A 5-Day Itinerary to Panama City

Panama has some amazing surf spots
Panama has some amazing surf spots | © Teddy Kelley / Unsplash
Photo of Brittney Schering
18 April 2018

Panama City is full of exciting things to do, from the local coffee and cuisine to the natural wonders and historical sights. Here is a solid, five-day itinerary for exploring the city.

Start with Panamanian coffee

This is an absolute must if you are a coffee person. Panamanian coffee of the Geisha variety is extremely special and expensive, so be sure to enjoy every sip of the cherished elixir. This is a perfect way to start your day, and it just might convince you to move to Panama, because this cup of coffee is that smooth, rich, powerful and magical—the perfect cup of joe.

Geisha Coffee in Panama | © Brittney Schering

Spend an afternoon at the Biomuseo

An incredible, interactive museum dedicated to the evolution of biodiversity as we know it, this Frank Gehry-designed museum is a spectacle not to be missed. Dedicate a morning or afternoon to exploring its many, wonder-filled exhibits and learn a thing or two about how the world came to be all that it is today—it’s fascinating.

Explore Casco Viejo by day or night

Best enjoyed after the sun goes down, Casco Viejo is standing proof of Panama’s beginnings. Explore the old town with a guide to fully understand all it hides within its walls, from incredible remains to anecdotes about Panama from centuries ago. Along with it being a history-rich slice of Panama, Casco Viejo is also known for its epic nightlife.

The rooftop bar at Tantalo Hotel | © Tantalo Hotel

Hit the beach

Taboga Island is a quick, inexpensive ferry ride from Panama City, making it most easy to access for a day trip to the beach. Lots of young travelers and Panamanians love to spend their weekends at the beach on Taboga Island, especially in the dry season. Two words: Beach party. Don’t miss the opportunity to revel in the bliss of this volcanic island.

Panama Canal

A visit to Panama City is not complete without a visit to the famous Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. Luckily, this is located very close to Clayton. Watch as the Panama Canal feeds into the Pacific Ocean, with the opening directly in front of the Miraflores Locks for viewers to watch in awe as the canal works its wonders.

Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal | © Game of Light / WikiCommons

Walk the Cinta Costera

Best saved for around sunset or early in the day to catch the sunrise, the Cinta Costera is an incredible sight to see. Quite possibly the most gorgeous seaside walk in Panama City, it is completely free. The Cinta Costera also runs along the ever-trendy, upscale Avenida Balboa, so if you’ve worked up an appetite, walk over for a bite to eat on a balcony overlooking the city.

Enjoy a bowl of sancocho

Bottomless coffee and freshly baked bagels make a divine combination at New York Bagel Café. This conveniently located café is a praised staple among locals, visitors, and expats alike. The menu also offers a full list of breakfast options, from the incredibly delectable French toast to delicious omelets. Lunch items range from phenomenal, fresh salads to burgers to the Panamanian favorite, sancocho. Everyone loves New York Bagel Café.