Six nights in Panama City is a great amount of time to spend visiting Panama. You’ll have the chance to see the main sights the area has to offer, as well as take some time to relax and to do what the locals do. Use this itinerary for an idea of how you could plan your 6 nights in Panama City, Panama to immerse yourself in the city and have an amazing trip!
Most likely, you’ll spend a good portion of this first day flying into Panama City, reaching your hotel and settling in. One of the best ways to spend your first afternoon/evening is to explore the area around your hotel and to enjoy a nice dinner nearby. Ask your hotel staff what attractions are nearby and for a dinner recommendation before you head out. Then grab your walking shoes and start exploring the city.
It’s your first full day in Panama City! You’ll be excited to go on an adventure and experience the best of Panama. Start today with a half-day Panama Canal tour. You’ll be transported to the canal where you’ll hear the history of the Panama Canal and how important this passage is to the trade industry. You’ll step into the ship and be transported through the passage where you can experience the filling of the locks and your ship sailing through the canal.
Right near the locks, you could dine at La Taberna Del Canal for reasonably priced meals. You’ll see ships pass while you dine on seafood dishes and Spanish cuisine, with the option for simple tapas instead of a meal. Have a drink from the well stocked bar while you dine!
After spending the morning experiencing the Panama Canal you’ll be transported back to a meeting point and the rest of the day is yours. Now is the perfect time to head to Amador Causeway and take a stroll along the water. Amador Causeway is the second longest boardwalk in Panama City. Once you are here, you can explore nearby museums or rent a pair of roller skates to roll down the boardwalk. You’ll find a variety of restaurants and menu options so be on the lookout for the perfect dinner spot, maybe you’ll be able to see the sunset on the water while you eat!
Soak Up the Culture and History
Today’s the perfect day to enjoy the architecture, culture and history of Panama City by visiting Casco Viejo (Old Quarter)! This is the city’s historic district that goes back to the 1600s. During your visit, you can see many awe-inspiring spots, including historic churches such as La Catedral Metropolitana, the National Theatre of Panama and Plaza Independencia, which is a square with beautiful architecture and culture.
During your trip to this part of the city, don’t miss the Presidential Palace, or Palacio de las Garzas. This gorgeous 17th century building houses government and history of Panama, as well as the actual president. You can take a free tour of the palace if you book it at least two weeks in advance.
Casco Viejo offers a variety of food choices, live entertainment and a bustling nightlife. When you get hungry take a look around, you will find everything from cafes to fine dining. Plus dozens of local and international dining options. If you simply need a break from walking, rest your feet while enjoying coffee and a snack at Casa Sucre Coffeehouse. Are you hungry for a full meal? Check out Rene Cafe for lunch. You’ll enjoy Latin, Central American and Spanish cuisine in a beautiful building. The restaurant serves a four-course meal with some variations available, all at a reasonable price.
Explore some of best art and diversity in Panama City. Start by learning about Frank Gehry, designer of Biomuseo. Trust us, this is a museum you won’t forget! Then head down the road and go to the top of the Atrium. You’ll see the surrounding landscapes and boats crossing the Panama Canal. Finally head to the Gallery of Biodiversity to see both the Bridge of Life and the gallery. You’ll learn about the local ecosystems, and why scientists continue to head to Panama to explore the rich jungles.
Go Beyond the Mainland
It’s worth heading off the coast of Panama and taking a day trip to the Pearl Islands. You can reach Contadora Island in 15 minutes by plane or enjoy the long route on the water by ferry or on a sailing tour. Once you’re there, you can spend the day on the gorgeous beaches. Relax and sunbathe, or enjoy swimming, snorkeling and exploring natural areas. Whale watching and dolphin watching are possible activities during certain times of the year.
You won’t find many restaurants on these islands, but Pimienta y Sal Bar on Contadora Island is a great choice for lunch. While island restaurants can be expensive, this one is reasonable and open for lunch. You’ll have a choice of Caribbean cuisine, including fresh seafood.
Head off the beaten path with a trip to the rainforests of Panama. Take a half-day trip to visit the Embera Village. You’ll be transported back in time as you visit a traditional indigenous village. The journey starts with a short log boat ride through the rainforest to reach the village. When you arrive, you’ll be guided through the village and learn about their history. You also get to experience a traditional lunch with the tribe. As you head back to Panama City take time to enjoy the rainforests. There is so much biodiversity you’re sure to experience new plants and animals alike.
Water Activities or Beach Day
Panama is home to numerous beaches and it’s usually the reason people choose to vacation here. Today is a great day to relax on the beach or enjoy some watersports. There are a few public beaches near Panama City or you can head to nearby islands to soak up the sun and sea. Here are a few options of where to go to make the most of your beach day.
Beach Day: Head to the Taboga Islands. You won’t be disappointed with these stunning white sandy beaches or surrounding nature. Here you can enjoy a day of relaxing and reading a book or walking along the water. No matter what you decide, these beaches won’t disappoint.
Snorkeling: Toboga Islands in the Wildlife Refuge Isla Iguana. Here you can go snorkeling without a tank to experience the coral reefs and wildlife. There is also the option to go diving with a tank, if you have experience.
Kayaking: Rent a kayak and go explore the waters surrounding Panama City. From the Chagres River to Gatun Lake there are a number of kayaking options for the day or just a few hours. Consider doing something romantic with a sunset kayak adventure from the Bridge of the Americas towards the bay, you’ll fall in love all over again! Or add a little adrenaline to your outing by going through the Panama Canal.
Panama City is full of opportunities to be near or in the water so be sure to make the most of your time here and take a full day to enjoy the beautiful oceans and seas.
Explore Nature or Have Outdoor Adventures
This is the last day of your trip and you’ll spend part of it going back home. You won’t want to stray too far from the city today, but you can soak up your last moments and enjoy the natural beauty of Panama one last time before you have to leave. A trip to Panama City is the perfect opportunity for having natural adventures, with many options available to you in the area around the city. You could go zip lining, hiking or ride on ATVs. There are also nature reserves at Ancon Hill.
At the Metropolitan National Park, which is only 15 minutes from the city, you can explore the trails and roads, spotting wildlife and amazing tropical plants along the way. The trails offer different lengths of time for completion and varying difficulties. You can also visit one of the lookouts, one of which offers views of the city and canal, while the other is perfect for bird watching.
During your 6 nights in Panama City Panama, you’ll have plenty of time to leisurely explore the city and the areas beyond it. See the history and architecture of the city, and take in the cultural and natural activities the area has to offer. You’ll become immersed in the beauty and lifestyle of the area since you’ll have almost a full week to take in everything around you. Play with this 6 night itinerary to create a custom trip that fits your needs and preferences. Planning out your trip will take the stress out of your vacation and help you make the most of each day.