Discover the quieter corners of Panama on this 10-day journey between cities, mountains, and coasts. Escape to an island paradise in the Gulf of Chiriquí, explore the lush coffee region of Boquete, and immerse yourself in Caribbean culture in the laid-back fishing village of Portobelo. Your getaway ends in the capital of Panama City, where you'll tour the historic Casco Viejo and watch ships transit the famous Panama Canal.


  • Unwind at a secluded island eco-lodge in the Gulf of Chiriquí
  • Learn about the bean-to-cup process in the lush coffee region of Boquete
  • Discover Portobelo's pirate history & Caribbean culture
  • Tour the historic & modern corners of Panama City

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Panama City Panama City
Day 2 Transfer to Isla Palenque & the Pacific Coast Isla Palenque
Day 3 Isla Palenque Free Day Isla Palenque
Day 4 Transfer to Boquete: Coffee, Nature & Mountains Boquete
Day 5 Jaramillo Coffee Experience Boquete
Day 6 Transfer to Portobelo & the Caribbean Coast Portobelo
Day 7 Portobelo Village Tour & Sunset Boat Excursion Portobelo
Day 8 Panamanian Dance Performance in Portobelo Portobelo
Day 9 Transfer to Panama City, Historic City & Canal Tour Panama City
Day 10 Depart Panama City Panama City

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Panama City

Panama City's modern skyline

Welcome to beautiful Panama! Upon arrival at the Panama City International Airport, you'll be greeted by your driver and transferred to your accommodation in the city. Get settled in, then head out to explore the city at your leisure.

Panama's iconic capital city and commercial center are like nowhere else in Central America. Here big business and giant skyscrapers meet cobbled colonial streets and a mix of cultures formed by centuries of immigration and trade. It can seem chaotic at times, but there's plenty of fun to be had, especially around the vibrant UNESCO-listed old town of Casco Viejo, where many of the best bars, restaurants, and hotels are found.

Day 2: Transfer to Isla Palenque & the Pacific Coast

Transfer to the pristine beaches of the Gulf of Chiriquí

After breakfast, a transfer takes you from your hotel to the domestic airport to catch a quick flight to David in the Boquete region—an area known for its mountains and coffee culture. From here, you will travel by ground transportation to Boca Chica, then take a boat to Isla Palenque, a secluded luxury eco-lodge on an island in the Gulf of Chiriquí.

One of the highlights of Panama's Pacific Coast, this scenic gulf encompasses 25 islands across both the Coiba National Park and Golfo de Chiriquí National Park. The area is home to a unique maritime ecosystem, with some 19 coral reefs in the surrounding waters. Snorkelers and divers can spot dolphins, sea turtles, starfish, and even humpback whales depending on the season. After check-in, the rest of the day is yours to relax, unwind, and enjoy your time in this tropical haven.

Day 3: Isla Palenque Free Day

Sunset over Isla Palenque

Today is free to enjoy the many highlights of Isla Palenque. Spend the day unwinding at the beach, or join an optional tour to explore more of this island paradise. Outdoor activities include island hikes through unique ecosystems, a visit to the nearby tide pools, lagoons, and mangroves, rock fishing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. For a slower pace, learn how to make Panamanian pastry, join a rum-tasting workshop, or try your hand at some dance classes.

Day 4: Transfer to Boquete: Coffee, Nature & Mountains

The lush mountain landscapes of Boquete

Today you'll bid your secluded island farewell and take the boat back to Boca Chica, followed by a transfer to Boquete. Here you will stay at an elegant country hotel nestled between impressive mountains and lush coffee farms.

Boquete is a picturesque mountain town on the edge of the beautiful Barú Volcano National Park. With a cool climate and a welcoming small-town atmosphere, it makes a lovely break from the busy cities and the heat of the coast. The area is a nature lover's dream, with a variety of trails to explore, as well as opportunities for climbing, rafting, and canopy tours. The rich, volcanic soil around the town results in some wonderful local produce to enjoy, including Geisha—one of the world's most sought-after coffees.   

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Day 5: Jaramillo Coffee Experience

Learn about the bean-to-cup process of Boquete's famous coffee

This morning you'll immerse yourself in the flavors and aromas of this area's most famous export with a guided coffee experience. The Jaramillo region is home to some of the best-known organic coffee producers in Panama, exporting their products worldwide. During this tour, you'll visit a local finca (farm) to learn about the delicate process behind organic coffee production, including a little insight into the famous Geisha coffee variety. Depending on the season, you might be able to try your hand at roasting the beans, and of course, you'll be able to taste their delicious coffee straight from the source. You'll also learn how coffee production at the farm is helping the indigenous community, Ngobe Buglé, before being transferred back to your hotel.              

Day 6: Transfer to Portobelo & the Caribbean Coast

Views over the ruins of Portobelo's historic fortress

Transfer from Boquete to the domestic airport in David this morning, from where you'll fly back to Panama City and continue to the historical town of Portobelo. Here you'll take another scenic boat ride through the calm Caribbean waters to reach your hotel.

The Caribbean fishing village of Portobelo is so laid-back that it's hard to imagine it was once the most important Spanish port in Central America, with huge quantities of South American gold and Asian treasure passing through the fortresses here. Several of these UNESCO-listed colonial fortresses still stand in the village, but nowadays you'll find a relaxed Caribbean atmosphere filled with music and art. Nearby, attractive beaches can be reached by boat, and divers and snorkelers will find some great underwater spots to explore off the coast.

Day 7: Portobelo Village Tour & Sunset Boat Excursion

Boats along the historic port walls of Portobelo

Enjoy a tour of the historical town of Portobelo this morning, taking a look back into its fascinating past filled with pirates and Spanish conquistadors. You'll visit the village's most important sites with a knowledgeable local guide, including UNESCO-listed colonial fortresses, the Casa de Aduanas, and the Cristo Negro church.                    

In the afternoon, you can join an unforgettable sunset river journey to admire the area's diverse landscapes and wildlife while enjoying a tasting menu of the freshest ceviche.

Day 8: Panamanian Dance Performance in Portobelo

Dancers in traditional carnival costumes 

This morning is free for you to relax or explore at your leisure. In the afternoon, enjoy a traditional Panamanian dance presentation. Music and dance are a huge part of Portobelo's culture, and this performance gives a taste of three of the most famous traditional dances from the area. Each dance represents the history of the people here—the Congo dates back to the time of colonial slavery, while the Zaracunde tells the story of the enslaved who ran away into the mountains, and Los Diablos represents the achievement of freedom. The performance lasts around one hour, with local instruments used, and the opportunity to join in if you're feeling brave!                    

Day 9: Transfer to Panama City, Historic City & Canal Tour

Tour Panama City's historic highlights

Today takes you back to Panama City, where you'll discover more of the capital's charms with a full-day tour. Your guide will show you the sights, history, and culture of Panama City, as well as pay a visit to the famous Panama Canal.

After settling into your hotel, you'll be picked up and transferred to Miraflores Locks, where you'll see giant ships transiting the canal and learn about the incredible story of its construction. The tour continues to the old city compound of Casco Antiguo, taking in the impressive Biodiversity Museum, San José Church, and the bustling folk market along the way. You'll finish at the central Plaza de Francia, from where you'll have a panoramic view of the modern city center and the ships waiting their turn to transit the canal.                

Day 10: Depart Panama City

Twilight over Panama City

It's time to say your goodbyes to Panama today, as your trip comes to a close and you transfer to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Great Panama Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Panama? Check out these other Panama itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Insider's Panama:  Isla Palenque, Boquete, Portobelo & Panama City - 10 Days
Map of Insider's Panama: Isla Palenque, Boquete, Portobelo & Panama City - 10 Days