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Things to do in

Panama City

Thanks to its ideal location, this Central American city boasts both tropical escapes and cultural highlights.

Our most recommended things to do in Panama City

Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

1. Panama: All-Inclusive Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise

Meet at Fuerte Amador to begin your all-inclusive day tour on a catamaran. Take a 45-minute cruise to the Island of Taboga and enjoy breathtaking views of the Panama City skyline, Cinta Costera, and ships waiting to cross the Panama Canal while having light snacks. After reaching Taboga, sail to the backside of the island to a secret spot where an amazing bay with beautiful natural views is waiting for you. Have the opportunity to jump off the boat and have your first swim. There is also stair access from the boat to the water in case you don't feel like diving right in. After some water fun, climb back into the boat to enjoy a cold beer and lie in the boat's nets or dance with the crew while you sail towards the town side of the island. Dock so you can head to the beach and visit the small village of Taboga. Spend time on the beach relaxing or getting a game of volleyball in. After your beach and town visit, hop back aboard for a delicious lunch that includes chicken with veggies, parsley rice, vegetable salad, potato salad, and oleo pasta. If the wind conditions are right, open the sails and continue the party as you cruise along the open water.

Panama City: Half Day City and Panama Canal Tour

2. Panama City: Half Day City and Panama Canal Tour

Enjoy 2 hours at the fascinating Panama Canal before exploring Panama City's history and sights. Discover 4 levels of exhibitions about the Canal at the Miraflores Visitor Center.  Take a panoramic drive along the Ancon foothills where you can take in the lush greenery and learn about the area's importance during the world wars. Stop at the Amador Causeway for a chance to get some incredible photos of the city, try one of its best ceviche places, have some amazing homemade ice cream, or do some shopping. Walk through the streets of the Old Town and visit the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Antigua. Take a guided walk, ending in the Plaza de Francia on the old walls that protected the city from invasion over the years.

Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

3. Panama City: 4-Day Island Hopping San Blas Adventure

Discover what local life is like in San Blas on this 4-days island hopping tour. Get to know the beautiful islands of this Central American paradise, and enjoy the white sand beaches and turquoise ocean. You may choose the standard transportation option which allows for a maximum of 6 passengers per vehicle, or choose the upgraded transport option to travel in a little more comfort with a maximum of 4 passengers per vehicle. Day 1 Pickup from selected hotels in Panama City begins at 5:20 AM. After pickup, you will stop by a supermarket in case you want to buy snacks or drinks. Then, head to the San Blas hills. The journey takes about 2.5 hours and is followed by a 30-minute boat ride to Ina island where you will sleep and have lunch and dinner. Pay a visit to a natural swimming pool and sample some fresh local lobster for dinner during lobster season. Day 2 After breakfast, enjoy a hiking tour in the San Blas jungle up to a waterfall. Spot monkeys, sloths, many birds, and iguanas. Come back to Ina Island for lunch and then take your boat to the 2nD Island Aroma. Relax and discover this island at your own pace. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Day 3 After breakfast, take a boat to Perro Chico island where you will sleep. You will first visit Iguana Island where you can kayak all around and visit another natural swimming pool. Once in Perro Chico, take your snorkel gear and visit the sunken boat which is just in front of the island and full of tiny colored fishes. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. Day 4 After breakfast, take a boat back to Panama City. Breakfast is included.

Panama City: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

4. Panama City: Money Heist and San Blas Islands Day Trip

Be collected from your accommodation in Panama City between 5:20 AM and 6:00 AM to start the day trip. Drive 2.5 hours to San Blas Port, Carti, and then take a local Panga boat to the first of the San Blas islands. Here, enjoy a light breakfast of fresh fruit and take some time to sunbathe with provided umbrellas, beach chairs, and towels. You can also use kayaks or paddleboards to explore the island surroundings. Afterward, enjoy a lunch of fresh fish, rice, and salad. After lunch, sail onwards to Perro Chico, known as the best snorkeling spot in the San Blas Islands. Here, you can see a variety of colorful fish species and a sunken boat. Next, visit Island Pelicano, made famous by the Netflix series Money Heist. Finally, head to the natural swimming pool. This is a bank of sand in the middle of the ocean where you can walk or swim around to find your starfish. At 3:30 PM, sail back towards the port and return to Panama City in the evening.  On weekends, before coming back to the port, you'll visit one of the largest communities in San Blas to witness a traditional dance put on by locals.

From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

5. From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

Spend the day exploring the Panama Canal, learning about its history and creation. Visit the museum and make your way to the Chagres River to embark on a boat ride across Gatun Lake. Get picked up at your hotel or other location in Panama City, and journey to the Panama Canal Visitors Center for a detailed explanation about how the canal and famous Miraflores Locks work. Visit the museum to learn more about this important water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Return to the vehicle and pass Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to the town of Gamboa. Upon arrival at the Chagres River, climb aboard for a scenic boat trip across artificial Gatun Lake. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal. Watch the large ships passing through the canal to get a sense of the magnitude of this masterpiece of engineering. Arrive at a group of islands to see different species of animals and monkeys. Return to Panama City and get dropped off at your hotel.

Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

6. Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup at 7:00 AM. Travel west of Panama City to start your exploration of the Panama Canal. Embark on a 90-minute boat tour on the Canal and Gatun Lake. Ride along the canal and get an up-close view of the ships passing through as well as the abundant wildlife along the shores. Visit the famous Monkey Islands, where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Then, head 45 minutes north to the Caribbean side of Panama to visit the Agua Clara Visitor Center to see the new expansion locks operating up-close. Observe transiting vessels passing through the Agua Clara Locks on the way to the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean from a scenic lookout point. Learn first-hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in world markets, and the importance of its watershed. Make your way to a scenic and quiet spot beneath the Gatun Dam and have a picnic lunch at the fork of the French West Diversion Channel and the Chagres River. Next, travel to San Lorenzo National Park, where you can visit a remote rainforest full of flora and fauna, followed by a tour of Fort San Lorenzo. Discover a 400-year-old Spanish fort on a scenic cliff overlooking the Caribbean. Hear about the many attacks by pirates and privateers at one of the most historically important places in Panama. Finally, be returned to your hotel in Panama City.

Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

7. Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

Begin your full-day excursion with an hour-long drive from Panama City to the Chagres National Park. Established in 1984, the park comprises 334,000 acres of forest, lakes and rivers. Enjoy a traditional piragua boat ride on the Chagres River, followed by a half-hour walk through the jungle to a waterfall that’s hidden from civilization. Enjoy some free time at the waterfall to swim and relax, and then head back to the boat. Continue to an indigenous Embera village, where you’ll learn about their culture. Listen to a speech by the chief or one of the leaders of the community while enjoying some seasonal fruits, then taken in a live performance of traditional music and dance.

Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

8. Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

Starting the day early will give you the chance to learn even more about the Panama Canal. Skip the traffic and arrive at the Miraflores Locks visitor center when it opens, so you can watch the action in peace. After the canal, head to Casco Viejo, the second city of Panama built in 1673. Walk around and enjoy the architecture and hear about its historical relevance.  Drive over the Bridge of the Americas for amazing views. Stop at the viewpoint to hear more about Panama City and its future. The Amador Causeway, Panama City's bustling boardwalk, is one of the most refreshing places in the city. End the tour with some recommendations for lunch and further exploration from your guide, leaving you with the tools to get the most out of your visit to this beautiful and modern city.

From Panama City: Rainforest Zipline Adventure

9. From Panama City: Rainforest Zipline Adventure

Get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling zipline adventure through the Panamanian rainforest. After getting picked up from your hotel in Panama City, head to Gatun Lake for your ziplining adventure. Discover different ziplines across a 2-kilometer route that offers spectacular views of the rainforest and maximum safety and security.

6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

10. 6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

Experience the Panama Canal in the most authentic way, by crossing it on board a ship. This 6-hour tour from Panama City will take you to the world famous Miraflores Locks, where you can watch huge ocean-going vessels transiting the canal just a few feet away. Your partial Panama Canal transit starts with a coach ride to Gamboa, where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. On arrival, board the cruise ship and enter the canal at the north end of Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut, also known as Culebra Cut due to its serpent-like curve, was carved through the Continental Divide, making it one of the canal’s most popular attractions. Travel for 8.2 miles (13.7 kilometers) on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will observe the continuous maintenance that the area requires, and the work in progress for the Panama Canal expansion project. View the new Centennial Bridge before you enter Pedro Miguel Locks. Here your vessel will be lowered 29.5 feet (9 meters) in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks. At Miraflores Locks the vessel will be lowered another 52.5 feet (16 meters) in 2 distinct steps. Once at the Pacific Ocean, sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina to disembark. On the way to Flamenco, pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's spectacular skyline.

Top sights in Panama City

Other Sightseeing Options in Panama City

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What people are saying about Panama City

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,165 reviews

Super easy pickup, great timing to see the ships passing through the Canal (with great advice to hold your spot near the end of the balcony because woah people will try to shove you to get a picture), knowledgeable and very easy going to talk to. Very fortunate to have a small group of three to tour so the four of us got to chat and laugh and share bits of ourselves that would likely get lost in a bigger group. Everything was very smooth. Highly recommend.

It's worth every penny! this was like doing 5 different tours in one! we were a little sad we didn't get to visit the Embera village like some of the reviews say but everything we did was AMAZING! The food for lunch was absolutely delicious and the views were breathtaking! my fiance and my mother joined me both of which get pretty sea sick and both enjoyed themselves, no motion sickness! super smooth boat ride. 10/10 recommend this tour! unforgettable!

The tour was very good, it was the established time and full of good data. The very professional guide despite the rain that kept us busy all the time. Highly recommended to know the history of Panama and some other curious fact, especially if you want to know areas of the old town, do it with someone from the area, since apparently doing it on our own can be somewhat dangerous.

great vibes, beautiful catamaran, smooth ride, and delicious drinks and food on board. would recommend to anyone wanting to spend a day at the beach and meeting new folks. The Taboga village was great and the waters were clear! 10/10 recommend

Virkelig sjov og spændende tur med den bedste guide Dan som virkelig var dygtig til at fortælle historie