Updated: Sep 5
Panama, a republic in Central America, has developed recently into a fascinating tourism destination. Panama offers both the glitz and glamour of the big cities and the wild experiences. This jewel of Latin America offers a wealth of exploration opportunities. There's a good reason why this metropolis is known as the "Dubai of Latin America": The fancy hotels on the beaches and buildings are reminiscent of the famous Middle Eastern destination.
In its 30,000 square miles, Panama is a unique country that encourages exploration by fusing a vast array of sights and sensations. Here are a few of the most well-known tourist destinations in the country that you must see on your next trip.
BOCAS DEL TORO
The Bocas Del Toro region, which includes a portion of Panama's mainland and a chain of islands in the Caribbean Sea, is a representation of the country's unique Caribbean culture. Expect to encounter a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere in Bocas and a landscape that is relatively undeveloped. A tropical rainforest, certain local indigenous cultures, including the Ngäbe and NasoTjerdi, as well as many of the country's most well-known beaches, may all be found in Bocas. There are three main islands in Bocas Del Toro: The main island, Isla Colon; Isla Bastimentos, which is one of the largest islands in Panama; and the small island of Isla Carenero.
You can spend your days discovering the local natural beauty and your evenings taking part in the nightlife when you are visiting Bocas Del Toro. If you're an experienced diver, you could be able to participate in a Smithsonian science dive. Surfing, snorkeling, and diving are more easily available water activities at Isla Bastimentos National Park. You may expect to witness a magnificent range of tropical reef fauna, including nurse sharks, stingrays, and numerous varieties of crab and lobster, as Bocas del Toro is home to 95% of the Caribbean coral species. Visit the Nivida Bat Cave or go on a bioluminescent tour for even more variety.
The Panama Canal is arguably the country's most well-known landmark. The Panama Canal is a must-see for anyone visiting the country because it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The Canal has seen more than 900,000 ships and counting since it was constructed to significantly reduce the time it takes for ships to sail between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. This engineering marvel was once thought to be impossible to construct, but you can now see it for yourself.
Visit the Agua Clara Visitor's Center in Colón on the Atlantic side of the Canal for another vantage point. You can view the ships and the canal from here. The brand-new, larger locks are likewise kept in Agua Clara. Consider making a day out of it by kayaking down the Chagres River to the Emberá community that is native to the Panama Canal basin. Want the full Canal experience? To get a different perspective on the locks while in Panama City, you can even plan a day trip that involves traversing the canal.
Discover Casco Antiguo, a lovely, energetic, and historically significant area. The old quarter, sometimes referred to as Casco Antiguo or Casco Viejo, is the historic area of Panama City. The area, which is a part of the UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site, was first settled in 1673 and is known for its lively plazas, gorgeous brick streets, and colorful structures. The region is great for strolling, learning about the past, and sampling a variety of exquisite cuisine. Come for some of the best dining, cultural experiences, and photo opportunities in the city, and stay to mingle with the locals in the center of the nightlife scene.
BARU VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK
Visit the volcano that is also the country's highest point! The towering 3,474-meter-tall Baru Volcano is the only site in the world where, on the clearest of days, you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is also Central America's 12th highest peak. Because of a combination of rainforest highlands and the byproducts of volcanic eruptions that took place millions of years ago, the volcano and the area around it have five different ecosystems.
There are various trekking trails you can use to see the seven craters on the Baru Volcano. While some paths are longer and more accessible, others are fairly difficult. If you're a highly skilled hiker, you can take the town of Volcan as a shortcut to the volcano's summit. It can take up to eight hours to complete this strenuous climb. You can enter the park at the town of Boquete for a more convenient trip to the top. From there, you can reach the peak via 4x4 in about 30 minutes or by trekking on a challenging-yet-long trail.
COIBA NATIONAL PARK
Coiba Marine Park is a marine reserve in the Gulf of Chiriqu off of Panama's Pacific coast that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Access to the island, which was once a penal colony, was historically limited, allowing the majority of the region's natural riches to stay untouched. Today, the marine park is home to some of the world's greatest biological diversity.
Coiba is a top-notch diving location near the Galapagos Islands that provides access to Bahia Damas Reef, the biggest reef along the western coast of North America. You might witness manta rays, whales, and hammerhead sharks if you dive there. You might just encounter some of the largest fish in the water, the whale sharks, if you travel between December and April!
Not into diving? By going on a stroll in the island's unspoiled rainforest or on a whale-watching cruise, you can still get a close-up look at the local fauna. Watch out for iguanas, monkeys, crocodiles, and more than 147 different kinds of birds. Furthermore, you've come to the right place if you enjoy surfing. The beaches near Coiba provide some of Central America's best, most consistent waves.
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