Best Day Trips from Panama City
Best Day trips from Panama City
Central America’s most cosmopolitan borough, Panama City is an energetic and vibrant multicultural region that takes most of the country’s limelight, for all the right reasons! A finance capital with a rising skyline of glass buildings, shimmering towers, Panama City’s unflinchingly urbane attitude draws business honchos and travellers alike. Lined with white sand and azure water beaches, it is vastly popular among adrenaline junkies for scuba diving and snorkelling. The city is full of hip cafes and bars along its cobblestoned streets to entice tourists, while also making a great base to explore the lush rainforests or sandy white Caribbean beaches. With an incredible natural wildlife, delicious cuisine, and ever so friendly locals, Panama City is a place sure to steal your heart in the process! One of the best things about Panama City is its close proximity with some amazing getaways where you can relax on a beach, hike through the rainforests, or maybe jump off from a cliff for extreme thrill. So when you are ready to get away from the urban life of Panama City, you can choose among the following locations to explore and enjoy these diverse and culturally rich places:
1. Elle Valle De Aton
A charming and quaint mountain town, Elle Valle is just a couple of hours away from Panama City. Huddled in the crater of a colossal but extinct volcano, this quiet town is surrounded by lush green jungles and majestic mountains. A popular spot for urban dwellers on weekends to get away from hustle and bustle of city, you may indeed find yourself wanting a while more than just weekends. Elle Valley offers a great variety of attractions to tourists that include colourful handicrafts markets, adventurous activities like zip-lining, hiking in rainforests, biking, horse riding etc. Its extensive network of trails makes it quite an exciting city for hiking. You can hike to the top of “Sleeping Indian Woman” mountain which you can end with a soak in natural swimming pool. Apart from this you can also revel in bird watching or visit The Nispero Zoo where you can spot the famous “golden frog”. All in all, a perfect trip to get some quiet after spending time in Panama City. You can take a bus or rent a car from Panama City to reach here, roughly taking approximately 2.5 hours to arrive.
2. Embera Village
Embera Village is a traditional and preserved Indian village that belongs to the Embera tribe, an indigenous group of Panama as well as some regions of Colombia. Something that’s directly felt to have arrived out of National Geographic, it is quite an authentic experience to be availed anywhere across the globe. This magical journey takes you to the dense rainforests of Chagres, where the tribe has been residing for over centuries now. The only way to reach here is by riding up the rivers in Embera’s traditional handcrafted canoes, one in a lifetime sojourn isn’t it? On arrival, the tribe gives you a warm welcome you by showing you their ancient singing and dancing. In such a raw, unscathed natural environment, you are bound to experience the purest and most mystical ways of Embera Tribe, their lifestyle totally unperturbed by modern amenities plus their immense knowledge of medicinal plants and natural pigments! You can also observe women here weaving beautiful baskets out of palm leaves and dried pigments. It takes approximately 2 hours to reach the village, including a car or taxi ride to Lake Alajuela, from where you ride in a canoe deep into rainforests.
Gamboa is a small town on the Charges River tucked into the Soberania National Park. An ecological gem that is surrounded by verdant forests and wetlands inhabited by a large no. of diverse native birds, the town is adjacent to a very touristy canal that beautifies the whole scenery and makes it a top attraction of the region. Home to a wide network of native flora and fauna, you can also spot sloths, white-faced monkeys, and colorful butterflies. Conclusively, Gamboa is the one of the most preserved towns of all times, one without any facade or commercialism. This is one of the reason that this trip provides one of the best, most culturally rich, natural yet refreshing savoir-faire. The city acts as an inlet for Soberania National Park that has quite a network of trails to offer excellent avenue for hiking and bird watching activities. Just a 45-minute drive away from Panama City, you can take a bus or drive there by yourself to reach Gamboa.
Portobelo, a town that was once one of the greatest Spanish ports in Central America, is now a picturesque, most comfortably laidback fishing village that offers excellent travel experiences to the leisure kinds. The pristine, turquoise waters of these beaches make it a perfect place to indulge in snorkelling and diving. Once you reach there, explore the ruins of Spanish forts, a magnificent tourist spot now included in UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic town of Portobelo is the most scenic and beautiful town near Panama City, perfect for anyone seeking to bask in the beach sun. You can drive a car from Panama to Portobelo, taking about 1.5 hours to arrive there. Alternatively, you can also take a bus; however, that’s bit of a hassle since you have to change one at Sabanitas and switch to the Portobelo bus.
5. Cajones De Chame
Panama’s hidden gem, Cajones De Chame is an epitome of beauty, boasting hidden caves, canyons, waterfalls, rivers and a lot more on your travel palate. Particularly famous for the young travellers for its natural canyon, formed by the erosion caused by the Chame River, you can jump off of and take most perfect selfies here! There is also an option of hiking at Altos De Campana National Park. You can easily reach Cajones de Chame from Panama City after a 90 minutes drive.