Disclaimer: Yes, we are biased as we do manage Isla Palenque and believe it is one of the greatest places to visit in Central America. But still, trust us on this one…
If you have a week or a bit more to go on vacation and are thinking about visiting Panama, we recommend this luxury vacation itinerary. We think you should spend one night in Panama City at Casco Viejo, one or two nights in Boquete and at least four or five nights at Isla Palenque.
The stop in Panama City is more of a layover and possible quick visit to the canal. We recommend you stay in the historic district of Casco Viejo that is home to many great bars and restaurants.
Then take a flight to David and head to the Chiriqui highlands town of Boquete is a great place to take a coffee plantation tour and see the high-altitude cloud forests by zipline or on foot. Enjoy the majestic backdrop of the Baru volcano and the small-town charm of this mountain village.
Head down to enjoy the highlight of this Panama Vacation Itinerary with stay at the tropical island of Palenque in the Gulf of Chiriqui, enjoying our tropical forests, beaches, and other nearby islands.
Isla Palenque truly does make a perfect location to experience most of what Panama has to offer: tropical forest filled with wildlife, pristine beaches and warm water, and a location in the Gulf of Chiriqui with easy access to great sport fishing, the islands of the adjacent national park, and the nearby indigenous tribe of the Ngobe-Bugle.
Since both Boquete and Isla Palenque are accessible via a flight to David, this plan minimizes your time spent transiting Panama and allows you to focus on enjoying the country.
While Isla Palenque offers a perfect experience of Panama’s Pacific coast, if you have more than a week in the country, the Caribbean side is different enough that you should make an effort to experience it. If you do want to visit the Caribbean side of Panama, San Blas is the place to go. It is in the Guna Yala’s comarca (a semi-autonomous province) and its turquoise waters dotted with idyllic, flat palm-filled islands offer some truly spectacular snorkeling and swimming opportunities as well as visiting with the locals.
Most lodgings within the Comarca itself are very rustic, but there are some options nearby that offer a higher level of accommodations. Or, better yet, get a room on one of the charter sailboat companies that tool around the islands.
While it is possible to drive between Panama City and San Blas, it is probably easier to take flights via Air Panama, just as you would do between David and Panama City.
Any questions? If you need help setting this up, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your visit.
Daily 7AM – 7PM EST
San Jose, Costa Rica