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Indigenous Village near Bocas Del Toro

Things to do in Panama

Most famous for its celebrated canal, Panama offers far more than pioneering feats of engineering and although a trip to see the renowned locks and huge ships is intriguing, there are many more things to see and do in this diverse country.

An early start along the country’s Pipeline Road provides world-class birdwatching with 300 different species being recorded in a single day, while the surrounding rainforest is home to howler monkeys, anteaters and agoutis. You can also visit dreamy tropical islands, snorkel amongst colourful reefs, meet indigenous communities and explore colonial forts, all in a country the size of Ireland.

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Audley Travel specialist Corina

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Ideas for experiencing Panama

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know Panama, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Embera Indians. Panama

    Embera Indian Village

    Panama City

    This tour goes up into the hills outside Panama City to the Chagres river where you transfer with your guide on to an open-top Embera motorised canoe. You zip along the clear river waters by boat through beautiful scenery to visit the small indigenous community of Embera Indians in the Chagres National Park.

  • The Discovery (Catamaran)

    The Discovery Catamaran

    Panama City

    The Discovery is owned and operated by Panama Marine Adventures (PMA) and is a 33 metre purpose built catamaran capable of travelling up to a speed of 18 knots.

  • Cocle Province, Panama

    Cocle Province Tour

    Cocle Province

    This trip will include a visit to one of La Pintadas cigar factories where you can watch cigars still made in the traditional manner, hand-rolled, hand-cut and hand-pressed.

  • Keel-billed Toucan, Soberania National Park

    Birding Tour

    The Canal Zone

    This is considered to be one of the best birding spots in the world with 300 species of birds recorded in one single day by the Audubon Society.

  • Sea Kayaking, Zapatilla Cayes

    Tranquilo Bay Activities

    There is a wide range of activities available at Tranquilo Bay. The 'Within the Reef' option includes the use of the lodge's sea kayaks, snorkelling equipment and fishing rods.

  • El Valle, Panama

    El Valle & Mountain Hike

    El Valle originates in the crater of a long extinct volcano which is thought to have been the largest in Central America. With a cool and pleasant climate, this unique valley rises 600 metres above sea level and its cool tropical forests are an ideal place for hikes for all abilities.

  • Portobello Fort, Panama

    Portobello & San Lorenzo Forts

    Panama City

    After crossing the canal over one of the lock gates you continue to Fort San Lorenzo, which was constructed by the Spaniards in 16th Century to defend against the constant threat of pirates seeking to interrupt the transporting of Inca gold. The fort is very isolated and accessed via a bumpy road but the drive is worth it with stunning views out across the Caribbean sea and the mouth of the Chagres River.

  • Gatun Lake, Panama

    Gatun Lake Boat Tour & Rainforest Hike

    Panama City

    Travel along the scenic Gamboa Road to the Soberania National Park for a walk along the Pipeline Road, Plantation Road or El Charco Trail, all of which are fantastic for viewing the unique ecology of the canal watershed.

  • Panama Canal, Panama City

    Panama City & Canal Tour

    Panama City

    The tour of Panama City takes in the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal, Panama Viejo and Casco Antiguo. The tour begins with a visit to the impressive Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal.