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Things to do in Panama

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Panama is located at a pivotal point between the two continents of North and South America, but also between the modern and the historic, the arid and the lush, the science and nature, the thrill and the tranquil. It's a special place that's worth seeking out, with a wide variety of attractions packed into an area no bigger than South Carolina (around 30,000 square miles). Activities in Panama provide the ideal opportunity for a deep dive into a new culture.

City Life

Panama City is a great example of a modern metropolis, with a magnificent skyline carved out along the water's edge. Its thriving metropolis serves as the country's capital, so it naturally features the kind of cutting-edge amenities one would anticipate in a city of this caliber. Panama City's modernity is made more nuanced by the presence of historic districts like Panama Viejo and Casco Antiguo, which retain their original cobblestone streets.

Plus, no other capital city in the world can boast having a tropical rainforest within the city limits. Minutes from the city center are gorgeous national parks and other natural wonders. In the space of a few minutes, you can take a cab from the city center and be transported to the midst of verdant foliage.

The culinary scene in Panama City is unrivaled, with Michelin-starred restaurants serving foods from throughout the world. You can choose a table on a rooftop overlooking the city lights or a spot on the patio to enjoy a stunning sunset in this UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. The capital isn't the only place to discover delicious food.

The nightlife here is fantastic, so don't waste any time after the sun goes down. Rooftop bars in the Casco Viejo district, upscale open-air venues in the downtown area, and vibrant watering holes along the Amador Causeway are just some of the options available to visitors in Panama City.

You can spend your days in the city browsing the dozens of high-end shopping malls, where you'll find every major department store and all the top-of-the-line luxury brands.

Adventure, Nature & Wildlife

Aside from its extensively studied rainforest, Panama also features miles of pristine beaches, cloud forests atop a steep mountain range, and an offshore world teeming with marine life and coral reefs, making it one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth.

The government of Panama has set aside 30% of the country for national parks and wildlife reserves, making the country a prime destination for anyone interested in exploring the great outdoors.

Panama's unexplored wilderness is a pleasant surprise for travelers. You won't believe your luck when you discover how easy it is to get across the country and how close you can get to wildlife and the great outdoors without having to fight your way through hordes of people.

You may go deep sea fishing, diving, or even deep mountain climbing in Panama. Panama's unexplored backroads, trails, and beaches are where real exploration and adventure can be found. Yoga retreats, spa treatments, and even thermal baths can all be found in these tranquil areas.

History & Culture

Panama is a rich melting pot of cultures thanks to its ability to successfully weave together individuals of different backgrounds and traditions.

Panama has always gone its own way culturally and has welcomed many different influences throughout its long history. The museums and folk traditions of Panama are a reflection of the country's multiethnic past. The country has received UNESCO World Heritage designation for two cultural sites, three natural sites, as a creative city, and for intangible cultural heritage.

Those with an interest in forgotten civilizations will enjoy examining the area's ancient archaeological sites. No vacation to Panama is complete without seeing the Panama Canal, the 8th wonder of the modern world.

You can also visit the seven indigenous communities in Panama that open their doors to visitors so that they can learn about their culture, history, and way of life. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover Panama's ancient civilizations.

What are you waiting for?

The country of Panama offers visitors a wide variety of experiences, from the hustle and bustle of urban Panama City to the tranquility of deserted tropical islands. There's an incredible journey ahead of you.

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