Published: April, 2019
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Panama City, San Blas, El Valle & Bocas del Torres , Panama

Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo!
— Megan Harvey
  • More about your oliver guide:
  • Trip type: Adult, Family, Group getaway, Beach, City, Mountains
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Ideal length of trip: We stayed two weeks. You can easily do one week or 10 days.

to & from

Panama City -Fly non stop from East & West Coast. We flew on the non-stop Copa Flight from SFO.
Panama City to San Blas – 4×4 private car or fly out of the regional airport – Albrook Airport (PAC)
Panama City to El Valle – rent a car and drive yourself its an easy 2 hour drive. Easy to pick a car up in PC or at one of the airports
Panama City to Bocos del Torres – Basimentos Island – fly (1hour) from Panama City out of the regional airport (PAC) to Bocos Town. Private boat arranged by your Eco Lodge to Basimentos Island (45 minutes)

Where to Stay

Panama City – Casco Viejo (the old city) this is the spot to stay when you are enjoying a couple of days of exploring the city. The American Trade Hotel is a great option. If you just have a quick stay there are tons of name brand options in the main part of the city. We stayed our first night in a Sheraton on points as we were there for less then 24 hours. On our way back we stayed a couple of nights in Casco Viejo.

San Blas – Charter a catamaran or sailboat – Itravelbyboat.com Estefania Gamarra the owner is awesome! We loved our catamaran the Mambo Diablo. Our captain/ cook Javi was great. He was an amazing cook and always took us to the best secluded spots.

El ValleThe Golden Frog Inn

Bocos del TorresBasimentos Island – Al Natural Eco Lodge or Casa Cayuco. We stayed at Al Natural as Casa Cayuco was full. We ended up LOVING it. I would say Al Natural is a little more rustic/eco/private than Casa Cayuco.

Where to Eat and Drink

Make sure to check out the fish market in Panama City. Fun atmosphere and delicious ceviche (only open for lunch)
Check online for the hippest hot spots and roof top bars in Casco Viejo. If your on a family vacation this is a good spot to leave the kids at the hotel and go out on your own.

What to Do

Panama – Panama Canal tour

San Blas – Snorkel; swim; paddle board, fish; kayak; digital detox; walk around uninhabited islands; visit with the locals; sail; read; relax; siesta – repeat

El Valle – Hike to the top of La India Dormida (the sleeping Indian); check out the Chorro El Macho waterfall; ride bikes around town; watch the local teams play futbol

Bocas del Torres – Paddle board; snorkel; swim; read; make new friends; hike around the island; boat excursions; relax; siesta; repeat.

inside scoop

Currency is USD, easy to rent a car and drive yourself.

skip it

Day trip to San Blas
Spending more then one night in Bocas Town

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