The 20 Absolute best Issues to Do in Panama (For Nature Enthusiasts)

Even though it’s however a slip of land positioned in between Costa Rica and Colombia, there are ton of amusing issues to do in Panama together with gazing unique natural world, traveling colonial structure, being awestruck at artifical marvels, and admiring various herbal landscapes.

The tradition of the rustic deep and wealthy, and Panama’s historical past (and pre-history, for that subject) is totally distinctive. 

The Isthmus of Panama is the overall strip of land shaped that separated the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean from the Pacific Ocean just a bit below 300 million years in the past.

This has made Panama a strategic location over the centuries, in addition to a hub for international vacationers (each pre-Colombian and post-colonial).

The land bridge additionally allowed land animals from North and South The united states to move freely between the continents, making it an ecological hotspot within the procedure.

This present day, the rustic is the web site of one of the vital international’s greatest development initiatives and one of the crucial standard Panama vacationer sights, a canal that took over 30 years to construct and now permits 1000’s of vessels to move thru it every 12 months.

Panama is house to almost 1000 species of birds, a number of endangered species, and plenty of animals which are simplest observed in a couple of different puts on this planet.  

There also are volcanoes, secluded Caribbean islands, and indigenous populations.

Right here’s a take a look at our alternatives for the 20 Absolute best Issues to Do in Panama, with a focal point on sights geared to nature and historical past fans.

READ MORE: 10 Latin The united states Ecotourism Adventures (For Your International Go back and forth Bucket Listing)

Caco Viejo in Panama City at Sunset - Panama Tourist Attractions
Caco Viejo in Panama Town at Sundown by way of Canva


  1. Casco Viejo (Panama Town)
  2. Punta Culebra Nature Middle (Panama Town)
  3. Biomuseo (Panama Town)
  4. Miraflores Locks and/or Agua Clara Locks (Panama Canal)
  5. Chagres River (Panama Canal)
  6. Portobelo Nationwide Park (Panama Canal)
  7. Emberá Village (Panama Canal)
  8. Monkey Island (Panama Canal)
  9. Citadel San Lorenzo (Panama Canal)
  10. Barro Colorado Island (Panama Canal)
  11. Soberania Nationwide Park (Panama Canal)
  12. Bastimentos Island Nationwide Park (Bocos Del Toro)
  13. Finca Los Monos (Bocos Del Toro)
  14. Bocos del Toro Analysis Station (Bocos Del Toro)
  15. Boquete (Panamanian Highlands)
  16. El Valle de Anton (Panamanian Highlands)
  17. Coiba Nationwide Park (Panamanian Highlands)
  18. San Blas Islands (Jap Panama)
  19. Darién Nationwide Park (Jap Panama)
  20. Pearl Islands (Jap Panama)


Panama Town is the capital of the rustic. The bustling city has a graceful, trendy facet this is steadily when put next with Miami, Florida.

It additionally has an enormous “outdated the city” phase stuffed with colonial constructions, church buildings, and plazas which are as spectacular as any you’ll in finding in different portions of Latin The united states. Exploring town is in reality a will have to when touring to Panama.

READ MORE: The 20 Absolute best Caribbeans Islands to Discuss with (If You Love Nature & Hate Crowds)

Palacio Bolivar in Casco Viejo, Things to do in Panama City Panama
Palacio Bolivar in Casco Viejo, Panama Town Panama by way of Canva

1. Casco Viejo 

Casco Viejo (the Outdated Quarter) was once firstly evolved within the sixteenth century and secure by way of partitions after the Welsh pirate Captain Henry Morgan attacked and looted the Outdated Town in 1671.

The realm regularly declined into decay and risk till UNESCO declared it a International Heritage Website in 1997.

It has since turn into one of the vital tops issues to do in Panama Town, Panama– a cultural melting pot with nice retail outlets, cafés, structure, and open-air plazas.

READ MORE: The 20 Absolute best Puts to Discuss with in Central Ameria (for Nature Enthusiasts)

Poison Dart Frog in Panama Things to Do
Poison Dart Frog in Panama by way of Canva

2. Punta Culebra Nature Middle

Inevitably, a shuttle to Panama goes to focus on the rustic’s superb choice of cool and peculiar animals. A capital town won’t appear the likeliest of puts to start out.

However the Punta Culebra Nature Middle (one among 3 Smithsonian Institute initiatives in this checklist) is just right for youngsters, boasting strolling trails with unbelievable natural world and contact swimming pools.

There’s additionally a perfect show off at the frogs of Panama, of which there are just about 200 species.

READ MORE: What’s Ecotourism? (The Historical past & Rules of Accountable Go back and forth)

Things to do in Panama City Panama - Biomuseo
Biomuseo by way of

3. Biomuseo 

Part of the rationale you’ll wish to consult with the Biomuseo in Panama Town is to appreciate the development itself.

The museum was once designed by way of mythical architect Frank Gehry, and this is a vividly colourful hodgepodge of angular roofs, peaks, and home windows.

It’s positioned proper at the water and lines 8 galleries that permit guests to discover all issues Panama, together with biodiversity, geology, and sociology.

READ MORE: 40 Inexperienced Go back and forth Guidelines (The Final Information to Sustainable Go back and forth)


Simply the number 1 vacationer appeal in Panama, the Panama Canal is each a captivating piece of historical past and a terrific feat of human ingenuity and perseverance.

However the query many vacationers have is, what precisely is there to do there? Because it seems, there’s slightly so much happening…

READ MORE: The 30 Absolute best Unique Islands to Discuss with (For Your International Go back and forth Bucket Listing)

Panama Canal - Things to do in Panama
Panama Canal by way of Canva

4. Miraflores Locks and/or Agua Clara Locks 

Those locks of the Panama Canal are extremely fascinating. No longer simplest do guests find out about how visitors transitions out and in of the canal, however they get to witness large ships passing during the locks.

Miraflores handles ships at the Pacific facet, whilst Agua Clara works the Atlantic access level.

Each locks have spectacular customer facilities with commentary decks, eating places, and loads of details about Panama Canal historical past.

READ MORE: 20 Absolute best Small Send Cruises (For Your International Go back and forth Bucket Listing)

Sunset over Chargres River and Panama Canal - Panama places to visit
Sundown over Chargres River and Panama Canal by way of Canva

5. Chagres River

The Chagres River is the principle water supply feeding the Panama Canal.

There are widespread boat excursions alongside the river, the place vacationers can spot local natural world equivalent to monkeys and sloths, in addition to see the depths of the rainforest.

The damming of the Chagres to create the Panama Canal concurrently created Lake Gatun, which was once the greatest lake on this planet on the time. It steadily options in boat excursions as effectively.

READ MORE: 20 Longest Rivers within the International by way of Continent (For Your International Go back and forth Bucket Listing)

Portobelo Ruins - things to see in Panama
Portobelo Ruins by way of Canva

6. Portobelo Nationwide Park 

Excluding its 86,000 acres protective necessary coral reefs and coastal forests, Portobelo Nationwide Park may be house to the ruins of a Spanish castle.

Now a UNESCO International Heritage Website, the castle traditionally secure the wealth-laden town of San Felipe de Portobelo and the Panamanian isthmus from pirates.

The park additionally has mangroves, seashores, and lagoons the place 4 other species of sea turtles come to nest every 12 months. 

READ MORE: 25 Largest Forests within the International (For Your International Bucket Listing)

Embera Puru Panama places to visit
Embera Puru by way of

7. Emberá Village

Even though the Emberá folks originated within the jungles of Darien Hole (and feature lived there for hundreds of years), one tribe has moved northward to the Chagres River.

Right here they’ve arrange a village, Emberá Puru, with a purpose to have a greater high quality of lifestyles, together with such things as get right of entry to to fashionable drugs, secondary faculty, and secure source of revenue.

That source of revenue is derived basically from ecotourism, and fortunate guests get a possibility to look most of the traditions and customs in their historical way of living.

READ MORE: Ecotourism in Costa Rica: The Final Eco Go back and forth Information

Mantled Howler Monkey - Monkey Island Panama - places to go in Panama
Mantled Howler Monkey with child by way of Canva

8. Monkey Island

Positioned in Lake Gatun, Monkey Island is house to 4 species of monkeys which are local to Panama, together with the White-Confronted Capuchin, Mantled Howler, Geoffroy’s Tamarin, and Lemurine Owl.

Excursions used to incorporate feeding and teasing the monkeys, however fortuitously such irresponsible habits has now been limited. 

Vacationers and guides alike are simplest intended to look at now.

It’s additionally imaginable to look toucans, crocodiles, sloths, turtles, iguanas, and different natural world there as effectively.

READ MORE: 15 Destructive Traditions & Cultural Practices Vacationers Must By no means Fortify

Fort San Lorenzo - Panama sightseeing
Citadel San Lorenzo by way of Canva

9. Citadel San Lorenzo

On the mouth of the Chagres River, throughout from Portobelo, you’ll in finding the opposite a part of the realm’s UNESCO designation: Citadel San Lorenzo.

It, too, was once erected to offer protection to Spanish industry routes. No longer lengthy after being built, it was once sacked by way of British pirate Sir Francis Drake.

Round 75 years later, Captain Henry Morgan completed the activity. The castle was once rebuilt in 1680, however were given destroyed once more by way of the British 60 years after that.

It was once rebuilt yet another time and nonetheless stands these days, with stone partitions, black cannons, an empty moat, and a large number of ancient lore.

READ MORE: The 15 Absolute best UNESCO International Heritage Websites in the US (For Nature/Historical past Enthusiasts)

Tree Frog on Barro Colorado Island - Panama canal tourism
Tree Frog on Barro Colorado Island by way of Canva

10. Barro Colorado Island

Barro Colorado Island was once shaped on the advent of Lake Gatun. In a while thereafter, the 3700-acre island was a Smithsonian tropical analysis station.

It has now been running for over 100 years, making it one of the vital oldest medical analysis amenities on this planet.

Greater than 400 scientists consult with once a year with a purpose to find out about in its residing laboratory.

There also are strolling trails with dozens of commentary spots for guests to revel in.

READ MORE: 40 Wonderful Costa Rica Animals

Wild Capybara in Soberania National Park of Gamboa Panama
Wild Capybara in Soberania Nationwide Park of Gamboa Panama by way of Canva

11. Soberania Nationwide Park 

Positioned not up to 20 miles outdoor of Panama Town, Soberania Nationwide Park is the true deal in relation to tropical rainforest.

It’s house to over 100 species of mammals, over 500 species of birds, just about 80 sorts of reptiles, and over 50 amphibians.

It additionally has the Rainforest Discovery Middle, which provides guests a treetop-clearing commentary tower in addition to the famend Pipeline Street.

Cover Tower, an award-winning birding eco resort, may be positioned inside the park.

READ MORE: 25 Maximum Ordinary & Distinctive Accommodations within the International (In your International Go back and forth Bucket Listing)


Within the Caribbean waters simply southeast of the Costa Rican border, Bocos del Toro is an archipelago that has turn into one of the vital best possible puts to consult with in Panama for nature fans.

There are nice seashores, blue water, and loads of issues to do in Bocas del Toro, specifically within the journey trip area.

READ MORE: The Final Tortuguero Nationwide Park, Costa Rica Go back and forth Information

Bastimentos Island National Park Panama
Coral Key on Bastimentos Island, Panama by way of Canva

12. Bastimentos Island Nationwide Park

When visiting Bocos del Toro, the nationwide park on Isla Bastimentos and past must most sensible your checklist of items to do.

It’s most renowned for the Zapitillas Cays, two uninhabited islands surrounded by way of coral reef, which might be nice for snorkeling and recognizing colourful fish in addition to dazzling coral formations.

Moreover, the park has mangroves to discover and Playa Larga, a well-recognized web site for nesting sea turtles. 

READ MORE: Invasive Species Listing: 10 Damaging Species You Can Devour

Yellow and green strawberry Poison Dart Frog on Isla Colon Bocas del Toro, Panama
Yellow and inexperienced strawberry Poison Dart Frog on Isla Colon Bocas del Toro, Panama by way of Canva

13. Finca Los Monos

As stunning because the herbal setting may also be in Panama (specifically on its Caribbean islands), every so often seeing what people could make of all of it is amusing as effectively.

Finca Los Monos is a privately funded botanical lawn at the archipelago’s greatest island, Isla Colon. It teems with animals, in addition to sparsely cultivated gardens.

The farm additionally focuses a perfect deal on customer schooling.

READ MORE: What’s Permaculture Gardening? An Intro to Permaculture Gardening Tactics

Caiman in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Caiman in Tortuguero Nationwide Park, Costa Rica by way of Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

14. Bocos del Toro Analysis Station

It’s onerous to forget about the Smithsonian’s techniques all through the rustic, and Bocos del Toro Analysis Station is every other spectacular one of the puts to move in Panama.

Excursions come with talks concerning the myriad vegetation and animals that reside within the ecosystems of coral reefs and mangroves and sea grasses.

Are living animals, equivalent to iguanas, caiman, turtles, and lizards, also are discovered on-site.

READ MORE: 10 Eco Classes in Quotes from the Lorax (Dr Seuss’ Conservation Vintage)


A stupendous break out from an another way steamy nation, the highlands of southwestern Panama (close to the Costa Rica border) be offering cool climate, stunning surroundings, and distinctive stories.

It’s an exquisite land stuffed with volcanoes, espresso, and world-class mountaineering trails.

READ MORE: Absolute best Espresso within the International (A Gourmand’s Information to 30 Forms of Espresso)

Things to do in Boquete Panama
Boquete Panama by way of Canva

15. Boquete

As soon as rated as the highest spot on this planet for American citizens to retire, there are many amusing issues to do in Boquete Panama.

Boquete is an enthralling choice of retail outlets, cafes, and eating places.

Guests too can revel in traveling the native espresso farms, white water rafting, mountaineering volcanoes, gazing birds, and ziplining during the woodland cover.

It’s the type of position that invitations other people to linger.

READ MORE: 20 Absolute best Fairs within the International (For Your International Go back and forth Bucket Listing)

El Valle de Anton Panama
El Valle de Anton Panama by way of Canva

16. El Valle de Anton

The UNESCO-protected the city of El Valle de Anton is most renowned for being a volcano crater.

Whilst that turns out outstanding sufficient, there’s if truth be told a lot more on be offering right here.

The realm has a singular micro-climate– a cloud woodland– for a distinct set of animals (most commonly birds) and vegetation (loads of orchids) than you’ll in finding in different portions of Panama.

There also are pre-Colombian petroglyphs, referred to as Los angeles Piedra Pintada, to appreciate. And energetic craft markets fill the city with task at the weekends.

READ MORE: My Silly Mistake Whilst Mountaineering Corcovado Nationwide Park (Costa Rica)

The Prison Ruins on Coiba Island, Panama
The Jail Ruins on Coiba Island, Panama by way of Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

17. Coiba Nationwide Park 

Positioned within the Gulf of Chiriqui, Coiba Nationwide Park (a UNESCO International Heritage Website) covers over 400,000 acres and 38 islands.

For years it was once house to a brutal penal colony for Manuel Noriega’s political prisoners. This stored the realm from building, as many locals believed the realm was once cursed.

Now, the faraway park is well-protected and simplest available by way of allow.

This all equates to pristine rainforests stuffed with natural world, unspoiled seas teeming with cool & bizarre ocean animals, and relatively haunting jail ruins to excursion. 

READ MORE: Coiba Nationwide Park Panama: Shark Diving on the Noriega Jail


Even though it kind of feels counterintuitive as a result of Panama connects North and South The united states, the rustic if truth be told stretches out east and west.

The jap areas are the ones nearest to Colombia, and those lands are rather less tame and extra complete of outside adventures.

READ MORE: Best 20 Nationwide Forests in The united states for Tenting & Mountaineering

Things to see in Panama -San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands Panama by way of Canva

18. San Blas Islands

Of the northeastern coast of Panama, the 378 San Blas Islands are all positioned inside an area of round 100 sq. miles.

Lots of the islands are uninhabited, the quintessential white sand desolate tract islands of our creativeness.

However the higher plots of land had been settled by way of the Kunas, an indigenous staff.

The Kunas have in large part secure their land from motels and different trappings of mass tourism, they usually also have their very own rules and cultural values and symbols. 

READ MORE: The 100 Absolute best Inspirational Go back and forth Quotes to Spark Your Subsequent Journey

Harby Eagle
Harby Eagle by way of Canva

19. Darién Nationwide Park

The Darién Hole– the large swath of jungle alongside the Panama-Colombia border– is impassable for street journeys and in large part stays a no-man’s land because of guerillas.

Then again, Darién Nationwide Park (but every other UNESCO International Heritage Website) is house to a terrific array of natural world, equivalent to macaws, harpy eagles, a number of species of monkey, jaguars, and extra.

It’s additionally house to 2 local tribes.

Even though it’s exceptionally remoted, Panama’s greatest nationwide park may also be accessed from two spots, Santa Cruz de Cana or Cerro Pirre.

READ MORE: Listing of Nationwide Parks by way of State (An Epic Information to “The united states’s Absolute best Concept”)

Sunset on Pearl Islands, Panama
Sundown on Pearl Islands, Panama by way of Canva

20. Pearl Islands

The Pearl Islands are in all probability most renowned for getting used more than one instances as a surroundings for the truth TV sequence Survivor.

Named after the spectacular abundance of pearl oysters discovered within the surrounding waters, the Pearl Islands is a choice of more or less 250 islands within the Gulf of Panama (at the Pacific facet).

All these islands stay uninhabited, however one of the vital higher ones are recognized for his or her luxurious resorts and motels.

The archipelago is extensively liked by way of nature fans for its many remoted seashores, fabulous scuba diving, and lovely whale gazing.  –by way of Jonathon Engels

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