Panama Itinerary: 2 weeks round trip

Discover Panama.

Remote Caribbean Islands, Waterfalls & Coffee Plantations in the green Highlands and Big City Vibes in Panama City 

Panama Itinerary: 2-weeks round trip

“Oh how beautiful is Panama” …after a two-week trip through the country I can only agree with Tiger & Janosch. Located in Central America, the country not only connects two continents, but also two oceans. Many people associate Panama with one of the most famous waterways in the world: the Panama Canal. But of course the country has a lot more to offer. 

One thing I can tell you already: Panama is extremely diverse. From the lively and contrasting capital Panama City to the green highlands and the paradisiacal islands in the Caribbean Sea. With the following Panama itinerary for a 2 weeks round trip, nothing stands in the way of a varied journey through the Central American country.

Day 1-3 - Panama City

After arriving at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, you can reach the city center by cab in about 20 minutes. On the way you will get the first impressions of modern Panama with all its skyscrapers and shiny skyscrapers. I recommend an accommodation in the beautiful “Casco Viejo”.

After arriving in the city, the Cinta Costera is a great place to start your trip and soak up the Panama City atmosphere. Walking along this waterfront promenade you will automatically arrive to the historic part of Casco Viejo with its colonial buildings, colorful facades, cool restaurants and rooftop bars. During your stay in Panama City, you should not miss the famous Panama Canal or the Miraflores Locks. You can reach the Canal in only about 20 minutes by car from the city center. A great viewpoint in Panama City is the “Cerro Ancon”, which can be climbed in the early morning. It gives you a great view over the city and even to the famous locks of the Panama Canal.

Read more here: >> Panama City Guide <<

Day 4-6 - Island Paradise San Blas

The famous San Blas archipelago with its approximately 365 paradisiacal islands in the Caribbean Sea should not be missed on your list for Panama. Crystal clear turquoise water, white sandy beaches and palm trees as far as the eye can see. Robinson Crusoe feeling included. Isla Pelicano was one of my absolute highlights! The island is also known from the Netflix series Money Heist: it serves Rio & Tokyo as a hideout. 

There are different ways to discover the islands: day trips are possible as well as tours of several days with an overnight stay on one of the islands. Even sailing trips with onward travel to Colombia are offered. You can book this tour in some hotels in Panama or just online, e.g. with Get your Guide. I personally love using Get your Guide for booking experiences, tours and entry tickets for my travels. They offer a great variety of high-quality experiences and are very easy to use. I’ve integrated their San Blas Island options (day trips as well as multi-day trips) in this post. 

Read more about the beautiful San Blas Islands here: >> San Blas Islands: 7 reasons for a trip to paradise << 

Day 7-9 - Coffee Culture and Chasing Waterfalls in Boquete

Boquete is located in the beautiful green highlands of Chiriqui in Panama. It stands for lush green nature, incredible mountain views and…COFFEE. The region is famous for its delicious and high quality coffee grown here. The Café Ruiz Coffee Tasting Tour was one of the best guided tours I’ve ever taken. So if you like being in nature, chasing waterfalls and hiking through the jungle, a stop in Boquete is not to be missed. 

Read more here: >> Boquete Guide: Discover the Green Highlands of Panama <<

Day 10-13 - Relaxing in Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro is….different. In the far northeast of the country, very close to the Costa Rican border, everything happens in and around the water. This place just has a very unique vibe. While the main island of Colón is best known for its nightlife, surfing and shopping, the smaller islands are great for relaxing on the beach or taking a spin on a standup paddle.

Depending on your taste, I recommend spending 1-2 nights on the busier main island of Colón (Bocas Town) first. Alternatively stay on the quieter island of Bastimientos somewhere near Red Frog Beach. Additionally I recommend staying 2 nights on Isla Solarte at the extraordinary Bambuda Lodge. Local water cabs can take you to the other islands so you won’t miss out on anything.

Read more here: >> 10 best things to do in Bocas del Toro <<

Tip: If you have more time or are planning a longer trip, you can reach Costa Rica in under 2 hours by car from the Bocas province.

Day 14 - Return to Panama City & Homeward Journey

For day 13/14, plan to return to Panama City (e.g. by night bus or plane from Bocas) with a subsequent return trip. Alternatively, from the province of Bocas you can be in Costa Rica quite quickly. So you can start your onward journey through Central America from here.

With this Panama itinerary for a 2 weeks round trip you will have a varied time in any case. For me it was the perfect mix of city trip, relaxed island life and adventure in the green highlands! Also the number of days for the respective stops are ideal to get to know the places and not having to rush from A to B.

Arrival to Panama and traveling around

From many German airports you can travel to Panama with a stopover. From Frankfurt there are also direct flights to Panama City. Here you can reach the international airport Panama City – Tocumen International within 12 hours. 

If you want to travel by cab in Panama City, use only registered cabs and have them called by your hotel.

For the onward journey from Panama City we primarily used the bus network. In Panama City you can book tickets from Albrook Terminal to travel to different areas of the country.

Best Travel Season for Panama

The most popular time to travel to Panama is during the dry season from December to April. We escaped the German winter in February and enjoyed the pleasant climate in Panama very much. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a look at the calendar, because during this period there are also vacations and some public holidays in Panama, so it can be quite crowded in the tourist areas.

Safety in Panama

Overall, Panama is one of the safer countries in Central America. However, certain regions and neighborhoods in Panama City should be avoided. Extensive information and what you should pay attention to when traveling in Panama can be found on the website of the German Foreign Office. Be sure to inform yourself about the current situation before departure.

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