About Panama

Shaved ice vendor

A vendor sells shaved ice. Why does Panama have such good ice cream and shaved ice? Well, necessity is the mother of invention… and when it gets hot, frozen treats are a necessity! Photo courtesy of Omar Upegui R.

The basics:

Panama is a small country with a lot going on. The Panama Canal makes it a global center for commerce, finance, and tourism. Its rainforests and beaches are beautiful and largely undeveloped – often compared to Costa Rica before the huge growth of Costa Rica’s tourism industry. The country is also home to several indigenous groups, such as the Kuna Indians, who produce Panama’s iconic molas. Last but not least, there’s Panama City, one of the most cosmopolitan cities of Latin America. Some people love the city for its vibrance and diversity. We love it for the marvelous ice cream. It’s all about your priorities.


Canoe of photographers in Panama

Visitors are taken by canoe to an Embera community. Photo courtesy of Luis Rubio.

Itinerary includes:

  • at least three nights in Panama City with visits to the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo, and Amador Causeway
  • food ranging from standard fare to international cuisine (and did we mention the ice cream?)
  • at least two nights in the San Carlos district on the Pacific coast
  • guided zip-line or hiking tour of the rainforest
  • a visit to one of Panama’s indigenous communities – such as an Embera tribe or Kuna Yala (known in Spanish as San Blas), the territory of the Kuna people
A street of Panama City's historic Casco Antiguo

The picturesque Casco Antiguo neighborhood is Panama’s oldest. Its character is maintained by laws protecting historic buildings. Photo courtesy of Luis Rubio.


  • The number of nights in Panama City and San Carlos depends on whether the tour overnights in an indigenous community.
  • The zip line canopy tour has a weight tolerance of 200 lbs.
  • For tours visiting Kuna Yala, pricing includes round-trip air travel between Panama City and Kuna Yala.
  • The tour description and draft itinerary may change based on availability, weather, and seasonal holidays or events.