Panama Tour Blog by Caravan Tours

In our Caravan Panama travel blog, you’ll find unique articles on what to see and things to do when vacationing in Panama, in Central America. Learn more about the history behind the Panama Canal including the canal locks, Gatun Lake, the Miraflores Visitor Center Museum, the Amador Causeway, the Bridge of the Americas, and Casco Viejo, the “Old Quarter” of Panama City.

Panama, a tropical paradise in Central America, offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, making it the ideal choice for a vacation. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort with all of the amenities, a budget-friendly hotel, or a cozy resort nestled in the rainforest, Panama has something to offer everyone.

From the Royal Decameron Panama with its massive grounds and jaw-dropping amenities to the adventure-friendly Gamboa Rainforest Resort, discover the best places to stay in Panama for the ultimate vacation experience.


Top Accommodations in Panama

Like its neighboring countries, Panama has dozens of hotels, resorts, and lodges geared toward tourists flocking to its soil. It has plenty to offer, whether you prefer cozy accommodations or massive Panama all-inclusive beach resorts featuring your favorite modern amenities.

Here are the best Panama vacation resorts and hotels to consider:

Royal Decameron Panama

The Royal Decameron Panama is a massive all-inclusive hotel situated a short walk away from beautiful white sand beaches. It’s situated on the Pacific coast and boasts over 850 guestrooms and 370 villas, each equipped with air-conditioning to keep you comfortable while you recharge.

It has an impressive array of activities, including a minibar, golf course, eight adult pools, three wading pools, three hot tubs, a full spa, and a casino. It even offers a remarkable range of organized activities that take solo travelers, couples, and families on land and water activities. It also has 11 bars, ten restaurants, and a nightclub.

If you’re looking for a one-stop resort close to the action, this hotel is an excellent option. The hotel has plenty to offer but is also a short distance from numerous Panama tourist attractions.

Westin Panama

Situated in Costa del Este, this luxury resort is perfect for those who want to relax and recharge on their vacations. The Westin Panama Hotel boasts luxurious, modern rooms outfitted with standard amenities, including Wi-Fi, an iron, a hairdryer, a safe, and a coffeemaker.

The hotel itself offers various high-end amenities, including a restaurant, snack bar, a Sensory Spa, a fitness studio, a business center, and an executive lounge. The hotel is close to an array of activities, including various parks, theme parks, museums, cathedrals, and historical landmarks.

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Nestled in Soberania National Park in the heart of Panama’s rainforest, you’ll find the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. It features comfortable air-conditioned guest rooms, each outfitted with patio furniture and a cozy hammock perfect for afternoon naps.

It offers a full range of amenities, including a sprawling outdoor swimming pool, a stunning garden, tennis courts, and easy access to various walking and jogging trails. In addition, guests can access fitness equipment, thermal baths, saunas, and a hot tub. Additional spa services, such as facials, body treatments, massages, and beauty salon services, are available at an additional cost.

Guided fishing trips in the Panama Canal are also available, and between these trips and access to numerous trails, this resort is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.

Westin Playa Bonita Resort

Towering over Panama’s Pacific coast, the Westin Playa Bonita Resort is a grand place to come back to after your day of adventures. It’s a relatively new beach resort, built in 2011 and opened in 2012, and features all the modern luxuries you might expect from a beachfront resort.

The sprawling lobby offers sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, and spacious, air-conditioned rooms offer the perfect place to recharge after a busy day. Various amenities, including access to a private beach, several outdoor pools, a swim-up bar, lounges, a beauty salon, a fitness center, and a spa with massage services, offer plenty to do in the late afternoons and evenings.

Intercontinental Miramar Panama

The sleek, modern silhouette of the InterContinental Miramar Panama is situated in an ultra-convenient location in Panama City. It sits in the middle of Panama Bay, supplying captivating views of the city and the water around it.

It boasts an array of amenities, including tennis courts, a beauty salon, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center with massage, sauna, Jacuzzi, and Turkish bath. The scenic walkway of Panama Bay and numerous restaurants and activities are a short walk away, making this the perfect jump-off point to kickstart your vacation.

Sandos Papagayo

This Panama all-inclusive resort is situated on the beachfront in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. Its proximity to Papayago Natural Park and the Timanfaya National Park makes it an excellent choice for travelers who want the convenience and comfort of an all-inclusive resort but easy access to various adventures.

The resort boasts bright and spacious rooms with balconies featuring captivating views. It has four outdoor pools perfect for soaking up the sun, a gym, a sports center, and a minigolf course. It even has an on-site spa with a sauna and steam bath, plus eight bars, a snack bar, and several restaurants.

Enjoy Ultimate Relaxation and Adventure in a Guided Tour

Planning the perfect hotels for each stop of your Panama journey is a time-consuming process that can quickly become daunting, especially if you plan to be on the move frequently during your trip. If you’d rather focus on enjoying the adventures and sights and want a Panama all-inclusive vacation, a guided tour might be the ideal solution.

With our guided Panama Tropical Adventure tour at Caravan, you don’t need to stress about the details. We plan the entire itinerary, from hand-picking the best hotels to choosing must-do activities to fill your day. Our tour takes you all over Panama, allowing you to enjoy your vacation without worrying about lodgings, transportation, food, or activities.

Ready to book a trip to Panama? Call us at 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-800-312-321-9800 to get started today!

panama canal tour

Are you heading to Panama for an exciting tour of the iconic Panama Canal? Then you must be prepared on what items to bring with you! Sure, some essentials should always be included in your packing list – like comfortable shoes and clothes — but depending on how long your Panama Canal tour is, a few other things might make your trip even more enjoyable.

We’ve compiled some top tips and tricks from seasoned travelers who have already ventured through this spectacular waterway so that you can have a smooth journey! Read on to find out exactly what items will help ensure your Panama Canal experience is one you will remember!

1. Pack the essentials

When planning your Panama Canal tour, remember to bring the essentials! Pack a camera to capture the rainforest’s beauty and the canal’s impressive engineering feats. Sunscreen is a must-have – you will be in tropical conditions and want to avoid sunburns.

Although often overlooked, a hat protects your head and face from the intense Panamanian heat and sun. Last but not least, sunglasses are key for shielding your eyes from UV rays and providing clearer views of Panama has offerings.

Since there are many things to do on your Panama Canal tour, remember other essentials like:

  • Insect repellent
  • Extra cash (just in case)
  • Lightweight clothing items
  • Water bottle to stay hydrated

You can explore the stunning landscapes and enjoy some of the region’s best hiking trails. No matter what you choose to do in Panama, just remember to bring the essentials so your trip goes off without a hitch!

2. Don’t forget your passport or ID if you plan to visit Panama City

Before embarking on your Panama Canal tours, pack all the essentials! Your passport or government-issued ID is necessary to explore the city. Even though it may not be required for taking the canal tour, having a valid form of identification with you will save you from any hiccups should authorities need to verify your identity while in town.

Think of all the fun souvenirs and memories you’ll take home!  Remember your passport or ID — nothing can stop your epic adventures and tours in Panama Canal now!

3. Bring sturdy shoes for exploring on land

You’ll want to wear sturdy shoes if you plan on exploring the many sites of the Panama Canal on foot. This is especially true for hikes in the rainforest, but bringing them for just about any outdoor activity is a good idea.

These will provide better traction and support and help protect your feet from insect bites or other hazards you may encounter while walking around or checking out amazing destinations’ gorgeous beaches, fascinating historic sites, and vibrant cultures.

Pack comfortable shoes that are up for the adventure because there’s plenty to discover — from breathtaking vistas and wildlife sightings to unique attractions like hot springs and pine-scented trails.

4. Have a waterproof bag for protecting electronics and other valuables from the rain

You never know when it might rain during your trip, and having something to protect your electronics and other valuables is essential. Nothing ruins a vacation like coming home to discover that all your phones, laptops, and cameras are ruined!

Make sure you bring enough waterproof protection for everyone in your group so no one has to suffer the consequences of being unprepared. Have a fantastic time exploring the Panama Canal without worrying about water ruining any of your gear.

5. Prepare snacks and water bottles for the journey to keep up your energy levels

If you’re looking to save some money and stay energized throughout your journey, then make sure to pack a few snacks and water bottles! Home-prepared snacks are usually much healthier than buying them from snack stands.

Plus, bringing your snacks will help you save cash for other activities or souvenirs. Choose light and nutritious options such as nuts, fruits, granola bars, and crackers, so they won’t spoil during the warm weather.

6. Bring binoculars

Binoculars are essential for spotting wildlife and better viewing the incredible landscapes you’ll see on your boat tour in Panama Canal. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Toucans
  • Sloths
  • Coatis
  • Monkeys
  • Other wildlife

Plus, with a good set of binoculars, you can make out the details in the engineering marvel of Panama Canal locks! Remember to pack those binoculars before you head out on your adventure. You won’t regret it!

What to expect from your guided boat tour of the Panama Canal?

Your guided tour of the Panama Canal will be an unforgettable experience! Your knowledgeable guide will take you along the canal and provide insight into its history and importance. You’ll have an opportunity to learn about the construction process and the challenges those involved in building this engineering marvel face.

You’ll also hear stories about the people who worked on the canal, how it has evolved, and more. You can expect to explore many of the locks that make up the canal, including Miraflores Locks and Gatun Locks.

Along with some interesting facts about each lock, your guide can tell you what it takes to keep them running smoothly. Additionally, you’ll better understand the mechanics behind how the locks work and why this feat of engineering was so impressive.

Your tour will also take you to one of the most iconic parts of the canal – Gaillard Cut. You’ll be able to marvel at this man-made wonder as your guide explains how it was carved through solid rock. You can also expect plenty of picturesque views from different canal parts.

At the end of your tour, you’ll have a greater appreciation for just how much goes into maintaining and running such a complicated system. Be sure to ask any questions you may have along the way! With your expert guide leading the way, you will have an incredible experience!

Panama Canal Tours: Experience Luxury and Adventure

From the blue Caribbean Sea to the white-capped Pacific, your Panama Canal tour with Caravan Guided Tours is sure to be an unforgettable experience made up of equal parts luxury and adventure.

Whether you bring the entire family or decide to take off on a solo venture, we can ensure you have all the necessary items to get the most out of your trip. Don’t settle for a second-rate vacation! With Caravan Guided Tours, you can count on Panama’s best itineraries, accommodations, and attractions.

Why not make 2023 the year you embark on a dreamy journey through one of Central America’s most priceless gems? Contact us today to start making your plans!

panama city skyline

Are you looking to go on an unforgettable adventure in a tropical country? Do you want to lounge on the beach and want something new instead of your tedious day-to-day schedule? Then, the best place to visit in Latin America is Panama

It’s a country filled with history and rich culture, making it an ideal tourist destination for travelers who want a little fun after retirement or just something they can do while they still have the time and energy.

But as someone who has yet to go to this paradise, you might wonder what kind of things to do in Panama City. So, get ready for an adventure! Feast your eyes upon historic monuments steeped in centuries-long symbolism, explore the diverse biodiversity that creeps through the jungles, take part in thrilling outdoor activities, or immerse yourself deep within vividly colorful street markets.

Whichever activity takes you fancy, let us guide you through all that Panama City has to offer!

All About Panama: The Amazing Facts 

Panama is a country in Central America where the infamous Panama Canal is located. It’s also a country where North America meets South America, so it’s famously known as the Crossroads of the Americas. It also boasts an exceptional economy with a very stable government. Furthermore, the Panama Canal became an important shipping route. Due to that, it’s crucial as a trading base.

Panama has countless gorgeous activities to offer to their tourists. Some of these are as follows:

  • Magical coastlines
  • Soft-sandy beaches
  • Enormous active volcanoes
  • Jungles to explore

It has become a paradise for every nature lover. Additionally, its people and culture are a great mix that tourists will love. Locals will embrace you and welcome you no matter what.

What are the Best Things to Do in Panama?

Panama is one of the first countries that comes into people’s minds when they consider touring Central America. And who could blame them? It’s considered a haven for beach lovers. Plus, it has astonishing sights that every traveler will want to see. So when it comes to things to do in Panama City, Panama, there are numerous activities and places to visit where you can gather unforgettable memories along the way.

See the Ships Traveling Through the Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks

You’ll be amazed at how gigantic the Panama Canal’s shipping vessels can accommodate. You can take a boat ride and get an up-close look at the ships traveling through it. You can go to the Miraflores Locks, which is only 25 minutes away from Panama City, and it’s worth the travel as it allows you to check out the world-famous shipping route from above.

Furthermore, Miraflores Locks has a small museum with a small restaurant where you can dine after exploring the five-story building. They also have a separate building where their IMAX theater is located. So you can watch a movie while you’re there!

Take a Dip at Bocas Del Toro

Panama’s main beach in the Caribbean sea is Bocas Del Toro. It’s well-known for its soft and sandy white beaches where the crystal blue waters would dance as they washed up from the ocean. Most travelers that come here are young people. However, adults can enjoy the stunning atmosphere it offers as well.

You can take surfing lessons, dive with experts, or laze around the beach as you get your well-deserved tan. Furthermore, these activities are affordable. So you don’t need to worry about emptying your pockets as you enjoy the view.

Don’t Miss Cinta Costera

Cinta Costera is another one of the most popular hotspots in Panama City. Here, you can just walk around and admire the skylines. It has a mix of colonial and modern elegance. So you’ll want to walk just by the sea with the skylines as your background.

It’s where you will also see the infamous Panama colorful sign. So if you love taking pictures or videos, take a pose here and share it on social media for your friends to admire!

Take a Walk Down the Narrow Streets of Casco Viejo

One of the best things about Panama City is its rich historical architecture. The culture is also very predominant in every step you take, especially in Casco Viejo. Visiting the narrow streets will take you to places you have never seen before, which makes walking worthwhile. You’ll discover ruins, colorful buildings, and so much more.

You can also opt to take a walk during the evening when these buildings are lit up. And for dinner time, restaurants set up their tables on sidewalks for that perfect romantic atmosphere. It’s one spot that showcases Panama City in its most beautiful form.

Book a Tour to Panama City, Panama, With Caravan Tours

Now that you know what to do in Panama city, it’s time to book your next tour. Fortunately, Caravan Tours is one of the most reputable touring companies in Chicago, IL. We have varied destinations in Latin America, such as Mexico, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. 

The best part is these rates are incredibly cost-effective. So the deals are a great value for money, and you can take your loved ones with you. Their promos already include accommodations, food, transportation, and fun activities. So, if you’re considering visiting Panama City, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

You can call us directly at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800, and we’ll help you find the best promo that suits you.

beach setting panama

Everybody loves traveling to see new sights, meet new people, and experience new cultures. And if you’re looking for a country that offers all three, Panama is the best place to be. Even though travel restrictions occurred these past few years due to COVID-19, things are back to normal, and it’s relatively safe to fly and explore the world again.

But when it comes to your safety and security when traveling, is Panama safe? Is it an excellent Latin American country to visit and explore? The short answer is yes! Apart from it having a competitive economy, Panama provides tons of safe extracurricular activities you’ll surely enjoy while traveling the country. 

Experience the Beauty of Panama as a Tourist

Panama is a country that’s located in Central America. It’s surrounded by two coastlines, the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean. It stands out from other Latin American countries because it has an isthmus, which forms a land bridge. This bridge connects North and South America.

And Panama is where the world-famous canal is located, which is its namesake, “Panama Canal.” It’s the most well-known and important shipping route connecting the North Atlantic Ocean through the Caribbean Sea with the North Pacific Ocean. It’s also known as an engineering miracle.

In terms of tourist activities, they have many that you’ll want to experience. Some of these activities are as follows:

  • Mountain trail hikes
  • Beautiful beaches and coastlines
  • Enjoy the unique city life
  • Experience fine dining, contemporary art, and fantastic music

Top Attractions to Visit in Panama

When it comes to specific attractions, there are many you can choose from. You can enjoy the sights and experience the lifestyle in the city. Moreover, these attractions will allow you to enjoy the culture that Panama is preserving. It is filled with friendly people, and you won’t have difficulty embracing them as they’re welcoming and warm.

Therefore, don’t hesitate to check out their top destinations. Some of these attractions are as follows:

  • Panama Canal
  • Casco Viejo
  • Miraflores Visitor Center
  • Amador Causeway
  • Cinta Costera
  • Panama Metro
  • Avenida Balboa
  • Monkey Island
  • Biomuseo
  • Gatun Lake
  • Multiplaza Pacific

There are also cruise and sailing tours you can enjoy. Of course, it’s entirely focused on the Panama Canal since it’s the top attraction in Panama and probably in Central America. So it’s best to book a tour with a reputable touring company to ensure that you get to enjoy these activities while you’re in the country. One example of an excellent and trustworthy tour company is Caravan.

Is Panama a Safe Country to Visit in 2023?

Before going to a country you have never been to, you should worry about your safety first. You must be aware of what might happen to you and your family if you’re in a country you’re unfamiliar with. So when it comes to the question, “is Panama safe to travel to?” a resounding YES would be the answer!

In general, Panama is relatively safe for travelers even though they have high crime rates in terms of petty crimes. So, as a tourist, you will want to take extra precautions. Remember to be wary of your surroundings, especially if you’re traveling alone, to ensure that you don’t experience any danger.

Some factors to remember in Panama regarding warnings & dangers:

  • Overall risk: Panama is safe to visit. But bear in mind that some violent crimes might happen at night. So it’s best to take extra precautions on the streets, especially in major cities.
  • Transportation risk: Be careful on buses and bus stops because that’s where pickpockets and petty thieves like to hang out.
  • Pickpockets risk: In Panama, pickpockets are very prevalent. Therefore, the risk is high. They are a common occurrence, especially in the streets. So it pays to stay vigilant while you’re out and about.
  • Robbery attempt risk: In situations where an attempted robbery occurs, make sure not to resist and give all your belongings. Remember, your life is more important than material things.
  • Scams risk: Scams are available wherever you go. But in Panama, there’s a medium chance you’ll encounter a scam artist trying to rip you off. Some common scams are when a person sends you free drinks, taxi scams, and more.

And as usual, it’s best to have a travel checklist to ensure that you have everything covered, such as insurance, passports, and all your traveling documents. For U.S. citizens, it’s best to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts. At the same time, review the Country Security Report for Panama for extra information.

Why Choose Caravan as Your Touring Company in Panama?

Caravan has a wide range of traveling tours in Latin America. We offer the Panama Tropical Adventure and Panama Canal Cruise & Tour. Plus, our rates are low compared to others. In fact, we are known as the Costco of tour companies, yet we’re consistent with providing excellent customer travel experience.

With great value and a broad appeal to its audience, many people are booking with us right now, as 2023 is the perfect year to make new memories with friends and family. In addition, the rates have inclusions that won’t worry you if you’re on a tight budget.

Their promos include the following:

  • Lodgings
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Activities

Furthermore, there are no add-ons that you need to think about. The best thing about our tour packages is our simple rates, yet showcases the most awesome things you can do in Panama as a tourist. Plus, booking with a tour company means you’re safer from scams and other risks. 

Book Your Panama Tour with the Help of Caravan

Are you thinking of visiting Latin America this 2023? Is it going to be your retirement gift to yourself? Panama is the right country you must consider if you’re looking for a safe place to visit. And with Caravan’s simple and affordable rates, you will always go right.

Furthermore, we have more Latin American tours in various countries, such as Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. So wherever you want to go, we’re here to guide you. So don’t hesitate to contact us today at 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800 or fax us at ‍312-321-9845.

Close to El Valle Panama is Grand Playa Blanca Panama, a four-star resort and spa located in a tropical setting on the Pacific coast, less than an hour and a half from Panama City.

Translated, Playa Blanca means “white beach” and the area boasts what could arguably be the best unspoiled beaches in the country.

This is a fabulous beachfront hotel resort with 220 guest rooms, gorgeous suites and all the amenities including a swim-up bar, a quiet pool, several Jacuzzis, mini-golf, and a games area.

Many travellers to Playa Blanca Panama choose this resort for its wonderful accommodations, natural beauty, and outdoor activities. On the priority list for many tourists is a hike to the nearby waterfall or participation in a canopy tour or rainforest jungle trail hike (paved for easier walking).


Playa Blanca Panama resort offers refreshing drinks, a swimming pool in a beautiful setting, and a handy snack bar for those who aren’t ready for a formal meal. Watch out for the “friendly” native birds. They seem to have a knack for finding the visitor with accessible snacks. Even toucans are known for coming right to the outdoor tables. Read more

More and more travelers from around the globe are discovering the beauty and impressive man made landmarks of Panama. You now have a lot of options for fully guided all inclusive Panama tour companies.

And, while many people vacation in Panama to explore this country’s Spanish colonial heritage or to enjoy world-class resorts, white sandy beaches and rainforest tours, Panama offers so much more.


Caravan Tours wants to show you the amazing man made landmarks in Panama. Enjoy fully guided Panama Canal cruises as you explore the Panama Canal and Gatun Lake, both of which remain the most popular tourist attractions in Panama.

On your fully guided Caravan Panama tour, you will have a chance to explore many of these exceptional man-made wonders. Read more

The Bridge of Americas Panama Canal (or Puente de las Américas in Spanish) was built along the Pan-American Highway in 1962. This four lane Panama land bridge offered a more efficient way for vehicle traffic to travel between land masses on the North and South of the Panama Canal. The United States initiated and funded this first Panama […]

This post includes additional Panama Canal tour information to help you plan your next Central America vacation. Panama is a tourist friendly Latin American country that keeps a rather low profile despite its natural beauty. The country is referred to as a traveler’s paradise, although most people only recognize this destination for the Panama Canal. […]

Nearly 300 of the roughly 14,000+ ships that pass through its three sets of locks annually are now Panama Canal cruises that cater to tourists from around the globe. The Panama Canal is approximately 48 miles long. Rather than vacationing on a cruise liner that passes through the Panama Canal in about 9 – 15 […]

Ship passing through Panama's Miraflores Lock with Visitor Center in the background

The Miraflores Locks Visitor Center and Museum brings life and history into the construction and operation of the Panama Canal.

The primary focus of this modern Panama City attraction is the Miraflores Locks Museum, a four-floor interactive museum dedicated to the history and construction of the Panama Miraflores Locks. Museum guests are offered views of the Panama Canal from various platforms and depending on the canal’s schedule, can watch big ships and passenger liners passing through the locks.


Caravan Tours is a Chicago based all-inclusive tour company that also offers escorted tours of the Panama Canal. Included as part of Caravan’s Panama Canal tour is a morning visit to the Miraflores Visitor Center and Museum.

Caravan Tours uses highly knowledgeable local tour guides who to help all Caravan guests obtain a greater appreciation for the amazing history behind the building of the Panama Canal. Read more