Can’t decide where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Panama? From upscale city nightlife to laid back beach towns… here are the best spots in Panama to celebrate New Year’s Eve:

Panama City

An upscale modern city filled with glass skyscrapers, nightlife, restaurants, shopping, and lots of fireworks on NYE.

Panama City

Panama City has been my home for the past five years so I might be a little bias, but it is an incredible place to celebrate the New Year.

What makes celebrating NYE in Panama City unique is the amount of fireworks that go off. Find a good birds eye view of the city from places like BITS at Hard Rock Hotel, Panaviera, or a friend’s high floor apartment and you’ll see fireworks explode non-stop between midnight and 5 AM just feet away from Panama City’s skyscrapers.

Locals usually celebrate with their families until midnight so if you’re visiting don’t be surprised if the place you’re at is a little empty at midnight. People will typically head out to the bars around 1 AM to continue partying until the sunrise. Good parties can be found at Tantalo, Relic, Casa Jaguar, and several other bars in Casco Viejo. Be sure to check the PTY Life Event Guide for details on the best parties happening this year.

While you’re in Panama City you of course have to visit the Panama Canal, explore the historic district of Casco Viejo, and eat a ceviche at the local fish market. Checkout my post 15 Things You Must Do In Panama City for a more detailed bucket list of what you should accomplish.

Where To Stay


Luna’s Castle


Hotel Casa Panama



Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel

Central Hotel






Beautiful mountain views with cooler temperatures, nature & hiking, locally grown coffee, wine, and fireworks. 


If ringing in the New Year with a small group of friends, wine, and beautiful mountain views is more your style then Boquete is the place for you. Just like Panama City, the town square also boasts an incredible fireworks display throughout the night.

Boquete is a really beautiful place to spend time so be sure to go on a few of these awesome adventures during the rest of your trip!

To arrive to Boquete you’ll first need to get to David. From Panama City you can take a bus from the Albrook bus terminal to David for $15.25 or $18.15 after 10:30 pm and the ride will last approximately 7 hours. The busses are actually brand new and really comfortable but be sure to bring a warm jacket because sometimes they crank up the AC. There is also a flight available on the local airlines Air Panama and Copa and you’ll arrive in just 40 minutes. Check out this detailed guide by Habla Ya on how to arrive to Boquete from Panama City.

Where To Stay


Arte Hostal


Casa de Montaña



The Riverside Inn


El Oasis Hotel





Bocas del Toro

A laid-back Caribbean beach town with world-class surfing, amazing beaches, and epic parties.


Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro is Panama’s best spot to celebrate New Year’s Eve if a Caribbean town is what you’re after. Thousands of young backpackers, visitors, and locals flock to the island for it’s epic parties and beautiful beaches each year with NYE being one of their craziest nights.

Habla Ya has put together a great guide on things you can do in Bocas del Toro. 

Bocas del Toro is accessible via a 12 hour bus ride from Panama City but I highly recommend taking the flight on Air Panama there because busses can only be reserved 24 hours in advance so there is a good chance you could get stranded in Bocas or Panama City if they are full.

Where To Stay


Selina Hostel – Bocas del Toro


Azul Paradise



Tropical Suites Hotel


Stay Bocas





Pedasí & Playa Venao

Beautiful beach towns just 5 hours from Panama City. 


Located approximately 5 hours from Panama City is the small town of Pedasí. This would be a good spot to go if you’re looking for a local style celebration that will have a mix of locals and foreigners. If you go 30 minutes farther you’ll be at Playa Venao which is known for having good electronic music parties on New Years.

Where To Stay


Selina Hostel – Playa Venao

Selina Hostel Playa Venao

El Sitio – Playa Venao



Selina Hostel – Pedasí

Selina Hostel Pedasi

Casa de Campo – Pedasí




Where is your favorite place in Panama to ring in the new year? Leave a comment below…

Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 7+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!


  1. Hi Joey! Do you have any neighborhood recommendations on where to stay in Panama City for NYE? Like is Casco Viejo the best place to be or is it worth spending the $$ to book a room at Hard Rock? Asking for 3 girls in our early 30’s from London/SF who love clubs and a busy nightlife as well as culture and restaurants (so basically everything:) thanks!

    • Joey Bonura

      I 100% recommend staying in Casco Viejo for NYE. Pretty much all the nightlife,culture, and things to do are in that area now. The only thing lacking with hotels in that area is a swimming pool if you want one but you could stay in Casco and then easily sneak into one of the city hotel pools whenever you want to. Here’s a link to all of the hotels available in Casco Viejo: Also be sure to check out the listings on

Leave a Reply