Panama

This small, tropical Central America republic is the melting pot of tradition, culture and diversity that you’d expect from a country linking two continents and two oceans. Panama’s long coastlines offer exquisite marine playgrounds, and an array of natural delights and historical treasures in between. Visitors can discover world-class surfing at Santa Catalina, take a cruise to the Pearl Islands in the Pacific Ocean, relax along stretches of sandy white beaches, explore the ruins of Spanish forts on the Caribbean coast or paddle deep into indigenous territories in a dugout canoe. Visits to the Volcán Barú National Park Coiba and National Marine Park are an itinerary must.

What’s on offer in Panama?

Panama Canal - Americas Bridge

Panama Canal

A trip to Panama would be incomplete without a partial crossing of the Panama Canal or, at the very least, a visit to the Miraflores Visitors’ Center at Miraflores Locks, situated about 20 minutes from downtown Panama City. The Center features a museum with interactive exhibits and a short film on the canal’s construction, while an outside terrace offers a bird’s-eye view of ships transiting. Completed in 1914, the American-built waterway is viewed as a feat of engineering with its locks system that lifts ships 26 metres to the main elevation of the canal and then down again. More than 14 000 vessels transit the 77km long canal each year.

Panama City

Panama City

Possibly the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America, Panama City, located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, offers a vibrant metropolis (its dense skyline of high-rises is often compared with Miami) and a base for exploring its lush tropical surrounds. Must-sees include the Panama Canal and the Amador Causeway that connects the city with four islands in a small archipelago in the Pacific Ocean (and offers terrific views of the metropolitan area), as well as the quaint old quarter, the Casco Viejo. Alternatively, enjoy a tour of nearby rainforests, where you will have the chance to spy toucans, sloths and howler monkeys, among other exotic creatures.

Bocas Del Toro - Panama

Bocas Del Toro

Bocas town, as the relaxed and colourful resort is known, is situated on Colón Island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, off the mainland province of the same name. Lingering here will have you soaking up true Caribbean vibes, but it’s also the perfect base to explore the archipelago by water taxi. Expeditions include snorkeling, scuba-diving among the extensive coral reefs resplendent with tropical fish, or hiking through lush rainforest to enjoy empty stretches of shoreline. Lost in time, blessed by nature and with friendly locals, Bocas is an unforgettable destination that most travellers find difficult to leave.

San Blas Islands - Panama

San Blas Islands

More Long Haul Holiday Ideas…


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