Thinking of visiting Panama? You should! It’s a beautiful country with diverse landscapes, kind people, a rich culture, and loads to see and do! It’s relatively easy to plan your own trip here, to avoid spending an arm and a leg on a tour package. So here’s the perfect one-week itinerary for visiting Panama! This gives you all the best highlights of this impressive country, and if you’ve got a few extra days you can add to any part of the itinerary that entices you. Now all you’ve got to do is find your travel buddy and book your flight!
Day 1: Fly into Panama City!
If you’ve visited other countries in Central America, Panama City will surprise you. It’s a wealthy city that’s filled with skyscrapers and luxury amenities…not exactly what you would expect in a developing country! But the economy here is solid because of the Panama Canal. There are also loads of hotel options here, everything from $5 a night hostels to the luxurious Trump Tower. I’ll leave it to you to pick which suits your travel style best.
Day 2: Explore Panama City
Make sure you don’t miss the Panama Canal and the Casco Viejo neighborhood. Check out my post on 12 Must-See Spots in Panama City, to help you sort out what to see while you’re here.
Fly out to David and then hop on a bus to get to Boquete or Cerro Punta. These are the towns in the most beautiful and biodiverse area of the country, where you can see mountains and rain forest and more!
Day 4: Explore Boquete/Cerro Punta
Here you can experience the best of the Panamanian rain forest, going hiking and trekking, horseback riding and more! I would recommend staying at Los Quetzales Ecolodge in Cerro Punta.
Day 5: Travel to Bocas del Toro!
Take the bus to Almirante, and then a boat over to Bocas del Toro’s main island. If you can get there early enough, the ferry ride is only $1 and super cool because you get to ride with the locals and a massive supply of bananas over to the island. Otherwise catch a private boat, but be prepared for a bumpy ride!
Day 6: Explore Bocas del Toro
This archipelago of islands is one of Panama’s biggest attractions. The main island will keep you plenty busy and entertained, but this is a great place to extend your trip and spend some extra time seeing the other islands. Check out my 10 Things to do in Bocas del Toro for ideas of how to enjoy your time here!
Day 7: Fly back to Panama City and then home
There’s an airport right on the main island, making your final day on the island carefree and easy!
Shop your Panama vacation essentials: