Such extraordinary regional diversity within a country as small as Panama is a rare find, and means there’s plenty to do without the hassle of long journeys. Panama City’s Casco Antiguo (old historic quarter) is a UNESCO protected site with a fascinating maritime history, delectable food scene, and beautiful colonial architecture – the perfect starting point for a Panamanian adventure. From here, discover the world-famous Panama Canal; a marvellous feat of engineering and one of the most important inventions in the history of trade, which connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans over a hundred years ago. It’s well worth a visit to watch how vast cruise ships pass through the Canal’s intricate lock systems.
For lush rainforest and mountain scenery, venture west to the highlands of Chiriqui, a nurturing landscape for wildlife where you’ll spot an abundance of birds and monkeys, and coffee plantations grow bountifully thanks to a lovely warm climate and the perfect altitude. Small lodges in Chiriqui provide peace and quiet in the heart of nature.
Blessed with both Pacific and Atlantic coastlines; the Pacific Coast boasts endless white beaches and excellent surf, along with Humpback whale watching from July to October. The calmer Caribbean coast is a shimmering scene of crystal clear waters and tropical palm trees, with a handful of rustic-luxury retreats set in private bays. But the San Blas Islands are where you’re transported to paradise; an archipelago of mostly uninhabited white sand islands surrounded by pristine coral reefs. Explore by luxury yacht, stopping to swim and snorkel, or enjoy a private picnic on the warm Caribbean sands. Here you can also discover the indigenous Kuna Yala tribe and their unique traditions.
To learn more about Panama’s folkloric traditions and witness the artisanal skill of those keeping its cultural heritage alive, the small villages of the Azuero Peninsula are worth passing through (a few hours’ drive from Panama City) and we can arrange for you to visit workshops and home-studios to see traditional devil’s masks being made from papier mache, hand-made drums and intricately designed traditional Pollera dresses that can take up to a year to sew.