When I decided to travel to Panama it quickly became clear to me that this was a country with vast and variable landscapes. From the mountains of Santa Fe to the crystal clear waters of the islands in San Blas. I knew I would have a challenge ahead of me in choosing which locations I wanted to visit and where exactly to spend my time exploring and taking photographs. Panama isn’t incredibly well documented by bloggers and travel writers yet so without finding much information online I headed over to the Trover website for photo location inspiration.
It enabled me to see the real photos from other travelers, some amateur and some more professional. I personally prefer the amateur photos when planning photo locations because you can see the raw colors and how the place really looks compared to highly edited photos. I managed to decide on several places that were must-visits after scrolling through all of the photos and locations within the Panama section. Here is a look at the Panama photo list that I used for inspiration on Trover.
After being inspired by the images on the list I picked out 8 photo locations in Panama that I definitely had to visit during my travels. These are the results of my planning!
1. SAN BLAS ISLANDS
Visiting San Blas was at the top of my list. The scenery was out of this world and I was lucky enough to get permission from the Kuna leaders to fly my drone to be able to get a unique aerial perspective of this beautiful region. I sent the drone up to explore that I saw how epic the reef system was around Isla Pelicano. Huge drop-offs from the shelf into deep blue water create an epic contrast. Giant blue holes look like perfect spots to snorkel, explore and watch the native marine life.
2. BOCAS DEL TORO
Bocas Del Toro is the paradise in Panama that everyone is looking for. With bungalows hanging over the beautiful blue water and palm tree laden islands, this really is a perfect spot for some epic tropical photos. I stayed at Azul Paradise, which as you can see below is an awesome resort over the water.
Boquete is hiking heaven. This small town is in the high altitude zone of Chiriqui. There are countless waterfalls amidst the lush green rainforest to explore. My favorite place to shoot was on the El Pianista Trail, which is inside a cloud forest. This meant everything was dripping and the leaves glistened under the dew. The constant fog gave the photos a mysterious vibe.
4. SANTA FE
Santa Fe is another mountain town great for waterfall chasing. I had heard there were a few waterfalls that were hidden gems in the rainforest. The one below is called Loma Grande and it took me several hours to find but I loved the emerald pool below the waterfall. I was, of course, the only one on the trail, which is hardly known.
Coiba is one of the most popular destinations in Panama and boasts the best marine life in the country. Humpback whales regularly pass through while hundreds of Manta rays, Sea Turtles and sharks hide beneath the surface. The islands here are covered in lush jungle, which is in stark contrast to the vibrant blue water.
6. EL VALLE DE ANTON
El Valle de Anton is a small town inside a volcanic crater. That means the hiking is abundant around the crater rim, which makes for some epic sunrise photography conditions like this one below on La India Dormida hike.
This was probably my favorite spot in all of Panama. Without expecting much, I arrived in Ola and stayed the night before hiking up Cerro Picacho for one of the most epic views in all of Panama. It seriously looks like it belong in Jurassic Park.
8. ISLA ESCUDO DE VERAGUAS
Known as the hidden gem of Panama, this island is home to an insane mangrove system. I was lucky enough to fly the drone from this location with permission from locals to see the mangrove system from the air! It was only then that I could truly appreciate the scale and beauty of the rivers that link the mangroves to the ocean. It is also home to the three-toed pygmy sloth, which is a very rare specimen in Panama and the world.
These were my favorite eight photo locations in Panama. I’m so stoked that my research on Trover helped me to create this list before I began my adventures throughout Panama. I couldn’t have asked for a better plan and subsequently better adventure photography along the way! If you have been to Panama let me know if there are any epic photo locations that are your favorites!