst the water is great for swimming and snorkelling.
With some excellent accommodation options and plenty to do if you’re feeling active, you’ll wish you didn’t have to leave ‘Bocas’.
Explore the highlights of Bocas del Toro’s main island, Isla Colon, both on land and from the water. This tour will take you to the famous “Starfish” beach, where you can snorkel around the island reefs and explore the hidden jungle river by boat. You’ll continue to “Isla Pajaros”, or bird island, which the locals say could have been the setting for Jurassic Park, before hopping back into the water to try your hand at Anfibia Boarding. These submersible floats let you glide across the reefs with ease, giving a unique way of experiencing the underwater world.
The following day, for your penultimate day in Panama, you are given leisure time to freely explore and enjoy the island.
As this is your final day it is left free for you to prepare to leave. You will have a transfer which will take you to local airport for your flight back to Panama City and subsequently your departure flight.