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Top 8 Family-Friendly Activities in Panama

Photo by Elemaki

Panama is gaining international attention as an affordable and safe destination for families looking to head south of the US border. And making it even more attractive is the fact that it offers fun activities that families with children of all ages can enjoy. If you’re interested in visiting a Latin American country that’s a bit less traditional than long-time favourites like Mexico, Panama could be the perfect place for your family. Check out these top 8 family-friendly activities and start dreaming about the trip your kids will be talking about for years to come:

Take an Aerial Tram in Gamboa

Your whole family will love getting a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest. Once you get off the tram, you can hike to a lookout point which offers stunning views and visit a small serpentarium and butterfly exhibit as well.

Visit the Punta Culebra Nature Center

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute gives visitors the opportunity to hike along two trails in the tropical dry forest, visit a mangrove forest, and see lots of marine animals up close. Kids can even touch some creatures, like sea stars and stingrays.

Walk through Casco Viejo (the Old City)

While visiting Panama City, don’t miss your chance to see the Old City. Admire the fading colours and beautiful architecture, grab lunch at an outdoor cafe, and visit the Mercado Nacional de Artesanía to stock up on handmade goods.

Go Whitewater Rafting on the Chiriqui Viejo River

Photo by Graeme Walker/ Whitewater Rafting (Graeme Walker) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Graeme Walker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This is the perfect outing for families with older kids who are looking for something adventurous. Day trips with Boquete Outdoor Adventures include hiking through cloud forest, a riverside lunch, and lots of whitewater action.

Hike to the Lost Waterfalls

Strap on your hiking shoes and embark on a hiking adventure to three different waterfalls that are part of this beautiful property. If you visit during rainy weather be prepared to get muddy!

Visit the Mercado Público

Pick up some healthy snacks for your kids–think local fruits and nuts–while checking out the sights and sounds of an authentic Central American market in action. If you’re anxious to try some local fare from a casual stand, this is the place to do it.

Take a Boat Tour of Gatún Lake

Get an up-close look at the huge ships as they pass through the Panama Canal on a boat tour with Ancon Expeditions, before exploring the local wildlife packed with monkeys and crocodiles. You can even spend the night floating in a jungle lodge if you want a more immersive experience with your family!

Go Snorkelling at Isla Contadora

This beautiful island is just one of many places where families can get out snorkelling to see Panama’s beautiful sea creatures. If your kids are too young for snorkelling you can opt for a whale watching tour or just spend a day swimming and building sand castles on the beach.


While in Panama with your family you’ll have countless opportunities to put your Spanish skills to the test. If you want help getting your skills in shape before the big trip, be sure to contact us. We offer group and one-on-one lessons, and can even coordinate customised learning sessions for your whole family!