Luxury holidays in Panama City

Days in pastel-hued Panama City start slow, but come evening – when temperatures drop – and beach bodies have retired their surfboards for the day, the city comes to life. Sounds of salsa fill cobbled streets, rooftop bars bustle, admirers watch the cityscape sunset, and the whirring of slot machines seeps from the city’s storied casinos. Wander restored colonial Casco Viejo, admire the Pacific’s shimmering shores from the Cinta Costera promenade, or take a – rather demanding – walk to the top of Cerro Ancón for vast city views. If you’re seeking a day away from the city, spend the day jaguar-spotting at the local Camino de Cruces park.

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When to go

Panama City’s rainy season runs from May to December, making January to mid-April the best time to visit. Every year for four days after Ash Wednesday, the city hosts Carnaval; a fare-filled festival with local dance shows and live music throughout.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Take a flight to Tocumen airport, with international flights from the US, Europe and South America arriving daily. From there, you can be along the city’s central waterfront within 20 minutes.
  • Trains

    The Panama Canal Railway has a once-a-day service that runs from Monday to Friday. Take the train from Panama City through the region’s tropical surroundings, along Gatun Lake and across the Isthmus of Panama before arriving in Colón; the train returns to the city at 5pm.
  • Automobiles

    City drivers can be a little unpredictable here, so you may want to leave the driving to the professionals for this one.