Las Lajas Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, food to eat, where to stay, and more in Las Lajas, Panama, in North America. Plan your trip with this comprehensive travel guide.

Las Lajas Travel Guide - A Comprehensive Tour Guide

Las Lajas is a beautiful town located in the Pacific West region of Panama, in Central America, in North America. This hidden gem is known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, rich history, and friendly locals. If you’re planning to visit Las Lajas, this comprehensive travel guide will help you make the most of your trip. You’ll find information on the best places to visit, things to do, food to eat, where to stay, and more. Let’s get started!

Introduction to Las Lajas

Las Lajas is a small town located on the Pacific coast of Panama. Surrounded by lush jungles and crystal-clear waters, this town has become a popular destination for tourists looking for a peaceful getaway. Whether you’re into outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or just lounging on the beach, Las Lajas has something to offer.

List of Places to Visit in Las Lajas

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas: This beautiful cathedral is considered one of the most spectacular religious buildings in Latin America. Its unique location in the middle of a rocky canyon makes it a must-visit destination in Las Lajas. The cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.
  • Museo del Canal Interoceánico: This museum showcases the history of the Panama Canal, its construction, and its impact on the country and the world. The museum features exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that will take you on a journey through time.
  • Bovedas: These underground dungeons were built during the Spanish colonial period and were used to store weapons, ammunition, and food. Today, they serve as a museum that showcases the history and culture of Las Lajas and the surrounding region.

Natural Attractions of Las Lajas: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Chiriqui Gulf National Marine Park: This marine park is home to a diverse array of marine life, including dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and more. You can explore the park’s waters by taking a boat tour, snorkeling, diving, or fishing.
  • Istmito Beach: This beautiful beach is located on a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Chiriqui Lagoon. Its calm waters and miles of sandy beaches make it a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
  • Baru Volcano National Park: This park is home to the Baru Volcano, which is the highest point in Panama. You can hike to the summit and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The park is also home to a diverse array of plants and wildlife, including howler monkeys, sloths, and more.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Las Lajas

  • Piedra Pintada: This hiking trail takes you through lush jungles and rocky terrain to reach a large boulder with pre-Columbian rock art. The hike is moderate, and it takes about an hour to complete.
  • Cerro Picacho: This challenging hiking trail takes you to the top of a hill with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The hike is steep and can be challenging, but the views are worth the effort.
  • Parque Nacional Volcan Baru: This national park offers a range of hiking trails that vary in difficulty and length. You can hike to the summit of the Baru Volcano or explore the park’s lush forests and rivers.

Best Things to Do in Las Lajas: Activities and Tours

  • Boat Tour to Islas Secas: This tour takes you to a group of small islands located off the coast of Las Lajas. You can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the islands’ stunning beaches and reefs.
  • Horseback Riding: You can explore the lush jungles of Las Lajas and the surrounding area on horseback. This is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the region while getting some exercise.
  • Fishing: Las Lajas is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. You can charter a boat and try your luck at catching marlin, sailfish, and other game fish.

Week-Long Itinerary for Las Lajas

Day Activity
1 Explore Las Lajas Beach, swim, and relax
2 Visit Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Las Lajas and Bovedas
3 Take a boat tour to Islas Secas
4 Hike to the summit of Baru Volcano
5 Explore Chiriqui Gulf National Marine Park
6 Horseback riding in the jungle
7 Fishing charter excursion

Food and Drink Scene of Las Lajas

Must-Try Dishes

  • Arroz con Pollo: This classic Panamanian dish is made with rice, chicken, and vegetables cooked in a savory broth. It’s a hearty and filling meal that’s perfect after a day of exploring.
  • Ceviche: This seafood dish is made with raw fish marinated in lime juice, onions, and peppers. It’s a light and refreshing meal that’s perfect for a hot day.
  • Tamales: These steamed corn cakes are filled with meat, vegetables, and spices. They’re a popular breakfast food in Panama and are a great way to start your day.

Local Beverages

  • Ron Abuelo: This Panamanian rum is made from sugar cane and aged in oak barrels. It has a smooth, rich flavor and is perfect for sipping on a warm evening.
  • Seco Herrerano: This traditional Panamanian liquor is made from sugar cane and is often mixed with fruit juices or soda. It’s a refreshing and fruity drink that’s perfect for a hot day.

Where to Stay in Las Lajas: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Hotel Playa Reina: This beachfront hotel offers comfortable rooms with stunning ocean views. It also features a pool, restaurant, and bar.
  • Hostal Alouatta: This hostel is located in the heart of Las Lajas and offers clean and comfortable accommodations at an affordable price. It also features a communal kitchen and free Wi-Fi.
  • Bocas del Mar: This luxury resort is located just outside of Las Lajas and offers stunning panoramic views of the ocean and surrounding jungle. It features a pool, spa, restaurant, and bar.

What to Buy in Las Lajas: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Panama Hat: These iconic hats are made from toquilla straw and are handwoven by artisans in Panama. They’re a classic souvenir that’s perfect for any fashion-conscious traveler.
  • Coffee: Panama is known for its high-quality coffee, which is grown in the fertile volcanic soil of the region. You can buy locally roasted coffee beans to bring home.
  • Artisan Crafts: Las Lajas is home to many talented artisans who create beautiful pottery, textiles, and jewelry. You can buy these handmade crafts as a unique and memorable souvenir.

Local Culture and Customs of Las Lajas

Las Lajas is a welcoming and friendly town that values family, community, and tradition. The people of Las Lajas are proud of their cultural heritage and are happy to share it with visitors. Some of the customs and traditions you may encounter include:

  • Religious Festivals: Las Lajas is known for its vibrant religious festivals, which are often centered around the Virgin Mary or local saints. These festivals involve parades, music, food, and other cultural traditions.
  • Folk Music: Las Lajas has a rich musical heritage, and you may hear local folk music at festivals or in restaurants and bars. The music often features traditional instruments like guitars, maracas, and drums.
  • Traditional Dress: You may see locals wearing traditional dress, which often includes brightly colored blouses, skirts, and hats. These garments are usually made from locally sourced materials and are a testament to the region’s skilled artisans.

Best Time to Visit Las Lajas

The best time to visit Las Lajas is during the dry season, which runs from December through April. The weather during this time is sunny and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season runs from May through November and can be humid and wet.

Do’s and Don’ts of Las Lajas


  • Respect the Local Culture: Las Lajas has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Panamanian food is delicious and varied, and you should definitely try some of the local dishes while you’re in Las Lajas.
  • Learn Some Spanish: While many locals speak English, knowing some basic Spanish can help you communicate better and make your trip more enjoyable.


  • Leave Valuables Unattended: Las Lajas is generally a safe town, but it’s always best to be cautious with your valuables.
  • Ignore Local Laws and Regulations: Panama has strict laws regarding drugs, traffic, and other issues. Make sure to follow local laws and regulations while you’re in Las Lajas.
  • Be Disrespectful of Local Customs: Panamanians take their traditions and customs seriously, and it’s important to be respectful of them.

Safety and Health

Safety in Las Lajas

Las Lajas is a generally safe town, but as with any travel destination, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety. Some tips to keep in mind include:

  • Be Cautious with Valuables: Keep an eye on your belongings and don’t flash expensive items like cameras or jewelry.
  • Stay Alert at Night: Avoid walking alone at night and stick to well-lit areas.
  • Be Safe in the Water: Be cautious when swimming or participating in water sports, as tides and currents can be strong.

Health in Las Lajas

Las Lajas has good healthcare facilities, but it’s always a good idea to have travel health insurance when you’re traveling abroad. Some health tips to keep in mind include:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during the hot, dry season.
  • Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes can be a problem in Las Lajas, so be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Be Careful with Food and Water: Stick to bottled water and avoid raw or undercooked foods to reduce the risk of illness.

Getting to Las Lajas: Transportation Options and Logistics

Las Lajas is located approximately 260 kilometers west of Panama City and can be reached by car, bus, or plane.

Airports Near Las Lajas

The closest airport to Las Lajas is Enrique Malek International Airport in David, which is approximately 60 kilometers away. From there, you can rent a car or take a bus to Las Lajas.

Bus Stations Near Las Lajas

Las Lajas has a bus terminal where you can catch buses to other parts of Panama. Buses also run from David and other nearby towns.

Other Options

You can also hire a private driver to take you to Las Lajas or rent a car and drive yourself. However, driving in Panama can be challenging, so it’s important to be cautious and aware of local laws and regulations.

How to Get Around in Las Lajas

The best way to get around Las Lajas is by car or taxi. Rental cars are available in David and other nearby towns, and taxis are readily available in Las Lajas. You can also explore the town on foot or by bike, but be aware that some of the roads can be hilly and challenging.

Where to Go Next from Las Lajas: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Boquete: This charming mountain town is located approximately 60 kilometers from Las Lajas and is known for its stunning scenery, coffee plantations, and outdoor adventures.
  • Bocas del Toro: This archipelago is located on the Caribbean coast of Panama and is known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant culture.
  • Panama City: The capital city of Panama is approximately 260 kilometers from Las Lajas and is home to a range of cultural attractions, historical sites, and modern amenities.


Las Lajas is a beautiful and welcoming town that offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors. Whether you’re looking to explore the outdoors, immerse yourself in local culture, or just relax on the beach, Las Lajas has something to offer. Use this comprehensive travel guide to plan your trip and make the most of your visit to this hidden gem in Panama.