Epic Panama Travel Guide Everything You Need to Know Before Your Trip.
After 16 days in the small country of Panama, I am so excited to share with you everything I learned while there and help you be as prepared as possible for a trip of your own. Panama is an exciting destination that offers so much from sea to jungle, culture to nightlife and very varied experiences. This is a very comprehensive Panama travel guide broken into standard things to know before your trip like getting a SIM and budget tips as well as what to do while you’re there. I have added a map of the top towns to visit, tour options, the top experiences to have in Panama, and much more.
While 16 days isn’t a lifetime, it’s quite a while for such a small country and I have covered a lot of ground in that time which this blog post in mind so I kept notes throughout and want to make sure you’re prepared budget-wise and also have all the best experiences Panama can offer on your first visit.
Lodging styles in Panama: where to book, where I stayed, unique stays
There are 5-star and chain hotels in Panama City but the rest of Panama is mostly B&Bs, boutique hotels, lodges, and other independent style hotels. I loved this and it added to the charm. There are also hostels in all the places tourists would go in Panama, so there are going to be budget options.
Airbnb is a great option in Panama as there are cute apartments in Casco Viejo (the trendy part of Panama City), tree houses in Bocas Del Toro, and sailboats in San Blas. If you book through them, this link will give you $40 off. Browse Airbnb’s in Panama here.
We stayed in some amazing hotels in Panama. Here are a few of my favourites which I’ll link to through booking.com since that is the main booking site in Panama (so more places will be listed there than other sites). These are the most popular and beautiful hotels in Panama. There are more which I mention in posts about each destination, but these are my favourite ones.
Local Panamanian food
Panama has delicious food! Panamanian food is great (and has a Caribbean twist with a focus on seafood) but you’ll also find Italian, Mexican, and more here. A simple dish here would be beans, rice, some chicken with spice on it, and some plantain chips or the famous Panama chicken stew (which is yummy!). Everything is very fresh and locally made – that was the vibe we got in all the areas we traveled. If you don’t like seafood you might struggle in the San Blas islands where they don’t have meat. There is no electricity to keep it cold). You will need to pack snacks if you don’t eat meat or seafood.
Yoga retreats in Panama
Most yoga retreats in Panama are in Santa Catalina. This is kind of on its own in comparison of the rest of Panama and not something I could fit on my itinerary. Most people who go here for retreats fly into Panama City and have transportation arranged. It’s kind of center in the South of the country.
The most trusted site for yoga retreats is which has reviews set up like TripAdvisor. The top-ranked retreat is this one which is $1200 for 7 days. It includes all your meals, lodging, airport transfer, 5 surf lessons, 5 yoga lessons, and some local tours. it looks beautiful!