Blend city sightseeing with a remote island getaway on this blissful weeklong trip to Panama. Start by checking off the highlights of Panama City with a tour of historic Casco Antiguo, a spin around the mighty Panama Canal, and a day trip into the Afro-Panamanian culture and pirate history of Portobelo. Chart your course for the San Blas Islands next, boarding a luxury catamaran for four nights of sailing around a Caribbean paradise of shallow waters and uninhabited islands.


  • Witness giant ships traverse the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal
  • Enjoy a traditional dance show in a historic fortress with a view of the Caribbean
  • Spend four nights aboard a catamaran sailing through the San Blas Islands
  • Snorkel above a coral-covered shipwreck off Isla Perro Chico

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Panama City, Miraflores Locks & Casco Antiguo Panama City
Day 2 Day Trip to Portobelo & the Caribbean Coast Panama City
Day 3 Transfer to San Blas Islands, Board Catamaran Cruise (Day 1) San Blas Islands
Day 4 Catamaran Cruise (Day 2): Explore Isla Diablo San Blas Islands
Day 5 Catamaran Cruise (Day 3): Snorkeling & Swimming at Isla Perro Chico San Blas Islands
Day 6 Catamaran Cruise (Day 4): Discover Isla Waili San Blas Islands
Day 7 Transfer to Panama City, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Panama City, Miraflores Locks & Casco Antiguo

Panama City
Stroll through colorful, colonial streets in Panama City's Casco Antiguo

Welcome to Panama! After you arrive at Tocumen International Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel in Panama City. Panama's capital is an intriguing mix of modern towers, colonial history, accessible nature, and a cosmopolitan feel. Home to the country's main airport and located on the Pacific coast, within a couple of hours, you could be lazing by the beach, exploring lush rainforests, or sailing along the famous Panama Canal

After you settle in, you'll be picked up at your hotel to take in the sights, history, and culture of this iconic city and the famous canal. Begin at the Miraflores Locks, where you'll see giant ships transiting the canal and gain insight into the captivating history of the waterway, including the challenges faced during its creation and its transformative impact on global trade.

The tour continues to the cobblestone streets of the historic district, Casco Antiguo, to visit the impressive Biomuseo (Biodiversity Museum), the historic San José Church, and the bustling folk market. You'll finish at the Plaza de Francia (French Square), with a panoramic view of the modern city center and the ships waiting their turn to transit the canal.

Day 2: Day Trip to Portobelo & the Caribbean Coast

Visit to Portobelo!
See a traditional dance demonstration at a historic sea fortress on the Caribbean coast in Portobelo

This morning, you'll be picked up at your hotel for a day trip to the charming fishing village of Portobelo, formerly Central America's most important Spanish port. Located about two hours north of the capital on the Caribbean coast, this relaxed beach town is known today for its rich Afro-Panamanian culture and the many UNESCO-listed colonial fortresses that still dot its shores.

Begin your tour with a peek into Portobelo's fascinating past, filled with stories of pirates and Spanish conquistadors. Tour the most important sites of the village with a knowledgeable local guide, including the UNESCO-listed fortresses, The Plaza, and the pretty purple-trimmed Black Christ Church, home to Portobelo's annual Festival of the Black Christ.

End at San Jerónimo Fort, which makes up a portion of the once larger fort built here by the Spanish military. Explore the ruins of the hilltop stronghold and wander among the dozen original cannons overlooking the Caribbean. Against this backdrop, you'll sit down to watch a mesmerizing performance combining three of the most famous dances of the area, including the Afro-Panamanian congo. The tour finishes with a traditional lunch in the village before your transfer back to Panama City.

Day 3: Transfer to San Blas Islands, Board Catamaran Cruise (Day 1)

Adventure in Guna Yala & San Blas Islands  - Day 1 - Isla Diablo
Spend four nights sailing through the island paradise of the San Blas archipelago

Today you'll be transferred north of the capital to the San Blas Islands, located off the Caribbean coast of eastern Panama. Beyond its white sands, swaying palm trees, and clear turquoise waters, this archipelago is known as the home of the local Guna Yala tribe. This Indigenous group has lived here for centuries and maintains its own government, along with unique customs, language, dress, and music.

The best way to see the islands is to take a catamaran cruise to explore the archipelago from the water. You'll spend the next five days and four nights sailing between various islands, witnessing local traditions, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, or just relaxing on the beach. Upon arrival, you'll board your luxury catamaran and settle into your cabin. Tonight's destination is Isla Diablo, a tiny island in the north of the archipelago with picture-perfect palm trees and white sands.

Day 4: Catamaran Cruise (Day 2): Explore Isla Diablo

Step ashore in Isla Diablo to learn about traditional crafts and culture

Wake to the gentle breezes off Isla Diablo today, and get ready for a day of cultural encounters with the local communities. Made up of over 350 islands, only around 50 islands of the San Blas archipelago are inhabited. On Isla Diablo, you'll get to experience a blend of pristine nature and cultural traditions, like molas, a traditional textile made from layered fabrics that form a colorful pattern. Watch local artisans at their craft, shop for souvenirs, or explore the tiny island fringed by coral reefs and white-sand beaches. End the day back aboard your luxury catamaran and relax in your cabin.

Day 5: Catamaran Cruise (Day 3): Snorkeling & Swimming at Isla Perro Chico

Adventure in Guna Yala & San Blas Islands  - Day 2 - Isla Perro Chico
Snorkel above a shipwreck off the shores of Isla Perro Chico
Plan your trip to Panama
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today you'll sail to the island paradise of Isla Perro Chico (Dog Island), also called Assudub Bibbi in the local Guna language. Nearly uninhabited except for some campsites and a small restaurant, the island is full of palm trees and white sand, but the main attractions lie offshore. 

Just feet from the shore lies a gunship that sank just off the beach in the 1940s. Partly visible above the water, the ship, commonly known as the Barco Hundido, has created an artificial reef, making it ideal for snorkeling. You'll get the chance to snorkel all around the ship today, marveling at the layers of coral that have obscured parts of the hull and the schools of tropical fish that call it home.

The island is also known for its Natural Pool, a sandbar under several feet of crystal-clear water that's home to many resident starfish. The shallow water is perfect for swimming and relaxing, and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy this natural wonder before settling into your comfortable cabin for another night on the water.

Day 6: Catamaran Cruise (Day 4): Discover Isla Waili 

Adventure in Guna Yala & San Blas Islands  - Day 3 -  Waili Island
Spot starfish and colorful tropical fish in the clear waters around Isla Waili
Set course for another day on (and under) the sea. Enjoy the sea breezes as you cruise toward the lovely Isla Waili, where more Caribbean beauty awaits. Snorkel in the colorful coral reefs, looking for local marine species such as dolphins, reef sharks, manta rays, and starfish. Enjoy your final Caribbean sunset at sea this evening and fall asleep to the rhythm of the waves. Tomorrow, you will head for land and prepare to disembark.

Day 7: Transfer to Panama City, Depart

Soak in your final Panama sunset from the idyllic San Blas Islands
Today, you say goodbye to the San Blas Islands and Panama, disembarking your catamaran before returning to Panama City. You'll be transferred to Tocumen International Airport with plenty of time to catch your departing flight. Safe travels! 

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Map of Panama City & San Blas Islands Sailing Escape- 7 Days
Map of Panama City & San Blas Islands Sailing Escape- 7 Days