Panama is rich with colorful wildlife, a thick jungle, teeming rainforest, and the man-made marvel of the Panama Canal. As the country's capital, Panama City serves as a prime home base for exploring the rest of the country. Here are the top day trip destinations from Panama City.
Monkey Island — 30 miles (48 km) away
Visitors wanting to see Lake Gatun and Soberania National Park can book a tour for the chance to see both local wildlife (including the monkeys for which the island is named) and an Indian village. Spot a wide variety of monkeys and birds, and learn more about local indigenous culture along Chagres River.
Portobelo — 60 miles (97 km) away
The port city of Portobelo in the Colon province charms with its fort that dates back to the 17th century (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), pirate backstory (Henry Morgan attacked the area in the 1600s), and tropical scenery. From Portobelo, a visit to a nearby island is just a short boat ride away, adding a relaxing element to a visit in the historic town. Tour Portobelo from Panama City via rail or minibus.
El Valle de Antón — 80 miles (128 km) away
An adventurous day in El Valle includes visits to see waterfalls, natural thermal pools, jungle hiking trails, local wildlife, and handicraft markets. Plus, it’s all set against the backdrop of a beautiful dormant volcano.
San Blas Islands — 150 miles (240 km) away
A mere two hours away from the city, the crystal-clear waters and white-sand beaches of the San Blas Islands offer some of the best waterfront scenery in all of the Panamanian Caribbean. A San Blas day trip from Panama City often includes boat tours, meals, and hotel pickup.