Panama Discovery

Travel Idea:

Panama Discovery

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Length of trip:

8 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 2650

Best travel dates to go:

Any time.


Detailed Description of this trip:

This trip is a great introduction to the country's natural environments including the Panama Canal watershed, the Chiriqui highlands, and the alluring Caribbean Sea of Bocas del Toro.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Panama City

    On arrival to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, you will be met by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama representative and transferred to your hotel.

    Hotel

    Stay overnight at a local hotel.

  • Day 2 - Panama City

    Panama Canal Jungle Boat Adventure/Miraflores Locks.
    Private Car Service

    Early in the morning you will be picked up at the hotel by your naturalist guide and transferred to the town of Gamboa in the Panama Canal where you board a specially equipped expedition boat.

    Adventure

    Your voyage takes you across the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships that contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way you will have the opportunity to spot sloths and green iguanas resting on tree branches, ospreys, snail kites, toucans, and other bird species. The expedition boat will allow for close approximations to rainforest covered islands in Gatun Lake to search for white-faced capuchin, howler monkey, spider monkey, and the endemic red-napped tamarin.

    Sightseeing

    After a picnic lunch return to Gamboa and drive to the Miraflores Locks Visitors Center, where you will visit multiple exhibits of the canal and have the opportunity to view the operations of the Panama Canal.

    Food and Dining

    This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Bay of Panama.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a local hotel. (B,L,D)

  • Day 3 - Panama

    The Trans-Isthmian Route.
    Private Car Service

    After breakfast board the van for your trip across the Isthmus of Panama, the narrowest part of the country.

    Train

    Transfer to the Corozal Train Station, where you will board the famous Panama Canal Railway train for a 1 hour ride across the isthmus to the Caribbean port city of Colon.

    Food and Dining

    From there you continue to the port town of Portobelo, famous for its trade fairs during the 17th century. A picnic lunch will be served at Fort San Lorenzo, built at the mouth of the Chagres River to fortify and protect the river entrance to Las Cruces Trail and also used as the port of entry for the gold diggers on their way to California during the Gold Rush period.

    Sightseeing

    You will be traveling along lush rainforest, where you might have the opportunity to see more monkeys, sloths, toucans, and other wildlife.

    Sightseeing

    On the way back to Panama City, we visit the remnants of Las Cruces Trail, a 400-year-old colonial trail used by the Spaniards to transport gold across the isthmus. (B,L,D)

  • Day 4 - Panama

    Los Quetazales Trail or White Water Rafting.
    Commercial Flight

    Early this morning, you will be transferred to the domestic airport of Albrook for your scheduled flight to David, capital of the Chiriqui province. Chiriqui is known as “Panama’s breadbasket” and contains some of the most breathtaking highland scenery in Central America.

    Private Car Service

    From the airport in David you will travel by van 2 hours to Cerro Punta from where you will start the 4-hour hike along Los Quetzales Trail, around the foothills of Baru Volcano, the highest peak of the country at 3,475 meters (11,400 ft) above sea level.

    Hiking

    You will be hiking in the cloud forests of Baru Volcano National Park making several stops along the way to enjoy the views and to look for the elusive resplendent Quetzal.

    Food and Dining

    Picnic lunch will be on the trail.

    Private Car Service

    You end near the town of Boquete where you are picked up and taken to your hotel in town.

    Private Car Service

    For those who chose the white water rafting expedition, the outfitter’s guide will pick you up from the airport in David for an approximate 1.5-hour drive to the river put-in.

    Rafting

    The river experience will likely include Class III or IV sections of the Chiriqui River. Drive time to and from the river as well as the length and difficulty of the rafting will depend upon which section of the Rio Chiriqui is being run.

    Food and Dining

    A picnic lunch will be served on the riverbank.

    Private Car Service

    At the end of the day, travel to Boquete to meet the rest of the group.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a local hotel. (B,L,D)

  • Day 5 - Panama

    Finca Lerida/Continental Divide/Bocas Del Toro.
    Sightseeing

    This morning explore Finca Lerida, a privately owned preserve just outside Baru Volcano National Park. At an elevation of 2,286 meters (7,500 ft) above sea level, you have an opportunity to see the elusive resplendent Quetzal, the three-wattled bellbird, the black-faced solitaire, the volcano hummingbird, the long-tailed silky-flycatcher, and the prong-billed barbet in their cool habitat of orchids, bromeliads, and wild avocados.

    Hiking

    You will hike through lush vegetation and arrive at the Collin’s shade-grown coffee farm where lunch will be served.

    Private Car Service

    Return to your hotel and prepare for your drive to Almirante in Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean side.

    Sightseeing

    En route, stop to view the impressive Fortuna Dam and spectacular waterfalls along the Continental Divide. You will be crossing the Palo Seco Protected Area that serves as buffer zone to La Amistad International Park. The transition from the cloud forests to the coral reefs of Bocas del Toro will be impressive. In Almirante you are met by your boat and transferred to Colon Island.

    Hotel

    This afternoon you have ample time to enjoy the hammocks on the upstairs deck of the your hotel or mingle with the locals in this small friendly town. Overnight at a local hotel. (B,L,D)

  • Day 6 - Panama

    Salt Creek Village/Bastimentos Marine National Park.
    National Parks

    You depart by boat from the Bocas Inn traversing the expanse of Bastimentos National Park, Panama’s first marine national park. You will reach Salt Creek by navigating through clusters of red mangroves, which provide sea creatures with a protective area during their reproductive and development stages.

    Hiking

    Upon arrival you first enjoy a walk along Caiman trail. This trail takes us through several stages of lowland forest dynamics.

    Sightseeing

    Here, you will look for birds such as the red-throated ant tanager and the golden-collared manakin and mammals such as night monkeys, white-faced capuchins, and three-toed Ssloths. An older tract of rainforest has tall trees that provide life to birds such as the three-wattled bellbird and the green-breasted mango. A nearby lagoon is home to spectacled caimans and slider turtles. On the ground you will look for the tiny endemic poison dart frog, Dendrobates Pumilio.

    Shopping

    After the hike, enjoy a visit to the indigenous community and a chance to purchase handicrafts such as painted woodcarvings and Ngobe handbags.

    Food and Dining

    After this, enjoy lunch.

    Snorkeling

    In the afternoon, you will snorkel among mangroves and coral reefs, searching for numerous fish species, as well as dynamic and brightly colored sea fans, sponges, and brittle starfish. (B,L,D)

  • Day 7 - Panama City

    Boca Del Drago/Panama City.
    Sailing

    Early in the morning take a boat ride to Boca del Drago around Colon Island. Weather permitting, you will visit Swan's Cay, a rock protruding from the depths of the Caribbean Sea, which serves as rookery for red-billed tropic birds (the only place they are found in Panama) and brown boobies.

    Snorkeling

    Along the coastline on your return to the lodge, make stops at coral reefs and mangrove isles for snorkeling.

    Commercial Flight

    Back at the lodge have lunch and get ready for your return flight to Panama City.

    Shopping

    Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel with a stop on the way at the Balboa handicraft market for some last minute shopping.

    Food and Dining

    Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)

  • Day 8 - Panama City

    Panama City/Onward.

    You will be transferred to Tocumen International Airport for your departure flight. (B)

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