Top 10 things to do in Panama

Panama

Endless beaches, pristine jungles, and a small country with a love for life

Panama is a country.

Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, Panama is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metro area is home to nearly half of the country's 3.6 million people.

Panama was inhabited by several indigenous tribes prior to settlement by the Spanish in the 16th century. It broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada remained joined, eventually becoming the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the Panama Canal to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the total transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama by the end of the 20th century, which culminated on 31 December 1999.

Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. Panama has the second largest economy in Central America and it is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America. In 2013, Panama ranked 5th among Latin American countries in terms of the Human Development Index, and 59th in the world. Since 2010, Panama remains the second most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds – some of them to be found nowhere else in the world.

Overall rating: 4.5
Country
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Panama

Boquete, Chiriquí

Boquete, Chiriquí
Boquete is a small town on the Caldera River, in the green mountain highlands of Panama, in western-most Chiriquí Province, about 60 kilometres . from the border with Costa Rica. ...

Colón

Colón
Colón is the Spanish form of the surname of Christopher Columbus. It may also refer to:PlacesArgentina Colón, Entre RíosColón Department, CórdobaColón Department, Entre RíosColón, Buenos AiresColombia Colón, ...

Volcán, Panama

Volcán, Panama
Volcán is a town in the Chiriquí province of Panama.As of Tuesday, September 10, 2013, El Hato del Volcan is no longer in the Bugaba Diatrict of Chiriqui Province. El ...

El Valle de Antón

El Valle de Antón
El Valle de Antón, generally called El Valle, or Anton's Valley in English, is a town of 4,500 in the Coclé province of Panama.LocationThe town is located ...

Penonomé, Coclé

Penonomé, Coclé
Penonomé is the capital of the Panamanian province of Coclé. The town is located along the Inter-American Highway in the wide, flat lowlands of central Coclé.History

David, Chiriquí

David, Chiriquí
David officially San José de David is a city located in the west of Panama. It is the capital of the province of Chiriquí and has an estimated population of ...

Panama

Panama
Panama City is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Panama. It has a population of 880,691, with a total metro population of 1,440,381, and is located at ...

Gatun Lake

Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake is a large artificial lake to the south of Colón, Panama. It forms a major part of the Panama Canal, carrying ships for 33 km of their transit across ...

Coiba

Coiba
Coiba is the largest island in Central America, with an area of {503 km2 , off the Pacific coast of the Panamanian province of Veraguas. It is part of the Montijo ...

Gamboa

Gamboa
Gamboa may refer to:Gamboa Airport, an airport in ChileGamboa, Panama, a town in PanamaGamboa, Rio de Janeiro, a neighborhood in Rio de JaneiroGamboa , a list of people with the ...

San Carlos District, Panama

San Carlos District, Panama
San Carlos District is a district of West Panamá Province in Panama. The population according to the 2000 census was 15,541.The district covers a total area of 337 km². The ...

Río Hato

Río Hato
Río Hato is a town in the Coclé province of Panama. It is home to the Río Hato Airport. ...

Soberanía National Park

Soberanía National Park
Soberanía National Park is a national park in Panama near the banks of the Panama Canal in the provinces of Panamá and Colón, some 25 kilometres from Panama City. The ...

Cerro Punta, Chiriquí

Cerro Punta, Chiriquí
Cerro Punta is a small city in the western highlands of Panama, in the province of Chiriquí. Cerro Punta's altitude is 6,500 feet above sea level just south of the ...

Santa Fé

Santa Fé
Santa Fe or Santa Fé may refer to:PlacesArgentinaSanta Fe, Argentina, a city in ArgentinaSanta Fe Province, a province of Argentina BoliviaSanta Fe , BoliviaSanta Fe de Yapacaní, ...

Bocas Town, Bocas del Toro

Bocas Town, Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro or Bocas Town is the capital of the Panamanian province of Bocas del Toro and the district of Bocas del Toro. It is a town and a ...

Santa Clara, Panama Province

Santa Clara, Panama Province
Santa Clara is a town of 1,302 people in Panamá Province, Panama. The United States Peace Corps uses this community to train new volunteers before they are sent out across ...

Contadora Island

Contadora Island
Isla Contadora is a Panamanian island on the Pearl Islands archipelago in the Gulf of Panama. It has an area of 1.39 km², which makes it the 11th largest island of ...

Darién National Park

Darién National Park
Darién National Park is a world heritage site in Panama. It is about 325 kilometers from Panama City, and is the most extensive of all national parks of Panama and ...

Changuinola

Changuinola
Changuinola is a city in the Bocas del Toro Province of Panama. Changuinola is the capital of the Changuinola District and home to 25,099 people. The city attracts tourists as ...

Las Tablas, Los Santos

Las Tablas, Los Santos
Las Tablas is the capital of the Panamanian province of Los Santos. It is located a few kilometers inland from the Gulf of Panama on the Azuero Peninsula. Las Tablas ...

Capira

Capira
Capira is a town in the Panamá Province of Panama. ...

Pearl Islands

Pearl Islands
The Pearl Islands are a group of 200 or more islands and islets lying about 30 miles off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Panama.

Chitré

Chitré
Chitré is the capital of the Panamanian province of Herrera. Chitré is located about 7 km inland from the Gulf of Panama on the Azuero Peninsula The name Chitré comes ...

Soná District

Soná District
The district of Soná is a district within the Province of Veraguas, situated in the Republic of Panama. The capital town of the district is also named Soná. It also ...

Taboga Island

Taboga Island
Taboga Island , also known as the "Island of Flowers", is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama. It is a tourist destination, about 20 km from Panama City, Panama.

Natá, Coclé

Natá, Coclé
Natá is a small city on the Pan-American Highway in the Coclé province of Panama. The closest larger city is Penonomé. The city of Aguadulce is about 10 kilometers away. ...

Guararé

Guararé
Guararé is a town in the Los Santos province of Panama. ...

La Pintada, Panama

La Pintada, Panama
La Pintada is a town of 3,700 people in Coclé Province, Panama.The town is located in the hills 13 km northwest of Penonomé. The Coclé del Sur River runs along the ...

Tonosí

Tonosí
Tonosí is a town in the Los Santos province of Panama. ...

Chagres National Park

Chagres National Park
The Chagres National Park is located between the Province of Panama and Colon, in the Eastern sector of the Panama Canal with a total surface area of 129,000 hectares .The ...

Ocú

Ocú
Ocú is a town in the Herrera province of Panama. ...

Chepo, Panama

Chepo, Panama
Chepo is a town located northeast of Panama City in Chepo District, Panamá province, Panama. It is located five kilometers south of the Inter-American Highway. It is a sprawling town ...

Atalaya, Veraguas

Atalaya, Veraguas
The Atalaya district is one of the divisions that make up the Veraguas, located in Panama.Political-Administrative DivisionIt consists of five townships:AtalayaEl BarritoLa MontañuelaSan AntonioLa Carrillo ...

Boca Chica, Gulf of Chiriquí

Boca Chica, Gulf of Chiriquí
Boca Chica is a town in Panama.There is only one road to this town and it ends at the estuary of the Pedregal River with the island of Boca Brava ...

Nueva Gorgona

Nueva Gorgona
Nueva Gorgona is a town in the Panamá province of Panama. ...

Puerto Armuelles, Chiriquí

Puerto Armuelles, Chiriquí
Puerto Armuelles is a city on Panama's Pacific Coast in the western province of Chiriquí Province next to Costa Rica. Puerto Armuelles is the second largest city in Chiriqui province ...

Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park

Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park
Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park is a marine park located in the Bocas del Toro District and archipelago of Bocas del Toro Province, Panama. Created in 1988, this is Panama's ...

Aguadulce

Aguadulce
Aguadulce is a municipality in Seville. In 2005, it had a population of 1,993. It has an area of 13.98 square kilometers and has a population density of 142.4 people ...

Almirante, Bocas del Toro

Almirante, Bocas del Toro
Almirante is a city in the Bocas del Toro Province of the Republic of Panama. Its name is Spanish for Admiral.Tourist UseFor travelers, Almirante is mainly used ...

Portobelo District

Portobelo District
The Portobelo district is one of the divisions that make up the Colón Province, Panama. The district capital is the city of Portobelo.HistoryThe site on which to ...

Bayano Lake

Bayano Lake
Bayano Lake is a reservoir in the eastern part of Panamá Province, Panama created when the Bayano River was dammed in 1976. In terms of surface area, Lake Bayano is ...

Guabito

Guabito
Guabito is a town in the Changuinola District of the Bocas del Toro Province of Panama. It is a small town located directly across the Rio Sixaola from Sixaola, Costa ...

Parita

Parita
Parita is a town in the Herrera province of Panama. It was founded in 1556. ...

El Caño

El Caño
El Caño is a town in the Coclé province of Panama. El Caño is named after a creek whose waters end in a nearby river.Near the modern village there is ...

Dolega, Chiriquí

Dolega, Chiriquí
Dolega is a town in the Chiriquí province of Panama. ...

Panama Canal

Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a 77.1-kilometre ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a ...

Casco Viejo, Panama

Casco Viejo, Panama
Casco Viejo , also known as Casco Antiguo or San Felipe, is the historic district of Panama City. Completed and settled in 1673, it was built following the near-total destruction ...

Panamá Viejo

Panamá Viejo
Panamá Viejo is the remaining part of the old Panama City and former capital of the country. It is located in the suburbs of the modern city. Together with the ...

Miraflores

Miraflores
Miraflores is the name of several places in Spanish-speaking countries. It is also the name of a battle fought in Peru in 1881. It means "to watch flowers" or "flower's ...

Ancon Hill

Ancon Hill
Ancon Hill is a 654-foot hill that overlooks Panama City, Panama, adjacent to the township of Ancón. It was under US jurisdiction as part of the Panama Canal Zone for ...

Bridge of the Americas

Bridge of the Americas
The Bridge of the Americas is a road bridge in Panama, which spans the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. Completed in 1962, at a cost of US$20 million, it ...

Metropolitan Natural Park

Metropolitan Natural Park
Metropolitan Natural Park is a park in Panama City, Panama. It is the only wildlife refuge in the city. Wildlife found in the park include bird species and Geoffroy's Tamarin. ...

Centennial Bridge, Panama

Centennial Bridge, Panama
Panama's Centennial Bridge is a major bridge crossing the Panama Canal. It was built to supplement the overcrowded Bridge of the Americas and to replace it as the carrier of ...

Causeway Islands

Causeway Islands
The Causeway Islands are four small islands by the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. They are linked to the mainland via a causeway, made from rock extracted during the ...

Estadio Rommel Fernández

Estadio Rommel Fernández
Estadio Rommel Fernández is a multi-purpose stadium located in Panama City, It is used for different sports, but mainly for the conduct of football games. It was inaugurated February 6, ...

Estadio Nacional de Panamá

Estadio Nacional de Panamá
Estadio Nacional de Panama, also called Rod Carew Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Panama City, Panama. The stadium has a capacity of 27,000 and was built in 1999.It is ...

Coronado Mall

Coronado Mall
BackgroundAnchor history ...