fun things to do with kids in panama - family travel   Travel for Kids
   
     
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Panama

Panama Canal
Panama is a treasure trove for kids. Spanning the isthmus, the Panama Canal is an engineering marvel, a system of locks and artificial lake, ringed with tropical rain forests. Historically, Panama was the point of departure for Spanish ships laden with gold and silver, and today you can still see rusted cannons in forts for defense against pirate attacks. Sir Francis Drake stole a whole mule train loaded with treasure and the gutsy pirate Henry Morgan sacked Panama City. Traveling with kids in Panama, it's a marvelous combination of natural wonders, man-made wonders, and tales of the Spanish Main.
Panama Photo Album
  Panama Canal (and Rain Forests)
    Panama City
    Caribbean Zone
      Tip: You can drink the water out of the tap in Panama, and it's delicious. The water in Panama is abundant and well-purified, so you can brush your teeth or drink the water in restaurants without usual concerns.
family tours panama

Home to the Panama Canal, Panama is also a fantastic nature experience that will stay with your kids forever. But if you're among the majority of us who don't know which leaves to turn over to find those tiny poison dart frogs, having a naturalist guide is a real advantage.

Here's our editors' choice for Panama family tours, with itineraries that offer travel with other families, knowledgeable guides, and a kid-friendly balance of organized activities and the freedom to explore. Whether it's riding in a dugout canoe, visiting the Panama canal, or spotting toucans and monkeys in the rain forest, these tour companies will arrange an unforgettable trip to Panama:

    Classic Journeys
    Wildland Adventures Family Travel
    Thomson Family Adventures
kids books panama
     
The Panama Canal kids books history  
The Panama Canal
Elizabeth Mann, Fernando Rangel

Before you visit the Panama Canal, read the exciting story of this engineering feat – lock and lakes design, how the canal was constructed, building the three sets of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific, and two page spread of how the canal works.(Picture book)

 

     

The ingenious title (a palindrome) sets the scene for this documentary about the Panama Canal – from de Lesseps, who tried and failed, to Teddy Roosevelt, the American president who took up the difficult task, and the inventive engineers and workers who made it happen. Fabulous black and white historical footage makes the canal construction come alive. Good for older kids. (Video – DVD)

 

 
A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Panama - kids Panama
     
silver people margarita engle
 

Captivating novel of the "silver people" – young laborers, immigrants from many countries, who moved train tracks in rain and hot sun, survived disease and mudslides, and shoveled the Serpent Cut by hand. Great for older kids. (Chapter book)

 

     
Conejito: A Folktale from Panama
Margaret Read MacDonald, Geraldo Valerio

Conejtio, "little bunny," goes to visit his auntie, dancing and leaping all the way. But on the way home, how can Conejito avoid the fox, tiger and lion who want to eat him for lunch? (Picture book)

 

 
panama kids Conejito: A Folktale from Panama
     
Wake Up, Sloth! panama rain forest kids books  
Wake Up, Sloth!
Anouck Boisrobert, Louis Rigaud

We saw three-toed sloths sleeping in the trees in Panama. What happens when the trees are uprooted by bulldozers? This is a marvelous pop-up story of a forest destroyed, the sloth swinging from one remaining tree ... but when the forest is re-planted, once more the sloth gently sways in the treetops. (Pop-up book)

 

     
One Tiny Turtle
Nicola Davies, Jane Chapman

Loggerhead turtles swim year round in the waters around Panama, and here's a delightful story of one baby turtle, "not much bigger than a bottle top." The tiny turtle outgrows her underwater nursery, wanders far and wide, leaving no trace, until one summer night she returns to the beach where she was born. (Picture book)

 

 
One Tiny Turtle kids books panama
     
panama toddlers books Over in the Jungle  
Over in the Jungle
Marianne Berkes, Jeanette Canyon

A rhyming story with gorgeous collages takes you into the tropical rainforest. “Over in the jungle, in a bromeliad heaven, lived a poison dart frog, and her little froggies seven.” A delight for little ones. (Picture book)

 

     
Pirate (Eyewitness Books)
Richard Platt

Essential guide to pirates – buccaneers such as Henry Morgan who sacked Panama, weapons (cannons and cutlasses) and pirate treasure. Detailed photographs, artifacts and models of treasure ships. (Picture book)

 

 
Pirate kids Panama
     
Panama childrens book  
Panama
Charles J. Shields

Discover Panama today – landscape, history as a Spanish colony, digging the Panama Canal, people and culture, festivals and food. Good for older kids. (Illustrated chapter book)

 

(More children's books on other Panama pages)
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