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Captain Carl Davis of Jungle Land Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Panama. Despite being a "small" country, Panama has a lot to offer. Some of the best activities include: birdwatching, hiking, swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing, etc. 
Great outdoor activities in Panama: Fishing in Lake Gatun, Panama Canal, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
A lot of these activities can actually be done near or in the Panama Canal. If you are into hiking, swimming, kayaking or fishing, I recommend that you look into spending a few days around Lake Gatun. You will not only be able to partake in some of Panama's best outdoor activities, you will also be able to take in Panama's amazing jungle and some of the Panama Canal operations. I have posted a video that sums up all of the outdoor activities that you can do in or around Lake Gatun, Panama. I hope you enjoy it. 
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Portobelo, Panama, fort – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanamá is by far, a unique place for outdoor activities, due the beautiful weather all year round.  One reason that the famous Panama Canal (and one of the Eight Wonders of the World) was built on this narrow piece of land was precisely because Panamá is blessed and does not have hurricanes, tornados or tsunamis. 
 
Panamá´s beaches are famous for surfing, especially in Gorgona (at around one and a half hours drive from the city of Panamá), and Santa Catalina (near the small city of Santiago, at 5 hours drive from the city), as well as Portobello, on the Atlantic coast, near the city of Colón, where the famous Free Zone is located.  Another good place for this activity is Pedasí, in the "Peninsula de Azuero" (central Panamá about 6 hours driving from the city).
 
Panama mountains with jungle – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAround Pedasí you can find a beautiful environment for various sports, but especially beautiful beaches to enjoy.  Also, it is somewhat close to Chiriquí for other activities.
 
Another great outdoor adventure is water rafting, due to Panamá haing numerous and mighty rivers all over the country, but especially in Río Chagres,  in the city of Panamá, and other rivers in the province of Chiriquí.
 
Panamá is very famous for its golf activities. There are several and very modern golf courses, some of them located in Coronado, and other resorts in the beach areas, as well as outside the city, where international tournaments are considered one of the best.
 
Panama mountains – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFishing is very well accepted by the visitors, and several tours are offered for this purpose.  One of them is by the "Gamboa Resort," a beautiful place by the lake and close to the rainforest.
 
Bird watching brings thousands of visitors every year, as Panamá has one of the biggest variety of bird species in the world; the same as butterflies and plants.  Many tour operators offer tours at different levels and budgets.
 
A visit to the Emberá"native village is very popular.  You have to take a canoe via the Chagres River to get to a natural rock bridge to their village.  You will have lunch and witness dancing by the community, and be able to purchase crafted items made by them, so they can support themselves.
 
Scuba diving and snorkeling has developed an extraordinary interest lately.  Portobelo (near Colón, at two hours drive from the city) is one of the best, as well as Isla Colón in the province of Bocas del Toro (in the Atlantic Ocean).  Isla Colón is located about  nine hours drive from the city, or two hours in local plane.  The beaches and isles there are breath taking.  Several resorts, hotels and restaurants offer their services there.  Another popular destination for this is Isla Grande, close to Portobelo (pictured).  In both places, Portobelo and Isla Grande, you can get excellent lobster, and all kind of fresh sea food at ridiculously low prices.
 
One thing that you will never find in Panamá is "shooting in the woods" for deer and other animals, which is very popular in the United States, especially in the southern states.  Woods and national parks are very well protected here, and Panamanians very jealously protect their animals.
 
Panamá also has beautiful mountains, some in delicious weather like Boquete, where you can hike, horseback ride, bike, or simply relax by a river in a hammock with a good book and surrounded by friendly local people, who always welcoming to visitors.
 
 
Esteban Guerra of EPA Español en Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Parque Metropolitano Panama outdoor activities – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingFor the best outdoor activities in Panama City, you can also go to Parque Metropolitano (top right picture), which is a huge beautiful garden with high biodiversity, so you will be surrounded by animals and nature.
 
Another good place to go to is Parque Omar Torrijos, which is in the San Francisco area of Panama City. Parque Omar is a garden where you can walk around, play some sports, or just hang out with your family. The city library is there, too. You can also take a dip in the public swimming pool.
 
San Blas pristine beach outdoor activities Panama City Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSan Blas, which is four hours away from Panama City (lower right picture), is also a nice place to go to. I have not been to San Blas yet, but many people tell me that it is a nice place where you can relax by the beach surrounded by beautiful, pristine landscape.
David Whittington of Tucan Golf Club and Resort – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The people in Panama are very much intoPanama baseball Manuel Corpas – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living baseball.  With the American influence here, baseball is pretty big and there are several Panamanian players playing in Major League baseball in the US, so Panama is a scouting grounds for US baseball teams.  In Panama we have teams from each province compete for a national championship.
 
And they have professional soccer down here in Panama (what the Panamanians call
football”).
 
With all the influx of expats and the growing affluence of the native middle class in Panama, golf is becoming increasingly popular. 
 
Of course, there are some very good surfing areas in Panama.
 
There’s also hiking in Panama, especially in the mountain areas, like in Chiriquí Province around Boquete and Volcan, but also in other places as well.
 
Panama also has white water rafting and zip lines.
 
In Boquete, lots of the expats just go on walks.  Many get together as a group and just go on a walk for 3 – 4 hours, which is a pretty good workout, going up and down the mountains.
 
Where I am in Arraijan, people do go on walks, but they tend to do it more at night, when it’s cooler.
Vannessa Solano of Activentas, S.A. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
We have lots of outdoor activities in Panama.Horseback riding in Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
We can start with the outdoor activities in Panama City.  In the city, you can go biking, canopying, hiking, and jogging around the Cinta Costera or Causeway.
 
If you want to go to the countryside, you have more options, because the countryside has the beaches.  You can go canopying, zip lining, horseback riding.  You can do aquatic sports like jet skiing, kite surfing, water skiing, snorkeling, and SCUBA diving.  You can also go, parasailing, and even sky diving.
 
Chame is popular for skydiving and water skiing in Buenavenura and Decameron (the “beach areas” to the west of Panama City, broadly around Coronado; about 90 minutes from Panama City) and Bocas del Toro (on the Caribbean side of Panama, generally accessible from Panama City only by plane).
 
You can do diving in Bocas del Toro, and Contadora Island, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingyou can also go diving around the Perlas Islands, around the island of Contadora (on the Pacific side of Panama, accessible from Panama City; pictured to the right), which can be even more amazing because right around June / July is the whale season.
 
You can go jet skiing at the beach resorts.
 
You can go fishing at Punta Pena in Bocas del Toro, where you can find marlin and other big fish.  Of course, Pedasi (at the tip of the Azuero Peninsula, about 5 hours drive from Panama City) is also very good for fishing.  In Pedasi, you can also go diving and enjoy other aquatic activities, including surfing.
 
Hiking is popular in many parts of the country of Panama, including Volcan and Boquete (7 - 8 hours from Panama City by car), and El Valle (about 2 hours from Panama City by car), as well as other places.  In El Valle, you can take a very popular hike to see La India Dormida (“The Sleeping Indian”), which has a beautiful story to explain it.  The legend has it that when an Indian woman fell in love with another man, a jealous shaman who was also in love with her cast a spell to make her fall asleep on top of a rock, where she turned into the mountain and you can see her today.
 
We also have rappelling down waterfalls in Panama.

We have many places to go kayaking in the Gamboa Rain Forest, near Panama Canal – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingmountains of Panama, for example in the province of Chiriqui (best known towns: Volcan, and Boquete), and you can also go kayaking in El Valle.  There are several places to go kayaking in Panama in Veraguas around Santiago (right in the middle of Panama) up in the mountains as well where we have the rivers.  Even in Panama City, there are places to go kayaking, for example, in the Gamboa Rain Forest (pictured above, near the Panama Canal), which is also known for doing canopy and bird watching.
 
You can do bird watching in lots of places in Panama: El Valle, Gamboa Rain Forest.
 
The places most known in Panama for rafting include El Valle, Gamboa, and Boquete.
 
As you can see, there is no shortage of outdoor activities in the Republic of Panama.
Beth King of Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama lagoon aerial shot – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingTo find out more about tropical biology research in Panama, visit the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's public programs sites. 
 
Culebra Point Nature Center:
On the Amador Causeway at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal in Panama City, visit touch tanks and learn more about Panama's marine and terrestrial environments.
 
Barro Colorado Island:
In Gatun Lake, our research station has been operating since 1923. A visit includes transportation from Gamboa on our ferry, orientation by our bilingual guides, an easy-going hike on fairly steep trails and lunch with the scientists in the cafeteria.
 
Bocas del Toro:
Visit the station during open house hours to learn more about marine research on the Caribbean coast of Panama.
 
Galeta Point Marine Laboratory
Explore mangroves and learn about coral reef ecosystems at this station very near Colon and the Atlantic entrance to the Canal.
 
 
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are so many outdoor activities and diversity in Panama. Each region has a different beauty. If you like hiking, birding, whale or dolphin watching, scuba diving, snorkeling then there is this and much more. From a Caribbean desert island to a dry forest or rain forest to the Pacific beaches Panama has it all. Birds abound and wildlife all around. The San Blas islands, Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean to Iguana Island or Coiba on the Pacific side. Even in the suburbs of Panama city you are not far from nature and great hiking such as the Soberania park or Gamboa. Monkeys, sloths, bird
s, butterflies and so on.
Anne Gordon de Barrigón of Whale Watching Panama/Emberá Village Tours – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
One of the best and little known outdoor activities in Panama is Humpback whale and dolphin watching on the Pacific ocean side of Panama. 
Humpback whale breaching near Panama city, Panama
Panama, along with Costa Rica, is the only place in the world where Humpback whales migrate from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres to breed and give birth.  Our peak season from July-October we have over 2,000 whales and it is very easy to find them, like this breaching Humpback near Panama city.
 
You can easily do a day tour from Panama city to the back side of Taboga island or the Pearl islands, where the whales are so common, you can sometimes see them in all directions or standing on the beaches!  You can also see whales near Isla Coiba, from the Azuero peninsula and in the bay of Chiriqui.
Swimming with Pan tropical spotted dolphins near the Pearl islands, PanamaDolphins are also very common in Panama in both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans.  If you are lucky you may even get the chance to swim with them as I have done many times.  A truly unforgettable experience.
 
It is very important to make sure you do your research and go whale watching with a tour company or local who is respectful and aware of the whale and watching guidelines that are put in place to protect and ensure the cetaceans are not harassed or bothered by the presence of the whale and dolphin tour boats.  
 

 

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