Essence of Panama
- 11 Days
- 11 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 4,199
FIRST-CLASS | TAILOR-MADE: Discover the essence of Panama on this tailor-made journey from the heart of Panama City to the dazzling white-sand beaches of Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean Sea. Along the way, you’ll tour the Panama Canal, explore rainforests and cloud forests, and learn about coffee in the western highlands.
Your 11-day Panama vacation begins in the capital, Panama City. Explore the city’s history and enjoy some gorgeous views as you tour the colonial quarters and Cathedral Tower. Afterwards, head to the Miraflores Locks for an up-close look at the Panama Canal, the legendary marvel of engineering that connects the Caribbean to the Pacific. Head into Soberania National Park and watch the buildings give way to rainforest canopies. Board a boat on Gatun Lake, the canal’s reservoir, and explore the rainforest on a jungle cruise. Spot howler monkeys calling from the canopy, frigate birds landing on the shoreline, and green iguanas hiding in the foliage.
Your trip to Panama continues with a short flight to David and a transfer to Boquete, the small town in the country’s western highlands. A coffee tour reveals the history of coffee growing in the region. Tour a farm and learn about the coffeemaking process, from first picking to final brewing. Cap off the tour with a tasting. Then head into the cloud forest to cross hanging bridges and spot exotic wildlife high up in the jungle canopy.
After a scenic drive to Almirante and a ferry ride, your Panamanian vacation continues on Bocas del Toro, the picturesque resort town on Isla Colon in the Caribbean Sea. Spend a few days exploring its mix of jungle, beach, and coral reef. Spot dolphins at Dolphin Bay, explore the underwater world on a snorkeling trip through Cayo Coral, and see rare red frogs in the mangrove forests of Red Frog Beach. Tour beautiful Solarte Gardens and spot sloths hanging in the canopy alongside exotic birds and monkeys. You’ll also have plenty of time at the beach to enjoy the pristine white sands.
Connect back to Panama City for a final night before heading to the airport for onward travel.
- 11 Days
- 11 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 4,199
Itinerary View Trip Map
Welcome to Panama
Upon arrival to Panama City, please make your way through Customs and collect your baggage. Once you have made it to the Arrivals section of the airport, please look for a guide holding a sign with your name on it. This representative will take you to an awaiting vehicle and will transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Central (Deluxe Room)
Panama City Tour with Panama Canal
Following breakfast, meet your private guide and set out to discover the colonial heritage of Panama and visit the famous Panama Canal on this full day tour. Your first stop of the day will be the ruins of Old Panama. Here you will climb up the Cathedral Tower and visit the Old Panama Museum to gain a better understanding of the history of this Central American nation. Next, head to Casco Viejo, dating back to the XVII century, and listen to your guide describe the events that led up to the establishment of the capital in its current location. Here, take in the lovely colonial houses, picturesque narrow roads, and impressive churches as you make your way to the French Plaza. Your day continues as you transfer to the Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal, where large ships can be seen as they make their way through the canal. Marvel at this feat of human engineering and explore informative exhibits. Now that you’ve worked up your appetite, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before venturing out to visit small towns surrounding the canal. In the late afternoon you will be returned to your hotel in Panama City.
Soberania National Park with Jungle Boat Tour
In the early morning, close to 7am, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby to begin your journey to Soberania National Park. As you leave the Panama City limits, the cityscape of prominent buildings slowly fades and is replaced by verdant secondary and primary rainforest. En route, you will pass the former Fort Clayton, Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks before entering the park. Upon arrival, you will board a boat and head off on an adventure across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal, passing by monumental cargo ships transiting the waterway. Along the way, keep your eyes out for green iguanas, ospreys, snail kites, frigate birds, and other wildlife local to the area. The boat will circle rainforest covered islands, allowing us to observe and search for the mantled howler monkey, white-faced capuchin, and Geoffroy’s tamarin. After the tour, we will hike one of the trails of the lush forest, and after the hike, you will be returned to your hotel.
Panama City to Boquete via David
Following a leisurely breakfast, and aligned with your onward flight, you will be picked up by a private driver, who will transfer you to the airport. Upon arrival, you will board a regional flight with direct service to David. Approximate flight time is 45 minutes. Once you have arrived to David, collect your luggage and make your way to the Arrivals section of the airport. Here, you will find a guide holding a sign with your name on it. This representative will escort you to an awaiting vehicle which will transfer you to your hotel in Boquete. Approximate travel time is one hour.
Accommodation: Hotel Boquete Garden Inn (King Deluxe Room)
Coffee Tour in the Panamanian Highlands
The first coffee plants arrived Panama at the beginning of the 19th century and were brought to Boquete, where the microclimate turned out to be ideal for growing this valuable delight. Boquete, with its great height, the influences of the oceans, the rich volcanic soil and the shadow of the Baru Volcano all contributed to create conditions perfect to maximize the potential of coffee. In Boquete, you will tour one of the local farms where you will be able to admire a clean and modern environmental processing plant or an organic coffee farm. You will visit a coffee plantation and your guide will explain the whole process, from the picking of the coffee cherries by the Ngäbe-Bugle Indians to its journey to your cup while you walk through the coffee fields. You will learn about the coffee plants and how the coffee beans are harvested and processed. The tour ends with a taste of the product, and lastly a transfer back to your hotel. This tour last between three and four hours, and can be arranged to begin at 9am or 2pm.
Skywalk in the Highlands
On this shared experience, set out to enjoy Panama’s cloud forests from a unique vantage point as you embark on a hiking adventure taking you through a series of hanging bridges over a lush natural reserve. Following an early morning departure, you will be transferred to the valley neighboring the town of Boquete. On the way, you'll catch a glimpse of the countryside with its ubiquitous coffee farms. Upon arrival at the site of today’s adventure you will receive a briefing and begin hiking the three-mile loop across five bridges that range from 300 meters (~990 feet) to 335 meters (~1,100 feet) above sea level. Walk through the treetops of the cloud forest and keep your eyes open for exotic bird species, as well as other animals native to this area. Admire the surrounding scenery as your guide interprets the ecosystem that surrounds you. See rushing rivers and cascading waterfalls below; and take in breathtaking views of the towering Baru Volcano. Once this half-day experience is complete, you will be returned to your hotel. Please note: this activity is not recommended for guests with mobility issues, and all guests must be 6 years of age or older.
Boquete to Bocas del Toro
This morning, following breakfast, set out for beautiful Bocas del Toro. Your transfer begins after meeting your private driver in the hotel lobby. You’ll soon be on the road and heading toward Almirante, a scenic drive which will take approximately three hours and 30 minutes. Once you reach Almirante, you will board a boat which will ferry you over to Bocas del Toro in roughly 30 minutes. Here another driver awaits to bring you to your spectacular accommodations; the final leg of this journey takes approximately 20 minutes.
Accommodation: The Hummingbird (Bungalow)
Bastimentos Dolphin Bay, Cayo Coral & Red Frog Beach
Naturally, the best things to do in Bocas del Toro revolve around being near to and on the water. On this tour you will have the opportunity to see many of the beautiful beaches and reefs of Bocas del Toro in one day. Your day begins around 9:30am with a boat excursion, heading directly to Dolphin Bay. This quiet bay is located about 15-20 minutes from the main island, Isla Colon. The abundance of fish and crustaceans in these waters make Dolphin Bay the perfect place for their habitat within the archipelago. If we are lucky, we may observe friendly dolphins jumping, swimming and playing in pairs and groups of five to six. Around noon the boat heads towards Cayo Coral, a great area for snorkeling. As you float weightlessly surrounded by the turquoise sea, relax and take in the sights as hundreds of reef fish go about their daily business. This is also the place where you can sate your appetite with exquisite Caribbean dishes, offered by a panoramic restaurant on the sea. The menu varies depending on the day's catch (please note: lunch not included in the tour cost and must be purchased on-site). Following lunch, it is time to visit Bastimentos Island, and walk through the mangroves of this national park to reach Red Frog Beach. Named after the red frogs found in the lush parts of the island, Red Frog Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Bocas. It’s on the windward side facing out to sea, and may be a bit rough at times, so be careful if you decide to swim. Here you can also enjoy some restaurants and bars if you wish. After enjoying some free time in this wonderful corner of Bocas del Toro, you will be returned to your hotel.
Hiking in the Jungle
Located only a few minutes from Bocas Town by boat, Isla Solarte offers an entirely different experience. Raw jungle and hiking paths make this island destination a must-see when staying in Bocas del Toro. On a 3-minute boat ride from Isla Colon to Isla Solarte you’ll pass through Solarte Gardens, a beautiful area off the coast of Solarte where many diving lessons take place. Soon after, you will disembark at Pelican Dock and start the tour up the hills and across to the bluff overlooking Bastimentos. Along the way you will - all but surely - see leaf-cutter colonies, birds of all types, red frogs and some of the largest trees in the area. With luck, you may also spot three-toed sloths, rare birds and eagles, and much more.
Bocas del Toro to Panama City
Following breakfast, you’ll begin your return trip to Panama City. The day begins with a transfer to the airport on Bocas del Toro. From there you will board a regional plane with direct service to Panama City. Approximate flight time is one hour. Upon arrival to Panama City, collect your luggage and make your way to the Arrivals section of the airport. Here, you will find a guide holding a sign with your name on it. This representative will escort you to an awaiting vehicle which will transfer you to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel Central (Deluxe Room)
Timed to correspond with your return flight, you will be transferred to the international airport by a private driver. Approximate travel time is 30 minutes.
- Private arrival and departure airport transfers
- 4 nights in first-class accommodations in Panama City
- 3 nights in first-class accommodations near Boquete
- 3 nights in first-class accommodations in Bocas del Toro
- Private-guided Panama City and Panama Canal tour
- Private-guided tour of Soberania National Park with Jungle Boat
- Private airport transfers from Panama City hotel to Panama City airport
- Domestic flight from Panama City to David
- Private transfer from David to Boquete
- Private-guided Coffee tour in the Highlands
- Small group Skywalk in the Highlands tour (max 12 guests)
- Private transfer from Boquete to Almirante
- Shared boat transfer from Almirante to Bocas del Toro
- Shared transfer from Bocas del Toro pier to hotel
- Private-guided tour of Bastimentos Dolphin Bay, Cayo Coral and Red Frog Beach
- Private-guided Jungle Hiking in Bocas del Toro
- Private transfer from Bocas del Toro hotel to Bocas del Toro Airport
- Domestic flight from Bocas del Toro to Panama City
- Private transfer from Panama City airport to Panama City hotel
- Breakfast daily (excluding Day 1), 2 lunches
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Meals and beverages not mentioned, drinks not included on Day 4 (lunch)
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.
6 Oct 2023