Panama is such a diverse country. It is impossible to see all that it has to offer during our 6 day tour even though we do cover a lot of territory and visit the most popular expat communities during the tour.
If you’re planning to come to Panama a few days or weeks before the Panama Relocation Tour, following are some things to do near Panama City.
Transportation in Panama City
Understand that even if you arrive in Panama City 2 days or 2 weeks before the tour, our driver will still pick you up at the airport. We will pay the $30 for you to be taken to the Crowne Plaza hotel in Panama City. If you want to be taken some place else the driver can do that too. But if the fee is more than $30, you will be responsible for any extra charge. You will need to provide us with the address of the hotel you will be staying at. From there, we will determine the extra charges our driver will be charging to take you to your hotel. We will confirm the price with him in advance and notify you of that cost. You will pay us (not the driver) the extra money owed over $30. When you arrive at Tocumen International airport, the driver will be waiting by the CAR RENTAL AREA INSIDE the airport. You will exit LEFT to get to the CAR RENTAL AREA. The driver will have a sign that has our Panama Relocation Tours logo. Melissa will be sending out individual travel packets for everyone before the tour that will include further instructions on how to find the driver at the airport.
Hotel in Panama City
We recommend that you stay at Crowne Plaza in Panama City area before the tour starts. This hotel is centrally located and in a great area with many restaurants within walking distance, grocery stores, pharmacy and a casino at the end of the street. Our special room rate is $66/night including tax, breakfast and wifi. You pay for the room when you get there. You can get a room with 2 full beds or a king size bed for this price. Please let us know which type of room you would like us to book for you. There is also a roof top pool. WE WILL BOOK THIS ROOM FOR YOU after we receive your international airfare information which can be submitted to us at info@PanamaRelocationTours.com
Best Places to eat near the Crowne Plaza in Panama City
In the Crowne Plaza, there is a restaurant and a coffee shop which has snacks. The food is very good at both. The restaurant has a menu or they sometimes have special buffet specials. The buffet specials are expensive ( $25 – $30), and in my opinion not worth the cost. It is better to order off the menu.
Other restaurants close by include
Machu Pichu – Peruvian food. Their speciality is corvina which is a sea bass. They also have vegetarian, chicken and tender steak dishes.
El Greco – Greek food at prices less than $10 a meal.
OPTIONAL CITY TOUR –
The day before the relocation tour starts, on Friday only, we have made arrangements with a tour guide for a Panama City tour which includes the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo which is the historic district settled in 1673, the fish market, Ancon Hill which is the highest point in Panama City with great views of all three sections.
See information below for details and please let us know if you would like to attend one of his tours. The more people that sign up for the same day the less it will cost. There will ONLY be Panama Relocation Tour clients on the group tour.
LUIS’s Panama City tour
$120 total CASH ONLY (does not include lunch) paid directly to the driver. Pick up at your hotel lobby at 7:45AM and ends at about 3PM. Includes Ancon Hill, Panama Canal, Amador Causeway, Casco Antigua. The $120 price is for 2 people. $10 for each additional person. So with 4 people it would be $140 total or $35 each for a SEVEN hour tour.
We will book this tour for you. Space is limited. Sign up early.
See information about some of the places you will visit during Luis’ Tour PLUS other tour options.
No Trip to Panama would be complete without visiting Casco Viejo. the historic district of Panama build in 1673. It is a World Heritage site where old buildings are being renovated in to upscale hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. Casco is home to the Presidential Palace, French Embassy, museums, opera house, cathedrals. brewing companies, and many historic buildings. No place is Panama is like Casco Viejo. See more details, maps, and things to do in Casco Viejo here.
The Causeway consists of four small islands by the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. They are linked to the mainland via a causeway, made from rock extracted during the excavations from the Panama Canal. In part the causeway was meant to serve as a breakwater for the entrance. A one-lane road runs along the causeway to each island, and there is a bicycle/jogging path as well.
The Biodiversity Museum is along the Causeway road too. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Biomuseo is his only work in Latin America and the tropics. The building was designed to tell the story of how the isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, uniting two continents, separating a vast ocean in two, and changing the planet’s biodiversity forever. Frank Gehry is one of the most important architects in the contemporary world. The Disney Concert Hall, the Experience Music Project, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao are among his most notable works.
MIRAFLORES LOCKS aka Panama Canal
Miraflores Locks allows the visitor to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn first hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed. You’ll be up close to the ships and be able to see the lock system at work at it raises and lowers ships through the locks. They also have a 15 minute movie about the history of the Panama Canal and there is a museum.
OTHER OPTIONAL TOURS.
SAIL THROUGH THE PANAMA CANAL
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and although Canal regulations do not allow us to raise the sails during the journey, our vessel is well equipped with viewing areas, deck space, and covered areas for shade. Total trip time varies depending on traffic on that particular day, but a transit to Gamboa and return to the marina is usually 7 to 8 hours. They serve lunch on board and beverages will be available. We can contact the tour company about tour dates, costs, and availability. They only do this tour on certain days. It is about $175 per person for a partial Canal passage. We will need to check availability.
EMBERA VILLAGE TOUR
This will feel like a real National Geographic day! You’ll be picked up at the Crowne Plaza then travel about an hour to the Chagres River where Embrea Indians dressed in only loin cloths will pick you up in a dug out canoe. You will travel about an hour down the river to the Village where you will be greeted by villages with music. You’ll meet a Shaman or medicine man who will describe the natural healing properties of the local plants. You’ll be treated to a traditional lunch of fish and plantains served on a banana leaf. There will be a translator with you during the entire tour. Then the whole tribe will perform a dance for you. You will likely see exotic animals during the all day tour like the little monkey who jumped on Melissa’s shoulder when we visited the village. We can book this tour for you.
TAKE THE FERRY TO THE PEARL ISLANDS OFF THE PACIFIC COAST
The ferry leaves daily at 7am sharp from the Amador Causeway. Check in is 6:30 am. You can spend the day at the islands of the Pearl Islands including Contadora and Saboga, which are about a 40 minute ferry ride from Panama City. We can book this tour for you.
Video of the Pearl Islands
Take the Metro Subway to the Albrook Mall, the largest mall in Central or South America. The subway ride is 35 cents. The subway station is next to Iglesia del Carmen which is across the street from the Crowne Plaza hotel. This ten minute subway ride will take you right to Albrook Mall. After shopping, you can take the subway back to the Iglesia del Carmen subway stop.
BUILD YOUR OWN TOUR — WITH A HOP ON HOP OFF BUS
The hotel where you are staying can tell you where the closest Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus location is.
Or SEE DETAILS HERE
There is commentary in Spanish, English, French, Italian, Portuguese and German
This is the Hop On Hop Off bus schedule and route but they will drop you off or pick you up anywhere in Panama City along the route.
Stop 1 – Multicentro
Stop 2 – Parque Urraca
Stop 3 – Mi Pueblito
Stop 4 – Albrook Mall
Stop 5 – City of Knowledge
Stop 6 – Canal de Panama
Stop 7 – Bio Museo
Stop 8 – Isla Flamenco
Stop 9 – Bio Museo
Stop 10 – Casco Antiguo
City Route Stop 1 – Hotel El Panama
Canal Route Stop 1 – Multicentro Mall
Panama City Route – 75 mins (if you do not get off the bus)
Panal Canal Route – 120 mins (if you do not get off the bus)
Panama City Route – Every 75 mins
Panama Canal Route – Every 60 mins
All year round excluding 25 December and 1 January
Panama City Route – From 08.25
Panama Canal Route – From 09.00
24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours
MORE FUN THINGS TO DO IN PANAMA CITY