Eco-Tourism Adventures in Panama

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Advisor - Arlette Diederiks
Curated By

Arlette Diederiks

  • Panama

  • Adventure Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Sighseeing

  • Beach Town

  • Local Culture

city beyond rainforest
Curator’s statement

Panama boasts unparalleled biodiversity and a vibrant tapestry of colors and nature. This Central American country attracts travelers to experience ecotourism like never before, embracing its rainforests, clear waters, rushing rivers, towering mountains and architectural treasures. For those seeking authentic and awe-inspiring adventures away from the crowds, Panama offers a myriad of experiences that allow visitors to discover nature's wonders.

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Where to stay in Panama

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Things to do in Panama

Mountains under blue sky.

Volcan Baru National Park

Nestled within the picturesque highlands of Panama, Volcan Baru National Park is a striking testament to the country's natural splendor and ecological richness. Towered over by the majestic Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama, this unspoiled wilderness beckons both eco-tourists and adventure seekers to indulge in a captivating playground of nature.

Darién National Park

Located in southeastern Panama, Darién National Park serves as a remarkable testament to the thriving biodiversity found within its pristine expanses. Untouched and teeming with life, this wilderness offers nature enthusiasts an immersive experience in an unspoiled ecosystem. The dense rainforests and winding rivers of Darién provide a thriving habitat for a diverse array of wildlife, including elusive jaguars, vibrant bird species and unique reptiles, making it a true haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Coiba National Park

Coiba National Park, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, unlocks the entrance to an untouched marine wonderland brimming with biodiversity. Situated off Panama's Pacific coast, this pristine archipelago boasts one of the Eastern Pacific's largest coral reefs, luring snorkelers and scuba divers with its mesmerizing beauty and abundant marine life.

Bocas del Toro Archipelago

The Bocas del Toro Archipelago reveals a mesmerizing underwater realm that enchants nature enthusiasts and water adventurers alike. Its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs create a marine paradise teeming with life, where playful dolphins, graceful sea turtles and an array of colorful tropical fish create a captivating kaleidoscope of marine wonders.

San Blas Islands

Nestled along Panama's Caribbean coast, the San Blas Islands form an enchanting archipelago comprising 365 pristine islands adorned with turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and vibrant coral reefs. Rich in culture, these islands are home to the Guna indigenous people, who preserve their traditional way of life, fostering cultural exchange and a profound respect for sustainable living.

Boquete and Chiriqui Highlands

Boquete and the Chiriqui Highlands in Panama offer a picturesque haven for eco-tourists seeking a tranquil retreat enveloped by nature's embrace. Nestled amidst lush cloud forests and misty mountains, this region presents a myriad of sustainable travel experiences that immerse visitors in the wonders of the natural world.

Amistad International Park

Amistad International Park, a precious gem jointly held by Panama and Costa Rica, exemplifies transnational collaboration in safeguarding nature's treasures. Encompassing over 200,000 hectares of untouched rainforests, misty mountains and sparkling rivers, this expansive wilderness ranks among the largest protected areas in Central America.

Metropolitan Natural Park

Situated in close proximity to the city, Metropolitan Natural Park stands as a verdant oasis, providing a refreshing escape and a vibrant communion with nature. Encompassing over 230 hectares, this urban sanctuary proudly displays the astonishing biodiversity of Panama's tropical rainforest.

Immerse yourself in indigenous cultures

Embark on a captivating journey into the heart of Panama's indigenous cultures, where age-old traditions and dynamic customs pulsate with life. From the Guna people of the San Blas Islands to the Embera and Wounaan communities nestled within the rainforests, Panama presents an unparalleled chance to forge meaningful connections with diverse indigenous groups.

An eco-friendly stay on an organic farm

A stay on an organic farm, embracing eco-friendly principles, provides a charming getaway into a realm of sustainable living and harmonious coexistence with nature. Surrounded by abundant greenery, far from the hustle and bustle of city life, this tranquil retreat invites guests to reconnect with the earth's rhythms and immerse themselves in the serenity of the natural world.

Place to eat & drink in Panama

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Bouquete: La Jungla

A cozy restaurant known for its creative international cuisine, featuring dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Panama City: Mercado de Mariscos

A bustling seafood market with several restaurants serving fresh ceviche, seafood platters and traditional Panamanian dishes.


A renowned restaurant that celebrates Panamanian cuisine with a modern twist, known for its use of local ingredients and innovative dishes.

Bocas del toro: Guari Guari

The menu at Guari Guari is a delightful fusion of flavors, featuring creative dishes that highlight the region's fresh seafood, tropical fruits and organic produce.
Raw Fusion: Perfect for health-conscious travelers, this café offers fresh juices, smoothie bowls and vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes.

San blas

In the San Blas Islands, dining options are typically limited as the islands are primarily inhabited by the Guna indigenous people, who maintain their traditional way of life. Most visitors to the San Blas Islands will have their meals provided by the Guna families who run the accommodations on the islands.

I only listed a few since most adventures are in remote areas where no restaurants are.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, City Guide to Barcelona, Spain.

Advisor - Arlette Diederiks

Travel Advisor

Arlette Diederiks

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Panama.