Best Places to Visit in Panama

Panama’s top destinations are a unique mix of Caribbean islands in Bocas del Toro, mountainous highlands such as El Valle de Anton, and the cosmopolitan capital of Panama City. With destinations this unique, it's no surprise that Panama's top things to do are equally diverse and range from forested hikes and white-water rafting, to sunbathing and snorkeling.

Panama City Panama
Panama City

Gulf of Panama and Canal Zone

You don’t have to travel far to find incredible natural attractions. Near downtown, you can visit the Parque Natural Metropolitano, which protects a tropical forest. You can tour the canal’s locks and islands, where monkeys and birds chatter in the treetops. Many travelers leave from Panama City to visit some of the nearby surfing beaches.

See the history of the city in Casco Viejo — the original city center. It mesmerizes visitors with its wrought iron balconies and cobblestone streets, with buildings that blend Spanish and French architectural influences. In Panama Viejo, you can see carefully preserved ruins including the iconic cathedral tower.

Boquete Panama

Western Highlands

There are several must-see attractions for spotting wildlife. Go birdwatching around the preserve called the Sendero Los Quetzales, and stroll through the Paradise Gardens to see monkeys like white-faced capuchins and tamarins, as well as exotic birds like toucans. There’s also zip lining and horseback riding.

When you’re ready to get pampered, head to the hot springs for a relaxing spa experience. Many of the hotels and lodges emphasize the health-giving properties of the environment with their own on-site spas. Most of the mid-range and upscale accommodations come with beautifully kept gardens and bucolic views of the surroundings.

El Valle de Anton Panama
El Valle de Anton

Central Panama

Explore mountain culture on a trip to the outdoor market in the middle of town. Shop for traditional handicrafts, including Panama hats.

Try out adventures like the zip line that goes past the Chorro Waterfall. Get to know a bit about the history of the area on a walk to the La Piedra Pintada, a boulder festooned with ancient hieroglyphs. Los Pozos Termales offer a convenient place for you to relax in some thermal springs.

Playa Venao Panama
Playa Venao

The Azuero Peninsula

During your stay, find yourself in accommodations that sit right next to the balmy shores. You can also find hotels and resorts that emphasize eco-friendly hospitality. While you’re in Playa Venao, you can flesh out your itinerary with tours that explore the history and culture of the Azuero Peninsula.

Bocas Town Panama
Bocas Town

Bocas del Toro Province

Leave from Bocas Town on tours to the surrounding islands. From here, you’ll visit the Cayo Zapatillas. It’s home to the Cayo Coral, which is one of the top attractions for snorkeling. Isla Bastimentos is home to mangroves and a beach where sea turtles come ashore.