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How to Spend 3 Days in Panama City

How to Spend 3 Days in Panama City

Panama City serves as a gateway to a tropical paradise, and with three days to spend in the city, you’ll have time to walk the historic streets, float the famous canal, and spend some time exploring the beaches, rain forests, or indigenous villages of the surrounding countryside. Here are some ideas on how to spend the ultimate three days in Panama City.

Day 1: City Highlights

Get your bearings in the Panamanian capital with a sightseeing tour of the city’s highlights. Stretch your legs on a walking tour of Casco Viejo (Old Town), or zip around the city on an electric bike or by car to cover even more ground in a short amount of time. Alternately, climb aboard the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus to tour the city’s star landmarks at your own pace. After lunch, dive deeper into your interests with a museum tour, food tour, or a visit to a local chocolate factory. Once the sun sets, grab a seat at a folkloric show for an evening of live music and dancing drawing on Panama’s rich cultural influences. Many of these shows include a buffet dinner of traditional Panamanian favorites.

Day 2: Canal Cruise

The Panama Canal ranks as one of the world’s top modern marvels of engineering and one of Panama’s top attractions. With a full day, you can sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the three sets of double locks and Gatún Lake in the middle. Stop at the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center along the way to learn more about the history and mechanics of this engineering feat before crossing. Depending on the tour, you may visit Monkey Island, enjoy a picnic lunch near Gatún Dam, or explore San Lorenzo National Park with its fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To polish off your day at the canal, sit down for dinner at the International Miraflores Restaurant overlooking the canal. Book a balcony table so you can watch as boats pass through the locks while you dine.

Day 3: Islands and Rain Forests

While Panama City offers plenty to do, it would be a shame not to explore the natural beauty of the country on a day trip from Panama City. Beach lovers can spend the day island hopping among the sun-kissed San Blas Islands on Panama’s Caribbean coast. A typical tour might include the chance to snorkel, kayak, swim, or simply relax on the white-sand beaches. Alternatively, head inland to explore the rain forest for the chance to spot sloths, monkeys, and anteaters amid the thick foliage, or take a tour to the indigenous village of Emberá to learn more about the day-to-day lives of the country’s original inhabitants. Once back in the city, celebrate your final night with a bar-hopping tour through the Casco Viejo historic district to get a feel for the local nightlife. Visit some of the neighborhood’s best bars and clubs with a local guide who knows all the hot spots.

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4 Tours and Activities

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Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

star-5
565
Travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during this full-day tour of the Panama Canal. With your local guide, explore the canal by sea and on foot, viewing the ships passing through the locks and the variety of plant and animal life on the canal's shores. Explore Gatun Lake and Monkey Island, home to howlers, capuchins, and tamarins. Stop at the Agua Clara Locks Visitor Center to get an overview of the canal's history through informative displays and exhibits. Explore San Lorenzo National Park and Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy a picnic lunch. All activities, entrance fees, lunch, and round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.00
From
$135.00

Combination Tour from Panama City: Rainforest, San Lorenzo Fort and Canal Expansion

Combination Tour from Panama City: Rainforest, San Lorenzo Fort and Canal Expansion

star-4.5
118
Combine nature, history, and technology on a full-day tour from Panama City that includes hotel pickup and drop-off, refreshments, and transport. Watch for wildlife on a scenic trip through the rainforest, visit the UNESCO-listed San Lorenzo Fort, then see the Panama Canal extension that moves New Panamax super tankers through a series of enormous locks.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$85.00
From
$85.00

5 Hr Combo-Panama Canal boat ride+Monkey Isles+Rainforest walk & Local Breakfast
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

5 Hr Combo-Panama Canal boat ride+Monkey Isles+Rainforest walk & Local Breakfast

star-4.5
112
Cruise the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake on a nature tour from Panama City that includes round-trip transport from central Panama City and time to explore Gatun’s wildlife-rich shoreline by boat. Visit jungle islands that were cut off from mainland Panama by the construction of the canal, which protect a thriving population of monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and mammals.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$105.00
Price varies by group size
From
$105.00
Price varies by group size

Embera Village Day Tour

Embera Village Day Tour

star-4.5
79
Immerse yourself in the culture of the Emberá, one of Panama's indigenous groups, during this 8-hour tour from Panama City. Interact with some members of the tribe and learn what their daily life is like in the rainforest. Ride through Lake Alajuela to the tribe's village aboard a 'piragua', a traditional canoe, passing a spectacular waterfall on the way. See some traditional dances, take a trail walk through the forest and purchase some traditional crafts as souvenirs. Upon departure, receive a traditional shamanic blessing for good travels. Lunch, national park fees and round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$135.00
From
$135.00