Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Sea turtle in the waters of Bocas del Toro

Panama Holidays

One of the world’s eco-tourism hotspots. Speak to our travel experts and create a Panama experience that certainly isn’t recycled – there’s coral gardens, volcano views and untouched forest all waiting to be ticked off.

Until recently Panama has not figured as a major holiday destination, but it is now re-inventing itself as an eco-tourism destination and its popularity is going to explode. For the moment it remains slightly quirky – which of course appeals to us enormously – with some interesting places to stay and things to do. For those with a love of travel and adventure then Panama must move up the list of places to go.

Resplendent Quetzal
Resplendent Quetzal

What to expect on your Panama holiday

Panama is best known for its iconic piece of engineering, the Panama Canal, but there is so much more to this beautiful country. Few realise the biodiversity found in Panama. Panama acts as a natural biological corridor connecting North and South America, and with a third of the country protected by reserves and national parks, it is not surprising that it plays host to over 1,000 species of bird (the largest number in Central America), 10,000 species of plant, 218 species of mammal and 226 species of reptile.

Embera Village, Panama
Embera Village, Panama

What is surprising, perhaps, is the stark contrast between the wealth of Panama City and the fact that a short distance away from the indigenous Embera tribe still travels by canoe. You will find other tribes in Panama’s remote regions, including the Kuna, with their pre-Columbian heritage, who inhabit a semi-autonomous area which includes 365 Caribbean islands.

Don’t expect to find Panama hat weaving – Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador!

Explore Panama

  • Darien National Park
  • Colon
  • Boquete
  • Bocas del Toro

Experiences

Panama offers incredible experiences that will help us to create a bespoke and memorable journey for you.

Hike the Rainforest

With a Kuna guide, explore and hike the rainforest in the San Blas Archipelago.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Snorkel in San Blas

Snorkel in crystal waters.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Kuna Culture

Immerse yourself in the Kuna culture and traditions.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Camino de Cruces

Walk part of the historical trail, Camino de Cruces, that connects the Pacific to the Atlantic coast; a well-trodden path by merchants, slaves and gold seekers alike.

Panama Canal

Visit the famous canal, an extraordinary feat of engineering.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Darien National Park

Visit the largest national park in Central America, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a World Biosphere Reserve.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Snorkelling Experience

Snorkel directly from your private pontoon.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Trekking in Darien National Park

Trek through pristine, mountainous, jungle landscape.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Charter a boat

Go island hopping on your private boat, perhaps accompanied by a school of dolphins.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Bird Watching

Discover the prolific birdlife including toucan, scarlet macaw and the extremely rare harpy eagle.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

James Armitage

James loves this skinny isthmus of a country, drawn to its incredible diversity of wildlife, mix of cultures and Pacific and Caribbean coasts ripe for exploring.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

John Faithfull

One of John’s favourite spots is the viewing platform at the Miraflores Locks, where he has spent many happy (read “geeky”) hours being mesmerised by the machinations of the canal’s lock gate process.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Frequently asked questions about Panama

What is the time zone in Panama?

Panama is five hours behind GMT. It does not observe daylight saving time.

How long are the flights to Panama from the UK?

From London to Panama City, via Amsterdam, flights take approximately 14 hours.

Is Panama safe to travel around?

With the exception of the Darien Province, next to the Colombian border, Panama is reasonably safe. As with most places, the risk of crime is greater in large cities. We advise that you leave valuables behind, take care in crowds and avoid wandering around after dark.

On the other hand, the Darien Province is almost completely off-limits to tourists. A lawless jungle that is home to drug traffickers and FARC guerrillas, this dangerous area is fortunately isolated from the rest of the country.

Can I use my mobile phone in Panama?

Mobile phone coverage is excellent in Panamanian cities, but can be far less comprehensive in rural areas. As always, roaming charges will apply and these can be quite expensive. However, it is cheap and easy to obtain a local SIM card, which will offer far cheaper rates.

What is the international dialling code for Panama?

507

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Very satisfied with all aspects of our trip. Steppes kept us fully informed of the progress of the arrangements and gave us various choices of hotels.

Nick

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

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