Latin America

Top 5 things to do in Panama to have the best time! [2022]

Updated on:  
July 29, 2022
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Shanzeh Nauman
Shanzeh Nauman
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Looking for a new adventure? Panama has it all from magical adventures to historical sites. Explore the top 5 things to do while visiting Panama for an unforgettable trip!

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Thinking of Panama as your next travel destination? Panama has a diversity that makes tourists fall in love with the country, and that's to say it has something in it for everyone!

This unique travel destination is bound to rekindle your passion for travel adventures; Panama is ideal for those who prefer to wander off-the-beaten paths when it comes to holidays. 

When should you visit Panama?

Panama is a country with numerous exciting tourist spots and adventurous attractions. But before we get to them, here are a few tips to ensure you schedule your visit to Panama in suitable months and enjoy those places to the fullest.

The most optimum time to visit Panama is between February and April. During these months, the weather is pleasantly warm, and there is little rain, which you usually want to avoid in Panama. On the other hand, if you're planning on going to the southern side of the country, December to April is the perfect time of the year.

If you're worried about landing at a foreign airport, here's all you need to know about landing in Panama Airports.

Without further delay, lets get into the 5 must-visit places and things to do while you're in Panama!

5 Top things to do in Panama!

1. Visit the rainforest in the middle of Panama City

panama city and forest
Image Courtesy of Zdeněk Macháček on Upsplash

Many people have seen beautiful islands surrounded by oceans. You might have also seen a stretch of land surrounding a water body. But have you ever seen a rainforest surrounded by an urban city? If not, a visit to Ancon Hill will surely go down in your memory book as one of the most unique things to do in Panama. 

An aesthetic view is not the only thing that Ancon Hill has to offer. The variety of wildlife in the rainforest is a source of attraction to numerous tourists who search for coati, armadillos, sloths, and tamarins in the jungle.

This spot is also perfect for you if you are interested in visiting attractions that have a fascinating history. Until 1977, the US had formal possession of the rainforest before returning it to the hands of locals who decided to preserve the piece of land and turn it into a popular tourist spot. 

Talking about islands and oceans, you can also…

2. See both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans from the same spot

Panama Views
Image Courtesy of Chema on Upsplash

Do you have a wild heart that yearns for adventurous experiences? Panama has a treat for you in the shape of the majestic Baru Volcano.

Baru Volcano has a height of 11,398 feet, making it the fourteenth highest peak in Central America that offers you a splendid view. The strenuous (but worth while) hike to the mountaintop allows you to let out your inner trekking freak. If you time your trip so that you start your trekking near midnight, you'll reach the summit around sunrise to see the sun paint the entire breathtaking view with gold. 

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, or should we say the volcano. The top of the Baru Volcano is one of the scarce places on our Earth from where you can see not one but two of the biggest oceans on the planet. So, if you want to see the Pacific and the Atlantic meeting point, take a trip to Panama to chalk it off your to-do list. 

But enough about jungles and oceans and volcanoes. During your visit to Panama, don't forget to…

3. Walk through the streets of Casco Viejo 

Streets of Panama
Image Courtesy of Kaja Reichardt on Upsplash

Did you know that the original Panama City was invaded and demolished by pirates led by Henry Morgan in the early days? Well, in 1673, the locals tried to preserve the city's remains, which have now turned into a World-Heritage-protected neighborhood. 

If you're looking for a cultural attraction, the city's oldest neighborhood is the first place you should visit. While walking through the streets of Casco Viejo, you can look at some of the best-preserved plazas, churches, and other aesthetic colonial architecture. You won't even have to worry about refreshments because the area has a wide variety of excellent eateries for you to dine in. 

You can visit all the important places and have a good look in about 3-4 hours, so manage your trip accordingly. 

If you want to see more of the city, experience some nightlife in Panama!

While we're on the topic of exploring, make sure you check out some ruins...

4. Head to Panama la Vieja 

Panama has a rich culture, exciting history, and a few tragic chapters. Among them is the ruin of Panama la Vieja

It is the oldest European settlement along the pacific coast of the Americas, founded in 1519. Since it was destroyed during the pirate attack, it was relocated but never rebuilt, offering you the original preserved layout of the ruin. Here, you can see an exceptional testimony of colonial architecture and town planning.

Take a look at the picturesque remains of the cathedral and wander among the collapsed walls, and you'll be left speechless. Or, you can head up to the still-standing church tower of the city and feel the medieval time's vibes. 

The museum's numerous artifacts and historic dioramas are irresistible to miss if you have a heart for antiques. No wonder this World Heritage Site deserves at least 2-3 hours from your visit to Panama. 

And lastly…

5. Go to a tropical island and enjoy different water sports 

Island Panama
Image Courtesy of Angel Silva on Upsplash

On your trip to Panama, you can't miss out on visiting one of the tropical islands. You can try any of the numerous adventurous boat tours. 

For instance, the catamaran cruise to "the Island of Flowers," Taboga, is a perfect vacation plan if you love swimming, sunbathing, and dancing. If swimming and sunbathing aren't your things, you could even go on one of the Panama Canal boat tours and do a little birding from the water.

Or, you can head up to Azuero if you want to try surfing. Bocas del Toro and San Blas have some fantastic snorkeling experiences in store for you. 

Suppose you have enough days and can afford to visit other islands. In that case, Pearl Islands Archipelago, Coiba, and Isla Iguana in the Pacific have some of the most sensational views and engaging water sports activities for you to experience.

Fun facts about Panama!

Who said Panama is all about exotic sunsets and wearing hats? This Central American country has some of the best experiences in store for you but also some interesting facts you might want to know:

Two independence days: Almost every country celebrates a civil holiday on the anniversary of national independence. Panama, on the other hand, celebrates two independence days. One on 28th November for the independence from Spain and the other on 3rd November for the independence from Colombia.

Home to the oldest operating railroad: You might be intrigued to know that you'll find the oldest operating railroad in the whole world in Panama. 

Panama and "The Pilgrim": The water bodies in Panama are well known for storing precious stones. In fact, in the 16th century, a pearl called "The Pilgrim" was found in the Pearl Archipelago. The Pilgrim ended up with the British Royalty and became the property of Elizabeth Taylor.

The first coca cola selling country outside the US: Who said that only Americans are crazy about Coca-Cola? If not more, Panamanians equally love the tasty refreshment. In fact, it is the first country after the US in which Coca-Cola was sold. 

Visit Panama with Pilot!

Does it look like there's a lot to explore and not enough time when planning your next trip to Panama?

The country has it all for groups of friends, families, and even solo adventure seekers. Oceans, city life, culture, and tradition; all in one place! What more could you need for a dream vacation away from your routine?

Well, there is one thing you'll need by your side to slide past the worries of last-minute searches, and that's a travel planner. Check out Pilot! 

Pilot is your brand-new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!

Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!

Originally published on:  
June 27, 2022

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