Get ready for an active trip to an undiscovered region of Panama that combines beautiful landscapes, exuberant nature, and pleasant weather. On this 11-day multi-sport itinerary, you'll fly through a cloud forest, raft along a river, and trek up a volcano where you can witness two oceans from above before camping under the stars—an unforgettable experience!

Highlights

  • Trek to the highest mountain in Panama and stay overnight in a tent
  • Go ziplining through the rainforest canopy trees in Boquete
  • Let a local guide take you river rafting through the rainforest
  • Spend a free day fishing or relaxing along the Pacific coast
  • Tour the most historic colonial neighborhoods in Panama City 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Panama City Panama City
Day 2 Fly to David - Transfer to Boquete Boquete
Day 3 Zipline Tour in Boquete Boquete
Day 4 Baru Volcano Trek Boquete
Day 5 Descend Baru Volcano Boquete
Day 6 River Rafting Excursion Boquete
Day 7 Transfer to Boca Chica Boca Chica
Day 8 Boca Chica Free Day Boca Chica
Day 9 Return to Panama City Panama City
Day 10 Tour Casco Viejo & the Panama Canal Panama City
Day 11 Depart Panama City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Panama City

Panama City modern skycrapers
Panama City's modern architecture

Welcome to Panama City! Upon landing at Tocumen International Airport, you'll be picked up by a private driver and transferred to your hotel located 30 minutes away.

You'll have the rest of the day to relax at your hotel, or get out and sightsee if you're feeling energized. The capital and largest city in Panama is steeped in history, yet much of it today is surprisingly modern (it is often considered the most modern and dynamic capital in Central America).

Since you're touring more historic areas tomorrow, you may want to explore newer areas of the city today. A good vantage point is to walk around Punta Paitilla where you can see the glass skyscrapers towering from the waterfront. Consider walking through Costa del Este, an upscale neighborhood and business area that evokes a bit of Miami or Los Angeles with wide, palm-lined streets, high-end shops, and restaurants. Punta Pacifica is another modern area with a slew of luxury condominium towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean—also within walking distance to high-end shops and restaurants.

You can also rent a bike and pedal along the Causeway, which connects four small islands made up of rocks excavated from the Panama Canal. Once a base for US forces, the islands have since been turned into a place for joggers, walkers, and bikers with refreshments along the way.

There’s plenty to do after dark if you want to join the city's buzzing nightlife. It is advised that you stick to the downtown area, which is safe, rather than venturing too far without a guide. 

Day 2: Fly to David - Transfer to Boquete

The village of Boquete Boquete on the bank of the Caldera creek

Today, you'll depart Panama City with a short flight to David, the capital of the Chiriquí Province in western Panama. The province and its charming villages are famous for their biodiversity and fresh climate—and you'll see it first-hand with a road transfer to the village of Boquete

Upon arrival in Boquete, you will have the rest of the day to relax and walk around the colorful village and sample some of the best coffee in the world. The area is home to ample opportunities for hikers and lovers of nature, and you'll be immersing yourself in adventurous activities and beautiful landscapes in coming days!

Day 3: Zipline Tour in Boquete

canopy of boquete
Zip through the trees in Boquete

Get ready for a fun day of adventure and thrills in the highlands of Boquete, where you'll zip through the rainforest canopy.

During this four-hour excursion with a local guide, you'll suit up and move through the trees along a daunting cable as it glides across the rivers and waterfalls forming the landscape of the region, bordering Le Amistad International Park and the famous Baru Volcano.

Once the half-day excursion is complete, you'll return to Boquete for some free time. 

Day 4: Baru Volcano Trek

Lush landscapes on the trek

Today, you'll spend quality time in the mountains with a full-day trek to Baru Volcano—the highest point of the country. In total, the route is 8.4 miles (13.5 km) from the AMAN (National Environment Authority) booth to the volcano's highest point, and it takes between 6-12 hours depending on your group's fitness level and the day's weather.

Keep in mind, this excursion is only recommended for those who are in good physical condition since it is a difficult hike that requires hours of effort and endurance due to the demands of the inclination. You'll also experience different types of ecosystems as the ascent is made, so the climate can vary from one moment to the next. Temperatures below freezing and frost have been reported, and it's best to pack layers no matter what the weather is in Boquete. 

Once you've reached the top—and if it's a clear night—you'll see an unforgettable sunset with views of both the Pacific and the Caribbean. After that, you will set up tents, enjoy a campfire dinner, and experience a night closer to the stars!

Day 5: Descend Baru Volcano 

Swimming in Los Cangilones de Gualaca, a mini canyon near Boquete

Today, you'll want to wake up early, as you will likely catch an incredible sunrise above the clouds outside your tent. After breakfast at camp, you'll pack up and descend the volcano, where you'll return to the village of Boquete. From here, you'll have the rest of the day to relax after the big trek.

If you're feeling energized, you can take another much shorter hike in the area, or head to Los Cangilones de Gualaca, a mini-canyon near Boquete for a refreshing swim. 

Day 6: River Rafting Excursion

Rafting for all levels

Today, you'll enjoy the thrill of paddling in the Panama jungle as you travel down the rapids of the Chiriqui Viejo River. Your guide will first pick you up and then prepare you for a route to match your group's skill level. 

While on this adrenaline-filled ride, you'll enjoy the jungle scenery and wildlife dotted along the shores as you paddle down the river. The entire excursion lasts about six hours. 

Day 7: Transfer to Boca Chica

Catch a west coast sunset in Panama

Today, after breakfast at your hotel, you'll transfer to the small fishing village called Boca Chica along Panama's central Pacific coast on the Gulf of Chiriqui. The village acts as a gateway to neighboring islands. Upon arrival, you'll check in to your hotel and will have the entire day to explore the natural beauty of the area, which has not yet been discovered by mainstream tourists. 

One idea is to check out the Gulf of Chiriquí National Park, which offers outstanding biodiversity, wild landscapes, and pristine islands for exploring. As for meals, the small village center is mainly local, however, you'll find a nice scattering of restaurants within the immediate vicinity.

Day 8: Boca Chica Free Day

Fishing on the Pacific Coast
Fishing on the Pacific Coast

Today is a free day in Boca Chica to spend however you see fit, and you'll have your choice between several activities and tours available in the area.

Perhaps you'll want to visit some nearby islands by boat, like Games Island, Bolaños Island, or Paridas Island. You can also sign up for excursions like fishing, snorkeling, whale watching, kayaking, or scuba diving. Land activities include renting an ATV or simply going on a pretty nature walk. 

Day 9: Return to Panama City

A fruit and vegetable market in Panama City

It's your last morning along the Chiriqui Province! Depending on the time of your transfer, enjoy a sunrise walk and/or simply relax with breakfast at your hotel. At the designated time, you'll be picked up for the trip back to Panama City. 

Once you check into your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day to spend at leisure. Make sure to take advantage of anything you may have missed at the beginning of the trip. Or maybe you want to head to Metropolitan Park for a picnic lunch. This urban wildlife refuge (the only wildlife refuge in the city) offers easy-to-moderate trails and dedicated lookout points.

Day 10: Tour Casco Viejo & the Panama Canal

Architecture in Casco Viejo

Today, after breakfast at your hotel, you'll explore the older side of Panama City with a private guide on a half-day tour. Start off by checking out the ruins and museum of Panama la Vieja—the first city founded by the Spanish colonists in 1519, and therefore the country's first Spanish settlement, which was later destroyed by pirate attacks in the 17th century. Following the destruction, the Spanish colonists decided to rebuild their city in the neighborhood now known as Casco Viejo (more on this next), located along the peninsula—in other words, a better place to defend against future attacks. In any case, Panama la Vieja is an interesting place to walk around with most of the action centered around Plaza Mayor.
 
Next, you will explore the city's well-known colonial area of Casco Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, and also the most popular tourist destination in the city. Recently restored, the area is a beautiful example of colonial architecture festooned with colorful street art, flower boxes, and some of the most charming boutique hotels, galleries, cafés, and markets in Panama City. You'll walk through the streets with your guide visiting different historic monuments including France Square (with a beautiful view of the modern city) and Bolivar Square while learning tidbits from Panama's past along the way.
 
Following the tour, you'll continue to Miraflores, where you can follow the technical operations of the Panama Canal from a platform. The Miraflores is one of three sets of locks in the canal, and a must-see while in Panama.

Day 11: Depart Panama City

Goodbye, Panama City!

It's time to say goodbye to Panama! After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy any remaining free time in the city. At the designated time, you'll be escorted to the airport for your departure flight home.