Destination:   |  Duration: 16 days  |  Customized Vacation Package: Please Call for Pricing

Take a journey through the Panama Canal and then delve into the heart of authentic Panama. Get to know the Azuero Peninsula, discover the traditional Carnaval and visit a working coffee farm in the western highlands of Chiriqui province. Relax on the idyllic beaches of Iguana Island and snorkel in the clear blue Pacific Ocean.

Day 1: Welcome to Panama!

Upon your arrival in Panama you will be met at Tocumen International Airport by our friends and partners at the Destination Management Company who will provide VIP treatment during your private transfer as they whisk you straight to your hotel in Casco Antiguo, the colonial area of Panama City.  Enjoy a refreshing welcome drink made of a local tropical concoction as we get you checked in.

The American Trade Hotel is a boutique hotel located in the oldest section of Panama City known as Casco Viejo (Old Town) which was founded in 1673 just two years after the original Panama City was torched during an invasion by the infamous Pirate Henry Morgan. It is only about 5 miles from the ruins of Panama la Vieja but is a world apart.

The property occupies a lovely restored 1917 building that stands at the ecological and cultural crossroads of the Americas. It is deeply connected to both the historic Old Quarter and nascent modern Panama City.

Night at the American Trade Hotel – Junior Suite

Day 2: Panama City Like a Local

This authentic Panama City Tour will give you an insight into the city beyond the “tourist” perspective. You will visit the ruins of the original Panama City, which was torched by the Pirate Henry Morgan in 1671. THere you can climb the Cathedral Tower for a view of the city skyscrapers and the surrounding ruins.

Then with our friends at the Tour Company leading the way, we will delve deep into the alleyways of Panama City and discover how the locals go about their daily lives. You will have the chance to eat a traditional Panamanian lunch at the Fish Market, stroll through the cobblestone streets of Casco Antiguo, and see the monument to the French entrepreneurs who began the Panama Canal. You will also be able to go inside the famous San Jose Church to glimpse the beautiful gold plated altar.

Night at the American Trade Hotel – Junior Suite

panama canal tour package

Day 3: Miraflores Locks Visitors Center

No trip to Panama would be complete without a visit to Miraflores Locks Visitors Center. Accompanied by your Private Guide, this classic experience enables you to witness the magnificent Miraflores Locks and most probably, its operation. You will be able to explore the interactive Museum and Miraflores Locks Exhibits that will take you back in time to when the Canal was constructed.

One of the highlights is going to the 4th story observation tower and witnessing the mammoth vessels squeeze through the Locks with barely inches to spare! Your perfect day at the Panama Canal will conclude with a delicious lunch as you continue to admire the magnificent engineering masterpiece with a breathtaking view of the 8th Wonder of the World in action!

Night at the American Trade Hotel – Junior Suite

best of panama tour packages

Day 4: Chagres River Adventure

Take a journey into the dense jungles of Chagres, where the Embera Indians have made their homes for centuries. Your adventure will begin with a ride up the river in a motorised traditional dugout canoe.

You will feel like you have travelled back in time as you watch the ancient Embera cultural dances and music – which hasn’t changed much since Columbus arrived in the 1500s. Explore the wide variety of wildlife and birds and visit a sparkling waterfall during a trek through untouched jungle.

You will also learn about the spiritual and healing rituals and traditions of the Embera people and how they use the plants in their surrounding environment for handicrafts, medicine and much more.

Night at the American Trade Hotel – Junior Suite

best of panama tour packages

Day 5: Gatun Lake Jungle Expedition

Get up close and personal with the verdant rainforest of Gamboa as you glide 280 feet upward from the shadowy forest floor through thousands of shades of green interrupted only by the vibrant colours of the flowering trees. At the top you can climb up the observation tower and enjoy uninterrupted views of the vast rainforest of Soberania National Park and watch the giant cargo ships maneuver through the Galliard Cut.

Then, enjoy a 20 minute ride at high speed through the heart of the Panama Canal. The boat will enter the labyrinth of small islands in Gatun Lake. In this protected area the wildlife is plentiful and you are likely to spot crocodiles, caimans, howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, three-toed sloth and various kinds of toucans as well.

Night in Panama City at Le Meridien Hotel – Deluxe Ocean View Room

trail hike

Day 6: Soberania National Park

Today you will explore the natural beauty of Soberania National Park with a highly knowledgeable guide who will teach you about the challenges to protecting the tropical rainforest and it’s rare flora and fauna. He is also an expert birding guide so he will help you spot some exotic bird and wildlife species that inhabit the Soberania National Park.

Pipeline Road is a world-record breaking location for bird watching and it is home to up to 367 different species of birds. Some of the birds you can spot are the Thick-billed Mot Mot, the Slaty-tailed Trogon, the Keel-billed Toucan and several species of wrens, ant birds, flycatchers and tanagers. You might also see various other creatures including anteaters, sloths, howler monkeys and agoutis.

Night in Panama City at Le Meridien Hotel – Deluxe Ocean View Room

hats and panama culture

Day 7: The Azuero Peninsula

Today we will explore beyond the city and head across the Bridge of the Americas, which spans the mouth of the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal as we head west along the Panamaerican Highway. Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the Panamanian countryside, where things haven’t changed much in a few hundred years.

On the way to Chitre in the Azuero Peninsula and the cultural heartland of Panama, you will visit the town of la Pintada. That is where you can meet the locals who make the painted hats known as the sombrero pintada. You will also see the oldest church in the Americas – the 500 plus year old church at Nata de los Caballeros. Then you will enjoy a typical Panamanian lunch at a traditional Panamaian “fonda” – which is a type of local restaurant with the dishes cooked over an open fire.

Night in Chitre at Hotel Cubita– Junior Suite

Isla Iguana Panama

Day 8: Isla Iguana Adventure

Isla Iguana is a gorgeous wildlife refuge that is located five miles from the mainland of Pedasi. It is home to crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and fantastic coral reefs where you can see multiple species of birds, animals and marine creatures.

Sail there on an open fiberglass boat known as a panga, taking you from Playa El Arenal to the island. Once there you can enjoy snorkeling and a wide range of marine life. Eat fresh fruit, see the many iguanas running around and learn more about the island at the Visitor’s Center.

Night in Chitre at Hotel Cubita– Junior Suite

Day 9: Azuero Cultural and Folkloric Show

Considered by many “the cultural heart of Panama”, the inhabitants of the Azuero Peninsula live their traditions, their folklore with great pride and express it in their daily lives throughout the year. On this tour you will observe in detail the preparation of “la Pollera” one of the most beautiful typical costumes in the world, visiting artisans who have dedicated their entire lives to the preparation of the dress.

You will also visit workshops of two local artisans dedicated to Panamanian folklore: One that makes the devil masks that are used for the dances of the Dirty Devil and the Great Devil; and another that makes the wooden drums that cannot be missing in typical Panamanian music.

Night in Chitre at Hotel Cubita– Junior Suite

Day 10: Boquete and Western Highlands

Today you will take a visit to Pese, a small town in the heart of Herrera Province. It is the home of Hacienda San Isidro, the famous spot where Ron Abuelo and Seco Herrera are produced. You will visit the rum distillery on traditional oxcarts and learn all about the complex process of turning the sugarcane into rum, including grinding, fermenting and distilling. You will then visit the bodega, where the Rum is aged in barrels in two different processes.

Enjoy a traditional lunch and taste some superb rum aged 5, 7, 12 and 30 years – along with an open bar featuring Rum and Seco based cocktails. Afterwards, your private vehicle will whisk you away to the beautiful western highlands town of Boquete.

Night at Lerida Coffee Farm (Finca Lerida) – Junior Suite (BL)

waterfall panama

Day 11: Nature Hike and Secret Waterfalls

Venture off the beaten path into the Panama wilderness and discover a private remote wildlife sanctuary and estate. You will be picked up from the hotel by a 4 x 4 Land Cruiser and taken deep into the misty cloudforest.  Bring your swimming suit, as you will find cool and refreshing waterfalls and swimming holes to plunge into and small caves to explore.

This level 2 hike is perfect for those looking for an easy yet beautiful hike which last for about 1.5 hrs. each way (about 3 hours total).  This is an ideal location for spotting many different species of birds and even the Resplendent Quetzal.  The Pipeline Trail gently winds through dense cloud forest, passing over small walking bridges and passing by ancient trees.  Wildlife abounds on this scenic hike and the trail terminates at a nearly 200ft tall waterfall.

Night at Finca Lerida Coffee Plantation – Junior Suite

coffee farm tour panama

Day 12: Finca Lerida Coffee Plantation

Get a glimpse into how coffee is grown, harvested and processed at Finca Lerida, a coffee plantation in the fields of Boquete. On this fascinating tour you will learn all about the factors that influence the unique taste of the coffee, including the quality of the soil, the variety of plant and the particular micro climate. You will also gain some insight into the history and origins of coffee handling, from the coffee cherry to roasted bean to the final cup.

This tour illustrates the coffee culture in a fun way, helping the participant better enjoy this legendary aromatic drink. After a tour like this, a cup of coffee will never taste the same!

Night at Finca Lerida Coffee Plantation – Junior Suite

orchid garden tour panama

Day 13: Finca Dracula Orchid Nursery

Orchids are a delicate plant and it is a challenge to keep them alive when they are removed from their natural habitat. The wrong variation in humidity, water and sun could ruin this beautiful flower, so the dedicated flower experts at Finca Dracula have strived to create the perfect environment for orchids. The greenhouse is home to 2,200 different species, including a brand new species named after ex-president Mireya Moscoso. Visit this nursery to admire a stunning showcase of rare and beautiful flowers

Night at Lerida Coffee Farm (Finca Lerida) – Junior Suite (B)

Day 14: Finca Lerida Nature Hike

Take a walk into nature on the beautiful scenic paths of the Finca Lerida coffee plantation. In this tropical forest you will have a chance to spot the resplendent Quetzal, said to be the most beautiful bird in the world. This species exists here thanks to the local conservation efforts in the forest and the abundance of the Aguacatillo tree, which provides the Quetzal with its favorite fruit. Explore these trails and let them take you deep into La Amistad International Park, where you can spot more than 500 species of American Tropical Birds.

Following the nature hike you will be transferred to the airport for the short flight back to Panama City.

Night at Westin Playa Bonita Beach Resort – Deluxe Ocean View Room

best of panama tour packages

Day 15: Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour

Travel from Flamenco Resort and Marina to the town of Gamboa, where you will board the Pacific Queen. Sail down the impressive Panama canal and through the curves of the Gaillard Cut, which was carved through the Continental Divide. Continue to Pedro Miguel Locks and get a glimpse of the extensive work in process for the Panama Canal expansion project. Admire the new Centennial Bridge over the Canal before you are lowered nine meters into Miraflores Lake via the Pedro Miguel Locks. The Miraflores Locks will lower you 18 meters more, then you will sail toward the Pacific Ocean. Pass under the famous Bridge of the Americas and disembark at the Flamenco Marina, where you can admire the city skyline and the Bay of Panama.

Night at Westin Playa Bonita Beach Resort – Deluxe Ocean View Room

Panama Canal Experience

Day 16: Say Farewell to Panama

Today you will be picked up from the hotel lobby approximately 3.5 hours prior to your scheduled departure flight.