For most people visiting Panama on vacation it makes sense to come for at least a week due the distances and time involved travelling from the north and west coast of the USA, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Chile
3 days are probably enough time to see the highlights of Panama such as the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo and the amazing skyline of the new city.
If you are staying in Panama for a week we feel that you basically have two sensible options:
- Stay in Panama City for the whole 7 days and make day trips
- Visit another destinations a bit farther afield
Day Trips from Panama City – Visiting Panama on vacation
The Pearl Islands
A 1.5-hour ferry ride from Panama City is a beautiful archipelago of islands with white sand and clear, turquoise water. Leave Panama City at 7am return from Contradora at 3pm.
San Blas is an archipelago of over 300 islands on Panama’s Caribbean side and home to Panama’s indigenous Guna people.
Visiting San Blas is an long day trip that involves leaving the city around 5 am, two hours by road, then a boat to the islands, and arriving back in the city around 7 pm.
El Valle de Anton is a small town located in an inactive volcano crater which is the largest inhabited crater in the world.
You can travel to El Valle by bus or by car and it takes about 2.5 hours to reach.
Agua Clara Locks, Portabelo and San Fernando Fort
This tour will start at 6am when you will take the train along the Panama Canal.
The rest of the tour is by road and you will visit San Lorenzo Fort, the observation center of the Agua Clara Locks (Panama Canal locks located in the Atlantic) and The Gatun Locks, and continue to the Portobello city established during the Spanish colonial period.
The next section of this blog will look at options of lodging outside of Panama City. Follow our blog to know more about things to do while visiting Panama on vacation.