Panama City is a vibrant metropolis whose proximity to two national parks,the famous canal, and its environs makes it an ideal base for travelers seeking to pack in a lot of adventure and sightseeing, but who’d like to finish the day with gourmet dining, comfortable accommodations, and city nightlife.
Day 1: Explore the Capital
Get your historical bearings at Panama Viejo and learn about the country in the handsome visitor center. Browse the extensive handicrafts market here. Head to Riesen for lunch, and then walk it off with a tour around the picturesque neighborhood of Casco Viejo. Buy a raspado (snow cone) at the Plaza Francia and enjoy the sea breeze. Check with your hotel for live music and other nighttime events, or drop by a casino at the Sheraton Panama Hotel & Convention Center or the Veneto Hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Colón
Rent a car and drive towards the opposite coast, making a pit stop at the Miraflores Locks to watch the ships passing through the canal. Continue on to Colón, stopping to see the Caribbean entrance to the canal at the Gatún Locks and finally checking into the Meliá, set in the notorious former Escuela de las Americas.
Days 3–4: Portobelo
Drive along the coast to Portobelo, where you can get picked up at a pier and taken across the bay to El Otro Lado, or you can stay at a smaller hotel in town. Spend the next days kayaking along the mangroves and taking boat trips to remote, jungle-clad beaches. In town, browse for art at Casa Congo and watch a Diablos y Congos dance performance.
Days 5–7: Comarca Kuna Yala
Drive back to Panama City and catch a flight to San Blas, where you’ll spend your remaining days on the beach snorkeling, lying in a hammock, and eating grilled fish and lobster. Alternatively, you can stay the night in Panama City and continue on to San Blas the next morning by car or just take a day trip to San Blas, as long as you have an SUV.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.