Panama: What to Expect / Highlights

Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo

Panama Viejo was the first city founded on the isthmus by the Spanish at the beginning of colonization. Panama's second colonial city, Casco Viejo was built in 1673. The architecture here consists of colonial French, Italian, American, and Spanish styles.

Panama Canal

Observe ships entering and navigating the lock system and explore the museum and interpretive center which covers the Canal's intriguing history.

Valley of Boquete

Boquete is surrounded by immense natural beauty, including Baru Volcano National Park, "La Amistad" International Park extending into the neighboring country of Costa Rica, and its own inactive volcano. The area is known for its lush mountain scenic views, vegetation and bird life. Overnight at a local inn and spa, situated on the fringe of the town of Boquete allowing for easy access to shopping and mingling at the local markets. Beaches on the Pacific side are just an hour drive away and you can reach the Caribbean beaches within two hours. The area places great emphasis on eco-tourism. Adventurers may want to go rafting on rapids in the Class 4 range.

Bocas del Toro

The Bocas del Toro is an archipelago of mostly jungle and no roads, cars or airstrips. There are native Indian villages, a small town, a national marine park, a few small developments, and individual home sites. Wildlife in the lowlands of Bocas del Toro includes species endemic to the region such as white-faced capuchins, night monkeys, two and three toed sloths, conejo pintado, margays, armadillos, exotic birds, bats, turtles, caimans, frogs, lizards, butterflies, and rare tropical insects. The park is also home to thousands of plant species including hardwoods, forest palms, vines, brophytes, ferns, bromeliads, and orchids among others. This area is a nesting site for four species of sea turtle. The spectacular landscape includes large rock faces, coves and inlets, spring fed creeks, offshore rock outcroppings and long stretches of beach. Just offshore from the island you find dramatic marine topography creating shelter for over 200 species of tropical fish.

On the southern tip of Isla Bastimentos is a peninsula called Macca Bite, named after the Macaw parrots.