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My travel guide: Panama

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 My boyfriend surprised me with 2 tickets to Panama for my birthday. I knew i wanted to visit this country since a long time but never really knew anyone who went there except my family. A few weeks before my trip i was trying to look for articles on where to go but didn't really find any. That is why i decided to give you the best places to visit in Panama.


For those of you who follow me on instagram (@vanessa_mennillo), know how much i love traveling. It is part of my job to travel and take pictures in my bikinis but i also do it because there is no better feeling in the world then getting lost in a place you've never been before. 

Just like any other human, traveling makes me richer in knowledge and makes me want to be a better person. Visiting new places, seeing new things, making new friends and learning different values makes me realize how tiny we are in such a big world. 


 So here is a recap of what cities i visited during my trip: 

So my first few days in Panama were spent in the city. Just like any other town there isn’t much to do other than see big buildings. My favorite spot was definitely ‘casco viejo’ which is also known as the old Panama. It’s a 10 minute drive from downtown Panama. The streets are colorful which make it so cute and it’s right by the water. It’s a peaceful place to walk around at night. I found a cute rooftop restaurant to have supper and relax with a cup of wine. We had the whole city right in front of us. No better way to finish the night if you ask me. We also went to visit the Panama canal which takes no longer than 3 hours to visit. The story behind the canal was much worth it. It explains how people back in the days worked day and night to build something with their bare hands. Honestly worth seeing!

(2-3 nights maximum)




My next stop after the city was Isla contadora. 

We had to take a ferry from the city to the island which took about an 1 hour and a half. Once we got to there i knew i was going to love it. Everything about Contadora was so amazing! It’s on the pacific side of Panama so the water wasn't crystal clear but it was close enough.


The island is really small so people usually rent a golf cart to get around. There are 7 main beaches and every one of them is breathtaking! My favorite one was an abandoned beach. It’s very mysterious because there are two big hotels that are completely abandoned and there's also a wrecked ship stuck on the sand. Walking around this side of the island was so spooky and i'm all about scary movies and mysterious stories so this was definitely something i would recommend for people like me 👻😂. My all time favorite activity, was when i went whale watching. It was one of the best experiences of my entire life. We hoped on a boat and chased them around the ocean for about 2 hours. The best part was when we saw a group of 8 whales all together. I had shivers all over my body and a constant smile on my face. 

 (3 nights maximum)


We took a ferry back to the city and the same night booked the tour to San blas. They picked us up at our hotel at 5 am and drove 2 hours and a half in the jungle. When we got to the main port we had to take a small boat to the island. I’ve honestly always dreamed of sleeping on a deserted island with no cellphone reception. So the experience for me was a dream come true! This is also a great way to relax and enjoy the crystal clear beaches. The whole island is surrounded by the ocean. The best part of all this, is that you get to sleep in a cabana (all to yourself) and listen to the sound of crashing waves 😍.




We took a day tour that made us visit other islands on the ocean. It was a great spot for snorkelling and taking in all the beauty surrounding us. Strongly recommend San blas! Never seen such clear water. Definitely a must!



Bocas del toro has a certain magic about it. The different islands are honestly all beautiful and each carry a different personality. This place is perfect for every type of person! My two favorite beaches we’re red frod (which is also a surf beach) and star fish beach. I stayed at the main hostel which is called Selina hostel (i strongly recommend for people who love partying). The hostel also organizes a beach party every friday named ‘filthy friday’. It’s 25$ for a guaranteed amazing time partying with people from all around the world. Btw those who saw my snapchat obsession for tacos, i got them at that hostel for 6$ 😋 (snapchat: vmennillo)



For those who want take it easy i would recommend the bambuda hostel. It’s on another island, 10 minutes by boat from the city. It is completely in the jungle with a view by the ocean. Great place to relax, snorkel, have fun and enjoy nature. We rented private huts in the jungle, which honestly made me love the hostel even more! The food there was amazing (the tacos where better at Selina tho hehe). A view to die for! Honestly 10/10



Panama in general is a very expensive country. We lived in private hostels all week so we paid much more then people who stay in shared rooms. There is so much different things that surround this city because it is on the Pacific side and the Caribbean side. A great place to discover and known very well by Canadians. Would consider this trip in my top 5! 


Any questions on the hotels i stayed at or the activities please ask me in the questions bellow! Also if you have any other preferences on the blogs that you guys would like to read in the future let me know ✨.





1. Philippines (my mama comes from there so we visit the whole family every 2 years. I'm going this February YAY)

2. Nicaragua (i bought last minute tickets with a really good friend of mine and decided to go to there. Very cheap and so many surf spots! 🏄🏻

3. Thailand (i went once with my family and once with friends. I'll never get tired of seeing that beautiful country. Definitely a must!!!! 🙌🏼)

4. California (i went last year for a trade show with my company. Went on this adventure all by myself. No words can explain how much i loved it there)

5. Panama (still can't believe my boyfriend surprised me with 2 tickets on my birthday 😭. Best gift ever.)



Much love always,



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  • Hey Vanessa,
    We went to highschool together! I was just curious as to why you find Panama to be an expensive country ? Next time you come back, let me know, I live here and can show you places that aren’t so expensive. I have given tours to a few people and used to work for a tour company!

    Cynthia le

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