No matter where you are in the narrow Isthmus of Panama, you’ll never be far from the sea. This country has both Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Boat tours will bring you the Panama’s most popular spots for marine life observation, and to Panamanian islands with pristine, quiet beaches. Some tours combine a boat tour with a scuba diving or snorkeling excursion. And don’t forget – a boat tour is the only way to truly experience the Panama Canal, as well as its many locks and lovely lakes.
17 Things to Do
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.
7 hrsFrom $189
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.
13 hrsFrom $200
This ferry is a scenic way to get from Panama City to the islands of Contadora and Saboga, which are also known as “Las Perlas.” Las Perlas in English means “The Pearls,” a nickname the islands earned because of their pristine beauty. This is a regular ferry and not a tour boat – it’s simply a lovely way to see the Panama Bay on your way to the islands.
2 hrsFrom $100
This tour covers some of the most interesting parts of the Panama Canal. Lake Gatún makes up a 21-mile section of the canal. This area used to be a lush valley – it was flooded to make a manmade lake between 1906 and 1914.
7 hrsFrom $100
This tour combines snorkeling with a speedy twist. Instead of swimming around the corals, your boat will tow you along as you hang on to a specially designed board. On a deep board tour you’ll see huge schools of fish gathered around coral reefs. The underwater landscape off the coast of Bocas del Toro is varied, and the water is a bright, emerald green.
1 hrFrom $35
This tour will take you to some of the most interesting scenery and culture of coastal Panama. At the outset of the tour you will explore the city of Portobelo. Then the tour continues with a road trip to the coast, and a boat ride to Grande Island.
10 hrsFrom $160
- Elliot H.
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