This family friendly travel experience will reveal the highlights of Panama, from the Pacific Coast to the Western Highlands to the rugged Caribbean Coast. The thrilling activities include white-water rafting, zipline tours, snorkeling in the clear Caribbean waters and shopping for handicrafts in the bustling arts and crafts markets of historic Panama City.
Arrive in Panama
Your journey begins when you arrive at Tocumen International Airport. You will be picked up from the airport by a representative and you will transfer to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, a stylish hotel along the shores of the Panama Canal where you will be relaxing in luxury for the next three nights. This is where your unforgettable adventure in Panama begins!
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Canal and Jungle Adventure
Enjoy a wildlife adventure on the world’s most famous man-made lake. Located on the Isthmus of Panama, Lake Gatun was constructed between 1906 and 1914. Take a speed boat ride around the lake and see the enormous ocean-going ships transiting across the water bridge that links the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Marvel at the huge expansion project that will make the canal even more impressive. Glide past verdant tropical rainforests and keep an eye out for sloths, monkeys, exotic birds, crocodiles and iguanas. Later on, explore the rainforest on your own while swimming, fishing, kayaking or just relax in a hammock and enjoy the slow pace.
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Chagres River Adventure and Visit to Embera Village
Get an early start today as you are transferred to El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake. This enormous lake supplies the drinking water for the cities of Colon and Panama and also supplies 40% of the water for the Panama Canal. Take a motorised dugout canoe ride up the Chagres River and visit the Embera indigenous village. This boat journey will take you through a lush tropical rainforest in Chagres National Park, the largest of the National Parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed. Keep a lookout for exotic birds including the Great Egret, the Ringed, Green and Amazon Kingfisher, the Keel-billed Toucan and even the Osprey. When you arrive at the village you will enjoy traditional music and dancing, then take a dip in the crystal clear Chagres River.
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Panama City with Miraflores Locks Tour; Flight to Boquete
Explore vibrant and exciting Panama City, founded in 1519 and considered one of the most important cities in the Americas. Take a historic walking tour around the Casco Antigua. Dating back to 1673 it is the oldest sector of the city. Admire the impressive San Jose Church, the National Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and other beautiful historic buildings and monuments.
The next stop is the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal. Admire the amazing construction of this engineering marvel. Later today, fly to David in Chiriqui province. This area is known for it’s gorgeous, lush and green highland scenery. Stay in the lovely and quaint town of Boquete, surrounded by farms, coffee plantations, flowers and lush cloud forests.
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Boquete Canopy Adventure or White Water River Rafting
Experience the thrill of taking a canopy tree trek on a zip line, soaring high above the forest. See wildlife from a different perspective as well as a variety of trees, orchids and wildflowers.
If zipping through the tree tops isn’t enough of an adventure for you, why not also try river rafting on the Rio Chiriqui? This thrilling river meanders along the Panamanian and Costa Rican borders and offers a heart-pounding adrenaline-rush ride.
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Chiriquí Highlands – Bocas del Toro
After a good night’s rest you pack your belongings and get ready for the 4 hour drive to the pristine archipelago of Bocas del Toro. You will be literally traveling from the cloud forests, over the continental divide, to the coral reefs of the Caribbean.
Upon arrival at Almirante on the Caribbean coast, you will take a water taxi to Isla Colon (Colon Island) and then you will be transferred to your beach resort. The afternoon is free to relax, enjoy the amenities of the resort, or take a boat trip to find your own private island. The time is yours to enjoy as you like.
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Island Hopping and Snorkeling Full Day Tour
Take a beautiful hour and a half boat ride through Bastimentos National Marine Park to Zapatilla Island. This gorgeous park includes coral reefs, mangroves, wetlands and white sand beaches and it is home to more than 200 species of tropical fish. The two small islands of the Zapatilla Islands (Cayo Zapatilla Sur and Norte) are located just off the coast of Bastimentos. With a bit of imagination the islands look like small shoes, which is what gives them their names.
Beautiful Coral Cay is a mere 20 minutes from Bocas town, located on the southeastern side of Bastimentos Island. See the thatch roof huts built on sturdy stilts on wooden piers over the calm and clear tropical water.
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Morning at Leisure and Flight to Panama City
After enjoying your last morning in the Caribbean, your short afternoon flight takes you back to Panama City. You will likely arrive in time to watch the sun set over the iconic Bridge of Americas from your balcony overlooking the Panama Canal.
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Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour
Start your tour at the Flamenco Resort and Marina, where you will board the coach for a 45 minute ride to the town of Gamboa. Board the Pacific Queen and enter the canal on the north end of the Gailard Cut, also known as the Culebra Cut because it’s curves resemble a snake. Check out the large scale work for the Panama Canal expansion project.
Next, the Pacific Queen will enter Pedro Miguel Locks, one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side. The vessel will be lowered 9 meters into Miraflores Lake where it will be lowered another 18 meters in two distinct steps. Once in the Pacific Ocean we will sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina, passing under the Bridge of the Americas and admiring the Bay of Panama.
Night at COUNTRY INN AND SUITES PANAMA CANAL (BL)
You will be picked up in the lobby of your hotel three hours before your scheduled departure flight. Transfer to Tocumen International Airport to catch a flight back home with many amazing stories of your adventures in Panama to share!
Pre or post trip extensions to San Blas Island are available.
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