Want to skip the cheesy tour bus and have an authentic experience in Panama City? There are a number of tours that get you off the beaten path and give you a glimpse into what life is really like in the hot Panamanian capital. From urban food tours, visiting forgotten neighborhoods, helicopter tours, and more – here are the most unique tours you can do in Panama City, Panama.
El Chorillo Experience
If you want to see a side of Panama City that’s not normally visited by tourists and be immersed with locals, The El Chorillo Experience is for you. Victor Peretz, founder of Local in PTY, will be your guide and you’ll see where boxer Roberto Duran trained, learn about how the U.S. invasion of Panama affected this neighborhood, try local food and drinks, visit the park where dominoes are played, chat with the locals in their homes, get to know the people of this area, and learn about the gentrification that has taken place in the neighboring trendy Casco Viejo historic district.
Monkey Island and Indian Village
Ever wanted to see monkeys up close in the wild? Well, Panama has an island full of them! The Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour is one of the best values because you get to visit Monkey Island and the Embera Indigenous Community which is not offered by most guides. You’ll start with exploring Lake Gatun by boat where you’ll see local wildlife and monkeys and then head to the indigenous community where you’ll learn about the local culture, history, and crafts. Then, hike along a short trail to see the plants that grow in this area and how they use them (practical, artist or medical uses) and see a dance that is part of their customs
Food by Foot
Discover local gastronomy in Panama City during the Food by Foot Tour with local tour guide, Juan Manuel. This food tour takes place in the charming Casco Viejo neighborhood where you’ll be visiting some of the most popular restaurants and taste some of the most typical dishes of Panama.
Panamanian Party Bus
A Chiva Parrandera is a traditional party bus in Panama and you can actually rent one for the night! The old school buses have been decked out with crazy paint jobs, speaker systems, and plenty of room dancing. The rental includes the bus for 3.5 hours, a bartender, and a DJ but you’ll need to BYOB.
Get a bird’s eye view of Panama City and the Panama Canal during the Helicopter Tour with Panama Air Adventures. The company also offers private charter tours to the Pearl Islands and San Blas Islands for another unique experience.
Taboga Island Catamaran
Hop aboard The All-Inclusive Taboga Catamaran Tour and enjoy an open bar, music, and food as you make your way to Taboga Island, the closest island to Panama City! Sunbathe, lay down and enjoy the big deck with huge nets and speakers. Once the boat gets to the island you’ll have a chance to swim, snorkel, explore the island, or just hang out on the boat! The catamaran departs every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday – RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE.
Panama Bar Crawl
One of the most fun ways to experience Panama City nightlife is through a bar crawl! The Panama Bar Crawl meets together every Friday & Saturday and you’ll have an outgoing group to party with while visiting five different bars and playing drinking games.
The Panama Detour
Discover the pulse of Panama City during a 5-hour personalized urban walking food tour with a local. Visit the historic district & eclectic local neighborhoods while sampling flavorful dishes. Take in city views and back alleyways filled with street art, sample the world’s most expensive coffee, uncover the local craft beer & cocktail scene, hike in the rainforest, bargain at artisan markets, or be spontaneous and take on the day! Click here for more information.