Panama City Vacation with Airfare
Panama's capital city and largest metropolis, Panama City, sits close to the border of South America on the Isthmus of Panama. Sandwiched between a rainforest and the Pacific coast, the subtropical city enjoys some 300 days of sunshine annually, and temperatures rarely dip below 70 degrees. Your five-day Panama City vacation sets you up in the Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa, steps from its own private beachfront overlooking the Bay of Panama.
This getaway also includes round-trip airfare from Miami International Airport (MIA). You'll have a rental car for four days so you can explore the area at your own pace.
Panama City, Panama
A short drive from the hotel, you can find downtown Panama, dubbed “a dynamic metropolis” by the New York Times. It’s home to shiny skyscrapers, raucous dance clubs, and the whirlwind Carnival celebration, which takes place in the days before Ash Wednesday.
Other notable attractions in the city include:
Casco Viejo: Located northeast of the resort. Spanish colonial churches and Moorish palaces line the often-cobbled streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site. The name roughly translates to "old shell,” and it seems to fit. The tree-lined plazas that once hosted bullfights and bazaars are now filled with street vendors, buskers, and artsy nightclubs.
Panama Canal: When construction on the Panama Canal wrapped up in 1914, it was a historic moment—the Isthmus of Panama now connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Frommer's calls the canal "one of the grandest engineering feats in the world.” It can take up to half a day to cross the canal. If that’s out of the question, simply stop at the Miraflores Locks, where you can watch cargo ships passing through. Exhibits in this area chronicle the canal's construction and significance to global trade.
Metropolitan National Park: At close to 700 acres, this park—roughly 20 minutes from the hotel—contains a tropical rainforest, where hundreds of exotic birds make their home alongside iguanas and sloths. A crane tour lifts visitors high above the forest for a chance to glimpse spider monkeys or see a bird's-eye view of Panama City's burgeoning skyline.
Many of Panama's other attractions are just an hour or two from the city. Head north toward the village of Embera for a nice day trip. A boat can take you upriver into the tiny village, where thatched-roof houses perch on stilts. Here, villagers hand-weave baskets and perform a ceremonial hummingbird dance that is rumored to encourage healing.
Click here for a day-by-day breakdown of the trip.
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