Two Weeks in Panama – An Adventure Through the Heart of Central America

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Panama is a vibrant and diverse country in Central America renowned worldwide for its canal that connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. While this engineering marvel is often a main draw for visitors to the country, there is so much more to explore and experience in Panama. This two weeks in Panama itinerary will include a visit to Casco Viejo on the Pacific side, La Loma Jungle on the Caribbean side along with a stop in Boquete to sample Panama’s coffee.

Two Weeks in Panama

two weeks in panama travel guide

Before we dive into our two week Panama itinerary, I want to point out that this trip can be easily shortened to 10 days depending on how much time you have and how you want to spend that time.

3 Nights in Panama City

Since we were able to book a non-stop flight on Copa Airlines from Los Angeles, California to Panama City, Panama, we decided to make this the starting point of our two week Panama trip.

Tip: double check the airport code when searching for flights to Panama City, Panama. PTY is Tocumen International Airport in Panama. ECP is Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City, Florida.

Where to Stay in Panama City

We stayed at Toscana Inn in Panama City. The staff were very helpful and knowledgable, the breakfast was decent, the bed was very comfortable and most importantly, the air conditioning worked very well as it was in the 90s with high humidity during our visit.

Where to Eat in Panama City

Panamanian Feast at Central Hotel Panama in Casco Viejo

For a fun rooftop experience, check out the Central Hotel Panama in Casco Viejo. We loved the Panamanian feast and cocktails at the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant.

If you enjoy whole fish like I do, look for whole red snapper on the menu as you consider restaurants to check out in Panama City. I really enjoyed the whole red snapper at a restaurant we stumbled upon in Casco Viejo, unfortunately that place is no longer open.

Things to Do in Panama City

Be sure to dedicate a day to exploring Casco Viejo and if you’re short on time, at least spend a morning or afternoon walking around the old town. On our most recent visit to Panama City, we were on a cruise and only had a few hours to spend in the area. It was enough time to stroll through old town with a cup of coffee, shop for a Panama hat, sample delicious chocolates made in Panama and share a wonderful meal and drinks (watch the video).

Experience the Panama Canal. The first time we visited Panama City, we booked a partial canal ride on the Isla Morada through the Miraflores Locks. On our most recent trip, we were able to experience the full transit through the new locks aboard a cruise ship. In both experiences, we learned a tremendous amount about the construction of the Panama Canal and the day to day operations.

4 Nights in Boquete (or 2 nights)

Travel Guide: Panama - coffee

Nestled in the lush highlands of Panama, Boquete is a tranquil area known for its cool climate and coffee plantations. This charming mountain town is ideal for nature lovers and coffee enthusiasts.

Where to Stay in Boquete

We stayed at Los Establos Resort in Boquete, Panama. The property and the views were amazing. However, the place was under construction during our visit so it took away from the relaxing and peaceful stay we were hoping for. We would consider staying here again, but also consider other hotels around Bouquet.

Where to Eat in Boquete

The daily specials as Las Orquideas were delicious and well priced. It was easy to understand why this was a local favorite as we found ourselves eating there almost everyday.

Restaurant Bar Baru was a fun and casual spot to grab a drink and meet ex pats and tourists.

Things to Do in Boquete

Whether you drink coffee or not, it’s worth booking a coffee tour in Boquete to learn about the process. There are many coffee tours to choose from in the area, we really enjoyed the Finca La Milagrosa coffee plantation tour.

Boquete is also a popular area for zip lining in Panama. Although our favorite zip lining experience was in Costa Rica, the zip lines here are still fun and exhilarating.

3 Nights in Bocas del Toro (or 1-2 nights)

Travel Guide: Panama - Caribbean

Bocas del Toro is a vibrant archipelago off the Caribbean coast of Panama. The tropical area is know for its crystal-clear waters, lush rainforests, and diverse wildlife. Bocas del Toro offers a taste of relaxed island living in Panama.

Where to Stay in Bocas del Toro

We stayed at Monkey Tree Casitas, and true to its name, we could see and hear monkeys during our stay. If you don’t want to be with the monkeys on your vacation, definitely look for some other hotel options in Books del Toro.

Where to Eat in Bocas del Toro

Check out the fruit markets and stands around the island and pick up some of the best fruit you will ever taste. Also keep an eye out for fisherman bringing in fresh catch of the day. Bocas del Toro is a great place to sample fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood.

Things to do in Bocas del Toro

Beyond relaxing by the ocean or going for a stroll along the beach, we really enjoyed the night tour of the sea turtles on Bluff Beach with ANABOCA. When booking our tour, we were informed about the Sea Turtle Conservancy and how they go through specific training to provide an educational experience without disrupting the sea turtle’s natural behavior or habitat.

3 Nights in Bas­ti­men­tos Island

Travel Guide: Panama - Panama breakfast

Bastimentos Island is a part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama. The tranquil island is a bit of a hidden gem known for its rainforests, diverse wildlife and untouched beaches. This was the last stop of our two weeks in Panama and one of the most memorable.

Where to Stay in Bas­ti­men­tos Island

We stayed at La Loma Lodge on Bastimentos Island and I would highly recommend the experience for anyone who is a foodie and nature lover.

Guests can take a tour of the cacao and permaculture farm which includes learning about the fruits, vegetables and plants that grow on the farm. My favorite part of the tour was getting to sample fresh cacao and learn about the process of how these beans and transformed into chocolate. After the tour, we enjoyed a delicious farm fresh meal with fellow guests.

Since every meal was included during our stay at La Loma Lodge we never ventured outside the property for food. Every meal was absolutely delicious and some of the best meals we had during our two weeks in Panama.

The only downside about the stay at La Loma Lodge was the biting insects. Since the accommodations are in the jungle, there are all kinds of wildlife and biting insects throughout the property. While our room had fans and mosquito nets, they did not keep the tiny biting insects away. However, the incredible meals and experiences were worth having to put up with the biting insects.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, this two weeks in Panama trip can be easily shortened to 10 days by adjusting the amount of time you spend in each area or removing an area all together. Perhaps you only want to visit La Loma Jungle for the day to tour the farm and enjoy a meal. However, you decide to spend your time in Panama, I hope you have a wonderful time!

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