Panama is a small country situated at the southern end of the Central American isthmus. Famous for its impressive 82km ship canal running from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean, Panama is full of rich and diverse experiences to offer to all of its visitors.
Experience a dynamic city life with superb hotels in Panama City, enjoy an idyllic tropical island stay on the Caribbean coast and explore some of the country’s pristine rainforest with abundant wildlife and nature.
Panama’s cuisine is influenced by its diverse mix of ethnicities with many restaurants serving international dishes as well as traditional Panamanian cuisine with Afro-Caribbean, indigenous and Spanish touches. The seafood is hard to beat, especially the lobster and ceviche marinated in lemon juice. Try the sancocho, a popular spicy stew with chicken and plantain.
Choose from a tremendous range of luxury hotels in Panama City as well as small boutique hotels and ecolodges and rainforest resorts.
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Where to go in Panama
Capital: Panama City
Official language: Spanish
Currency: Balboa (PAB) / US Dollar (USD)
Time zone: GMT −5 hours
International dialling code: +507
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Panama City is a capital of contrasts with a colourful mix of the future and the past. Also known as three cities: the old city, “La Vieja”; the “Casco Antiguo”, the second city; and today’s very contemporary city of iconic skyscrapers.
Make the Panama Canal transit from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic, experiencing the series of locks along the way. Or take a jungle boat expedition, hike through the old Spanish trails or enjoy a biking tour in the former Canal Zone.
Bocas del Toro
Panama’s Caribbean jewel, the Bocas archipelago of islands boasts clear, calm waters and huge tracts of virgin hardwood and rainforest. The diversity of birds, coral and aquatic life is rivalled by few other places in the world.
Relax on the palm-fringed white sand beaches of Bocas del Toro and go swimming or snorkelling in the turquoise waters amidst the coral reefs.
Stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and explore the 100 hectares of rainforest and go hiking in Soberania National Park, one of the most accessible national parks in Panama.
San Blas Islands
Take a canoe trip in the San Blas Archipelago in the Caribbean with its white sand dream beaches, crystal blue waters and spectacular coral reefs, and meet the local indigenous Kuna people living their traditional and cultural lifestyle.
The charming town of Boquete, 30 minutes from David, in the highland province of Chiriquí, is renowned for its near perfect weather and fertile soil creating an ideal setting for floral exportation and coffee growing.
Trek through the cloud forest near Boquete amidst lush tropical forest with its tropical flowers and exotic birds.
When to go
A year-round destination with tropical, humid weather throughout the year and temperatures between 25-30°C.
In the mountains of Chiriquí, it is cooler with lovely fresh, crisp air.
The dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May to October although it is worth remembering that during the wet season the rain tends to come in short showers and you will still have plenty of sunshine!
Where to go next
We recommend combining Panama with a trip to Costa Rica. From the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro it is an easy transfer by boat and road to the Costa Rican border.
Another good combination is Panama and neighbouring Colombia. It is just a one-hour flight from Panama City to Cartagena.
Map of Panama
Valid passport required.
For the latest visa info, see: www.VisaHQ.co.uk
Always check with your doctor or medical centre in advance of travelling.
For current vaccination recommendations see: