If you are traveling 2 weeks in Panama, there are three places you just can’t miss: Panama City, Boquete, and Bocas del Toro. These three amazing destinations have attractions to satisfy every travel interest. In Panama City, you’ll find historical buildings and a fascinating local culture. In Boquete, enjoy adrenaline-pumping adventure activities in the great […]
If you are traveling 2 weeks in Panama, there are three places you just can’t miss: Panama City, Boquete, and Bocas del Toro. These three amazing destinations have attractions to satisfy every travel interest.
In Panama City, you’ll find historical buildings and a fascinating local culture. In Boquete, enjoy adrenaline-pumping adventure activities in the great outdoors. In Bocas del Toro, appreciate unforgettable island landscapes and snorkel by the beach.
With so many things to do in Panama and gorgeous landscapes to experience, we recommend spending at least 3-4 days in each region you visit. The best time of year for travel in Panama is between January and April, the dry season.
How long you stay in each place also depends on your interests and your favorite environment. Do you enjoy a lively urban city (Panama City), wild highlands (Boquete), or a relaxing beach (Bocas del Toro)? However you decide to customize your 2 weeks in Panama, you’re sure to enjoy a fantastic experience.
See our write-up below for the best places to visit in Panama, along with things to do, travel tips, and recommendations about each location.
Located on Panama’s Pacific coast, Panama City is a bustling metropolis, home to more than 1.5 million people. If you are flying into Panama, you’ll most likely start your adventure there. Within the city, you’ll find a fascinating mixture of historic and modern features, along with various cultural attractions.
Panama City Weather
To the south of the city’s port lies the open ocean. To the north, tropical rainforest. The tropical savanna climate of the region keeps temperatures at a steady average of 27°C (81°F). Although it is usually partly cloudy year-round, the dry season runs January to April and the rainy season from May to December.
Transportation in Panama City
Tocumen International Airport is located to the east of the city. To get into the city, you can take a taxi for about $25 USD or call an Uber. A third option is getting a MetroBus card at the airport, which you can use to take a bus into the city and later ride certain city buses.
We don’t recommend driving in Panama City, as it is congested and the street signs are not very clear. Instead, you can use public transportation or taxis. Taxis are yellow and charge based on a zone system rather than meters. Your taxi driver should display a card with the charges for different zones.
Currently, there is one north-south metro line open, which runs from Albrook to San Isidro. The Albrook Mall on the western side of the city houses the National Bus Terminal. From there, you can book buses to other parts of the country.
What to Do in Panama City
Where to Stay in Panama City
There are many options for accommodations in Panama City. Casco Viejo, Bella Vista in El Cangrejo, and Obarrio are all popular areas to stay.
Within the Chiriqui Province of Panama’s western mountains, you’ll find the town of Boquete. In addition to green mountains, the town is surrounded by thick cloud forest and highlands scenery. Dominating the views is the towering Baru Volcano, which reaches a height of 11,400 feet (3,475 meters) above sea level, the highest point in all of Panama.
This area is known for its breathtaking landscapes, coffee production, and outdoor adventure activities. These features as well as the tranquil natural beauty of Boquete have attracted a large expat community.
Boquete sits at an altitude of 3,900 feet (1,200 meters), which gives it a cooler climate than the rest of Panama. Temperatures range from 55°F to 75°F (13°C to 24°C), staying consistent throughout the year. Similar to the rest of Panama, Boquete has a dry season from December to April and a rainy season May to November.
How to Get to Boquete from Panama City
The cheapest way to Boquete is by bus. From the Albrook Bus Terminal in Panama City, take a 7-hour bus ride to David, which will cost about $25. Then, take a local bus to Boquete. They leave regularly during the day and cost about $3 for a one-hour bus ride.
If you’d rather get to David quickly, you can fly from Panama City for about $150 with Copa Airlines. Once you get to David, make you way to the bus terminal to catch the bus to Boquete, as described above.
What to Do in Boquete
Where to Stay in Boquete
Thanks to the influx of foreigners, there is a large selection for lodging in Boquete. Here are a few of our recommendations:
Bocas del Toro is a province in northwest Panama, on the Caribbean side. Its western side forms part of the border with Costa Rica. In addition to the mainland, it has 9 main islands, with its capital, Bocas Town, on Isla Colón.
When people say they are going to Bocas del Toro, they usually mean Bocas Town. It’s known for its gorgeous beaches and party town vibe. But beyond water activities and parties, there are plenty of other things to do. Bocas del Toro includes two breathtaking parks and some indigenous communities you can visit.
Bocas del Toro Weather
With its tropical rainforest climate, Bocas del Toro features steady warm temperatures all year round, with average highs about 88°F (31°C) and average lows about 70°F (21°C). It rains about 204 days per year, so prepare to get rained on! January to March are the driest months and April to December include the rainy season.
How to Get to Bocas del Toro
First, you’ll have to make your way to the town of Almirante, on the northern coast. From Boquete, you can take a direct shuttle for $30 from Hostal Mamallena. Or, you can take a $2 bus from the main piquera back to David. Then, take an $8, 4-hour Changuinola bus to the gas station in Almirante.
From there, take a $2 taxi to the lancha, the dock. Finally, catch a boat to Isla Colon. The boat trip should cost about $6 one-way per person with either of the two main boat taxi companies, Taxi 25 and Bocas Marine Tours. The boat taxis are available from 6:00 am to 18:00 pm.
For more detailed information about how to get to Bocas del Toro, check out our previous blog post here.
What to Do in Bocas del Toro
Where to Stay in Bocas del Toro
How to Get to Panama City from Bocas del Toro
To get back to Panama City, you can fly through Air Panama for about $110 one-way. You’ll leave from the Bocas del Toro, Isla Colon (airport code BOC) and arrive at Panama City’s Albrook Airport (airport code PAC). The flight takes one hour.
By bus, you can take a direct, 11-hour overnight trip to Panama City from Almirante for about $30. Or, if you prefer to travel during the day, you can take a 4-hour bus back to David for $8, then another 6-hour bus to Panama City for $15.
We’ve put together an itinerary for 2 weeks in Panama to help you maximize your time in this beautiful country. Enjoy the best of Panama in Panama City, Boquete, and Bocas del Toro!
Day 1 – Arrive to Panama City
Fly into Panama City and go to your hotel. Explore your neighborhood, try out a restaurant, and get ready for a fantastic experience over the next 2 weeks in Panama.
Day 2 – Experience Panama City Attractions on a Tour
Take a day tour to Panama City’s best spots. Admire beautiful architecture and an old-town vibe in Casco Viejo. Then, head to the Amador Causeway to enjoy fantastic views of the city and ocean. See the Old Panama Ruins and learn about the city’s fascinating history. Finally, observe giant ships pass through the locks of the Panama Canal.
Day 3 – Choose Your Day Trip: Go Whale Watching or Visit an Embera Village
Head out of the city for the day to enjoy some of the nearby attractions. If you love the ocean and marine life, we recommend taking a whale watching tour. You’ll sail south to the Pearl Islands to see humpback whales.
If you’re looking for more of a cultural experience, you’ll love the Ella Drua Embera village. Meet the indigenous Embera people, learn about their traditions, and try traditional food.
Day 4 – Travel to Boquete
Fly to David or take a 7-hour bus ride there. Then, take a 1-hour local bus ride to Boquete. Check in to your hotel and enjoy the fantastic mountain views.
Day 5 – Enjoy a Boquete Coffee Tour and Zipline Adventure
In the morning, visit a local coffee farm and learn about the entire process, from bean to cup. Then, in the afternoon, get your adrenaline rush as you soar above the trees on a zipline. This is one of the best ways to experience Boquete’s gorgeous landscapes.
Day 6 – Soak in Hot Springs, then Start Your Baru Volcano Hike
During the day, visit the ancient Caldera Petroglyphs and relax in the hot springs. Then, rest and prepare for an amazing overnight Baru Volcano hike. You’ll start the ascent at 21:00 pm and get back to the base of the volcano by 11:00 am the next morning.
Day 7 – Hike the Baru Volcano
Enjoy a challenging hike up the Baru Volcano and admire terrific views of the countryside at the top. Summit the highest point in Panama at 11,400 feet (3,475 meters). In the afternoon, take some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Day 8 – Travel to Bocas del Toro
Travel to Bocas del Toro by taking a $30 direct shuttle from Hostal Mamallena or by going back to David and taking a 4-hour Changuinola bus. Check in to your hotel and explore Bocas Town in the afternoon.
Day 9 – Take a Beach Day
Enjoy all your favorite water sports: snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, and more. Your hotel probably rents water sports equipment. If not, equipment is easy to find in Bocas Town. Explore nearby beaches, or take a day tour to some of the best islands in Bocas del Toro.
Day 10 – Explore La Amistad International Park
Hike to waterfalls in the stunning La Amistad International Park with a local Naso indigenous guide. Learn about the variety of native plants and animals and enjoy the scenery as you walk.
Day 11 – Go on a Chocolate Tour and Relax on the Beach
In the morning, go to a Ngabe indigenous community to see how they make high-quality chocolate by hand! You’ll walk through the jungle, enjoy a traditional meal, and taste a chocolate sample. Then, relax in the afternoon and enjoy the beach.
Day 12 – Travel Back to Panama City
Fly from Bocas del Toro to Panama City. Check into your hotel and explore the neighborhood.
Day 13 – Enjoy a Final Day in Panama and Go on a Food Tour
Visit any additional attractions that interest you in Panama City. In the evening, take a food tour in Casco Viejo. You’ll walk around the historic district, then enjoy coffee, craft beer, fresh ceviche, organic chocolate, and a cocktail. We recommend visiting the Fish Market for more great food.
Day 14 – Depart from Panama City
Your fantastic vacation in Panama will come to an end as you go to the airport to catch your departing flight.
Panama City, Boquete, and Bocas del Toro are all wonderful destinations within Panama and you’ll have a great time in each place. Panama may be a small country, but it has so much to see and do. Enjoy your trip!