Panama Off The Beaten Path

  • Ocelot
    by iwys
  • The Estación Nacional de Ferrocarriles
    The Estación Nacional de Ferrocarriles
    by mikey_e
  • Another view, along with a monument in front
    Another view, along with a monument in...
    by mikey_e

Panama Off The Beaten Path

  • Panama: San Blas Islands

    The San Blas Islands in Panama were one of my favorite destinations, when I was working onboard the cruiseships M/S Sagafjord and M/S Vistafjord for 4 years. The San Blas Islands are a group of very small islands, some of them are only 20 metres wide with a lonely palmtree on it - these looked exactly like the islands drawn for an "island-joke".The...

  • Paradise Gardens, Boquete

    Paradise Gardens is a wildlife sanctuary set up Paul and Jenny Saban from England. It is a lovely place to spend half a day in. You can see a variety of Panamanian wildlife in a beautiful setting. There are ocelots, margays, kinkajous, macaws, several monkeys, toucans and a large number of species of smaller birds. Each of them has been rescued...

  • On the road to the Panama Canal

    It takes about 25-30 minutes to drive from Panama city to the Panama Canal. The small road is along the seaside.

  • Hike in the Rain Forest at Finca La...

    I spent three pleasant days hiking the huge network of rain forest trails developed by the owners of this isolated mountain lodge. The trails, steep, muddy, and slippery, are not for amateurs, but the views--beautiful waterfalls, scenic vistas, and rainbows and the rain forest ecology--more than make up for the effort expended. Eating lunch at the...

  • Snorkling under the Restaurants

    If you take one of the many tours that different touring companies or hotels on the island provide whether its dolphin bay, Frog Island, or snorkeling tour. I've discovered that the best place to snorkel is under the restaurants that the guide will end up taking you to for lunch. These areas under the restaurants are completely filled with all kind...

  • Square Trees

    On the outskirts of El Valle de Anton is a forest trail which will lead you past the Arboles Quadrados, or square trees. These trees have a trunk which is square at its base, but gradually becomes rounder as it ascends, taking on the look of a normal tree. There aren’t many of them. I only saw five.The trail begins in the grounds of the Hotel...

  • Cayos Zapatillas

    Cayos Zapatillas are a pair of unihabited tropical islands in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, off the Caribbean coast of Panama. You can reach them by hiring a water taxi for the day from Bocas del Toro town on Isla Colón, at a cost of around $20 per person including snorkeling gear. They are in a protected marine park 30 km south-east of Isla...

  • Picturesque views.

    From the top of Ancon Hill you can see the whole of Panama CIty and a great section of jungle. This is a safe way to see the forest primeval. It is in the province of Balboa and easy to find. It is the hill with a huge Panamanian flag on it.

  • A walkway along the sea

    If you are out driving on the interamericana it is an interesting drive to Chiriqui Grande.The scenery along the way is rich in vegetation, mountains, and an maybe a water fall. The small port city of Chiriqui Grande is not very attractive but it is worth a visit. Plus there is a gas station there.

  • Flower garden

    Mi Jardin Su Jardin is a beautiful garden surrounding a private estate. The gardens are open to the public. If you love flowers this is a don't miss place to visit. You can also go inside some of the buildings to look around. Don't miss the glass top dining room table with the pool beneath the floor. There is also a small gift shop.

  • Surfing

    Playa Las Lajas is a long palm lined beach near David. You will probably find that you have it all to yourself during the week, like we did. If you go on the week-end it will probably be very crowded. The waves are perfect for surfing. You might even see some shore birds.

  • Amistad National Park

    The cloud forest in Amisted National Park provides lush habitat for birds.A 20 minute four-wheel-drive ride will take you up to the cabanas in the park.Early on the morning after we arrived, a guide came to lead us to where a Quetzel was nesting.


    Barro Colorado Island, located in a lake that is part of the Panama Canal, is a living tropical laboratory for Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research which has a world famous research center on the island. It is located in a lake that forms part of the Panama Canal and has an amazing 381 bird species, 102 mammal species and 1316 plant species....

  • Going to Town

    Took a local bus that the hotel workers use to come to work into the town of Penonome and what an experience. Cheap shopping, good food and cheap beers. Felt very safe being a lone female walking around here.

  • Boat trip to any of the Islands off...

    Its easy. Just head down to the dock right near the Panama Canal entrance at the Pacific end. Ask about trips out to the islands. They have regular services and also informal trips as well. The islands are all beautiful, especially the less well known ones. If you can stomach the 1 hour boat trip, there is an airport on on of the islands. There are...

  • Embera indian reservation!

    I don't think this is a common tourist spot but it is an amazing place! I went with a student exchange group and got to watch traditional Embera indian dances, get tatooed with their black vegetable dye and eat a traditional meal. I don't know how one would get invited because it's rather remote and not a touristy place at all; this is where they...

  • COIBA ISLAND: scuba dive and more...

    This park is located south of the province of Veraguas. With a surface of 270,125 hectares (650,000 acres), this park protects three kinds of ecosystems: the island, the reef and marine life.***Coiba Marine Park, considered one of the ten top diving spots in the world, is home to the second largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific and the best...

  • Golf in Valle Escondido Boquete

    The Quebrada Grande (Big Creek) nine hole executive golf course plays through Valle Escondido, crossing the beautiful river four times. This is one of the only courses in the world that plays through a working coffee plantation. The spring weather keeps it cool, fresh and green year round. With at least two tee boxes on each hole you can play 18...

  • Kuna Yala

    That's the name the Kuna Indians give to their territory in Panama. In English, it's San Blas Archipelago. In Spanish, you'll see Comarca de San Blas (implying an autonomous territory, I think -- which it is) and Archipelago de San Blas.Here's Steve, the cool Aussie in our sailing party. He was on his own and so was I, the others came in two's. So...

  • Lunch at a Coffee Plantation

    This was such a neat tour because of some of the out of the way places we got to visit while here. We got to meet local people and saw how they lived. This morning we had been hiking up in the mountains. The jeeps that took us up there, brought us down and we walked down the road to the coffee plantation which was on slopes of the mountains. The...

  • Lunch at Meson Tia Toya of Cerro Azul

    Our guide with Caligo (the tour company) had arranged for us to have lunch one day at a local place. We arrived at Meson Tia Toya in the area of Cerro Azul at lunch time. The wooden house shown in the photo is on a large piece of property on a beautiful hillside. The main room is a large open room with a bar and tables set up here and on the porch...

  • Marine Exhibitions Center

    On an island called Isla Naos, connected to Panama City by a causeway. Operated by the Smithsonian Institute, this center has a museum with marine exhibits, two aquariums, and a nature trail through a small forest harboring sloths and iguanas. Open Tuesday to Friday 1 pm to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is US$2.00, 0.50 kids

  • El Caño Arqueological site & Museum

    A sacred burial ground is part of the remnants of the Natá nation, named after their cacique (chief) Natá. There are burials on display, which have been excavated from the large funerary mounds, and it is estimated that there are hundreds more in the surrounding area. Near the burials stand the ruins of what is thought to have been a solar...

  • Darien National park

    The Darién National Park and the Comarca Emberá-Drua (a semi-autonomous indigenous area) are two areas that have been set aside in Panamá to prevent further environmental destruction and to protect the remaining homelands of the Three Indian tribes that live in the park, the Embera, Waunana and Kunas. UNESCO has Categorized the Darién National Park...

  • The Who is Who Island

    Why don’t spend wonderful days in one of the relaxing islands in the world? Your dream island is called Taborcillo. A mirage of palms and white, sandy, beaches.An enchanting island with an incredible plant and animal life, luxuriant vegetation and exotic fruit. And there is another special feature to this island: it was the proberty of the famous...

  • Boquete

    This misty coffee-producing town in Chiriquí Province, about 300 miles (473 km) west of Panama City, is known for its flower gardens and gorgeous mountain scenery. Boquete is the most popular starting point for treks to the summit of Volcán Barú, Panama’s highest peak, and the 5-mile-long (8 km) Quetzal Trail (Sendero Los Quetzales).

  • Metropolitan Natural Park

    This park bordering Panama City is one of the most accessible rainforest areas in The World; why? This 655-acre wilderness park lies totally within the limits of Panama CityIt is just 10 minutes from Downtown; and has nature trails and more than 250 species of birds and 40 types of mammals. This park is also the site of a tropical research center...

  • highest panamanian point

    Baru Volcano is the highest mountain in the republic. This mountain is the only spot in the world where (early in the day) you can see both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans at the same time. The hike is steep but easy to follow climbing through the rain forest. Panama is home to at least 940 different species of birds, and holds various world...

  • Pick a beach and take a taxi

    We took a taxi to the other side of the island and had a beach all to ourselves. You can also take water taxis to entire islands of your own.

  • El Valle de Anton - Canopy Tour

    There is a really great canopy tour that was only 20.00 when we were in El Valle. To the left is a pic of the jungle you'll buzz through, via cable, if you like this sort of thing. To take part in the tour, just ask around town and pretty much anyone will give you directions. Alternatively, you can ask around for the map of the town and...

  • Sunday Market

    A trip to the mountain village of El Valle, outside of Panama City and about an hour and a half by road. A small market that only opens on Saturday and Sunday. The local Indians bring their wares to sell. Beautiful baskets are the main attraction but there is a large fruit and vegetable market also.Whilst there, visit the small El Nispero zoo and...

  • El Valle De Anton - Aguas Calientes

    You'll have to grab a cab out to the drop off point (a short ride) and hike for about an hour in the sweltering heat to get to these hot springs. Just ask a local or cabbie and they'll tell you how to get there. Once you've hiked in, you'll have to pay the property owner $1.00 USD to use the facilities (if you can even call them facilities)....

  • Playa Damas Nombre de Dios

    Located 120 kms from Panama City (2 hours by car), in Nombre de Dios, Province of Colon.Playa Damas can only be reached by boat, walking or by horse, so you can enjoy exclusively the privacy and comfort of this wonderful place.

  • Santa Clara beach

    Santa Clara beach is a beautiful sandy beach on the pacific coast. The locals go there at weekends but even so, the beach is always soooo empty that is unbelivable. The sand slops gently into the ocean but the under current can be quite strong so you need to be careful.You can either camp on the beach in the sense that you can rent a thatch hut...

  • Darien: exotic and colorful

    Going to Darien was an incredible experience, the people of the Wounaan Tribe is charming and makes you feel at home, as they said We have the watches but they have the time.I'll put more photos on the Travelogue Darien.

  • Cerro Campana - almost unknow national...

    West of Panama City, Just as you leave Capira on the Pan Am highway, is a tiny dirt (soon to be paved) road curving up the hill to the right. This right after the "curvas Peligrosa" Dangerous curves. It leads to the Altos de Campana National Park. A very little visited cloud forest park about an hour out of PC. At the top area to the left is a...

  • El Valle - pristine waterfalls in the...

    In El Valle de Anton, there's a hike up the "India Dormida Mountain". Ask the local boys to show you the way to the waterfall; to reach this waterfall, you need to walk, almost climb, some 10-20 meters of stones...but then you'll reach a wonderful waterfall, clean water, surrounded by tropical forests, birds....amazing.

  • Darien is as off-the-beaten path as...

    The Dairen jungle is an amazing place. Very few tourists now in days get to see this unique place with a vast jungle and a unique culture. Don't let the neighbors scare you! There are several areas still worth a visit including the towns of Yuviza, El Real, and park rangers lodge of Rancho Frio. For the real adventurer, I would suggest a trek to...

  • Taboga Island is a beautiful...

    Taboga Island is a beautiful island with lots of history attached to it. It is 20km south of Panama City and a 1 hour boat trip from Balboa. It has an OK beach and dense protected rain forest and is home to one of the largest colonies of brown pelicans in Latin America. Taboga is known as the Island of Flowers, because at certain times of the year...

  • Our cab driver included a...

    Our cab driver included a visit to Parque Municipal y Jardin Botanico Summit Regionto del Lagarto Juancho - the Summit Park. The park was muy bonito,and should be enjoyed by more travelors! It included a lovely botanical garden, a childrens play area, walking paths ...and a little zoo that was really the only disappointing part - the animals are...

  • If you ever have the...

    If you ever have the opportunity to visit the SanBlas Islands off Panama - DO IT! It was fascinating to see the way the native Cuna Indian population is adapting to modern culture while retaining their own. We were there on a day with unstable weather, and very choppy seas so we couldn't swim or watch the local children dive for coins. It was...

  • Well the only thing i can...

    Well the only thing i can really say is just drive everywhere. The country outside of Panama City is very beautiful, but be careful they are some of the worst drivers on the planet. You must have quick reactions.

  • Everything is off the beaten track here

    You will find horses, people with every kind of talent and skill and activities you never knew existed. This place is a sleeper and a charmer.I was disappointed to find no ice cream for sale until I was told they only had the very best in the world for sale......that is .......HOMEMADE ICECREAM for $.25 for 2 scoops. I thought I died and went to...

  • Go to the Chiriqui...

    Go to the Chiriqui's like visiting another world. People live here like they did 100 years ago.

  • The Rio Negro Sportfishing...

    The Rio Negro Sportfishing Lodge is a small B&B located on Panama's remote Pacific Azuero Peninsula that offers inshore and offshore fishing charters off Isla Cebaco Coiba and Punta Mariato. Their web site is:


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Panama Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Panama off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Panama sightseeing.
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