Panama Holidays: an Overview

Thanks to the trade provided by its canal, Panama City is hugely cosmopolitan and as a result it's worth staying a night or two here rather than using the capital simply as a jumping off point for travel elsewhere. Visits to the Embera Tribe, bird-watching on Lake Gatun or taking the commuter train along the canal to Colon, are just a few of the excursions that we can arrange for you from Panama City.

Saskia and Will are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • This little country is delightfully diverse. People may be driving Lamborghinis in Panama City, but just an hour away, the Embera tribe still prefer to travel by dugout canoe
  • With two enormous coastlines, there's no shortage of beach action to be had in Panama - whether it's the calm Caribbean or the wild Pacific

Tailor Made Luxury Trips to Panama: the Detail

To date Panama has been famous for two things: a canal and an eponymous hat. This is set to change, and not because the hats are actually woven in Ecuador, but because Panama is following in the footsteps of its Central American neighbours such as Costa Rica in promoting itself as an eco-tourism destination. This is the latest place Original Travel has visited in a region we think is fantastic, and Panama surpassed even our expectations.

A short 40 minute flight north from the capital brings you to the province of Chiriqui which is home to both the beautiful unspoilt beaches of the Pacific and to the mountainous misty cloud forests of Boquete and Volcan. Enjoying a year round cool climate, the highlands lend themselves perfectly to coffee cultivation and are also a haven for nature lovers. Several hundred bird species have been identified here including the resplendent Quetzal which is one of the most exotic birds not only in Central America but in the entire world.

Beach lovers visiting Panama will be spoilt for choice; in addition to hundreds of miles of Pacific coastline, the country also boasts two archipelagos off its Caribbean coast. Bocas del Toro is set just off the North west corner and consists of several large islands. They offer excellent spots for snorkeling, diving and fishing as well as many opportunities for bird watching and animal observation. Further south are the islands of San Blas which are independently governed by the Kuna tribe - one of the best preserved indigenous cultures within the Americas. With over 365 tropical islands waiting to be discovered, the best way to explore this region is undoubtedly by sailing boat

Did you know

  • Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic Ocean
  • Panama is home to more birds than the United States and Canada combined
  • The Panama Canal Railroad was the most expensive railroad ever built, costing nearly 8 million dollars

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Original Highlight

The dizzying array of wildlife on offer around the country, with particularly good birdlife around the Soberania National Park and up in Chiriqui

Will, Original Traveller

A note on price

A 10-day holiday to Panama, visiting Panama City, the highlands and the San Blas islands, will cost from around £3,500 per person including flights. Panama also combines beautifully with Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 27°C / 80°F
  • Rainfall — 3cm / 1.5 inches
  • Water Temp. — 27°C / 80°F
Flight from London

10:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -5 hrs


Client Reviews

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of our Panama clients give our holidays a positive rating

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Top picks for Panama

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal

Panama City

Admire this architectural 20th century feat, finally completed in 1914 after protracted years of development, and substantial loss of life among the workers.

What to do

Panama Harbour

Panama City

Panama

Start your Panamanian holiday with a couple of nights in cosmopolitan Panama City, whose Manhattan-like skyline combines with the ruined ‘old’ district and the narrow streets of the colonial-era area.

Where to go

Casa del Horno

Casa del Horno

Panama City

Casa del Horno a charming, cosy and chic boutique, situated in Casa Viejo’s old quarter Casco Antiguo. Built around the 1850’s and formerly serving as a bakery its property nowadays invites as a unique boutique hotel, best to explore this bohemian neighbourhood.

Where to stay

Canoe in Panama

Bocas Del Toro

Panama

Bocas del Toro is the westernmost province of Panama on the Caribbean side of the country, bordering Costa Rica.

Where to go

The Bristol

The Bristol

Panama City

A small luxury hotel located in the heart of Panama City’s financial district, within easy walking distance of some of the best restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

Where to stay

Riverside Inn

Riverside Inn

Chiriqui & Boquete

Set on the banks of the Palto Alto River, just minutes from the town of Boquete, Riverside Inn is a charming place to stay with views over the surrounding forested hills.

Where to stay

San Blas Islands Boardwalk

San Blas Islands

Panama

A Caribbean archipelago offering tropical beach paradise alongside living, breathing indigenous tribal culture.

Where to go

Punta Caracol

Punta Caracol

Bocas Del Toro

Built along a mile-long coral reef, Punta Caracol's construction is typical of the archipelago: wooden cabins sit over the water on stilts and are covered by a palm leaf roof.

Where to stay

Panamonte Inn & Spa

Panamonte Inn & Spa

Chiriqui & Boquete

The Panamonte is less a hotel and more a country inn, with personalized service and a relaxed atmosphere, a home away from home.

Where to stay

Boquete Bridge

Chiriqui & Boquete

Panama

In the west of the country, close to the border with Costa Rica, this is the best place to enjoy Panama's lush heartland.

Where to go

Tranquilo Bay

Tranquilo Bay

Bocas Del Toro

Tranquilo Bay is located on the island of Bastimentos, part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago in western Panama, close to Costa Rica.

Where to stay

Coral Lodge

Coral Lodge

San Blas Islands

Start with an early morning flight from Panama City to El Porvenir, for a Kuna breakfast in a typical village, where you will learn about the culture and traditions of the Kuna Indian tribe.

Where to stay

The trip was amazing!! Massive success and far exceeded our high expectations. Absolute proof that Original Travel's specialised high touch approach is hugely value additive to the discerning traveller!

Jake

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