A gorgeous coastline, fabulous golfing, delectable cuisine and a world-famous canal are just a few of the reasons Panama is popular — to the tune of more than a million visitors a year.
While full of vibrancy and life, you can relax and chill in the popular Central American country with four amazing days from Vacations by Marriott. Browse our Panama vacation packages, book your trip, pack your bags and use our “insider” itinerary to experience it all right now.
Day One: It’s mid-afternoon when you hit the ground at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama. The flight seemed somewhat shorter than you anticipated, and you’re looking forward to beginning your adventure. You work your way through customs, and a little while later are headed to Buenaventura and the spectacular JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort. The resort fronts hundreds of acres of pristine Pacific coastline, and after checking in, you change into swimsuits and take a stroll along Playa Blanca Beach. You run across an empty hammock, doze off in a relaxing slumber, then wake up to watch as the sun begins to set. Back in your luxurious room, you browse the resort’s restaurant options and settle on dinner at Prime 19, where after a lobster cocktail appetizer, you dig into a hand-cut New York Strip with sautéed mushrooms and grilled asparagus. The accompanying wine is perfect and helps complete a very enjoyable first few hours in Panama.
Day Two: You’re up early this morning and excited to get out and explore the countryside. Your destination is Gamboa, where you’ll spend several hours on an eco-journey up the Panama Canal. You hop aboard a motorboat that makes its way along the canal. After the engine is cut, you’ll slowly cruise along the forested banks of Gatun Lake as you head toward Monkey Island, which boasts an incredible amount of wildlife. You see capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloths, howler monkeys and various kinds of brightly colored toucans. Back on the boat, you head to an even more remote location: Sounds of Silence Island. Here, you relax for a bit and enjoy a picnic lunch, then set out to explore the island on your own and do some kayaking. Back on solid ground, you sit back and sip a cool drink while taking in the beauty of the area before making the drive back to the resort for an evening dip in one of eight pools.
Day Three: After breakfast at the resort, you stretch out a bit and prepare for a round of golf at the Buenaventura Panama Golf Club. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course can play long (well over 7,000 yards), but you’re pleased to find multiple tee placements. The well-placed bunkers and water features, combined with the natural elements, make for some interesting challenges, and proper shot selection and execution is rewarded as you work your way around the course. Later in the afternoon, you retreat to the resort’s Corotu Spa, where a massage awaits. The environment is completely peaceful and the treatment therapeutic, inspired by local indigenous elements rich in ancient traditions from local cultures. Thoroughly relaxed, you get dressed and walk over to Tamarindo, where you enjoy the views while savoring some authentic Panamanian cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients. What a day!
Day Four: The Emberá people have inhabited Panama for centuries. Today you’ll spend some time in their village, as they show you their way of life and share a culture that dates back to the days before the Spanish Conquest of Central America in the 16th century. Upon arrival in the village, you’re greeted with music and learn about Emberá history. You’re served a lunch of fresh fish, fried plantains and local fruit, then explore the village, where you snap photos, purchase an exquisite, hand-woven basket and cool off with a short swim in the river adjacent to the village. Your visit ends with a display of shamanic and celebratory music and dancing by the villagers. You say goodbye to your new friends and will leave Panama with the realization that you’ve explored some – but certainly not all – of a country that offers so much more than you expected. That affords you the opportunity to return at a later date to explore even more!
Did you know you can step in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in one day while visiting Panama? Read these and other interesting Panama facts before your trip.