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Forums » Panama » Timeline for Panama


Timeline for Panama

by pikah »


So, there are 4 of us planning to go to Panama at Christmas. We have two weeks.
The thing that I am struggling with is how to divvy up our time for locations and would love some advice. We want to see Panama City and also go to Archipelagos Bocas del Torro.

I am trying to figure out a couple of things:

1. How much time should we spend in Panama City? It sounds like we want to see the canal, the old city and maybe the causeway - so maybe 3 days is enough and more than that too much?

2. Isla Colon in Bocas del Torro looks awesome but again, I am wondering if a week there is too much? I know that we can snorkel, surf and head toff to explore smaller islands but is more than a week (10 days maybe?) too much for a small island like that?

3. Related to the above, I am considering if instead of flying both ways from Panama City to Bocas and back, maybe instead we should take the local bus there and stop at Boquette and see the mountains/jungle and then travel to Bocas from there. It means like 10 hours on a bus and ferry but it saves us each about $75, and then we would just fly back from Bocas to Panama City one way. Is the park interesting enough to be worth the bus ride?

Thanks for any info you can provide!


RE: Timeline for Panama

by kasi222 »

I think you want to enjoy in Panama at christmas then you may  be 5 days enough because many places in Panama is favorite and vistor tell us about the beauty..


RE: Timeline for Panama

by /bio/austintraveler121 »

Hi Pikah,

You have a great trip lined out. I've spent a lot of time in Panama, so here are my recommendations:


1. You'll want at least two days in Panama City, and maybe 3. Spend a day visiting Casco Viejo and the ruins of Panama Viejo - this is some of the best cultural stuff in the city. Spend another day at the Panama Canal, and potentially a third at Barro Colorado (an island in the canal that has lots of plants an animals) or one of the nearby national parks. You don't need to spend tons of time on the Causeway - an evening is enough. Have dinner, grab a drink, take in the sunset, and go back to your hotel.

2. I think a week on Isla Colin is just about right. Anything less than this and you won't have adequate time to unwind and get used to the island. Anything more and you might start to get a little bored. Yes, like you said you go go snorkeling, surfing, swimming, hang out on beaches, visit other islands, take a dolphin watching boat or charter a yacht, eat food, drink beer, and repeat. 

3. Boquete is really cool, and would provide a nice contrast to the island and city life that you will otherwise see. If you can fit it in and are OK with taking a long bus ride, then I say go for it. However, if any of the people in your party don't feel like taking a 10 hour bus, then it might not be the best idea. Flying between Panama City and Bocas is so easy and makes the travel process really smooth.

Let me know if you have any other questions. These pages may be of some assistance as you search for information on Panama City and Bocas: