Islands • Nature & Wildlife Areas
- Traveler favoritesThings to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
What travelers are saying
- Visiting Gatun Lake and Monkey Island is a must-see experience when visiting Panama City. There are many tour operators that offer this trip, and I had a good experience with Safe Transportation and their Monkey Island and Panama Canal Eco Tour. I had a terrific guide who was very knowledgeable and was a great communicator. On the way to Gatun Lake, we made a brief stop at the Pedro Miguel Locks for some viewing of ships as they navigate the canal. After hopping on a small speedboat, we headed out on Gatun Lake and to Monkey Island. Our guide knew several spots to find the monkeys and we had a couple different species including the white-faced capuchin monkeys climbing onto our boat enjoying taking the food that we offered from our hands. We additionally saw and heard some howler monkeys and spotted a crocodile. Getting close up to the huge container ships in the lake was pretty cool as well. 4 hours was plenty of time needed to enjoy this experience.Written May 11, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- I can’t recommend this trek highly enough; the Camino Real trek is hands down the best adventure hike I’ve been on in Panamá!
Rick Morales is a fantastic guide who is very prepared - he knows what he’s talking about and has an in-depth knowledge of the landscape. We got caught in some heavy rains but Rick had no issue in navigating the trail in the difficult conditions. Some of the highlights of the trip included spotting wildlife and tracks from a tapir, wild pig and other animals, and swimming in the natural pools and waterways every day. Above all, it was amazing to have the history of el Camino Real explained to us by Rick over several days as we walked through the jungle and came across the old cobblestones.
As someone who does a lot of hiking, I can safely say this is the ultimate adventure experience for outdoorsy people, I LOVED the whole experience, and totally immersive from a historical perspective. I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed every minute!
Gear and prep: Rick did an excellent job in communicating all the necessary preparations to make, including very detailed and complete information about the gear to bring and what to expect in terms of the physical demands of the trek. We used a hammock with a protective rain shelter to sleep - quick to set up and light to carry, and very comfortable. I had no issues in staying dry in the evenings. I found the gear recommendations and other general tips from Rick to be spot on! Rick also has comprehensive safety plans in case of an emergency.
Intensity/fitness: Definitely for adventure and jungle lovers – be prepared to be covered in mud/wet clothes most of the trip! A large part of the route follows waterways so expect to have wet feet. There can be some tricky bits with river crossings/hiking up rivers, but the trekking poles were a massive help. In terms of fitness, it’s not necessary to be a professional athlete but it is important is to be familiar and comfortable with outdoor walking/uneven terrain, and fit enough to carry your backpack up and down some hills. I packed light to avoid carrying too much weight – personal preference! Rick also organized additional local porters to carry the food, which was massive help as it cut down on weight.
Food: The meals surpassed my expectations, each meal was a different surprise and I thoroughly enjoyed the variety! There was also plenty of hot coffee available. Aside from meals provided by Rick I made my own trail mix with fruit-nut-chocolate.
Water: We refilled our water bottles enroute from the streams which are crystal clear. Rick provides a great water filter for everyone in the group to use and I had no issues. I carried a single big 1.5L bottle but it would be better to bring several smaller bottles to distribute the weight in your backpack, and make sure to have them easily accessible when you are walking.
Other tips: As we were in wet clothes-shoes all day, especially after some rain, it is very important to have a dry sleep! I brought a small dry bag just for my pyjamas and the hammock which I stored separately to other items, which kept everything dry despite multiple river crossings and rain. Bring extra garbage bags/ziplocs to keep things dry!
10/10 for diversity of terrain and natural surroundings, communication and preparation support from Rick second to none.Written July 12, 2021This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- We took this tour when we came to Panama. The water was really really low which is no fault of the service just mankind. My little daughter had an amazing time and I have never experiences a cave tour like this before. We were in Panama City and they came and picked us up and dropped us off.Written September 2, 2021This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- This tour was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! To see the canal, the rainforest and downtown Panama City from the sky literally took my breath away. Fernando was extremely knowledgeable about everything we saw and could answer any questions we had. He also knew when to keep quiet and allow us to just take in the sights. I am scared of heights yet I felt safe and secure the whole time. Could not recommend this highly enough!!!!Written May 11, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- I went with a couple of friends from work and we had the best time here!! We did the bank heist which definitely made us use our brains and work together as a team. We were fully briefed beforehand and after. Toilets and lockers on site. Well worth the $$ for something different on a night outWritten February 27, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- My partner and I went out with the boys early morning, absolutely stunning.
The guys were more than willing to tailor the tour for specific requests which was awesome!!
The boat ride was really impressive, more so seeing the sustainability of what is happening in the Canal and the minimal effect on the ecosystem.
Our visit to Monkey island was dominated by Tamarins the slightly more aggressive Capuchins. The Howlers were a bit more stand off-ish but very vocal!!
Our guides were really knowledgeable and the drive through of the old American Gamboa district was cool.
Is really recommend this tour company, they were well versed in their tour and couldn’t be more helpful!!
We’ll be back!!Written November 16, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- I do recommend it. Great scenery, ocean and nature. Nice places to scuba dive as well.
Brandon was informative and took good care of us.Written May 14, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- The Tour Coordinator Javier made a custom tour for my group which included the canal on the Atlantic side, the city tour and lunch at excellent restaurants. I had a group of 58 persons and we were able to tour and enjoy safely with the assistance of the coordinator and his friendly assistance. This company is excellent with service and friendliness and price.Written July 29, 2021This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- Travelling across the Chagres River to visit with the Embera Tribal village was very unique. We were met by the tribal inhabitants who were gracious hosts. Their main tribal leader with the help of a translator explained how they live. They are happy and gracious and utilize all materials in their area to either use it for dye, making baskets, carving wood sculptures and weaving blankets to name a few. And the wood carving is amazing. They explain how they take a regular log of wood and carve a beautiful piece of art from it. You can purchase their carvings, blankets and jewelry as each family puts out their wares. They performed tribal dances and then each tribal member picked one of us to dance with them. Very uneven surface so wear sturdy shoes with lots of steps from rivers edge to main area. I recommend a visit.Written March 17, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- If you are in Panama, you must visit San Blas on the Caribbean side. Getting there individually is not difficult, I was looking for a solution, but in the end I chose this operator. Cacique are pros. Really. I was surprised by the accuracy, perfect electronic management, everything was still under control via a smartphone. I was alone with my 10r daughter and it was a perfect experience. Be sure to stay for at least 1 night. And importantly, pack only small things, only slippers, but definitely an ordinary plastic bag, otherwise the backpack will get wet.Written June 14, 2020This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- My husband and I took our nieces to Panama as a present for graduation. The girls had traveled some but had never been on an expedition like the one we had with Blue Adventures Panama. To be honest, neither had we although we sport fish every available time we travel. We requested Carlos give us a day that he would most enjoy for a day off the coast. We started on our way to the Northern Pearl Islands, stopping to troll and catch a bonita and a dorado. Then we graced one island where the blue footed boobie's hatch their young before traveling back to the Galápagos for their adult life. After a delectable serving of yogurt and granola on a beach line, we headed to some snorkeling...well, sort of. We actually detoured to a dealer reef so that Charlie (mate and Carlos's son) did some free diving for our pompano ceviche. He also speared a few rooster fish along the way for a special at their restaurant they recently opened (Maagoo's Tacos).
The second half of the day we traveled to a gorgeous cove for sandwiches and that delectable ceviche, along with a freshly chilled pineapple for desert. Everything we ate on our charter was hand prepared by Carlos and Charlie, as well as being eco-friendly to the waters of Panama. Carlos educated us on the fragility of the oceans and the coast of Panama. We saw first hand how the reefs are suffering from commercial fishing boats leaving remnants of their gear which kills helpless sea life. We were so thankful we had a crew that had such respect for their home. The honest and integrity of Blue Adventures Panama provided an experience of so much more than just a day on the water. Carlos and Charlie have a soul-driven passion for the sea which shines through in their work. We were thankful to be along for the ride.
Our day ended with "popcorn" manta rays jumping and frolicking out of the water as we glided across the water. Dolphins followed us along our route, blessing our day from below. Our nieces were in amazement of such a wonderful day and continued their thankfulness throughout the rest of our vacation. Making an impact on adults is a wonderful accomplishment. Impacting the soul of a young mind and spirit will impact a lifetime for those girls. Well done, Carlos and Charlie!!! Well done!
We ended our day with dinner at their restaurant, Maagoo's. Let's just say that if you miss Maagoo's, you miss the end product of the day we had. Maagoo's is there for all to experience whether or not they can book a day charter with Blue Adventures Panama. It is a MUST if you are in or around Panama!Written June 20, 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- Nomé is an amazing chocolate shop in Casco Viejo! I have ordered several gift boxes from them and celebrated my daughter’s birthday with the chocolate experience @ Nomé. The chocolates are delicious with unique and special flavors of Panama and the artwork is gorgeous! Every time I give them as gifts, people comment how beautiful the chocolates are and how they are almost too pretty to eat! The staff is amazing and will go out of their way to make sure you get what you want! If you are in Panama, go check out Nomé! It’s a guaranteed win!Written December 4, 2021This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- This particular day trip from Panama City is extremely unique as one gets to explore over the Gatun Lake as well as view native wild life. Would very highly recommend this particular tour to anyone seeking something unique.Written March 28, 2019This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- Had a great time in The Sotano. Welcoming staff, good room. Challenging (we didn't make it!). Guy was bilingual so everyone could understand.Written December 1, 2017This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
- This Helicopter Tour was the most amazing thing that we did in Latin America. OMG - to see the entire canal from Pacific to Atlantic Ocean in 1 hour was unbelievable. You get to see all 5 locks, fly down a river to the Caribbean coast and back. Even did some gator spotting. Our pilot was so nice and had great english. We brought our 2 year old with us and he even loved it. Definitely a must do!Written September 9, 2017This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.