Welcome to Panama, also known as the path between the seas. Not only does this beautiful country boast miles of beaches on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, pristine islands, fertile highlands, lush nature, historic landmarks and indigenous tribes, but it has a thriving, vibrant, cosmopolitan city and, of course, the Panama Canal, which recently reopened after a $5.2 billion expansion project that doubled the waterway’s capacity. Panama is paradise for nature and history lovers, outdoor adventure enthusiasts, foodies and those who love to shop.
Whether you come for business, leisure, with the family, or alone, don’t miss a night out on the town in Panama City — the vibrant scene includes everything from dress-down breweries to stylish clubs to rooftop bars with spectacular views.
Shoppers will also not be disappointed with their options — Panama City is home to the largest malls in Central America. MultiPlaza Pacific has chic designer stores and facilities such as banks, making it a convenient one-stop shopping location. Soho Mall on 50th Street is very high-end. Albrook Mall is the largest of them all and features less-expensive shops, chain outposts and high-end boutiques, offering a wide range of intense retail therapy. All the malls have movie theaters and food courts.
Panama City’s dynamic culinary scene is undergoing a major transformation, as the country’s top chefs are rediscovering local ingredients and creating fusion dishes inspired by the many cultures that have influenced Panama due to migration. Some of the best spots for this New Panamanian Cuisine are Mercao, Donde José, Maito, Salsipuedes and Reisen.
And no trip to Panama City is complete without a visit to Casco Antiguo, the historic district, where charming narrow streets and colorful buildings showcase Panama’s multicultural history. An array of hotels, cafes, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and art galleries lures people from all over to this little corner of the world.
Rich in historic sites and influenced by waves of immigrants from the Caribbean, Europe and the United States, Colón is a captivating province, a land of white sand beaches and lush tropical rain forests.
The main attraction is Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage site located within a nature reserve and close to Shelter Bay Marina. Other don’t-miss destinations are Portobelo, a collection of old colonial fortresses, and Isla Grande, a beautiful island with a sandy beach lapped by turquoise waters.
Boca del Toro
Of all the tourist destinations in Panama, Bocas del Toro is the place where you can have it all. Explore the amazing islands of the archipelago to sail, sun bathe, swim, surf, snorkel, hike, ride a bike around town or lounge in the beautiful botanical gardens. Nights are equally exuberant, with ample bars, parties and excellent live music. Best of all, because the destination is so compact there’s no need to drive. Bocas is constantly transforming itself, and there is always something new and delightful to discover on every visit.
This archipelago in the Caribbean is one of the few left in the world that feels virtually untouched, and the area’s spectacular landscapes are all coconut trees, white sandy beaches and shimmering ocean. The predominant vibe is one of rustic charm, and most accommodations are simple, unpretentious and beautifully peaceful.
The islands are surrounded by coral gates, where the marvels of the seafloor are perfectly preserved. Masses of multicolored tropical fish, stingrays, turtles, groupers, barracudas and dolphins inhabit the waters. Snorkeling is the perfect way to explore San Blas, and there are many top-quality spots around the coves and shorelines. The indigenous Kuna Indians make up most of the population, and visits to villages offer opportunities to experience their unique culture.
- The Marina at Red Frog Beach: Located in Bocas del Toro, outside the hurricane belt, this marina offers a spectacular, picturesque setting and resort amenities such as a jungle and beach activity center, stunning beaches, an island spa, zipline canopy tours, private home rentals, two restaurants, tropical gardens, and community activities.
- Shelter Bay Marina: Located in Colón, closest to the canal, the marina amenities include WiFi, fendered floating docks, laundry facilities, a hotel, a swimming pool, a provisioning store, a gym, a restaurant and bar, electricity and free potable water.