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10 Issues to do in Panama Metropolis, Panama for first time guests

things to do in Panama City Panama city buildings seen from Cinta Costera

Issues to do Panama Metropolis, Panama

Panama Metropolis is without doubt one of the most cosmopolitan capitals in Central America. There are many enjoyable and attention-grabbing issues to do in Panama Metropolis, so we encourage you to spend a couple of days right here. It’s far more than a journey hub for the area. 

On this fast Panama Metropolis journey information, we spotlight the highest sights we visited throughout our two week journey to Panama. We additionally share a couple of Panama Metropolis journey ideas, and classes realized, from our expertise.

Let’s begin planning your Panama Metropolis itinerary!

Learn extra posts from our journey to Panama:

High Issues to do in Panama Metropolis, Panama

Things to do in Panama City Panama Casco Viejo architecture on the waterfront of Pacific Ocean

1. Wander the previous streets of Casco Viejo 

We imagine each first time customer to Panama Metropolis ought to go to Casco Viejo, also referred to as Casco Antiguo or San Felipe. That is Panama Metropolis’s historic previous quarter. It’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage web site and is arguably the most well-liked vacationer attraction in Panama Metropolis.

This stylish neighbourhood has a mixture of previous Spanish colonial and neoclassical structure. It’s an attention-grabbing place, with many layers. Some buildings are fully restored to former glory, whereas others are left to crumble and disintegrate. That is the place you will see stylish eating places and bars, boutique accommodations, artsy outlets and hipster cafes. 

Casco Viejo is a comparatively protected a part of Panama Metropolis, the place vacationers are capable of wander aimlessly. That stated, like most massive cities in Central America, it is best to nonetheless stay vigilant from pickpockets and scammers. 

You possibly can both guide an organized sightseeing tour of Casco Viejo or just present up and let the cobblestone streets information you. 

Associated put up – 50 Images of Casco Viejo, Panama Metropolis’s Historic Previous City

Famous Church in Casco Viejo Things to do in Panama City Panama

Panama Metropolitan Cathedral

Also called the Metropolitan Archcathedral Basilica of Santa María la Antigua, this stunning church is positioned within the coronary heart of Casco Viejo at Plaza de la Independencia. Attempt to spend a couple of moments contained in the cathedral to see its stunning alter and art work. 

view of Panama City skyline from Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo can also be an important place to view the Panama Metropolis skyline.

Paseo Las Bovedas Buying

Positioned in Casco Viejo, that is the place to go to when you’re searching for small souvenirs and native crafts. You will see that indigenous Guna Yala art work and materials, woven baskets, carved picket masks, handmade jewellery and cheap souvenirs to convey house. 

2. Watch ships move via the Panama Canal 

One other must-see Panama Metropolis attraction is visiting the world well-known Panama Canal. It’s stated to be one of many largest, and most troublesome, engineering initiatives ever accomplished. It’s thought of one of many 7 Wonders of the Trendy World, a declare that’s laborious to dispute after you find out about its exceptional engineering accomplishments.

The Panama Canal is a synthetic waterway that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean. The canal has a lock system that elevate and decrease ships to Gatun Lake, a big freshwater synthetic lake that sits 85 toes above sea degree.

One of the best place to look at ships move via the Panama Canal is on the Miraflores Locks Customer Heart in Panama Metropolis, image beneath. Watch this brief video from our go to to the Miraflores Locks.

Learn extra – Our go to to the Miraflores Locks in Panama Metropolis 

Guests fill the commentary deck to look at this spectacular cruise ship move via the Panama Canal on the Miraflores Locks in Panama Metropolis.

Visit Monkey Island Panama City Panama

3. Monkey Island Panama 

Should you’re searching for a singular Panama expertise, a visit to Monkey Island will do the trick. We joined the Monkey Island Tour from Panama Metropolis. It’s a 4 hour tour that features round-trip transportation with an English talking information. The tour features a boat journey up and down the Panama Canal, so that you get the added bonus of rushing previous mega-ships as they sail via the canal.

Extra particulars concerning the Monkey Island Panama tour right here.

The Lake Gatun area is house to 4 monkey species – Panamanian white-faced capuchin (image beneath), Geoffroy’s tamarin (pictured above), lemurine owl monkeys and mantled howler monkey. Monkey Island excursions enable guests the prospect to witness these monkeys up shut of their pure habitat. 

You too can mix the Monkey Island Panama tour with a go to to the Sloth Sanctuary, the place you may see rescued three-toed and two-toed sloths. Particulars about this tour right here

Associated put up – Images from our journey to Monkey Island Panama

Monkey Island tour Things to do in Panama City Panama

Panamanian white-faced capuchin noticed whereas on the Monkey Island Panama tour

Monkey Island is definitely not one island. It’s a cluster of islands in Gatun Lake. As a result of the resident monkeys have a tendency to maneuver round, the boats journey to some completely different places. 

4. Soberania Nationwide Park

Positioned 25 kilometers from Panama Metropolis, close to the city of Gamboa, Soberania Nationwide Park is the right day journey from Panama Metropolis for nature lovers who wish to expertise the Panamanian rainforest. It’s a forty five minute drive from downtown Panama Metropolis to the park.

Soberania Nationwide Park is house to over 500 chicken species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Stroll the favored Pipeline Highway and seek for toucans, crimson-fronted parakeet, crested owls and different uncommon birds, just like the red-bellied woodpecker and yellow-eared toucanets. 

This nationwide park, which is over 55,000 acres, is house to over 100 species of mammals, together with the white-faced capuchin monkeys, mantled howler monkey, Geoffroy’s tamarins, Tamandua Mexicana (anteater), two-toed and three-toed sloths, white-nosed coatis and agoutis. 

Whereas there, plan to go to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Heart and climb 174 steps to the highest of the Remark Tower. The highest platform is 32 meters excessive and presents unimaginable views of the forest.

Right here’s a brief video concerning the Discovery Heart.

Gamboa Rainforest Reserve is positioned on the sting of Soberania Nationwide Park. That is the launch level for a lot of out of doors actions and vacationer sights. Take the Aerial Tram tour via the rainforest and go to the Panama Sloth Sanctuary.

Study Gamboa Rainforest Excursions right here.

You too can keep in a single day on the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and spend extra time within the jungle. 

Boat tours on the Panama Canal and Soberania National Park

See extra Panama weblog posts from our journey right here.

giant Panama sign at Flamenco Island on Amador Causeway in Panama City

5. Stroll or bike Amador Causeway  

Amador Causeway is the place you will see a lot of Panama Metropolis’s high actions and sights. The highway stretches over 6 km and hyperlinks the small islands of Naos, Perico and Flamenco. 

That is the place the southern entrance of the Panama Canal connects with the Pacific Ocean, making it a really perfect spot to look at the massive container ships enter and exit Panama’s well-known canal.


The star attraction at Amador Causeway is Biomuseo, a museum centered on the pure historical past of Panama. You gained’t have bother discovering this distinctive museum. Simply search for the brilliant and vibrant constructing with futuristic structure. The museum has eight exhibition halls that show Panama’s geology, pure historical past and numerous cultures.

Issues to do at Amador Causeway

Guests can hire bikes (try Bicicletas Moses) or stroll alongside the waterfront boardwalk. Ensure you snap a photograph in entrance of the large Panama signal alongside the way in which. Should you’d like to check your luck at fishing, there’s a fishing platform simply earlier than Isla Naos. 

Different Amador Causeway sights embody Punta Culebra Nature Heart, La Playita pool bar at The Seaside Home, Omar Torrijos Herrera’s Mausoleum, Museo de la Libertad and Flamenco Marina.

Common Amador Causeway eating places are Mi Ranchito, Beirut Calzada de Amador, Hapai Tiki Bar and/or Restaurante Bucaneros.

views of Panama City from rooftop bar Hard Rock Hotel Panama

6. Megapolis Lodge Panama Rooftop Bar

The lodge has modified names since we visited. Formally it was the Onerous Rock Lodge Megapolis and it’s now referred to as Megapolis Lodge Panama. We have now learn that the rooftop bar continues to be beneath building. So, test again quickly to see if it has re-opened.

Within the meantime, try this record of rooftop bars in Panama.

Sunset views of the Pacific Ocean from the 62nd floor of Hard Rock Hotel Panama

Sundown views of the Pacific Ocean from the 62nd flooring of Onerous Rock Lodge Panama.

Things to do in Panama City sunset from Hard Rock Hotel rooftop bar observation deck

Watch this brief video from the rooftop bar at Onerous Rock Lodge in Panama Metropolis.

Panama Metropolis is large! As you may see, it has a variety of attention-grabbing structure. 

7. Avenida Balboa and Cinta Costera

Should you’re searching for low-cost issues to do in Panama Metropolis, head to Avenida Balboa and Cinta Costera. That is the right place to get exterior and benefit from the scorching Panama local weather. 

Cinta Costera is a pedestrian walkway that connects Punta Paitilla (pictured above) to Casco Viejo and Amador Causeway.

You will notice plenty of Panama Metropolis by strolling, operating or biking this waterfront path. There are a number of parks and grass sections right here, so it’s a really perfect place to let your youngsters run wild and burn off some power.

Whereas strolling alongside Cinta Costera, hold an eye fixed out for the large vibrant Panama indicators. As a result of each vacationer wants a photograph with an enormous signal, proper? 

Close to the doorway to Casco Viejo you will see Mercado De Marisco Cinta Costera, a preferred fish and seafood market. It is a enjoyable place to seize lunch. Should you like recent seafood, we suggest you pattern some native ceviche right here.  

Cinta Costera pathway in Panama City Panama

Palm bushes line the Cinta Costera path that stretches alongside the Panama Metropolis waterfront.

There are a number of out of doors basketball courts and parks on Avenida Balboa and Cinta Costera.

8. Day journey to San Blas Islands

The San Blas Islands are one among Panama’s biggest treasures. You gained’t discover all-inclusive resorts with big swimming swimming pools right here. Nor will you discover mega cruise ships or mass tourism infrastructure.

And that’s exactly what makes these distant palm tree islands so particular. 

Journey to San Blas Islands shouldn’t be simple. Whilst you technically can hire a automobile and drive from Panama Metropolis to the coast, it’s beneficial that you simply take a San Blas Islands tour. Once you think about the price of renting a automobile, insurance coverage, gasoline, parking and boat transportation, it is sensible to hitch an organized tour. 

In case your plan is to take a day journey to San Blas islands, you’ll completely wish to be a part of a tour so you may go to a couple of completely different islands. It will likely be a really lengthy day that begins at 5:00 AM and ends late within the night. When you’ve got the time, we suggest you keep in a single day on one of many islands.

You possibly can guide San Blas Islands excursions right here. There are a number of choices to select from. We booked with San Blas Goals.

Our San Blas Islands journey didn’t precisely go based on plan – discover out what occurred right here

Associated – How one can get to San Blas Islands from Panama Metropolis

Watch this video to see the smallest island we’ve visited (additionally pictured above).

san blas islands tour from Panama City Panama

Our water taxi to Yanis Island, one among many distant islands within the San Blas archipelago. 

beach hammocks on Yanis Island in the San Blas Islands Panama

The above photograph is an effective cause why you wish to go to the San Blas Islands. 

9. Go to Taboga Island or Pearl Islands

A enjoyable day journey from Panama Metropolis is visiting Taboga Island or one of many Pearl Islands.

Taboga Island is just 20 km from Panama Metropolis. The Taboga Specific Quick Ferry takes half-hour from Panama Metropolis to Taboga. The ferry departs a number of occasions per day. Extra information on tickets and schedule right here. The ferry terminal is positioned at Fuerte Amador Mall on Isla Flamenco (Amador Causeway).

Contadora Island is the most well-liked of the Pearl Islands for vacationers.

We spent a couple of nights on Contadora Island. Examine that have right here

Just like the San Blas Islands talked about above, we suggest you keep in a single day on Contadora Island. This provides you with time to correctly calm down on the seashore and discover the island. Nonetheless, when you’re tight on time, a day journey to Contadora Island is feasible.

The ferry from Panama Metropolis to Contadora takes 90 minutes (every approach).

Associated – How one can take the Contadora Island Ferry from Panama Metropolis

Views of Playa Cacique on Contadora Island Pearl Islands Panama

Views of Playa Cacique on Contadora Island. It’s a tropical paradise.

rooftop pool in Panama City Marriott downtown Panama City

10. Chill out at Rooftop pool

We’re responsible of making an attempt to do an excessive amount of on our household holidays. Sure, we wish to have as many journey experiences as potential, however we additionally wish to get pleasure from some downtime by the pool.

Fortuitously, many Panama Metropolis accommodations have rooftop swimming pools with superior views.

We spent many hours stress-free by the pool. The local weather in Panama is usually scorching and sunny, so it’s necessary to decelerate and benefit from this tropical setting. 

Attempt to schedule a while every day to calm down by the pool, particularly when you’re touring to Panama with youngsters. After we ask our boys what they bear in mind about our journey to Panama, the rooftop swimming pools at all times come up.

See beneath for a couple of Panama Metropolis accommodations with rooftop swimming pools.

That is the rooftop pool at Marriott Govt Residences Finisterre in Panama Metropolis.

rooftop pool at Residence Inn by Marriott Panama City Panama

The place to remain in Panama Metropolis Panama

There are various accommodations in Panama Metropolis, so you’ve gotten loads of choices at every worth level. We sometimes keep in mid-range accommodations after we journey as a household.

Your greenback will go a lot additional in Panama Metropolis, when in comparison with different massive cities. Would you imagine the lodge pictured above (and beneath) solely value us $100 CDN per night time?

Throughout our time in Panama Metropolis, we stayed at 3 completely different accommodations. 

  1. Marriott Govt Residences Finisterre – we like this property as a result of it has 1-bedroom residence model rooms. It has a restaurant, rooftop pool and it’s positioned inside strolling distance to Cinta Costera, Iglesia del Carmen Cathedral and loads of restaurant choices.
  2. Residence Inn by Marriott Panama Metropolis – it is a new property that’s related to a shopping mall. Rooms are trendy, spacious and really good (see photograph beneath). The rooftop pool has unimaginable views of the ocean and metropolis. It’s additionally priced very effectively – you get plenty of worth at this lodge.
  3. Plaza Paitilla Inn Lodge – this lodge is cheap and centrally positioned on Cinta Costera. It’s an older lodge, nonetheless we stayed in a newly renovated room. It has an outside pool and restaurant with good views of the town and ocean.  

After wandering the previous streets of Casco Viejo, we’d suggest staying in that neighbourhood. We didn’t keep at a lodge in Casco Veijo this time, however we are going to after we return to Panama Metropolis sooner or later. 

Inside the hotel room at Residence Inn by Marriott Panama City

Above is our room on the Residence Inn by Marriott Panama Metropolis. 

How one can get round Panama Metropolis

Should you plan to make use of a taxi, it’s safer to rent the taxi out of your lodge, as a substitute of flagging a random taxi on the road. Costs will range relying on the place you’re staying.

We favor to make use of Uber for transportation round Panama Metropolis. It really works nice and removes language boundaries.

You don’t must obtain a distinct Uber app. The app you utilize in Canada or the US works effective in Panama Metropolis.

By utilizing the Uber app, you keep away from giving unhealthy instructions or having points explaining the place you wish to go. You additionally don’t have to fret about exchanging cash, so it removes the worry of getting ripped off by an opportunistic taxi driver.

We felt a lot safer taking an Uber in Panama Metropolis.

Catholic church Our Lady of Carmen also known as Iglesia Nuestra Senora del Carmen in Panama City Panama

Above it the Catholic church Our Girl of Carmen, also referred to as Iglesias Nuestra Senora del Carmen.

Should you like visiting cathedrals, add this one to the record. It’s one of the vital stunning church buildings in Panama Metropolis. 

Big Foot statue at JW Marriott Hotel Panama City Panama

This big ‘Massive Foot’ statue is positioned within the foyer of the luxurious JW Marriott Panama, close to the Trump Worldwide Lodge and Tower Panama.

Learn extra weblog posts from our journey to Panama:

Have you ever visited Panama Metropolis Panama? 

Share your Panama Metropolis journey ideas beneath. Our readers thanks!

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