Outdoor & Road Trip

Most Beautiful Places In Panama

Are you considering a trip to Panama this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Panama. These breathtaking sites and destinations will captivate you.

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed when visiting Panama, it’s that you’re about to embark on a journey through some of the most beautiful places in Panama. A paradise known for its vibrant culture, Panama is home to a treasure trove of natural beauty, from white sand beaches to tropical rainforests.

Most scenic places in Panama are spread across its diverse landscapes, each region offering its unique allure. From the sparkling city lights of cosmopolitan Panama City, one of the most beautiful cities in Panama, to the undisturbed serenity of its pristine islands, every turn unveils a breathtaking vista that leaves one mesmerized.

The places to visit in Panama are as diverse as they are beautiful, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Explore the history, live the culture, and dive into the adventure as you traverse the country. Wondering where to go in Panama? This article takes you on a journey through the best places in Panama, including those off the beaten path.

From the prettiest places in Panama to the not-so-well-known yet equally captivating locales, this list encompasses all. So whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a curious explorer, strap in as we navigate through the beautiful places of Panama.

The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Panama

Ready to dive into all the most beautiful locations in Panama? As highlighted earlier, there’s something for everyone in this part of Central America. So continue reading to uncover the spectacular scenery in Panama.

Are you seeking scenic urban and cultural attractions? Or would you rather have a tranquil retreat in nature? Whatever your plans may be, Panama can fulfill your needs. Here are all the top spots in Panama you should be aware of:

1. Bocas del Toro

Bocas Del Toro, Panamá | Islands, Surf & Wildlife

There’s a reason why Bocas del Toro frequently tops the list as one of the most beautiful places in Panama. This paradise, nestled on the Caribbean coast, is a breathtaking ensemble of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant rainforest.

Bocas del Toro is a mosaic of islands, each offering a distinct slice of Panamanian charm. Isla Colon, the main island, bustles with vivacious bars and eateries, while Isla Bastimentos offers serene sanctuaries like Red Frog Beach. Snorkel amidst the stunning coral reefs, surf the thrilling waves, or sit back. You can lose yourself in the enchanting beauty of the Caribbean Sea.

Dolphin Bay, a tranquil turquoise lagoon, is a must-visit spot where playful dolphins regularly put on a show. Another beautiful place in Panama within Bocas del Toro is the Starfish Beach, famous for the numerous sea stars that call its crystal-clear waters home.

2. San Blas Islands

When discussing the most beautiful places in Panama, it’s impossible not to mention the San Blas Islands. This archipelago of over 365 islands, most of them uninhabited, is like a string of pearls adorning the azure waters of the Caribbean.

The untouched beauty of these islands makes them one of the best places to visit in Panama. Here, there are no luxury resorts or bustling restaurants. Instead, you’ll find idyllic palm-fringed beaches, tranquil lagoons, and captivating marine life. This offers a snorkeling experience like no other. Each island holds its unique charm, from the isolated serenity of Isla Perro to the vibrant underwater world of Hollandes Cays.

3. Boquete

Nestled in the lush green highlands of Panama, Boquete is a delightful gem that nature lovers should not miss. This charming mountain town, surrounded by the cloud-enshrouded Barú Volcano and verdant coffee plantations, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Panama.

Known as the ‘Valley of the Flowers’, Boquete’s vibrant flora is a sight to behold. The region’s cool climate makes it ideal for coffee cultivation, producing some of the world’s finest beans. Don’t miss out on a coffee tour to learn about, and more importantly, taste, the divine local brew.

4. Santa Catalina

When it comes to the most beautiful places in Panama, Santa Catalina earns a special mention. A quiet fishing village turned surfing paradise, Santa Catalina offers an unspoiled charm that appeals to those seeking a tranquil retreat.

Santa Catalina is best known for its world-class surfing. The powerful Pacific swells attract surfers from all over the globe. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Panama for wave-riding enthusiasts. However, the town’s allure extends beyond its waves.

A short boat ride from the town will take you to Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This marine park, teeming with a diverse range of marine life, offers exceptional snorkeling and diving experiences. If you’re lucky, you might spot dolphins, whales, or even the rare Coiba howler monkey.

5. Casco Viejo

Casco Antiguo | Panama City's Historic District

The historic quarter of Panama City, Casco Viejo, is a vibrant blend of the old and new, This makes it one of the most beautiful cities in Panama. Its charming cobblestone streets, grand colonial buildings, and lively plazas tell a tale of the city’s rich past, while trendy boutiques, rooftop bars, and gourmet restaurants give it a contemporary edge.

Stroll through the picturesque streets, and you’ll come across notable landmarks like the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, and the Santo Domingo Church. The unique blend of Spanish colonial, French, and Antillean architectural styles has earned Casco Viejo a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

For foodies and shoppers, Casco Viejo is a paradise. The area is home to some of Panama City’s best restaurants and unique boutiques that offer local artisanal crafts. And when the sun goes down, the neighborhood comes alive with music and dance, offering a vibrant nightlife scene.

6. Pearl Islands

The Pearl Islands are a group of over 200 islands and islets nestled in the Pacific Ocean, known for their stunning beaches, lush forests, and a fascinating history of pirates and pearls. This archipelago is a pretty place in Panama that offers a luxurious retreat away from the mainland.

Contadora Island, the most developed of the islands, is famous for its exquisite beaches and upscale resorts. The island is a gateway to the archipelago’s other natural wonders. This makes it one of the best places in Panama for sea-based adventures.

The surrounding crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life are just waiting to be explored. Boat trips often include encounters with friendly dolphins, humpback whales, and the sea turtles that inhabit these waters.

7. El Valle de Anton

Nestled within the world’s largest inhabited volcano crater, El Valle de Anton is an idyllic mountain town that’s truly a beautiful place in Panama. The town’s unique location provides a cool climate and fertile soil. This makes it a haven for rich biodiversity and abundant greenery.

El Valle is a paradise for nature lovers. Explore the Cerro Gaital Natural Monument, a reserve with beautiful hiking trails that wind through dense forests, leading to mesmerizing views of the valley. Birdwatchers will be thrilled by the numerous species found here, including the elusive Quetzal.

The town is also known for its artisanal crafts. Don’t miss the Sunday Market, where local artists sell beautiful handmade items ranging from intricate carvings to colorful textiles. This authentic experience is one of the best places to visit in Panama for those seeking to understand the local culture.

8. Isla Taboga

Just a short ferry ride from Panama City lies Isla Taboga, fondly known as the “Island of Flowers”. This beautiful island is a quick escape from the bustling city, offering scenic beauty and tranquility.

The island’s hilly terrain, covered in lush greenery and blooming flowers, offers panoramic views of Panama City and the vast Pacific Ocean. This makes it one of the most beautiful places in Panama. Hike up Cerro de la Cruz for the best views, and don’t forget to visit the charming village with its narrow streets and colorful houses.

Isla Taboga also has historical significance as the second-oldest church in the western hemisphere, San Pedro Church, is located here. The church and its small, attached museum are must-visit spots for history enthusiasts.

9. Portobelo

Portobelo, Colón - Wikipedia

On the Caribbean coastline of Panama lies the historic town of Portobelo. Once an important port during the Spanish colonial era, today, it stands as a vibrant testimony to the country’s history and culture. With its well-preserved fortifications, beautiful bay, and colorful local culture, Portobelo is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in Panama.

Explore the historic ruins of forts like San Fernando and San Jeronimo, reminders of a time when Portobelo was a key port for transporting Spanish treasures. These fortresses, along with the nearby Santiago Battery, are now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

However, Portobelo is not just about history. The town is also known for its vibrant Afro-Panamanian culture, most visible in the colorful Festival de Diablos y Congos, a cultural event celebrating the region’s African heritage.

10. Gulf of Chiriqui

The Gulf of Chiriqui on Panama’s Pacific Coast is a sprawling marine reserve that is rapidly gaining recognition as a top ecological paradise. With its pristine islands, abundant marine life, and vibrant coral reefs, the Gulf of Chiriqui is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Panama.

The gulf is home to the Chiriqui National Marine Park, a stunning archipelago of over two dozen islands. These islands, with their untouched beaches and turquoise waters, offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. The marine park is a haven for biodiversity, with sea turtles, dolphins, whales, and a variety of tropical fish.

Coiba Island, the largest island in Central America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies just beyond the Gulf. Known as the ‘Galapagos of Central America’, the island’s unique ecosystem hosts a diverse array of rare and endemic species.