The top ten tourist attractions in Panama
Panama is a tropical country in Central America that offers a variety of breathtaking and exciting attractions for tourists. From the historic Panama Canal to beautiful beaches, tourists are drawn to this culturally-rich nation. The country boasts an array of activities and things to see, making it an ideal vacation spot for all types of travelers. In this article, we will explore the top ten tourist attractions in Panama and why they should be on your travel list. And on a personal note: Well I live now over 40 years here in Panama and I can only recomend you visit us someday and maybe even more then once as Panama has so mucgh to offer its hard to [plan it all into just one visit! For a dedicated website about Panama please see also PTY4u.com.
Panama Tourist Attractions
Panama is an exciting and vibrant country filled with a rich history and culture. From the sandy beaches of the Caribbean to the tropical rainforest in Darien, Panama has something for everyone. With its diverse landscape, fascinating wildlife, and many historical sites, it’s no wonder that Panama is one of the top tourist destinations in Central America. Here are ten of the best attractions to experience when visiting Panama:
The first must-see attraction is Casco Viejo – Panama City’s historic old town. Filled with colonial buildings from centuries ago, visitors can explore churches, museums, and architectural wonders while learning about the city’s past. Another iconic place to visit is Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal – one of seven such locks along this incredible man-made waterway that connects two oceans.
#1: Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is one of the world’s most iconic waterways. A marvel of engineering and ingenuity, it connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through a series of locks, allowing ships to pass between them. Spanning 80km in length, it is one of the leading tourist attractions in Panama.
Located between Central America and South America, this canal was the brainchild of American architect Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla and French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps. Their efforts made possible a passage way that had been dreamed about since colonial times. The canal revolutionized global trade when it opened in 1914 and remains as important today as ever before.. The best place to see the canal is the Miraflores visitors center in Panama City or the visitors center on the Colon side above the new aguas claras locks.
And I quote from canalmuseum.com: By August 15, 1914 the Panama Canal was officially opened by the passing of the SS Ancon. At the time, no single effort in American history had exacted such a price in dollars or in human life. The American expenditures from 1904 to 1914 totaled $352,000,000, far more than the cost of anything built by the United States Government up to that time. Together the French and American expenditures totaled $639,000,000. It took 34 years from the initial effort in 1880 to actually open the Canal in 1914. It is estimated that over 80,000 persons took part in the construction and that over 30,000 lives were lost in both French and American efforts.
#2: Panama City & Casco Viejo
For those looking to explore the beauty and culture of Panama, a visit to Casco Viejo should be at the top of their list. Casco Viejo is an old Spanish colonial town in Panama City that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1673, it was originally known as Panama la Vieja before it was destroyed by pirate raids and earthquakes.
Casco Viejo is home to some of the most stunning architecture and historical sites in the country, including its iconic churches and cathedrals such as San Francisco de Asis Church, Iglesia El Carmen Church, and La Merced Church. Visitors can also explore other locations such as Plaza Herrera Square or take a tour of Palacio de las Garzas or take part in one of many street festivals throughout the year.
Panama City itself has many attractions we recommend you hike along the Cause way and visit the bio diversity museum, visit the canal museum and or the panama viejo, also this city is a paradise for shopping so go for it! There are many shopping malls you cant miss them, also enjoy the great variety of top restaurants and ypou will find from Chienese to Italian, from Argetinian to Indian and from Japanese to Peruvian and more so many flavors its hard to choose where to go.
#3: Isla Taboga
Isla Taboga is a small tropical island located just off the coast of Panama City, and it is widely considered to be one of Panama’s top tourist attractions. Located in the Gulf of Panama, Isla Taboga offers beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, making it a great spot for travelers looking to relax and soak up some sun. Visitors can get there by ferry from Panama City or by plane from other cities in the country.
Once on the island, visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking and even bird-watching. With its lush jungles and rainforests filled with an abundance of wildlife, hikers will have plenty to explore. The beaches are also popular spots for sunbathing or freshwater swimming in crystal clear waters.
Paul Gauguin in Taboga, Having worked for the first (French) attempt to dig a canal from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific, an attempt in which 22,000 workers lost their life, the French painter Paul Gauguin, taken ill, was sent for treatment in Taboga Island, The flower island.
#4: San Blas Islands
The San Blas Islands are one of the top ten tourist attractions in Panama. Located off the Caribbean coast, these 378 islands and cays offer visitors a paradise-like experience with its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and lush vegetation. An archipelago belonging to the Kuna Yala indigenous people, this is an ideal destination for nature lovers looking for a remote escape from city life.
Not only does the San Blas Islands provide a stunning natural landscape for exploration but also offers tourists plenty of activities to do such as snorkeling and diving around coral reef formations that are teeming with marine wildlife. The islands are also home to numerous beach bars where you can enjoy drinks while taking in beautiful views of nearby islands or relax on sun loungers during sunset.
Here some photos from some of the must see destinations of Panama! Enjoy!
#5: Chiriqui Highland, Boquete and Cerro Punta
The top ten tourist attractions in Panama wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Chiriqui Highlands, Boquete and Cerro Punta. Located in western Panama, they are a must-visit destination for any traveler to the country.
The region is known as one of the most beautiful areas of Panama, with its lush rolling hills blanketed in green foliage and majestic mountain peaks towering above them. The region has become a popular destination for eco-tourism due to its rich biodiversity and abundance of wildlife. Visitors can explore the area’s many trails by bike or on foot, take part in bird watching activities, go rafting down the rivers or simply relax amid postcard perfect landscapes. Cerro Punta is a good starting point to find a local guide to show you the Resplendant Quetzal a truly royal treat for any birdwatcher. And talking about birdwatching, Panama has over 940 registered species of birds and these can be found in many beautiful locations some listed here at PTYbirds.com.
Boquete, home every January of the flower and coffee fair, is a stunningly beautiful town located in the Chiriqui Province of Panama. Situated between the majestic Volcan Baru and the Caldera River, Boquete offers a unique combination of breathtaking scenery and wonderful attractions. Those seeking an unforgettable experience will find plenty to explore and enjoy here.
The first on any tourist’s list should be white water rafting down the Caldera River. With class III-IV rapids, this thrilling adventure promises excitement for all levels of rafters. Nature lovers may want to take advantage of hiking trails that traverse through lush forests or maybe even trek up Volcan Baru, whose summit offers spectacular views from both sides of the mountain. For those looking for relaxation, one can simply spend time strolling around downtown Boquete or visit one of its many cafés or restaurants to enjoy delicious local cuisine.
#6: Bocas del Toro Archipelago
The Bocas del Toro Archipelago is a chain of tropical islands off the coast of Panama that are known for their picturesque beauty and adventure-filled activities. These islands, located just north of the border with Costa Rica, provide a perfect escape from city life and offer some of the most stunning views and activities in all of Panama. From crystal-clear waters to lush rainforests and white sand beaches, there is something for everyone on these idyllic islands.
For those looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, diving or snorkeling among the colorful coral reefs is sure to be a highlight. Visitors can also indulge in some aquatic fun by kayaking through mangroves or taking boat tours around Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park where they may even spot dolphins!
#7: Carnival in Las Tablas, Panama
Carnival in Las Tablas, Panama is a must-see for anyone looking to really get immersed in Panamanian culture. Taking place annually during the two weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday, this festival has become one of the most popular attractions in all of Panama. Revelers from around the country join together for processions, parades and dancing throughout the town.
The Carnival tradition began over 150 years ago as a pre-Lenten celebration with roots in Spanish colonial times. During these two weeks, everyone takes part in elaborate masks and costumes while different musical styles ranging from salsa to traditional folk music are played everywhere you look. There are also plenty of food stalls where visitors can sample all sorts of traditional dishes like sancocho de gallina (chicken soup) for example.
#8: Coiba Island National Park
As one of the top ten tourist attractions in Panama, Coiba Island National Park is a must-visit destination for all types of travelers. Located off the Pacific Coast of Veraguas Province, this protected nature reserve and Unesco World Heritage Site offers an array of activities for visitors to explore. From snorkeling in crystal clear waters, to spotting rare species of birds and animals on its jungle trails, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife lovers to get up close with nature. Make sure your guide shows you the little Grano de Oro Island for a swim or tpo snorchel in its clear blue waters and also a visit to the old abandoned prison on the island is worthwhile.
The park boasts a diversity of ecosystems that includes coral reefs, mangrove swamps and tropical rainforests. It is also home to 39 species endemic to the area, such as the critically endangered scarlet macaw and green sea turtle; making it a great location for eco-tourism.
#9: Embera Indigenous Village
Panama is home to a large number of diverse tourist attractions, but one of the most interesting and unique experiences is visiting an Embera Indigenous Village. Located in the Darien region of Panama, these villages offer visitors a glimpse into traditional Embera life and culture. The Embera people have lived in this area for centuries, and still practice their age-old customs today. Tourists can take part in a variety of activities while visiting an Embera village, such as learning about their traditional way of life from elders, taking part in dances and ceremonies, going on nature treks or simply relaxing with stunning views over the rainforest canopy. A visit to an Embera village offers tourists a chance to connect with local culture and appreciate the beauty that Panama has to offer.
#10 The Pearl Islands
Exploring the Pearl Islands of Panama is one of the top ten tourist attractions in this Central American country. Located off the Pacific Coast, these islands feature lush rainforests, endless beaches, and a rich historical legacy. It is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Panama and a unique cultural heritage. Tourists can explore volcanoes and hike through national parks while also enjoying activities like scuba diving, fishing, kayaking, sailing, and bird watching. Contadora maybe the most famouse island here and a beautiful place to visit.
The Pearl Islands are home to many small villages with traditional thatched roof homes made from local materials. These villages offer visitors a glimpse into Panamanian culture with local foods on offer as well as handmade arts and crafts available for purchase. The islanders are known for their hospitality; welcoming visitors with open arms to share stories about their lives here.
Conclusion: Explore Panama!
Panama is a great place to explore and experience! This article has highlighted the top ten tourist attractions that Panama has to offer. From discovering its history at The Panama Canal to experiencing the beauty of San Blas Islands, there is something for everyone in this Central American country.
Visitors will be amazed by the vibrant culture of Panama City and all the opportunities it provides for those looking to have fun, learn about its culture and heritage, or just simply relax on its beaches. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there’s a unique experience waiting for you in Panama. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, we are confident that your time here will be well spent! So go ahead and explore all the hidden gems that Panama has to offer!
And as Bonus: Surfing in Panama Playa Venado and Santa Catalina
Panama is a diverse country with a variety of attractions for tourists to explore. From its famous Panama Canal, to its stunning tropical rainforests and beautiful beaches, visitors can find something for everyone. As an added bonus, Panama also has some of the best surfing spots in Central America. Playa Venado and Santa Catalina are two of the most popular destinations for surfers looking to ride the waves.
Santa Catalina is located in Veraguas province and offers both beginners and experts an unforgettable experience. Its waters are consistently calm due to its enclosed location between rocky cliffs, making it great for those just starting out or practicing tricks on their boards. Playa Venado is in Azuero the Los Santos Province its a long drive there but you wont regret it. Even if you dont surf thats a beautiful corner of Panama.
Plus there is so much more to see and discover: El Valle de Anton, Pedasi, The Rainforest discovery center in Gamboa, The Summit Garden Zoo with the Harpy Eagle named Panama, The Beaches from Punta Chame to Coronado and Santa Clara, a train ride from Panama to Colon along the Panama Canal, Portobello and Isla Grande, Fuerte San Lorenzo, Santa Fe de Veraguas, and and and and so many more beautiful places its hard to stop writing here. But well again please come back there is more to see!!! See also these pages here for some travel videos from Panama and here for some travel videos from Panama City.
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