The best thing about Panama City is that it is an easy short drive or boat trip away from lots of diverse and beautiful locations. From Caribbean beaches to lush green mountains, from the jungle to stunning islands, here is a selection of the best day trips from the city.
If you long for the jungle whilst in Panama City, then head off to the Gamboa Rainforest. Only 30 minutes away from the city centre, the park offers a completely natural and cultural experience that includes boat tours along the Chagres Rivers and in Gatun Lake. You can spot wildlife on the river banks, visit Emberá indigenous tribes and spend time in the comfort of a great resort.
Taboga Island, also referred to as the ‘island of flowers’, is Panamanians’ number one day trip destination from Panama City. Only 20 minutes away from the Amador Causeway, the green island is home to pelicans, and defining features include beaches and rocky shores.
Located on the Pacific Coast, west of Panama City, Coronado is a beach town that offers all the modern comforts of the city and all the small pleasures of a holiday destination. A little more than one hour away from the capital, it is also home to numerous resorts that have private access to the beaches.
Right on the outskirts of Panama City, Cerro Azul is a mountain area with lower temperatures and cooler breezes than the city. With beautiful nature, waterfalls, numerous hiking trails and lovely hotels, Cerro Azul is a popular and relaxing destination both for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
Colón is a decadent colonial city that was forgotten after the completion of the Canal. Being a tax-free zone, it remains an appealing destination for both local and foreign visitors who flock to the city with the main purpose of shopping. Created in 1948, the Zona Libre is a materialistic enclave that generates huge revenues and is a favourite day trip for many.
The port city of Portobelo, on a Caribbean beach near Colón, used to be one of the most important harbours of Latin America. With beautiful beaches, islands and historical landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it is a great destination for a day trip from Panama City, whether you are looking to snorkel, scuba dive, or relax on the beach.
One of the beautiful islands in the Pearl Archipelago, Contadora Island is one of the most popular and astonishing day trips from Panama City. Home to some solitary beaches, boutique hotels, and gourmet restaurants, the island has kept a rugged allure thanks to the wild vegetation and the absence of cars, making it a perfect retreat.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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