Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

 
Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
Mirhanna Sandoya of Lucero Homes, Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
White water rafting, Bouquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Panama, as a country, rafting is not very common, but in Boquete, white water rafting is a very popular activity. A lot of people come to Boquete just to experience white water rafting. There are two rivers in Boquete that have enough volume for river rafting- the Caldera River, which is often used, and there’s this resort called Boquete Tree Trek that offers the service. 
 
Every time we have clients in Boquete who want to go white water rafting or kayaking, we send them over to Boquete Tree Trek where they can have the whole tour including white water rafting because they have guides who are certified. 
 
Right now, kayaking exists but it’s not that popular in Panama. Standup paddle boarding is getting more attention in Panama City. They paddleboard in the beaches in Panama City, specifically in Vera Cruz Beach. Apparently, people want paddle boarding to become a thing, so we’ll see.  
 
(White water rafting, Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Captain Carl Davis of Jungle Land Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I agree with Judith.  One of the best places to kayak in Panama is in the Panama Canal! Kayaking in Panama, specifically in Lake Gatun, should be on everyone's bucket list. The Panama Canal area will offer you a unique blend of exotic wildlife, beautiful plants and flowers as well as impressive hidden waterfalls! Check out the video I have posted if you are interested in a preview of what it is like to kayak in Panama! 
Zach Smith of Anywhere – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are a couple of rivers up by Boquete that are fun for rafting and kayaking. There is sea kayaking around the Azuero Peninsula, the island of Coiba, around Isla Contadora, and out in Bocas del Toro. There is no shortage of recreational activities on the water in Panama. Panama probably has over a thousand islands all around it. It’s quite interesting how many are scattered about, many of which are not inhabited. There are a lot of things to do on the water there.
 
You can go rafting in Panama but it is seasonal. It’s better to go rafting when the rains are there. You can go rafting in the western highlands of Panama on the Chiriquí River, which is the river that most people use if they’re going to do rafting. 
David Bayliss of KW PACIFICA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Kayaking in a mangrove, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI particularly enjoy ocean kayaking in Panama. We have a really large mangrove area that is almost like roads except that it is water. You could go in your kayak and/or stand up paddleboard through these thick mangrove forests. It is fabulous.
 
Of course kayaking around an island is fantastic. Kayaking straight out from the ocean is also fabulous. I like kayaking a lot. I also like taking my snorkel mask and getting off of the kayak so I could go and see the fish. The kayak has a rope on it so I just hang on to the rope and snorkel around and pull the kayak behind me.
 
I did rafting in Panama as well. I did white water rafting here where you leave Panama and end up in Costa Rica. You could do that on a kayak as well. On the other side of Panama City are several different rivers that you can kayak in or white water raft at. Rafting is a small sport here so you have to really search to find out how to do it and where to do it but there is plenty of places where you can go.
 
(Kayaking in the Panama Canal, Panama, pictured.)
Maria Amelia Pezzotti of Cubitá Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
La Yeguada, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is kayaking in La Yeguada, which is located in the province of Veraguas, northwest of Azuero. It has a beautiful lake and it has camping sites.
 
You can also go kayaking in Lake Gatun in Panama City. Lake Gatun is near Miraflores, which is near the Panama Canal.
 
You can also go kayaking in the ocean if you want to. There is a lot of places to go kayaking in Panama. However, the one that I highly recommend is La Yeguada because it is a beautiful place and not a lot of people know it so it is not crowded.
 
Rafting is available near Boquete. Sometimes the currents in the rivers near Boquete are too strong and sometimes the rivers are closed for precaution. Right now, there is only one river that is open for rafting in Chiriquí, which is also near Boquete.
 
(La Yeguada, Veraguas, Panama, pictured.)
Anne Gordon de Barrigón of Whale Watching Panama/Emberá Village Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Portobello Panama kayaking in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is great kayaking in Panama both on the rivers and the lake.
 
In Lake Gatun, there are people who can take you out to go kayaking. You can rent kayaks right off the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and there are guides that can take you kayaking. You might even see a manatee if you are really lucky.
 
There is also great kayaking on the Chagres River both at the mouth of it, which is near Colon, as well as above Lake Alajuela near the Embera villages. There are some really great kayak guides here in Panama that can take you to a little bit rougher water kayaking.
 
We also have great ocean kayaking anywhere on the Caribbean side, especially around Portobello, Bocas Del Toro, San Blas, the Pearl Islands in the Pacific. We also have tours with a guide and you can rent kayaks on the islands. There is good kayaking all around Panama.
 
Most of the river rafting is done in Chiriqui, near Boquete, in the mountains. River rafting is seasonal and dependent on the rain. There is seasonal white water rafting just outside of Panama City on Rio Mamoni. That is not a Class 5 or Class 6 rapids but they would be a Class 3 and Class 4 rapids and you’ll have a fun adventure.
kevin obrien of BarefootPanama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There is kayaking in Panama, but surprisingly, not as much as there should be. Kayaking is still in its infant stages here in Panama. I think kayaking is spectacular and I only know of a few people who have legitimate kayaking companies. Most of the stuff that you can rent over here are the plastic kayaks where you sit on top. I do not know of any real tours. Most are just rentals. There is a hotel or two that have kayak rentals, but kayaking is still not the main attraction.
 
That said, there are some really great kayaking in Panama. My friend does kayaking trips around Isla Coiba, which is an island off the Pacific coast, and it is spectacular. Isla Coiba is the absolute jewel of Panama. It is the largest island in Central America. It is over 500 square kilometers (194 square miles); it is a giant island. It was an old jail and it is more or less uninhabited. Many smaller islands make up the archipelago there. The flatness of the water in Isla Coiba is similar to the Caribbean. That gulf is by far my favorite part of Panama. Luckily, most people do not get to Isla Coiba.
 
There are a few different ways to access the island. The main access route is from Santa Catalina, which is a little town down on the Pacific coast, but you can also go to Isla Coiba coming from David, Boca Chica and even Santiago. There is another marina in Santiago where people take boats from that peninsula to get to Isla Coiba, but the main access is from Santa Catalina.
 
There is an old Smithsonian research center runway there, so it is 50/50 whether you could charter a flight or not. You would probably need some permits and other documents to use the runway. You could also take a helicopter, I suppose, but more or less, people take a boat. The boat ride from Santa Catalina to Isla Coiba is about an hour.
 
The only way to go kayaking in Isla Coiba is to book a tour through Fluid Adventures because their kayaks are the only ones that are out there in Isla Coiba. The owner does not rent the kayaks. He is a very good, Canadian guy who pays a lot of attention to safety. There are some big tides in the Pacific and you need to know how they work so you have to book a tour.
 
I know one kayaking guru and he goes kayaking out on the San Blas islands, which is on the Caribbean. Kayaking in San Blas is a unique experience. There is only one company that offers kayaking in San Blas and they have the rights to kayaking tours there. Therefore, if you want to go kayaking, you have to book a tour with this company. I believe there are two kayaking options. One is a three-day, two-night and the other one is a seven-day, six-night. It is intermediate paddling, so you are not paddling eight hours a day, but you would probably do five hours, which are broken up between a morning and afternoon session. It is five hours per day paddling, then you go snorkeling, and they usually do some camping, too.  If you live in Casco Viejo, for example (an areaa within Panama City), and you wanted to go kayaking just for a couple of hours in San Blas, you cannot do that, because it is a protected area.
 
If you are in Panama City and you want to go kayaking, there are several different places for that. There is lots of good kayaking in less restricted areas. We can take you to the Gamboa area out on the Charges River. We have kayaking from the Bridge of the Americas to Vera Cruz, which is in the mouth of the Panama Canal. Our most popular kayaking is the sunset kayaking because you go kayaking from 2 PM to 6 PM. That is also intermediate kayaking, however. You have to know how to kayak and be able to paddle on the Pacific. We do that on the mouth of the Panama Canal so it is really beautiful.
Chris  of Aventures Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
    Panama offers a wide variety of river running and sea kayaking that will satisfy both thrill seekers and sightseers. If you're looking for big rapid fun then the Mamoni River will quench your cravings for excitement. It features a class IV rapid "The Z", which will have everyone holding onto their paddles with white knuckles.
    Or take it down a notch to the class II and III rapids of the Rio Grande. This section provides splashes that everyone in your group can enjoy. Depending on water levels, you'll have the choice of taking a guided paddle raft or manning your own two-person inflatable kayak. There is even a 15-20 ft high cliff jump into the water for those who dare.
    If sea kayaking is more your speed then a cruise around Portobelo will leave novice paddlers awestruck by a history in legendary acts of piracy, the sense of adventure in exploring the ruins of ancient Spanish Forts, the exhilaration of spotting exotic fish while snorkeling on a coral reef, and finally the relaxation of eating freshly caught 'pescado' at a local restaurant by the bay.
    But if you're a sea kayaker looking for a trip that will test your skills and leave you satisfyingly exhausted several nights in a row, then you might enjoy an exploration of the Panama Canal. You'll hear the roar of howler monkeys from the vast jungle on your left and spot giant ships from a safe distance on your right as you paddle the length of Gatun Lake, sleeping as a guest in the huts of indigenous Embera tribes and wilderness camps along the way.
   There is also the 'Chagres Challenge', which is one of a kind trip and allows guests to explore a virtually unseen section of Chagres National Park. On the Chagres you'll encounter high quality rapids, wildlife from bright colored toucans to playful monkeys, and even a stop at an authentic Embera village.
     I have personally been on all of these trips.  So find a trip and pick a vessel of your liking, get out on the water, and enjoy Panama's wilderness! You'll have a great time. I know I did!
Judith Tovar of Easy Travel Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
You can do kayaking on the Panama Canal!...only place in the world where you can do this!!  You can also do kayaking on the Chagres River.
 
The best river rafting in Panama is done in the Chiriqui Area..in Boquete.
 
 

 
Tabitha Paddock of Greenback Expat Tax Services – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
From the experienced adrenaline junky to the laid back novice, Panama can satisfy every water lover out there thanks to their unique dry and wet seasons. 
 
If you are looking for some exciting rapids, check out the Chagres River in November or December (peak of the rainy season). These are sure to keep even the most advanced paddlers on their toes!
 
If you are looking for a more relaxed float, stick to the dry season (January-March). The lower water levels at these times make for a very smooth, slow ride. The Mamoni River is a great choice.
 
Overall a fantastic way to spend the day... Do some swimming, and enjoy the nature around you!

Go Here Next

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481