We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trip ideas Panama

Which Panama City hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
353 posts
295 reviews
Save Topic
Trip ideas Panama

Was wondering if anyone could help me with this trip. I have 14-15 days to play with. I am interested in some jungle ( no specific interests), and beach. We have been through the Canal ( Atlantic Side) so maybe we would like to see something in the Gatlun Lakes area. But, I don't want to sit there all day watching ships go through. Did it once, and it was educational. I definitely want to put in San Blas Islands for swimming and culture ( have been there but only by cruise ship for a day), and the Pearl Islands . I love calm beach water, and just chilling at the beach with some places on the beach where I can eat lunch and dinner ( shacks). If there is something to see near the beach, I would enjoy that as well. Also, I think Gamboa would be nice to see as well as David, Bocas del Torio Province as well as Boquete. I would like to stay a minimum of 2 nights at the beaches and jungle. Not sure I have enough time to do this all considering I want to stay a minimum of 2 nights. Therefore, I am not sure what beach areas to do. Again, I like warm , calm Caribbean waters, with beautiful beaches. Don't really want touristy areas.

Also, I am a bit lazy and may not want to do all the travel arrangements myself. Can someone recommend any reliable, honest agents down there ?

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,

LDTC2

Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
13,552 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Trip ideas Panama

You don't say which month. That could affect the answers.

Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
353 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trip ideas Panama

Trip will be in February

Englewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
45 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Trip ideas Panama

Boquete is truly amazing and beautiful! If you visit you won't want to leave. There's tons of stuff to do there too. For outdoor adventures I highly suggest using Boquete Outdoor Adventurs. I would also suggest going for coffee in Boquete, they have great coffee. There isn't much in David, it's just another big city. There is a jungle area about 45 minutes outside of Panama City, I did a waterfall hike there and it was crazy how close to the city it was because you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere on a remote island. Contadora is in the Pearl Islands and there's great beaches and swimming. You can also go out on a fishing boat with locals for about $40 an hour. Good luck planning! Hope this helped!!

Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
353 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Trip ideas Panama

Thank you Catalina 0401!

Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
Level Contributor
4,593 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Trip ideas Panama

You said your not interested in touristy places? Then, avoid Boquete. You can find far more in Volcán and Cerro Punta of what people go to find in Boquete. But, none of the tourists and backpackers. Volcán and Cerro Punta are on the opposite (eastern) side of Volcán Barú. There is a wonderful, small B&B halfway between the two, Cielito Sur, run by two retired Zonians. In Cerro Punta, you'll find two national parks in the rain forest, one of the world's most reknowned orchid nurseries (Finca Dracula), the trailhead to the Quetzal Trail, thoroughbred farms that rival anything around Lexington or Louisville, breathtaking vistas, lots of trails through the highland jungle, coffee factories to tour in Volcán ... NO internet cafes (on every other corner in Boquete) and very few gringo tourists.

Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
353 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Trip ideas Panama

Thank you GB_Williams. I think I want to stay on the eastern side? I would like to go to the Pearl Islands and San Blas. Maybe, up to Gamboa and heading to Colon and Portobelo. Is this area touristy ?

Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
Level Contributor
4,593 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Trip ideas Panama

Gamboa is extremely touristy. It's a very large AI tied in with the Decameron. Very expensive tours. Let me put it this way ... if you wanted to see the Everglades, would you stay at Disneyworld?

Colón, the town, isn't safe. There is nothing to see there, anyway. Very run down. Most of Colón, the province is safe. Portobelo makes a good day trip. You can see the colonial Spanish forts that fought off Sir Francis Drake, but failed against Morgan's pirates and Admiral Vernon during the War of Jenkin's Ear. There is nice snorkeling at La Huerta, which you can get to with Scubapanama. Excellent restaurant - La Torre, just before you get to Portobelo. No beaches, except at La Huerta, which is beautiful, picturesque cove with a reef across the mouth, accessible only by boat.

Portobelo is also home of the Black Christ and Panama's customs house of the 1600s. There is a small Kuna market between them where you can get excellent quality molas.

Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
13,552 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Trip ideas Panama

However, close to Gamboa there is a lot of natural areas.

Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
353 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Trip ideas Panama

You are all so wonderful!

gb _Williams, you did make me laugh with your Disney comparison. Your point is well taken!

We traveled the Peruvian rain forest about 10 years ago, and that was an adventure unto itself.

Does anyone have any general travel agencies they can recommend that are located in Panama to help with airline reservations etc. ?

I am still researching via TA. for trip ideas etc.

Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
353 posts
295 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Trip ideas Panama

So far this is what I came up with:

Feb 13 arrive in evening

Feb 14 Do a partial Canal Tour

Feb 15 fly to San blas

Feb 16 San Blas

Feb 17 San Blas to Gamboa.

Feb 18 Gamboa

Feb 19 Gamboa - maybe journey to Porobelo

Feb 20 - Portobelo - PC via TRAIN ( stay over night in PC)

Feb 21- Pearl Islands

Feb 22 Pearl Islands

Feb 23 Pearl Islands to ?????

I have 4 more days to kill. ANy suggestions?