Tours and Activities in Panama
Panama is a colorful country that offers itself to active and inquisitive travelers. There is no shortage of things to do and the country’s lack of uniformity makes each destination unique and exciting. Travelers can engage with Panama’s natural side by hiking in its forests or snorkeling around its reefs. Visiting historic sites, including crumbling seaside forts and archaic churches, helps travelers appreciate Panama’s cultural elements. Adventurous types can opt for zip-lining, horseback riding or ATV tours. There is truly something for everyone.
Panama’s small size and varied landscapes makes it an ideal place for adventurous activities. These activities are safe, fun, and typically suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Travelers to Panama can enjoy rafting, zip lining, horseback riding, ocean kayaking, scuba diving, and ATV riding. Qualified, professional guides lead the tours and ensure that travelers have a safe and memorable experience.
Culture runs deep in Panama. With historic ruins, lively markets and seven indigenous groups, travelers won’t have any trouble experiencing Panama’s strong cultural dimensions. These tours bring visitors into close contact with the heart of Panamanian culture—they include visits to coffee plantations, historic forts, museums and performing arts centers, and indigenous villages. They are a great way to get a feel for where Panama has been and where it is going.
To truly appreciate a new country, you must first understand it. Educational tours are aimed at helping travelers comprehend the cultural, environmental, and agricultural practices that contribute to Panama’s unique identity. You might take a guided hike in the forest or head off on a birding expedition. You can learn about sea turtles by watching them nest or enroll in a Spanish language course and begin speaking the national language. Whatever you choose, you’ll leave with a better understanding – and appreciation – of Panama.
Travel can be fast-paced and tiring. These tours slow things down and help travelers unwind and enjoy their experience in Panama. Some tours, like spa days and massage treatments, are purely the province of relaxation. Other tours allow travelers to appreciate the country in a leisurely, agreeable manner—they might include a safari float or a boat ride up the Panama Canal.
As the land bridge between Central America and South America, Panama borders both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Its coastline stretches some 1,550 miles (2,490 km) and includes a diverse sampling of beaches and islands. Marine tours allow travelers to enjoy the ocean in a variety of ways – swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, deep-sea fishing, and marine mammal observation. These tours combine the spray of the sea with the rays of the sun and expose travelers to some seriously beautiful areas. You’ll also have the chance to spot a number of marine creatures, including tropical fish, dolphins, manta rays, and whales.
Panama has spectacular natural areas—there are massive forests, extensive coral reefs, mangrove wetlands, and all manner of creatures within the country’s borders. These tours bring travelers face-to-face (or face-to-fin in some cases) with the animals and tropical plants that populate the country. They include hikes with naturalist guides, bird watching expeditions, mangrove tours, turtle nesting, marine mammal observation, and night hikes.
Do you want to try scuba diving but are unsure about plunging into a full certification course? If so, this is the course for you. Discover Scuba, operated by the Panama Dive Center in Santa Catalina, lets you scuba dive without a certification. It’s a great way to learn to use scuba equipment, try diving, and get a quick introduction to the ocean.
Go to the highest point of Panama on this exhilarating Jeep 4x4 tour of Barú Volcano. On a clear day, this chilly volcano peak offers incredible views of both the Caribbean and Pacific. Bundle up and get ready for the off-roading experience of a lifetime.
This tour introduces you to the Guna, one of Panama’s indigenous groups. They have full control of the white-sand islands and blue waters of San Blas and govern themselves independent of the rest of Panama. On this tour, you’ll visit two of the 365 islands that comprise the archipelago.
Panama ToursBoat ToursGuided ToursCulturalMarine WildlifeCommunitySnorkelingEducationalScuba DivingZip LinesLeisureHikingNature WalkCoffee TourCity TourFresh Water FishingSpecies ExhibitsHot SpringsBeach TripHistoricMuseumAdventureRaftingKayakingCave ExplorationATV ToursBird WatchingAerial TramArcheologyPhotography
AttractionsPanama CanalBarú Volcano National ParkGatún Locks Panama CanalGulf of Chiriqui National Marine ParkCoiba National ParkSoberanía National ParkRed Frog Beach
Frequently asked questions
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- What adventure activities are there in Panama?
Panama’s geographic terrain is ideal for exciting activities, including zip-lining, kayaking, horseback riding, surfing, scuba diving, and white-water rafting. The availability of these activities depends on the destination. The area surrounding Boquete has excellent hiking, zip lining, horseback riding, and white-water rafting. Surfing is good in Bocas del Toro, Santa Catalina and along much of the Azuero Peninsula. Kayaking is also popular in these areas, as is scuba diving, particularly in Coiba National Park near Santa Catalina.
- I haven't tried some of these activities. Is that a problem for my trip to Panama?
No. Although some travelers may have experience with adventure activities, many do not. Professional and friendly guides will help you become comfortable with the sport. Everyone has to start somewhere – whether it’s riding your first wave on a surfboard or your first white-water rapid on a raft – and we ensure that you can try out any of these activities out as a beginner. They are fun, safe, and exhilarating.
- What are the top activities in Panama?
Many of Panama’s top activities involve outdoor exploration. Panama’s national parks and reserves are perfect for hiking or bird watching. River rafting is popular in some areas, and the country’s coastline lends itself towards swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and fishing. Other activities include trips to historic sites such as the Panama Canal and visits to indigenous villages, such as those in Guna Yala.