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Top 10 Panama Must-Visit Spots in 2024

As your favorite Travel Agency and Charter Flights provider in Panama, we are always seeking new adventures and authentic experiences to offer you, we understand the allure of undiscovered gems and the excitement of well-loved destinations. Panama this year, a country where vibrant urban hype and untouched natural retreats exist in perfect harmony. Join us as we uncover the Best 10 places to visit in Panama in 2024, and best charter flights options promising an itinerary filled with culture, beauty, and adventure for that perfect Panama vacation.

Whether you crave the bustling streets of a cosmopolitan city, the tranquility of secluded beaches, or the adrenaline rush of an outdoor expedition, Panama must-see locales offer it all. From the engineering prowess displayed by the iconic Panama Canal to the tropical archipelago of Bocas del Toro, each destination is a unique chapter in our Panama adventure story, waiting to be written. Let’s dive into the cultural depths and natural splendors that make travel Panama an exceptional experience.

The Vibrant Fusion of Old and New in Panama City

As we venture into Panama City, we’re encompassed by a tapestry that weaves the rich history with the heartbeat of modern advancement. This city isn’t just a place—it’s an experience where every corner resonates with stories from its diverse past and its dynamic present. Our journey through the capital promises a spectrum of cultural encounters, enamoring both the nostalgists and the trendsetters.

Panama Viejo's cathedral tower

Casco Viejo, Panamá Viejo and Taboga Island : A Walk Through History

Embark with us through the cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo, where the remnants of history stand proud among Panama City landmarks. Here, amidst the colonial architecture and the whispers of the independence movements in early 1900’s, Casco Viejo is the heart of the Republic of Panama as most historical events happened here.

In Casco Viejo, we find a lively scene thriving within the walls of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Mingle in the charming plazas, delight in artisanal crafts, and capture the essence of Panama cultural experiences around every corner.

Some minutes away, a 15 minute drive through Panamanian traffic gets you to Panamá la Vieja, the city that was the witness of Henry Morgan’s attack to the city, holding five centuries of history since it’s foundation back in 1519, get a guided tour at the Visitor’s center and climb to the top of the church’s tower where you’ll get a nostalgic view of modern Panama City.

Not far from the city, Taboga Island can be seen from the shore. You can get there via Ferry , spend the day at the beaches and tour this little town where many important historical figures once called this place home.

For more information on tours:

Modern Skyline and Bustling Nightlife

Contrast the historical with the awe-inspiring panorama of modern Panama City. Gaze upon the steel and glass structures that pierce the sky, a clear reflection of its burgeoning status on the global stage. Once the sun dips below the horizon, the city transforms. Embrace the electrifying Panama nightlife where stylish rooftop lounges and pulsating clubs invite you to dance the night away.

Unique Eats and Arts in the Heart of the Capital

Panama City cuisine is a melting pot, blending traditional flavors with innovative culinary arts. We savor the tantalizing tastes offered by street vendors and renowned chefs alike, each dish telling its own story of this city’s multicultural fabric. Further indulging our senses, the vibrant arts scene captivates us with galleries and theatres showcasing local and international talent, reinforcing the city’s standing as a cultural hub.

See: Aero City Tour over Panama City.  Fly over Panama City’s most iconic places

Engineering Marvels at the Panama Canal

Embarking on a journey to the Panama Canal, we encounter not just a pivotal waterway, but an engineering wonder that has reshaped global trade. Our tour takes us first to a spot where technology and ambition converge spectacularly: the Miraflores Locks.

container ship crossing the Panama Canal

Miraflores Locks: A Ship-Watching Paradise

At the Miraflores Locks, we stand in awe as towering vessels navigate the narrow path cut through the continent. The precision with which the Miraflores Locks operate is a tribute to over a century’s worth of engineering prowess. Offering a front-row seat to this impressive display, it’s no wonder Panama Canal tours here are among the most sought-after by those intrigued by feats of human innovation.

Experiences here are elevated by the visitor center, which provides panoramic views of ships transiting the canal. We watch, captivated, as the locks fill and empty, lifting massive carriers as if they were mere toys in a bathtub. This is Panama adventure tourism at its finest—a blend of educational richness and sheer excitement.

See: 1 Night Stay at Best Western Plus Zen + Aero City Tour

sloth on a tree

Experience Gatun Lake’s Water Sports and Nature Tours

The adventure doesn’t end at the locks. We venture forth to Gatun Lake, a man-made marvel in its own right, created to supply the canal with the vast quantities of water needed for its operation. Surrounded by lush, tropical rainforest, Gatun Lake invites us to indulge in activities like kayaking and fishing, in a serene setting that makes the most of Panama’s natural splendor.

With wildlife abounds at every turn, nature tours provide us with opportunities to spot monkeys, sloths, and an array of tropical birds—adding a vibrant burst of life to the technological majesty that defines the Panama Canal experience. Whether you’re looking to marvel at engineering wonders or immerse yourself in an eco-adventure, this illustrious landmark serves as a beacon for travelers from around the globe.

See: 1 Night Stay at Summit Rainfores and Golf Resort + Aero City Tour 

Boquete: Panama’s Adventure and Coffee Heaven

Boquete captures our imaginations with its promise of adventure and the unmistakable aroma of fresh Panamanian coffee. Nestled in the Panama highlands, this vibrant town is a gateway to the cloud-kissed peaks and lush valleys dominated by the majestic presence of Volcán Barú. It’s a place where the spirit of adventure and the culture of coffee seamlessly intertwine.

Embarking on the coffee tours in Boquete, we’re not just sipping on an exquisite cup of Joe; we’re diving deep into the heart of Panama’s coffee heritage. The plantations here, surrounded by the soft mists and fertile soil of Panama’s highlands, offer an authentic experience that tantalizes all our senses. We learn the meticulous process from bean to cup and discover why Panamanian coffee is revered around the globe.

But it’s the raw beauty of Boquete that calls out to the adventurer in us. The network of Panama hiking trails provides us with a passageway into the diverse ecosystems. As we ascend Volcán Barú, the sight of the sun rising over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans leaves us in awe. It’s moments like these that affirm Boquete’s status as an adventurer’s paradise.

See: Hotel and tours in Boquete

Ziplining through the canopy, we catch glimpses of the wonder that Boquete’s wilderness holds. Rock climbing and rafting become not just pastimes, but passages to the adrenaline-fueled joy intrinsic to the Panamanian highlands ethos. It’s clear why this haven, with its imperious vistas and boundless thrills, is a jewel in the crown of Panama. Indeed, for those of us seeking adventure or the serenity found in a perfect cup of coffee, Boquete stands unparalleled.

If you want to book charter flights to Boquete, chat with us via Whatsapp

Bocas del toro boats on a dock

Bocas del Toro: Caribbean Charm and Lively Culture

As we explore the splendor of Panama, Bocas del Toro stands out as a beacon of Caribbean beauty. A favored destination for those who revel in the unique fusion of cultures and the allure of pristine nature, this archipelago invites us to indulge in diverse activities and soak in the festive atmosphere that defines it.

See: Tours and Hotels in Bocas del Toro

Island in Bocas del Toro

Island Hopping and Surfer’s Retreat

Island hopping in Bocas del Toro isn’t just a pastime; it’s a journey through a realm of enchanting Caribbean islands Panama offers. We find ourselves in awe of surf spots that cater to all skill levels, with waves that call to surfers like a siren’s song. Whether you’re an expert rider or a beginner hoping to stand on a board for the first time, there’s a wave with your name on it here in Bocas del Toro.

The Festive Heart of Bocas Town

When the sun dips below the horizon, Bocas Town nightlife bursts into life. The streets, alive with the rhythm of salsa and reggae, present a kaleidoscope of experiences from cozy bars to vibrant dance halls. It’s a place where the warmth of the locals and the tantalizing flavors of Panamanian cuisine create an unforgettable evening. We’re invited not just to witness, but to become a part of this dynamic cultural tapestry.

Each day spent here is a chance to dive into adventures, like snorkeling Panama’s colorful reefs or spelunking through the mysteries of the Nivida Bat Cave or Bastimentos Island. Spectacular natural wonders are just a stone’s throw away, ready to be the highlight of our stories once we return home.

Our time in Bocas del Toro is more than a vacation; it’s a vivid chapter in our lives, rich with vibrant culture, thrilling adventures, and the laid-back charm of Caribbean life. Committed to making every moment count, we immerse ourselves fully in the magic of these islands and embrace the spirit of Panama.

Click here if you are booking charter flights to Isla Colón or Bocas del Toro.

Serenity at Santa Catalina Beach

As we venture to the pacific coast Panama, we find ourselves drawn to the pristine beauty of Santa Catalina beach. Once a hidden gem, this former fishing haven has blossomed into a favorite destination for surfing Panama, showcasing some of the most sought-after waves in Central America. It’s not just the surfers who have put Santa Catalina village on the map; it’s also travelers seeking a tropical vacation that connects them with both land and sea.

The allure of Santa Catalina beach isn’t just in its consistent surf, which jumps to life beneath the power of the Pacific. It’s a place where onlookers can revel in the spectacle of surfers dancing across the horizon, carving through crests and tunnels of saltwater. 

Lago Bay in Santa Catalina

To get there, you can take a 8-9 hour bus or a 45-minute charter flight directly from Panama City to Lago Bay’s private airstrip accessible only by Blue Skies’ charter flights.

Yet, for those who prefer the terra firma, Santa Catalina casts a wide net of blissful activities. We can indulge in snorkeling, taking a whimsical dive into the azure depths to observe the kaleidoscope of marine life. Diving here doubles as an intimate encounter with underwater wonders, or if you fancy a serene horseback ride, the village’s sandy trails await.

See more about: Lago Bay in Santa Catalina.

After a day spent in aquatic adventures or beachside relaxation, there’s nothing quite like the village’s warm embrace. Santa Catalina is not just about the thrill of the surf; it’s a sanctuary of calm, where every sunset draped over the Pacific invites a peaceful conclusion to exhilarating days. We find that Santa Catalina beach embodies the essence of a tropical vacation, where every moment is savored and every memory cherished.

While in Santa Catalina, you can also visit Coiba Island, a Beautiful and unique National Park with a dark past.

Click here to book an adventurous tour or charter flights to Lago Bay, Santa Catalina, Coiba or Pixvae.

san blas guna yala panama

365 Paradises at the San Blas Islands

Imagine us stepping out of the ordinary and venturing into the jewel-toned embrace of the Caribbean. Here, the San Blas Islands gleam as a beacon for Panama ecotourism, offering an untouched slice of beauty among countless Caribbean islands. A place where time drifts away with the ebbing tides, and the culture of the Guna Yala people enriches every grain of sand and whisper of the wind. Off-the-beaten-path Panama beckons us to explore a landscape preserved from yesterday, unblemished by the rush of today.

beach in San Blas Guna Yala

Remote Beauty and Guna Yala Culture

Within this serene environment, each island is a testament to the sustainable and autonomous lifestyle of the Guna Yala. As we interlace our stories with theirs, we find reverence for the vibrant tapestries known as molas, an intricate art form full of color and lore, and we witness firsthand the conscientious guardianship they maintain over their paradisiacal home.

If you want an authentic souvenir you can’t get anywhere else in the world, buy a Mola at the local artisans.  Molas are unique as they are hand-sewn and can range in size from a patch of a couple of inches to large beautiful colorful detailed works of art that could cost several hundreds.

In the San Blas Islands, we don’t just sightsee—we immerse, engage, and emerge transformationally entwined with the true essence of the islands and their protectors.

If you can’t travel to San Blas, visit the Mola Museum in Panama City‘s Casco Viejo.

Quick visits? check out our Day Pass to San Blas by car or our charter flights to San Blas + Day pass options

Unplugged Retreats and Eco-Friendly Stays

The rustic allure of thatch-roofed cabanas ushers us into a realm where the digital world fades into irrelevance, and the focus snugly shifts to the melody of wave-kissed shores. A haven for eco-travelers, the islands serve as an unspoiled sanctuary where we luxuriate in simplicity, sustainability, and the celestial dance of sun and stars, undisturbed by artificial light. Here, our Panama ecotourism adventure is defined by the enriching purity of living hand-in-hand with nature.

Pixvae: A Hidden Gem off the Beaten Path

When we speak of Panama’s hidden treasures, Pixvae nebulously surfaces as a pure, uncharted haven edging the Pacific coast. This esoteric gem settles itself tranquilly along the Sunset Coast, an off-the-beaten-path Panama destination for the intrepid souls seeking solitude and the quintessence of a fishing village untouched by clamorous tourists.

Our journeys often yearn for such seclusion, and in Pixvae, we encounter the serene interlude we crave amid the rustic charm and the humbling expanse of the Pacific. The rhythm of local life here, in its simple earnestness, offers travelers an experience markedly distinct from the trappings of modern vacationing—a chance to reconnect with nature’s rhythm and the coastal beauty of the Pacific coast.

snorkeling diver in Pixvae, Panama

For those who heed the call of off-the-beaten-path Panama adventures, Pixvae’s pristine shoreline provides more than just a space for relaxation. With horizons unframed by the high-rises and clandestine surf breaks that surfers have not yet claimed, the region promises awe at every sunset, reminding us of nature’s vast and enduring beauty.

Indeed, Pixvae encapsulates the raw and magnetic pull of Panama hidden treasures that adventurers seek, inviting us to immerse in its narrative, penned by waves and whispered by the coastal breeze. It’s here we embrace the unwritten tales of travel, setting our compass to the Sunset Coast and casting our wonder upon its shores.

To get to Pixvae, you can take a 10 hour bus or a 45-minute charter flight with us.  Fill out our booking form to book charter flights to Pixvae

Contadora Island, Panama

Contadora Island: Unspoiled Beauty in the Pearl Islands

Imagine a place where the worries of the world seem to dissolve with the ebbing tides, a landscape untouched by the rush of modern life. That’s exactly what we find on Contadora Island, a sanctuary wrapped in the embrace of the Pearl Islands Panama. Its untouched beaches offer solace to the soul, and its crystal-clear waters invite us to immerse into tranquility. Here, we go beyond just a visit; we retreat into an island retreat that redefines our understanding of paradise.

Back in the 1980’s Contadora was the most luxurious place to retreat in the Country as several celebrities had vacation homes here and also hosted the Sha or Iran during his exile.  This luxurious lifestyle can still be seen today on the hotels and mansions in the island.

Our days on Contadora Island begin with the gentle lapping of waves upon pristine sands—a soundtrack to our own slice of heaven. The luxury accommodations available transform this gem into a hallmark of Panama luxury travel. Whether we are sunbathing on an isolated stretch of sand or sipping on a chilled beverage under the shade of swaying palms, Contadora delivers an experience of exclusive elegance that few destinations can match.

You can book a Ferry boat to Contadora Island with Blue Skies to spend the day at Playa Larga or Cacique Beach. But the best option will always be charter flights to Contadora Island as you’ll spend most of your time at the crystal clear waters instead of a boat.  See our day passes options in Contadora Island for Cacique Beach and Playa Larga by Airplane

As purveyors of the finer aspects of travel, we understand the balance between opulence and ecological beauty. On Contadora Island, the harmony between these worlds is palpable, offering us a retreat where we can indulge without disrupting the serene canvass of nature’s masterpiece. It’s this perfect blend that calls to discerning travelers yearning for a getaway that is as lush and vibrant as it is refined and peaceful.

See: Tours and recommended hotels in Contadora Island

Pedasí: Panama’s Tropical Wonder

In the heart of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula lies the charismatic town of Pedasí, celebrated for its radiant charm and warm embrace of Panamanian culture. As we explore this tropical treasure, we’re captivated by the perfect fusion of relaxation and culture that Pedasí has to offer. From the vibrant, azure waves brushing against Playa Venao’s sandy beaches to the melodic sounds of celebration filling the air during local festivals, there’s an undeniable magic unique to this coastal haven.

Get charter flights from Panama City to Pedasi on your own schedule.

Beach Life and Water Sports at Playa Venao

Playa Venao, a gem within the Pacific landscape, calls to coastal enthusiasts with its wide arcs of golden sands and waves that beckon surfers from around the globe. Our adventures take us beyond the surf, where we dive into an array of water sports, finding joy in the brisk ocean as we wind-surf, paddle-board, and kayak. For us, time at Playa Venao translates to endless days soaking in the quintessential tropical vacation experience, punctuated by laughter and the soft wash of the tides.

Cultural Riches and Local Festivals

Pedasí’s spirit truly shines through its animated Panama festivals, with the Carnaval’s vivid displays capturing our imaginations. Local artisans proudly reveal the area’s heritage, crafting pottery and traditional costumes that tell the tales of Panamanian ancestry. As we wander through the lively fishing villages, we encounter the authenticity of Pedasí’s heart and soul, feeling an intimate connection to the people and their customs. It’s here, amidst the cultural fervor, that we understand Pedasí is not just a destination; it’s an experience woven into the fabric of Panama’s identity.

Contact us for more!

Here at Blue Skies, we are ready to help you get customized tours and charter flights in Panama to make your stay a bonding trip and wonderful memory.  You can see our always expanding list of paradise destinations, most of those can’t be accessed by a commercial airline, our tours with certified bilingual guides that will take care of you and your experience and our top-of-the-line bilingual pilots that will make your traveling a delightful experience.