Are you looking for an exciting vacation destination in 2023? If so, look no further than this Panama Travel Guide for 2023! This vibrant country is the perfect place to explore the culture and beauty of Central America. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, outdoor adventure, or simply relaxing on the beach, Panama has something for everyone. To help you make the most of your time there, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to 10 exciting days in Panama.
From exploring ancient ruins to enjoying delicious local cuisine, you’ll find plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy. So, what are you waiting for?
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1. First Day in Panama City – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
If you’re in Panama City, then there’s no better place to start your adventure than by exploring the city. Spend your first day getting acquainted with the area, take in the sights and sounds, and find a few places you want to come back to during your stay.
Start your day at Casco Viejo, the old city of Panama. Casco Viejo is the oldest part of Panama City, having been founded in 1673 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Wander through the cobblestone streets and admire the vibrant architecture and bright colors of this old city. Visit the Plaza de Francia and take in the view of the Panama Canal, then stop by one of the many traditional restaurants for some delicious local food.
After spending some time in Casco Viejo, take a walk through Amador Causeway. This four-kilometer causeway is lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants, and is a great place to admire views of the Pacific Ocean and the Panama skyline. Take a stroll along this popular pathway and end your day with an evening meal or drinks with a view.
Now that you’ve explored the heart of Panama City, you’re ready to start your next day!
2. Tour the Old City
One of the best things to do in Panama City is to explore its old city. Casco Viejo, or the Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains many of the city’s oldest buildings. Start by visiting Plaza de Francia and marvel at the French-inspired architecture that dates back to the late 19th century. Then take a stroll around Plaza Bolivar and enjoy its neoclassical style and vibrant colors. Be sure also to check out Plaza Herrera and Cathedral Plaza. After exploring these landmarks, don’t forget to stop by the restaurants, cafes, and bars for some delicious local cuisine. You can also find great souvenirs in the area. There is truly no better way to experience the culture and history of Panama than to explore its old city!
3. Take a Day Trip to Isla Taboga – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
Isla Taboga is a stunning little island just off the coast of Panama City, and it’s an absolute must-visit when exploring the region. The island is known for its serene white sand beaches and stunning blue waters, making it the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun. It’s also home to incredible natural beauty, with picturesque hiking trails through lush jungle terrain and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities.
The best way to get to Isla Taboga is by boat from Panama City. You can take one of the local ferries from the Amador Causeway, which take about 45 minutes each way. Several tour companies offer full-day excursions from Panama City to Isla Taboga, which include transportation, lunch, and a guided tour of the island.
Once you’re in Isla Taboga, there’s plenty to do. Take a stroll along the beach, explore the local trails, or rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the coastline. If you want to stay overnight, several hotels and lodges are located on the island, so you can make a full weekend out of it.
No matter how you choose to spend your time in Isla Taboga, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience. So don’t miss out on this incredible day trip while visiting Panama in 2023!
4. Spend a Day at the Beach
Spending a day at the beach in Panama is a great way to relax and soak up some sun. Many beautiful beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts offer a variety of activities for tourists. In the Pacific, you can find several great spots in the nearby provinces of Veraguas and Coclé. The beaches in this area tend to be less crowded and offer plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and more.
You’ll find some of Panama’s most popular beaches on the Caribbean coast. The islands of Bocas del Toro are home to some stunning white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. Playa Bluff is a secluded beach near Portobelo and offers great snorkeling opportunities. If you’re looking for a night out, head to the town of Gorgona and check out the bars and restaurants located right on the beach.
No matter which beach you choose, make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a hat and water bottle to stay hydrated. Pack a picnic lunch and plan to spend the day relaxing in the sun or exploring the local area. Enjoy your time at the beach in Panama!
5. Visit Casco Viejo – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
Casco Viejo, or the Old City of Panama, is a must-see destination on any trip to Panama. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the country’s most stunning colonial architecture and attractions. Start your day by visiting the iconic Plaza de Francia, a square built in honor of French military personnel who died during the construction of the Panama Canal. Then, take some time to explore Casco Viejo’s beautiful plazas and streets, with colorful buildings and balconies that will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time.
Be sure to also visit the Church of San Jose and the ruins of Panama Viejo, which served as the original site of the city before it was destroyed by pirates in 1671. To learn more about Casco Viejo’s history, head to the Museum of Panamanian History or the Iglesia de San Francisco. And when you need to cool down from all the sightseeing, grab an icy drink from one of the many cafes scattered around the neighborhood.
No visit to Casco Viejo is complete without a night out. The old city is home to a lively nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and restaurants offering delicious Latin American cuisine and vibrant music. So take some time to relax, enjoy the atmosphere and get to know Casco Viejo’s unique culture.
6. Explore the Panama Canal – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
One of the most iconic and fascinating attractions in Panama is the Panama Canal. It is a man-made waterway that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean, cutting through the Isthmus of Panama. This amazing engineering feat has been around since 1914 and it has been an important trade route ever since.
Visiting the Panama Canal is one of the most popular things to do while in Panama, and it’s not hard to see why. The canal offers visitors a chance to witness incredible engineering feats, explore beautiful locks and lakes, and even take boat tours along its length.
The Miraflores Locks are the best place to start your exploration of the Panama Canal. Here, you can watch as ships pass through the lock system and marvel at the engineering brilliance of it all. You can also visit the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center for more information about the history and technology behind the canal.
If you’re looking for a more active experience, why not take a boat tour? There are plenty of options, from day trips to multi-day adventures that will let you explore more of the canal up close. On the boat tour, you’ll be able to experience first-hand how large ships navigate through the locks and observe wildlife along the way.
No matter what you choose to do, exploring the Panama Canal is an unforgettable experience. With its stunning natural beauty and impressive engineering feats, this wonder of the modern world is sure to leave you with lasting memories.
7. Visit the Embera Drua Village – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
Located in the Darien province of Panama, the Embera Drua Village is a wonderful place to visit for a unique experience. As one of the last remaining Indigenous tribes in Panama, the Embera Drua people have a rich culture and history that can be experienced by taking a trip to their village.
Once you arrive at the village, you can observe the people’s traditional customs, such as fishing and hunting. You can also learn about their beliefs and customs by talking to the locals. You can even purchase handmade souvenirs such as jewelry, pottery, and carvings from the village’s artisans.
The best way to get to the Embera Drua Village is to take a boat tour from Panama City or take a bus or plane to the town of Meteti, which is near the village. From there you can either rent a canoe or hire a local guide to take you to the village.
Visiting the Embera Drua Village is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed during your trip to Panama!
8. Go Hiking in Parque Nacional Soberania
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience while in Panama, then be sure to go hiking in Parque Nacional Soberania. Located just outside of Panama City, this national park is home to some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes and wildlife in the area.
Hiking through Parque Nacional Soberania is an amazing way to explore the country’s diverse natural habitats. From lush jungles to tall mountains, there are plenty of trails that you can follow to get a taste of the wild side of Panama.
There are plenty of trails to choose from, ranging from easy walks along the riverbanks to more strenuous hikes up into the mountains. Along the way, you’ll get to experience amazing views, spot exotic birds, and even encounter monkeys and other animals.
If you’re looking for an adventure, then Parque Nacional Soberania is the perfect place to go. Not only will you get to experience the beauty of Panama’s natural landscape, but you’ll also get to enjoy some of the best hiking in Central America. Make sure to add this incredible national park to your itinerary for your upcoming trip to Panama.
9. Take a Boat Tour of the San Blas Islands – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
The San Blas Islands are a stunning archipelago of over 350 islands off the coast of Panama. A boat tour of the San Blas Islands is an absolute must-do while visiting Panama! Many companies offer day trips or overnight excursions, so you can choose which option works best for you. On the boat tour, you will have the chance to explore many of the islands, swim in crystal clear waters, and even visit a few Kuna Indian villages. You’ll get to experience the traditional way of life of the Kuna Indians firsthand and buy some of their handmade crafts. You’ll also be able to try delicious local seafood dishes and admire the spectacular coral reefs and tropical fish. The boat tour is a great way to spend a day in paradise and make some amazing memories.
10. Depart Panama – Panama Travel Guide for 2023
As your time in Panama draws to a close, you will depart with a wealth of memories. While it can be hard to say goodbye to such an amazing destination, the memories that you have made will surely last a lifetime. There are many ways to depart Panama and many beautiful spots to take one last look at before heading home.
For those leaving from Panama City, you can take a taxi or bus from your hotel to the Tocumen International Airport (PTY). The airport is about 20 miles from the city center and offers flights to major destinations in Central and South America, North America, Europe, and more. If you’re looking for a more scenic departure, you can also take a boat ride out of Panama City on the Panama Canal and admire the skyline one last time.
No matter how you choose to leave Panama, the experience of your journey will be unforgettable. Whether you enjoyed a relaxing beach vacation or a unique cultural experience, your time in Panama will stay with you long after you go home.
If you’re planning a trip to Panama, the possibilities are truly endless. From beach days and cultural experiences to exploring the Panama Canal, you can easily fill 10 exciting days in this vibrant country.
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