Having the right clothes and gear with you on any vacation is important—it’s pretty crucial in Panama. This is my very own Panama packing list, compiled during my first several trips here. It’s pretty specific to Panama City and Playa Venao as these are the two spots I frequent the most.

I want your trip to be as perfect as possible, so I’ve included links to specific items that are tried, true, and loved.

Before I begin listing what you should bring to Panama, let me quickly tell you what you do not need to bring. You can leave long sleeved shirts, fancy clothes and wetsuits at home. Even when it rains here, the temps AND ocean are WARM!

Here are all of the items that should be in your suitcase for your Panama vacation (scroll down to download a printable PDF of this Panama Packing List):


general items

🔲 Travel pillow

🔲 Sunglasses

🔲 Reading glasses or contacts (plus supplies)

🔲 Hydration daypack  

🔲 Headlamp

🔲 Travel Binoculars

🔲 Empty water bottle

🔲 Travel towel

🔲 Journal & pen

🔲 Ziploc baggies (to store items that can’t get wet like your phone, camera, etc.)

🔲 Book(s)


travel docs, money, etc.

🔲 Driver’s license & photocopy of license (for all drivers)

🔲 Passport & photocopy of passport

🔲 ALL travel docs (itinerary, plane ticket, car rental and hotel info, etc.)

🔲 Maps & directions to your hotels and activities (printed or saved as note on your mobile device)

🔲 Credit card(s) / Debit cards

🔲 Cash (U.S. dollars)

🔲 Health insurance card

🔲 Travel insurance documents (click to read the FAQ on this necessary item!)

🔲 Panama guidebook



🔲 Electric converters & plug adaptors (IF you’re not from the U.S.—click to read the FAQ on this item)

🔲 Mobile phone and chargers (wall AND car)

🔲 Camera (AND charger, extra memory card and several batteries)

🔲 Portable travel charger

🔲 Bluetooth speaker & charger

🔲 Earbuds

🔲 Travel apps (for language, directions, money conversion, etc.)

🔲 Kindle (and charger)



🔲 Hairbrush/comb

🔲 Sunscreen and facial sunscreen (please make sure it’s SAFE for our reefs and your body!)

🔲 Toothbrush & toothpaste

🔲 Body lotion (I recommend Skin So Soft by Avon with bug repellent)

🔲 Deodorant (everyone will appreciate if you bring the strong stuff 😂)

🔲 Hair ties and/or headbands

🔲 Face cleanser & face wipes