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Top 10 must visit places in Panama!

Are you planning to visit, or already visiting Panama? Make sure to visit the following 10 places, which are our personal favorites! It is a combination of both cultural as well as natural places. We have not numbered them, as personal preferences may make you like one places more than another. It is structured from San Blas, which is above Panama City, to the big City and following land inwards all the way to Bocas del Toro at the other side of the country.


San Blas Islands

The San Blas archipelago consist of 365 islands. Therefore, the Panamanians say there is one island for every day of the year! The islands are absolutely breathtaking and offer beautiful snorkeling and diving spots. Sailing to the islands if very popular and a once in a lifetime experience. You can either sail from Panama, or those traveling from Colombia to Panama can sail with stops at several islands. Many companies in Panama City also offer tours to the islands, either one-day or multiple day tours. Do not miss out on these beautiful islands!


San Blas Islands Panama
San Blas Islands


Panama City

Of course, when visiting Panama, you can not miss out on the big city! The city is very advanced and safe. Here are our two favorite go to places in the city:


Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo was completed in 1673 and is the historic district

Casco Viejo Panama
Casco Viejo

of the city. It was built as a result of the destruction of Panama Viejo in 1671, which was attacked by Pirates. Casco Viejo (also called Casco Antiguo) is listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997. Today, you can enjoy the beautiful buildings of Casco Viejo and enjoy its rich culture. Besides that, it is full of restaurants and lots of bars that offer a great nightlife. Tip: go and enjoy a dinner or drinks on one of the rooftop restaurants with friends or family!



Panama Canal

The French first started constructing the Panama

Panama Canal
Panama Canal

Canal in 1881 but did not finish their work due to both a high mortality rate of the employees, as well as a lack of financing. After that, the United States took over in 1904 and opened the canal in 1914. The canal remained in the hands of the Americans for many years, until in 1999 Panama finally took over the control of the canal. Up until today the Panamanian government remains the owner of the canal, and it accounts for the most income in the Panamanian economy. With its rich history, a visit to the Panama Canal cannot be missed on your trip to Panama!


El Valle de Anton

El Valle de Anton Panama
El Valle de Anton

El Valle de Anton is a beautiful Little village which is located at a height of 600 meters in the caldera of the inactive volcano ´El Valle´. Because of the height, the climate in El Valle is a lot fresher than in most of Panama. It has beautiful flora and fauna, and you can enjoy, amongst other things, waterfalls, thermal pools and hiking trails. It is only a 2 hour drive from Panama City, and is surely worth passing by on your way inlands!




Playa Venao

Playa Venao is a beautiful little place in the east of Panama. This is a place where you can truly relax at the beach. Some people say it is the best surfing spot in central America as well, so do not forget to bring your surfboards, or rent one at the beach. In the evenings you can enjoy beautiful sunsets and you can always find a party to enjoy at Playa Venao! Playa Venao is also very child-proof, since it is a very large sandy beach!


Surfing Playa Venao Panama
Playa Venao


Santa Fe

Santa Fe Panama Waterfall
Santa Fe

Santa Fe is another small village in the highlands of Panama. It is surrounded by Santa Fe National Park that is a rainforest rich in waterfalls, many and very divers types of animals and local coffee farms. You can enjoy bird watching tours, go horse riding through the highlands or go hiking through one of the beautiful trails. If you follow the road that goes North, you will pass several waterfall-stops and will end up at the Caribbean beach where you can enjoy fresh fish!





Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina Panama
Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina, like Playa Venao, is known as a very popular surf spot in Central America. The beaches are beautiful, though they have more rocks than Playa Venao. Enjoy beautiful sunsets, the nightlife, or just come here to relax! From Santa Catalina it is also very easy to make an excursion to Isla Coiba, which is most definitely worth the visit!




Isla Coiba

Snorkeling Diving Isla Coiba Panama
Isla Coiba

Isla Coiba is the largest island of Central America. It is a natural park and you do have to pay an entrance fee to visit the island. Though it is absolutely worth it! It has a very rich nature on land as well as in the sea. It is a perfect spot to go diving, if you are lucky you might get to see whales, sharks, dolphins, turtles and any of the many other sea animals! Isla Coiba was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 2005.


Vólcan Barú



Vólcan Barú is the highest mountain of Panama with its 3,474 meters of height and is an active stratovolcano. Due to its location in a narrow point of Panama, in combination with its height, it is possible to see both the Pacific as well as the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the volcano, though this is quite rare. You can reach the top of the mountain either by hiking, which is quite a difficult hike and takes about 12 hours, or you can take one of the 4x4 jeeps that offers a tour to the top. The jeeps leave around 04:00 in the morning so you can enjoy the sunrise from the top of the volcano. The incredible views are absolutely worth it!

Volcán Barú Panama
Volcán Barú


Boquete

Quetzal Bird Boquete Panama
Quetzal Boquete

Boquete is a small village that lies at a height of 1,200 meters. Due to its height, temperatures are much cooler than the lowlands which makes it a very popular destination for Panamanians that want to enjoy some fresher days. Boquete has a spring-like climate all year round. It has a very rich nature with many different species of birds (amongst which one of the most beautiful bird in the world; the Quetzal), monkeys, slots, and many, many other types of animals. Do not forget to visit Boquete if you enjoy nature, and go on one of the many trails that pass by waterfalls, go horseback riding through the highlands, go bird spotting or visit a local coffee farm!


Bocas del Toro

Last but definitely not least on the list! Bocas del Toro consists of many Caribbean islands, that are a true paradise. When traveling from Boquete to Bocas del Toro, you will have to take a boat that will bring you to the main island Isla Colon. On this island there is a great nightlife and you can enjoy many beautiful beaches. Definitely go visit some of the other islands as well. You can also go snorkeling, diving, explore the main island by bike, visit one of the natural parks to see wildlife, or just RELAX!


Bocas del Toro Panama
Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro Panama Paradise on Earth
Bocas del Toro

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