Holistic Travel in Panama City and Cambutal

Cara Schuster Travel Advisor
Curated By

Cara Schuster

Icon Share


  • Panama

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • City Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Holistic

  • Local Scene

  • Multi-City

View of downtown Panama City skyline with palm tree in the forefront
Curator’s statement

Panama City is an incredible, historically rich city that often gets overlooked as a layover city in Latin America. The old town, Casco Viejo, is essentially a living museum with gorgeous architecture, delicious food, museums and a relaxed but colorful vibe. Panama is home to many Indigenous cultures and a vibrant Afro-Caribbean community. While Panama City is its international capital, Cambutal is a holistic magical hidden gem village on the Pacific Coast in the Azuero Peninsula. It is an entirely off-the-beaten-path destination with wonderful people from around the world who have all landed here with great intention. Traverse Panama’s distinct landscapes and discover the new communities arising.

The Fora Difference

Book with Cara 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

Sansara Surf and Yoga Resort

Adventure-focused resort in Cambutal offering a unique wellness fusion of surf and yoga.

Wave House Cambutal

Bohemian hotel embraced by the Panamanian jungle, featuring well-appointed A-frame suites and access to A+ surfing.

Things to do in Panama

Aerial view of the coast in Panama with green trees and wet sand meeting the ocean

Exploring Panama City

Perhaps one of Panama’s most popular destinations is the Panama Canal. Pro tip: Go before 10 am to beat the crowds and experience the legendary engineering feat. If you’re looking to learn even more about Panama, head out to the Panama Viejo, a pre-Columbian archeological site with a nearby museum. The Biomuseo is also a great spot to learn more about the biodiversity of Panama.  Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, it overlooks the bay across from the Cinta Costera. Finally, the Museo de la Mola in Casco Viejo is a small but beautifully curated museum full of colorful Mola textiles created by Indigenous Kuna people. 

Pacific Escape to Cambutal

Cambutal is a surfers' paradise with a laid-back vibe. It is essentially a one-lane hamlet with no glitz or glamor yet all the sophisticated respite you could wish for. Walk the beach about 45 minutes left of the beach break, and you will come to La Cuchilla, sometimes known as Devil's Cave. You will need to cross the rocks to get to the other side and be sure to go at low tide so you can fully access the cave safely. For those looking for something on the sea, the Azuero Peninsula offers some of the best fishing in Central America. The beach is dotted with fishermen taking their boats out to sea early in the morning, a lovely scene to ponder over a cup of strong black Panamanian coffee. 

Spa Time: Receive holistic treatments from Ronda Lynn, Breathe Healing and Wellness owner. Her service menu is unique and extensive. Ronda Lynn has traveled and studied modalities around the world to bring bodywork, massages, ancient fire cupping, body wraps, detoxes and beyond. She handcrafts all her spa mediums from her impressively stocked apothecary. She is also a talented martial artist and plant-based cook and offers classes on both. 

A note from Cara

You can rent a car in Panama City and drive six hours to Cambutal via Interstate 1 on the PanAmerican highway. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Albrook bus station or hire a driver for roughly $200. Your accommodations in Cambutal can assist you in arranging transportation.

Eat & drink in Panama

Pile of chocolate brownies on wooden plate

Mahalo Cocina y Jardín: Plant-based heaven in Casco Viejo. The patio is a jungle-filled paradise complete with jackfruit trees. Just about everything is delicious, so indulge! 

Fonda Lo Que Hay: Incredible dinner scene in Casco Viejo serving modern Panamanian food, fresh ingredients and a lively atmosphere. (Look for a host to greet you near the door, or you might miss it.) There is also a beautiful atrium to sit in.

Breathe Healing & Wellness: Plant-based beachfront kitchen and medicinal herb tea parlor. Ronda Lynn puts a lot of love into her nutrient-dense food. Do not leave without trying the cacao brownies!

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Panama. Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Chic Three-Day Itinerary to Discover New Orleans, Louisiana.