How to not do a basic trip to Panama

Panama is mix of nature, modernism and adventure. If you’re planning to come, you need to be prepared because it’s extremely hot and humid. However, if you have a nomad spirit, there’s plenty of great places that you’ll enjoy.

You might discover most of our country in a range of 10-14 days, hence I will show you about 20 Top Spots you must discover in your next tropical vacation.

If you want to have a wider paradigm of our country’s lifestyle, my friend Joey has a blog called PTY Life in which he shares his adventures as a foreigner living in Panama City. I highly recommend it :)


Day 1 – “Nice to meet you, Panama”: Get yourself right from your hotel to the historic Panama Canal then drive to the Old Panama Ruins which are the remaining parts of the Old Panama City. Your first night should be all about Rooftop-hopping through some of the best rooftop bars in town (Tantalo, Gatto Blanco and 1400)

Day 2 / Day 3 – “I better not be hangover cuz I have an 8 hours trip to Pedasí”: Make a quick stop at Quesos Chela (Best cheese empanadas ever) then make another quick stop at El Valle which is a rainforest area in which you can experience natural thermal pools, see a beautiful waterfall and buy nice souvenirs. After that, you have 5 hours left to Pedasí which is a town situated on the south-eastern tip of Azuero Peninsula on the pacific cost. Stay at El Sitio Hotel which is highly recommended and close to the amazing Isla Iguana.

Day 4 / Day 5 – “I should drink lots of coffee because this just got real and we’re heading to Boquete”: After two incredible days at Pedasí, it’s time to put some sunburn lotions and discover another masterpiece called Boquete which is a small town situated in the green mountain highlands of Chiriqui Province. It could take you around 6 hours from Pedasí to Boquete, so make a strategic stop at El Ciruelito to eat some traditional grassy food. I recommend you to stay at Mamallena Hostel in Boquete. Good thing about hostels is that you can meet loads of new friends and save money. Some outdoor activities you must do in Boquete are river rafting, hiking and coffee tour.

Day 6 / Day 7 / Day 8 – “Ok, we literally can’t. We’re like dying but we’re heading to Bocas because YOLO”: Calm down, I know this seems like a super heavy schedule but it’s deff worth it. Being an bocasoptimistic nomad is all about keep going! There’s actually a shuttle service in Mamallena Hostel that leaves at 8am and arrives in Almirante Bocas Port at 12pm. You might be tired of driving so this is a good option to rest for a while. As soon as you get there, you must take a 20 minutes “water-taxi” that drives you to the joyful Isla Colon. Stay at Coconut Hostel, you won’t be disappointed. At night you should deff go for some drinks at Casa Animal or Acqua Lounge. Make sure that on your second day you visit Red Frog Beach, which is close-ish to Isla Colon.

Day 9 – “Take me to civilization, please. Baaaack to the city”: Ok before arriving to the city, make a stop at Veracruz beach and enjoy the SUP experience. You can rent and learn how to paddle surf in SUP Republic or Paddle Paradise. Therefore, as soon as you get back to your hotel, get a well-deserved nap. Remember you can always take cheap flights from the city to these destinations but I’m just trying to make it more interesting! At sunset time you must enjoy the best city view at Trump’s Panaviera Pool Bar. After a few drinks, take your Uber right to Casco Viejo and do a bar-hopping at Rana Dorada, Relic and Mojitos Sin Mojitos.

Day 10 – “This hangover will kill me but I need to get my Caribbean tan. Let’s go to San Blas!”: This is your final spot 25104_239957274978_30273_nbefore going home and it’s only a day trip. You will feel tired and kinda drained so this trip might relax you a lot. San Blas is consisted of 365 islands in which 49 are inhabited. It might take you around 2.5 hours to get there. Take everything you need because most islands are inhabited, without electricity and there’s no shops. Take some home made tuna sandwiches, chips and alcohol. I recommend you Isla Perro or Isla Aguja. You will experience the real tropical dream. It’s amazing.

I’m sure you will feel exhausted at the end of your Panamanian Trip but it will be worthy. Everytime I travel to an unknown place, I try to make the best of it, even if I’m tired or jet lagged.

Btw if you’re looking for original souvenirs, you should deff check out Las Tipiquitas artistic movement!

I hope you enjoy my suggestions and if you ever go to Europe, check the Eurotrip version of this post.