Located in Central America and often overlooked in favor of neighboring Costa Rica, Panama is a country worth a visit. Spilling with historic charm and unique wildlife encounters, Panama delivers on the family fun and activities! Check out our list of recommended activities perfect for families.
A must see sight in Panama City, Casco Viejo is the historic old town of Panama City. Wander the colonial streets, sample Raspados (a traditional Panamanian shaved ice), tour one of the many stunning cathedrals, have a beer at La Rana Dorado (craft brewery) or dine at a rooftop restaurant (Tantalo or Casa Casco).
Located 45 minutes outside Panama City, Gamboa Rainforest is the perfect day trip filled with unique animal encounters and Monkey Island is a must stop! (Monkey Adventures is a great tour company option! Our private tour included pick up and drop off at our hotel, private transportation and a personal tour guide.)
Start your tour with a boat ride down the Panama Canal. It is incredible to cruise along side the large container ships in the canal. During the tour to Monkey Island, you will view and learn about different monkey specifies in the rainforest. Monkeys venture close and hopefully put on quite a show like they did for us!
Another worthy stop in the Gamboa Rainforest Reserve is the Sloth Sanctuary. Geared toward rehabilitation, the sanctuary takes in orphaned sloths and raises them to be released back into the wild. This is a great place to learn about such a unique animal!
A connection between the Atlantic Coast and Pacific Ocean, this artificial waterway is a critical shipping artery for the world. Learn about the canal’s history and construction while witnessing the massive ships cruise along the canal. The Miraflores Visitor Center is just a 15 minute drive from downtown Panama City or you could venture to the Agua Canal Locks an hour drive outside the city.
BOCAS DEL TORO:
An island chain located in the northeast corner of Panama close to the border of Costa Rica, Bocas del Toro is a naturally stunning place. Soak in the laid back vibe and start your island hopping.
Have brunch at Cafe del Mar or Amaranto in Bocas Town. Grab a water taxi and head to the Floating Bar for drinks and tacos. Rent snorkel gear and hunt for the islands beautiful starfish. Spend the day lounging on Red Frog Beach. Or simply hang on the dock of your hotel and take in the island vibes.
An uninhabited island in Bocas del Toro, Cayo Zapatilla is truly a natural wonder! With milky turquoise water, spend the day enjoying the gentle waves and warm waters.
*Tip: bring snacks, waters and adult beverages with you on the boat before you leave your hotel as you will not find anything along the way or on the island.
Panama has so much more to offer outside of this list! Check out the beautiful San Blas Islands. Hike in Anton Valley. Visit Meteropolitan Nature Park outside Panama City for beautiful city views. Take a day trip to visit the Embera Tribe, an indigenious group still living along the Chagres River.
Enjoy this unique Central American country and all that it has to offer!