Any trip to Panama City, Panama should involve the lush green forests that surround the billion-dollar earning Interoceanic Way, the unparalleled biodiversity of exotic animals and birds that reside in them, the views from the Panama Canal and its big, elongated, trans-Atlantic cargo ships, the old colonial architecture and quaint cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo, tropical sunset views in rooftop restaurants; all within reasonable distance from the city center.
Being a city that is located in a tropical country, it is one of the most biodiverse locations on the planet, due to the tropical geography that is a breeding ground for this increased biodiversity.
It is humid and hot year-round, just like countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, and it has modern buildings, rainforests, exotic birds and animals, and of course, a maritime route of global significance, the Panama Canal, all of which you’ll definitely enjoy to see.
This is the list of the absolute best 5 things to do while staying in Panama City, Panama:
The Causeway was built with rocks and earth that were dug up from the construction of the Panama Canal.
It is really nice to spend an afternoon or an evening strolling around the Causeway. You can eat ceviche (one of Panama’s dishes made of fish cooked in lemon juice), rent a scooter or a bike, watch the ships of the Canal pass by (although a bit far away), and even encounter cute wild raccoons that live in the rainforest close by.
Miraflores Visitor Center:
The Miraflores Visitor Center is the prime location for all foreigners (and even nationals) to visit the Panama Canal. If you want to see the Canal, this is the place to do so. The entrance costs 20$.
You can see the Canal-crossing ships right in front of you, buy souvenirs, and when you get there, you’ll even be surprised that a Morgan Freeman voice-recording narrates the facts surrounding the Panama Canal.
Casco is probably the most touristy spot in Panama, probably even more than the Canal itself. That’s because of Casco’s quaint, old architecture, museums and history. This is where Panama City used to be located hundreds of years ago.
In Casco, you have one great rooftop restaurant called CasaCasco, the Panama Canal Museum for learning the history of the construction of the Panama Canal, and another museum covering the history of the Republic itself.
Isla de los Monos(Monkey Island)
Personally, if you’re an animal lover, you’ll probably enjoy Monkey Island more than the all the other activities listed here. What’s great about visiting this tropical country is seeing exotic animals like wild tropical monkeys.
You can get there by taking an Uber to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort where they’ll take you the Island for a non-expensive fee. Or, you can pay a tour company around 90$ to pick you up conveniently at your hotel in the city center and then they’ll take you to the island.
You first have to take a not-so-long drive to place where you take the boat to begin the tour to the island.
Panama Rainforest Discovery Center
The avid bird-watchers of the world will love this last option. You definitely cannot miss a trip to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center. It is a short-trip away from the city center (less than an hour).
This place set a record with the Audubon Society for the biggest amount of birds species you can watch in 24 hours(literally hundreds). Panama’s biodiversity is hard for other countries to match.
Personally, when I went for the first time, I was impressed by the number of hummingbirds that I saw. I’ve never seen so many hummingbirds before, and since I love hummingbirds, I was thrilled!