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How to Spend 1 Day in Panama City

How to Spend 1 Day in Panama City

At once steeped in history and remarkably cosmopolitan, Panama City is a dynamic destination in its own right, as well as a gateway to the abundant tropical wonders of Panama. If you only have one day to spend in this Central American metropolis, here are some tips on how to make the most of your time.

Morning: Panama Canal

A trip to Panama wouldn’t be complete without seeing the engineering marvel known as the Panama Canal. During a half-day tour, head to thee Miraflores Locks to watch ships being raised and lowered en route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Most tours include time to browse the exhibits at the Miraflores Visitors Center to learn more about the locks and how they work. For a truly unique experience, spend your morning fishing on Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal Zone; you’ll be able to see two sets of locks and possibly catch tarpon, snook, or peacock bass.

Afternoon: Casco Viejo

Spend your afternoon exploring one of Panama City’s most charming neighborhoods, Casco Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a walking tour to see landmarks such as the National Theater, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Herons’ Palace (Palacio de las Garzas), and the Metropolitan Cathedral, or climb aboard the open-top hop-on hop-off bus to explore the city’s highlights at your own pace. For a hassle-free day, opt for a tour that combines a morning visit to the canal with an afternoon of sightseeing. 

Night: Folklore

Wrap up your day in the Panamanian capital with an evening of local culture and cuisine at a folkloric show and dinner. Panama is a land of diverse cultures and influences from Spain to the Caribbean—a diversity that’s evident in the music, instruments, and handwoven costumes on display. If you’d rather let loose, head out on a barhopping tour to some of the city’s best bars and clubs, complete with a welcome drink at each stop. 

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3 Tours and Activities

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Canal and City Tour (Full Day)
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Canal and City Tour (Full Day)

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51
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Panama Canal and view the notable landmarks of Panama City with a knowledgeable guide. Drive through historical areas like Casco Viejo (Old Quarter), famous for its plazas, parks and Spanish colonial architecture. Visit Paseo Las Bóvedas and witness Miraflores, one of the Panama Canal’s impressive locks, including a stop at the Miraflores Visitor Center. Your tour includes lunch and a visit to the Amador Causeway for incredible vistas over the city and canal.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$107.00
Price varies by group size
From
$107.00
Price varies by group size

Panama Canal Partial Transit Boat Tour

Panama Canal Partial Transit Boat Tour

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55
Travel through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal on this 5- to 6-hour boat tour from Panama City. Experience how the locks work firsthand aboard a boat; tour includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$220.00
From
$220.00

Panama City Private Arrival Transfer

Panama City Private Arrival Transfer

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17
Enjoy a hassle-free arrival in Panama City with this private transfer service. Meet your professional driver at Tocumen International Airport and relax on the journey to your accommodation by private vehicle. Skip those long taxi lines and ensure a stress-free way to start your vacation!
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$17.00
Price varies by group size
From
$17.00
Price varies by group size