Panama is a great destination to explore in Central America, offering a variety of top attractions and amazing experiences you will be talking about for a lifetime. From spotting incredible wildlife in tropical jungles, tasting the best coffee in the world or learning about Panama’s interesting history and culture, you will have a truly unforgettable vacation!
The Panama Canal is one of the top attractions on everyone’s list when they visit Panama. The canal is 82km long and connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The canal was built as a shortcut for ships, allowing them to save time on their journey. The construction of the canal was originally started by the French but after many of their workers died from accidents and disease, the project was put on hold until it was eventually taken over by the United States, who completed the canal in 1914. If you would like to find out more about it, you can visit the Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center, where you can watch an informative film to learn about the history and expansion of the canal. The center is also known for having the best views overlooking the Miraflores Lock, and if you are lucky you may even be able to witness vessels crossing the canal.
Casco Viejo is the historic district of Panama City and translates to ‘old town’.
The town was built in 1673, following an attack by pirates and the near-total destruction of the original Panama City, Panama Viejo. Since then, Casco Viejo was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997 and proudly displays Panama’s rich culture. You will enjoy strolling along the streets, where you can admire the modern and ancient architecture. Besides the hundreds of great restaurants, cafes and buzzing nightlife to explore, Casco Viejo is also home to many beautiful churches for you to visit, including the ancient ruins of Convent of Santo Dominigo, a church which was burned down in 1756 and never rebuilt.
Panama City is the only capital city in the world that has a rainforest within its city limits. Pareque Natural Metropolitano remains unspoilt and is home to more than two hundred species of birds and mammals living in the tropical forest. Join our 11-Night Panama to Costa Rica cruise and you will have the opportunity to explore the 650-acre park and spot the famous three-toed sloths, white-tailed deer, Geoffroy’s tamarin monkeys and more. You will also find hiking trails for you to follow which lead to Cedar Hill Lookout Point, the highest point in the park. Here, you will see some of the most spectacular views in the city, so make sure you bring your camera!
If this sounds like the ideal trip for you, then check out our cruise from Panama to Costa Rica here>
Panama is famous for its Geisha coffee and is on many coffee lover’s bucket list to try when they visit Panama. It is believed that the coffee bean actually originated from Ethiopia, but eventually reached Panama in the 1960’s and has been gaining popularity since 2004. Geisha coffee beans have won numerous coffee tasting awards and gained the title as one of the ‘best coffees in the world’. It is said that the Geisha coffee beans emit a very aromatic and floral taste, with some tasters describing that they could taste distinct berry and citrus flavors. Due to the uniqueness of the coffee, it has become one of the most expensive coffees in the world and can set you back by more than $600 per pound of coffee beans in America. If you are looking to get your hands on just one cup, it will cost $9 per a cup in Panama but would be worth it just to say you have tasted the famous Geisha coffee.
If you love coffee, then take a look at our 11-night Panama to Costa Rica Cruise-Tour with Coffee Retreat. You will have the opportunity to stay on a coffee plantation.
Panama City has a popular jazz and Latin American music scene, with many small bars hosting live jazz music and local talent for you to stop by and listen to during your stay. One of the most renowned jazz clubs in Panama City is the Danilo’s Jazz Club. The club is named after Panama’s biggest jazz star, Danilo “Cholo” Perez and is located in the historical district of Casco Viejo, inside the American Trade Hotel. If you are looking for a unique experience, you could attend the Panama Jazz Festival which is held every year in January. The festival is the perfect chance for you to listen to live jazz music from musicians all over the world.
Biomuseo museum is located on the Amador Causeway and provides an unforgettable, informative experience where guests can learn about Panama’s natural history and rich biodiversity. The museum uses engaging visuals to understand how the Panamanian isthmus has changed and the impacts it has, with a focus of how it has led to a diverse array of wildlife living on the island. Biomuseo has eight galleries inside, hosts interactive exhibitions and a biodiversity park which is made up of Panama’s native plants. The architecture of the building itself is worth a visit on its own and was designed by the famous architect, Frank Gehry, who created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Take a look at our Panama to Costa Rica cruise here, plus you could save on our upcoming 2020 dates with this exclusive offer!
The San Blas Islands is an archipelago, made up of over 365 picturesque islands and is situated in the north-west of Panama, in the Caribbean Sea.
The white sandy beaches and crystal-clear water are perfect for those who want to soak up the sun or for snorkelers who want to spot the coral reefs and starfish in the sea. The islands are owned and inhabited by the Guna Yala indigenous tribe, called Kuna’s or Guna’s. The inhabitants take care of the island and protect it from overtourism, which helps to keep these secluded islands looking and feeling like paradise!
The Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo is one of the most well-known tourist attractions in the old town, as it is famous for its Golden Alter. The alter is carved from wood and overlaid with golden flakes. It was originally installed in a church in Panama Viejo and according to the legend, Jesuit priests painted the alter black to hide it from the pirates who attacked the city. After Panama Viejo was destroyed, the alter was moved in 1675 to a new church in Casco Viejo and has remained there ever since.
If you would like to visit Panama, check out our packages here or call our travel experts on +44 208 004 2345 or +1 844 637 9747.