Panama is a destination rich in diversity. Cosmopolitan Panama City offers a vibrant mix of modern skyscrapers and historic colonial districts, and was one of the first cities in the Americas – built in the 1500s. Explore the city and take a partial or full transit of the famous Pana Canal waterway, passing through the rainforest and various locks.
Relax on one of many tropical islands in the San Blas islands, or take to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro with its white sands contrasted by lush forests; spot birds in the rainforests of Soberanía and understand local cultures.
Panama offers hundreds of tropical islands and protected coral reefs. The Pacific coast close to Panama City provides perfect beach extensions to a city stay. Further afield lies the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro, with lush forests, rich marine life and white sands. Alternatively, the sun-soaked San Blas islands provide opportunities to snorkel in clear waters, unwind on deserted palm-fringed beaches, and meet indigenous people.
Panama’s incredible biodiversity includes superb birding opportunities, with more than 950 species to spot. Explore the rainforest trails of the Soberanía National Park, such as the famous Pipeline Road, or the cloud forest of Boquete on the slopes of the Baru volcano. Closer to Panama City, the small town of El Valle is surrounded by rugged peaks and forests, while the Metropolitan Park is a tropical forest oasis set within the city’s limits.
Panama is home to some intriguing indigenous communities. The Emberá live in traditional villages in the rainforests of Chagres National Park and are famous for their intricate handwoven baskets and wood carvings. The fiercely independent Kuna reside in an autonomous region which includes the San Blas archipelago. Stays in simple lodges can be arranged to learn about their traditional way of life and brightly coloured mola textiles.
See Panama come alive in this image and video gallery, showing off some of the best areas that you can visit and explore.
Discover the temperatures and rainfall you can expect when visiting the main areas of Panama, along with the best time to travel.
We have collated some of the best books and guides to Panama, to help you make the most of your holiday to the country.
Find out more about what you can expect from travelling in Central America – from internal flights to accommodation standards and local transport.
Learn more about the airlines we use to fly to Central America, chosen for reliability and good service; as well as any available upgrade facilities.
Before travelling to Central America, please read more about the entry requirements for each country, as well as any general health advice.
Get to know our expert Central America tour consultants, their personal recommendations and favourite hotels around the world.