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Why you should visit Panama

Why you should visit Panama | KILROY

Panama has a lot more to offer than just hats and a canal!

Panama is the perfect destination to combine with a trip to Costa Rica or Colombia. The vibe in Panama is laid-back and not yet affected by mass tourism, making it a perfect getaway for young travellers. Here’s our take on why you should consider making Panama a priority on your bucket list.

1. Island hopping around San Blas

There are 378 islands within the archipelago of San Blas and most of these islands are uninhabited. On the larger islands you’ll find the native Kuna people. The San Blas islands are controlled by the Kuna and they fiercely protect the islands against mass tourism. So, if you’re looking for your very own Robinson Crusoe experience, then a visit to San Blas is just what you need!

The islands are covered in palm trees, you walk around barefoot and live in simple (but comfortable) huts. Who wouldn’t want to wake up ON the beach, stepping out and dipping you toes in the crystal-clear water? Island hopping in San Blas is for the adventurer who’s looking for that postcard-island to have all to yourself. Enjoy the cool, laidback vibe and watch the sunset on the Pacific Ocean. If you’re into a little more comfort, you should consider visiting the more developed Bocas del Toro.

2. Bocas del Toro – where the jungle meets the beach

The area is made up of six lush green islands (Colón, Bastimentos, Isla de Solarte, Zapatilla, Cristobal & Popa) and an underwater national park just 40-kilometres from the border with Costa Rica. Isla Colon is the main island of the Bocas del Toro and you’ll find a larger variety of accommodation here than you will out on San Blas, like eco-lodges, hotels, surfer hostels, bed & breakfast and more. This also means that the area is more developed and that you’ll have more of the “comforts of home" here.

Bocas del Toro is home to a rainforest, indigenous cultures and some of the most popular beaches in the area. There are tons of stuff to do here like visiting Bird Island (which of course has a lot of birds and looks like something out of Jurassic Park), learn to surf, go snorkelling at Hospital Point, explore the jungle by horseback or visit organic cacao farms. We could go on and on!

3. Travelling Spanish classroom

Looking to learn some Spanish while meeting new people? Our Travelling Spanish Classroom offers a unique combination of travel adventures and Spanish lessons. You can choose between three different locations in Panama: Panama City, Boquete and Bocas del Toro and there are many cool activities waiting for you on this four week adventure. Combining language lessons with travel and local activities offers a more natural way of learning Spanish, making you use the vocabulary you learn during daily chores, when you’re on an excursion and when you’re chatting at happy hour.

4. Diving

Panama is, according to the National Ocean Service, one of the absolute best places to dive. There are spots for all types of skill levels, so if you’re a beginner, the Caribbean side of is the spot for you! If you’re a more advanced diver you should head out to Coiba, on the pacific coast. This country offers you miles of coral reefs, a marine life to die for, in addition to sunken ships and planes. There’s always something new to explore on the ocean floor! You’re almost guaranteed to see a range of marine life like dolphins, sperm whales, hammerhead sharks, turtles and so much more. You’re guaranteed to have an epic dive here.

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