Panama province is the most populated province in Panama with around 1.7 million people and home to the country’s capital - Panama City. This is a great start for your trip to Panama.
Panama Province offers something for everyone and we highly recommend you to spend some time here.
Main Attractions in Panama city
You can start by visiting the world famous Panama Canal. A man made work of art connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean crossing through the Isthmus of Panama. The Panama canal is one of the most important infrastructures in international maritime trade. If you have time you could arrange a Panama Canal transit tour by cruise boat and witness the engineering marvel while enjoying the scenery through the journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic. It takes around 8 hours but we promise it will be worthwhile. You can also take a partial transit tour from Gamboa Lake to Miraflores (Pacific side lock) or simply go visit one of the locks where you can spot the ships transiting. If you can only go to one lock, Miraflores
comes highly recommended. It is the closest one to the city and has the Panama Canal Museum where you can learn about the history of the canal.
In Panama City you can enjoy the skyline, shopping malls, restaurants and exciting nightlife. Take a walk on the Cinta Costera (Coastal Beltway) in Balboa right in the middle of the metropolis or go to a slightly calmer place, the Causeway in Amador to enjoy the sea breeze while riding a bike or walking right next to the Canal waters. The best place to take postcard perfect photos of the city is from the Causeway and here you can also see the Bridge of the Americas which is a very popular national landmark.
You should also visit UNESCO World Heritage sites Panama Viejo
and Casco Antiguo
. Panama Viejo
is the old city founded in 1519 and destroyed in 1671 by pirates. The ruins are well preserved and are very interesting for locals and tourists alike. You can often see school trips there learning about the fascinating history of their country. Casco Antiguo
is the historical district built in 1673 right after the old city was destroyed. It is a beautiful, cozy town with colonial architecture and home of the Presidential house – El Palacio de las Garzas. Very close by, you can visit the Seafood Market where local fishermen sell seafood at the best price in the country and you can even enjoy your recently bought fish in their restaurant, knowing that the delicious meal they cook was handpicked by you.
We also recommend you to walk or drive up the Cerro Ancon (Ancon Hill)
, the highest point in Panama City. If you walk you might be lucky to spot toucans and other bird species but the highlight will be making it to the top and enjoying the amazing view of the city and the Panama Canal Zone, especially if you manage to see the sunset from there.
If you like to party, don’t worry. Panama City offers a very active night life. You can go to the Vegas style casinos where drinking is free when gambling as little as 5 cents on the slot machines. You can also go to the bars and night clubs in three main areas: Calle Uruguay in the city center, Casco Antiguo or Zona de la Rumba in the Causeway in Amador, only 15 minutes from the center.
Ecotourism and Beaches
If you are more into Ecotourism you can enjoy it in Panama province. Go to the Metropolitan National park
for a walk in a rainforest located in the city. Here you can enjoy diversity of trees, flowers and even a nice city view. You can also visit Soberania National Park
for hiking and encounters with wildlife, mainly monkeys and birds but you can spot the occasional snake as well. If you don’t feel like walking or hiking then Gamboa rainforest is for you. There you can enjoy a cable car ride through a virgin rainforest and come across beautiful flowers, plants and trees maybe being lucky enough to spot birds, monkeys or even a sloth in their natural habitat. You can also enjoy the Monkey Island tour from Gamboa to Gatun Lake, one of the biggest artificial lakes in the world. Here the highlight of your trip will be when you encounter capuchins and howling monkeys on their favorite islands but keep your hands inside the boat as you might also spot some alligators.
What about beaches? – The closest one on the Pacific side is Veracruz. Right next to the Panama canal waters, however we wouldn’t recommend it for swimming. Instead you can go there to enjoy quiet little town restaurants on the shore with delicious seafood. If you want to swim and soak up the sun on the beaches you can take a boat trip to Taboga Island
or flight to Contadora
(in Pearl Islands). If you are driving, just 1 hour from the city, but still within Panama province limits, you can reach many beautiful beaches, Gorgona, Coronado, Corona , Chame, San Carlos, El Palmar
, Rio Mar
and more. Basically every little town has a beach so you can just stop by and enjoy.
All and all, you can get pretty much everything in this province and we know you will love it. We are looking forward to your visit!