Guide to Panama: A Long Weekend Break from the City

Advisor - Karen Morales
Curated By

Karen Morales

Icon Share


  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Panama

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Girls Getaway

  • Guys Getaway

  • Sightseeing

white historic building with small balconies against gray cloudy sky
Curator’s statement

Panama City is a hot spot weekend jaunt with direct daily flights from Boston, Dallas, NYC and Miami. While you might not think of Panama on the short list for girl's trips, bachelorettes, guy’s getaways, long weekends or romance, it is sure to be one of the hottest hits of the years to come.

The Fora Difference

Book with Karen to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

[object Object]
Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

[object Object]
Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

[object Object]
Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Panama

Hotel La Compañia - The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Landmark property in the heart of Panama City with modern rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Islas Secas Private Island & Reserve

A remote resort on a white-sand beach with luxury, eco-forward rooms.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo

Set in Panama's Casco Viejo district, this sparkling hotel boasts refined rooms with old-world charm, an outdoor pool and an on-site spa.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Advisor - Karen Morales

Unlock perks by contacting Karen to book your trip.

Things to do in Panama

brick walkway on the water with benches

So what does Panama City offer other than viewing the canal?

  • A UNESCO heritage neighborhood of Casco Viejo, with new luxury hotels, fine dining and local boutiques.

  • The best deep sea fishing in North America, experience the allure with so many different charter experiences available.

  • A year round tropical climate, which is also out of the hurricane zone.

  • A slew of hip and trendy restaurants, a growing latin-asian fusion vibe and lively and safe nightlife, every night of the week.

  • Affordable prices for services and Ubers (like $7USD surge pricing for a 20 minute ride).

  • Rainforests within the city limits - you can't miss the monkeys on Monkey Island.

  • Some of the best beaches, private islands and surf breaks you can find in North America.

Day Trips

Panama is the perfect blend of city, beach and jungle. If you can extend your trip for a few days, you don't want to miss either.

For sun and surf, head east to the San Blas islands. To avoid the long drive, consider taking a charter flight or helicopter and you'll arrive in style in less than 30 minutes.

To experience hiking, zip lines and waterfalls, stay inland to experience the world where coffee grows.

Places to eat & drink in Panama

three different beers on a wooden table
  • Lo Que Hay: Voted one of Latin America's 50 best restaurants of 2022, this local gem has a no reservation policy and serves up local cuisine with a flair. Located in the heart of Casco Viejo, try Panamanian specialities like cerviche, pork belly and fried chicken.

  • Selvaje: Join the late night party that includes dancing on tables, fire dancers, waiters in costume and gastronomic drinks and snacks. The perfect venue for birthday or bachelor/bachlorette party.

  • Azahar: Experience a view of the harbor and the city skyline dining on Latin/Asian fusion. Be ready for a DJ spinning alongside an electric violin, giving Bridgerton meets club vibes. Once you find the speakeasy door, you'll find yourself amid locals on a night out.

Rooftop bars

All of Casco Viejo comes alive at night with a vibrant scene on top of the historical streets.

  • Lazotea: Located on top of Hotel Casa Panama in Casco Viejo, the rooftop has both music and scenic views.

  • Tantalo: The perfect option if you are looking for an elevator to get to the outside deck, Tantalo has a two level bar reached by walking through the street level restaurant (don't forget to stop at the bar and take your picture on one of the swings).

  • Selina Rooftop: A mix of tropical and chic, the Selina rooftop brings a touch of jungle greens to the scene.

  • CasaCasco: This rooftop bar sits above the entire entertainment complex, with five total floors of entertainment, drinks and three individual restaurants. (This rooftop is only accessible via stairs).

Advisor - Karen Morales

Travel Advisor

Karen Morales

Get in touch with Karen

Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.

You can normally expect a response from Karen within a business day or so. You’ll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Barbara Zerbe's guide, Time to Unwind on a Panamanian Beach. This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Panama.