Things to do in Panama City
Get snappy with a rainforest canal boat tour
Known as the bridge between oceans and continents, Panama is a rich centre of biodiversity, and Ancon Expeditions (tel: + 507 269 9415; www.anconexpeditions.com) offer various options for getting to know it better. Its six-hour rainforest canal boat tour gives glimpses of monkeys, exotic birds and various reptiles. There are also whale and dolphin-watching day trips.
Go beach-hopping around the San Blas Islands
Although unrealistic to do in a day, it's possible to visit the San Blas islands from Panama City. These small golden, palmed islands are as close to paradise as you're ever likely to tread; meet the indigenous Kuna and dine on freshly caught lobster. San Blas Adventures (www.sanblasadventures.com) can get you there.
Go fishing in the Panama Canal
Panama is known for its great fishing. Husband-and-wife team, Rich and Gabriela, pilot the company Panama Canal Fishing (tel:+507 6678 2653; www.panamacanalfishing.com) that takes keen anglers down the canal and onto Lake Gatun. You're likely to catch peacock bass, snook and tarpon while surrounded by glorious rainforest.
Take a walking tour with former gang members
The best way to see any city is by foot, so join Fortalezza Tours (www.esperanzasvc.org) as they show a side of Panama City rarely seen by tourists. Started by the former Ciudad de Dios gang, tours visit their old stomping grounds and shine light on the darker side of life in the capital.
Visit the Embrera, an indigenous Panamanian group
Embrace Panama's pre-city history and spend some time with an indigenous Panamanian group at a reserve about an hour from Panama City. Run by an indigenous guide, Garceth Cunampio Tocamo, Embrera Tours (www.emberatourspanama.com) offer an authentic view of Embrera culture, customs and efforts to survive amidst modern pressures.