10 Days in Panama

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Curated By

Kris Getzie

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  • Panama

  • Beaches

  • Family Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Foodie

  • Beach Town

  • Kid-friendly

Aerial view of clouds and Panama city from the airplane.
Curator’s statement

Panama is a diverse destination for a variety of travelers. It offers a vibrant capital city with an incredible foodie scene. Panama has the 8th wonder of the world, the Panama Canal, tropical beaches, gorgeous mountains and grows some of the finest coffee beans in the world. Panama is also environmentally blessed, skipping out on hurricanes and earthquakes! It's a tourist-friendly country that is politically stable, with a sound transportation structure and where English is widely spoken. We traveled here to visit my dad and step-mom (they live in Panama) during the peak of Covid in 2020, and felt absolutely safe.

The Fora Difference

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

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Killer perks

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay

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.

Valle Escondido Resort

Nestled in Panama's lush landscapes, a haven for relaxation and adventure awaits.

Hotel Bocas del Mar

Discover a tropical paradise at this seaside retreat in Panama.

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Day 1: Panama City

Aerial view of Panama city on a cloudy day.

Arrive in Panama

We recommend spending a few days around Panama City! It's a beautiful city, with a lot to offer. You'll likely arrive mid to late day. After a long flight, I recommend getting checked into your hotel, relaxing and enjoying their amenities while you recover. Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo, is nestled right in Old Town and is an absolute delightful way to start your trip.

Day 2: Panama Canal

A large cargo ship in a body of water.

Panama Canal

Start your day with breakfast at Mahalo, which is a local favorite. It's located right in Casco Viejo, with a stunning ambience and delicious watermelon mimosas. After breakfast, spend time exploring the many historic churches, plazas and walkways. Wear comfortable shoes!

Enjoy lunch at Casa Casco's rooftop terrace before taking an Uber (with a family, I recommend a pre-arranged driving service) to the Panama Canal, the 8th Wonder of the World. You will spend around 4 hours on this adventure between driving, the fascinating museum walk and watching the boats passing through the docks.

Day 3: Fly to Boquete

A tray filled with a variety of food items.

Boquete!

Boquete is a small city in the mountains of Panama. It is absolutely magical and a must-see location. We recommend getting an early flight from Panama City to David on Air Panama.

The flight is only 1 hour and 11 minutes. In David, you will either rent a car or have a pre-arranged driving service pick you up. English is widely spoken in Panama, and navigation is very easy outside the city. You can feel comfortable driving yourself, as you will need a car in Boquete. There is also a city bus option. The commute from David to Boquete is 45 mins.

Once in Boquete, settle into Valle Escondido (Wellness Resort). Enjoy their amenities and delicious dining options.

Day 4-8: The Beauty of Boquete

A girl standing in front of a blue and yellow butterfly statue.

Explore Boquete

Curate however best suits your family! There are so many amazing activities in and around Boquete. Here is a list of our favorites:

1. Cloud Forest Wildlife Hike: If you are uncomfortable venturing out on trails solo, there are guide options.

2. Bees & Butterfly's

3. The Lost Waterfall: One of the most stunning jungle hikes!

4. Coffee Plantation Tour: We had a blast at Cafe De La Luna! Fun-fact, Panama has the world's most sought-after (and expensive) coffee in the world. Panama Esmeralda Private Reserve Geisha is a variety of coffee sold for $2,500 per pound!

5. Extreme Adventures, Zip Lining: We had an amazing day with Tree Trek Adventures! The zip lines are no joke!

6. Wander the streets in town and visit the artisan market for gifts. The Flower and Coffee festival is in January for 10 days, a fun time to visit.

7. For Views and a Beverage: Bambuda Castle.

8. Great Dining Options in Boquete: Sugar & Spice for breakfast. Retrogusto for an upscale dinner. Boquete Brewing Company is a great casual environment. For a snack, try The Perfect Pair for coffee and chocolate.

9. Two Night Trip to Boca Chica: Take a boat trip from the bay while in Boca Chica. Enjoy the views from Hotel Bocas Del Mar. They have delicious food and exceptional service. We stayed in a family suite. It had a semi-private pool and our room had a separate kids bunk room.

Day 9: Return to Panama City

Boat on a beach.

Head back to Panama City via David

If you're able to extend your trip to two full weeks, we recommend you check into Bocas Del Toro as an exceptional add-on. For your last day in Panama, on this 10 day trip, spend the afternoon at Amador Causeway. It's a fun spot, with many activities and dining options before you make your journey home. Your hotel can arrange for a driver, or I am happy to pre-arrange one for you.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Insiders Guide to Park City, UT: Winter Edition.



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Travel Advisor

Kris Getzie

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