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The skinny isthmus of Panama is best known for the giant Panama Canal linking the Pacific and the Caribbean, one of the great engineering feats of the 20th century. But the republic is also host to magnificent tropical scenery, including some of the world’s most untouched areas of rainforest. There’s a diverse wildlife population, with bird and mammal species found nowhere else on the planet. Fringing the jungle are 3,000km of beautiful coastline with coral reefs, islands and undeveloped beaches. There are also plenty of vestiges of the country’s wild history of pirates and smuggled gold: colonial forts, shipwrecks, cannons and towering city walls tell a colourful story.

Our insider tips for Panama

Rafe Stone
The sight of the massive bulk of a container ship passing through the locks of the Panama Canal: a surreal experience as the hull looms above the horizon.

Sophie Barber
Spending time on the autonomous San Blas archipelago with the cheerful Kuna Indians, who have managed to retain a simple, traditional lifestyle in harmony with their island environment.  

Snorkelling in the Bastimentos Marine Park, where the coral reefs are populated by dazzling fish species and lobsters.  Meanwhile watchful caimans bask in the lagoons, alongside the turtles which nest on the beaches.
Brian Williams
Exploring Panama City. The Spanish made it a hub for their gold plundering activities. Attacked and burnt by marauding pirates and power-seeking national fleets, it survived to become a centre for international commerce and banking, with a multi-national population.
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  • Client Comments


    "Bocas del Toro was great fun and frivolous and a great journey there by boat."

    GS, Bushey | June 2013
  • Client Comments


    "Most memorable was watching mother and baby two-toed sloths from bedroom window at Canopy Tower. Early morning on the roof of Canopy Tower listening to howler monkeys as the sun rises over the forest.”

    NW, Kidlington | June 2013
  • Client Comments

    We didn't realise the partial canal transit would be in such a big boat with loads of other tourists - not a problem, but would have been good for this to be pointed out in advance.
    NF, Tunbridge Wells | April 2013 | Family
  • Client Comments

    Most memorable experience: “Tranquillo bay was a cut above everything else.   Staying on Waidup (near Isla Tigre) was also special.”
    MH, Chiswick | December 2013 | Family
  • Client Comments

    Highlights: “Locks on the Panama canal and Panamax vessels up close.”
    MC, Fulham | November 2012 | 50 - 65 | With Partner
  • Client Comments

    Because of my interest in shipping, the Panama Canal partial transit was fascinating. 
    JB | April 2012 | 65 and over | Solo Traveller
For advice on travelling to Panama
Speak to an expert on 0203 432 9175 or enquire online

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