Day 1: Arrival to Panama
Upon arrival you will be met by our staff at Panama´s city airport and driven to Hotel Torres del Alba. Leisure time on your own.
Day 2: Panama City
After breakfast you will be taken to explore Panama City, founded in 1519 which was the first European city established on the Pacific Coast of the Americas and was the headquarters of Francisco Pizarro for the conquest of the Incas. The old city was destroyed by the English pirate Henry Morgan in the late 1600s, and rebuilt a few years later on a more defensible peninsula, which became the second Panama city, where much of the impressive colonial and Baroque architecture remains today. You will learn the history of Panama by touring these three-cities-in-one. Architectural structures in various states of repair survive from Panama City's turbulent past and offer visitors an afternoon of sightseeing among the brick, iron grillwork, and Baroque facades.
After a tasty lunch at local restaurant you will visit the Miraflores lock in the Panamá Canal, located in the narrowest part of the American continent and the lowest region of the Panamanian isthmus; it was built by the United States of America from 1904 to 1914 and is still one of the most amazing engineering marvels of the world. This amazing structure provides easy and reliable crossings from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back for more than 750 thousands vessels. Ships all over the world are built to fit the three sets of double locks that are part of this 80 Km (50 mi) long water way, which can be visited any time. At the end of the day you will enjoy some time on your own to explore the city surroundings of go shopping. Overnight at Hotel Torres del Alba 4 stars in Panama city downtown.
Day 3: Panama City - Bastimentos Marine National Park
Breakfast at your hotel. Leisure morning on your own. Flight to Bocas del Toro in Bastimentos National Park by the Panamanian Caribbean. Mostly virgin jungle and forests, Bocas del Toro also includes several picturesque towns. The archipelago of Bocas del Toro, located at the entrance of the Chiriqui Lagoon, dominates the region. After check in you will have some free time to walk around this charming Caribbean town. Dinner and overnight at local standard hotel.
Day 4: Bocas del Toro
After a tasty breakfast, you will have a boat trip and visit “Bay of the Dolphins”, to observe these amazing mammals in their natural habitat. After that we will snorkeling in the crystalline waters of Cayo Coral before we have lunch in a local restaurant. Right after that you will continue to the "Red Frog” beach surrounded by coconuts palm trees and blue & green waters perfect to relax and have a good time. We will return to our hotel by 4 pm and have some leisure time before dinner.
Day 5: Bocas del Toro - Panama City
After breakfast we will visit the coral reef in Crawl. We will also visit Zapatilla Keys, two smaller islands that belong to Bastimentos Marine National Park. These two tiny islands are the closest it gets to Paradise. White sand beaches, coconut palm trees, rainforest and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving sites in the world. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before reaching Bocas del Toro for our flight to Panama city at 5pm. Airport assistance upon arrival and transfer to Hotel Torres del Alba for overnight.
Day 6: Panama City - Chagres National Park
After breakfast we will drive for 1 and a half hours to Chagres National Park. We will ride on a "piragua" (indigenous dugout canoe) for half an hours where to meet the Emberá people. You will enjoy a cultural tour with a presentation of their traditional dances, food, body painting and more. The Emberá people live in traditional dwellings with palm roofs, and pursue their traditional way of life: maintaining their community, planting crops, and producing art and craft of incredible beauty. Local lunch prepared by the community based on fresh fish and banana. Right after that you will have a hike into the forest to visit an spectacular waterfall hidden in the canopy of Chagres River. Boat ride back to the pier and car drive to Panama City for overnight at your hotel.
Day 7: Panama City - Portobelo
After breakfast at the hotel you will drive into the Transisthmic Highway for one hour and a half to reach Portobelo which was declared a World Cultural Heritage Monument by UNESCO in 1980. Portobelo has also been declared a Monumental City of the Americas by the OAS. Due to its past as an international port, it has received the influence of many different cultures, which are reflected in its famous festivals and celebrations, like the Black Christ of Portobelo. Portobelo, which means beautiful port, was discovered and named by Christopher Columbus in 1502. Its official name, San Felipe de Portobelo, was given in honor of King Phillip II of Spain. At the time of the Spanish colonies, it was accessible only by launch and was the port of entry and exit for all of South America.
The merchandise was exchanged in the form of a 30 to 60 days-fair once a year, period in which the city suffered from constant pirates and buccaneers' attacks, including the famous Drake, Morgan and Hawkins. Due to this, Spain decided to change the trading route to a more secure one around Cape Horn in Chile. Portobelo introduces visitors to the adventure and intrigue of the age of pirates and conquistadors. In this tour you will also see some important parts of the canal network, the natural wonders of Soberanía National Park, and a stop at the Cruces Trail, used by the Spaniards during colonial times to transport goods from Panama City to Portobelo. Car ride back to Panamá City and overnight at Hotel torres del Alba.
Day 8: Panama City - Kuna Yala & San Blas Archipelago
Ealy flight to San Blas Archipelago. San Blas is a series of 378 islands of which only 49 are inhabited by the fiercely independent Kuna Indians. Upon arrival our local guide will assist us with the lodging check in and take us after lunch to one of the pristine and unique islands of the archipelago. These amazing places are full of palm trees and surrounded by blue & green waters full of coral reefs which make them a remarkable place and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Back to our place we will have the opportunity to interact with the Kuna people who run all the islands as an autonomous province, with minimal interference from the national government and have maintained their own economic system, language, customs and culture, with distinctive dress, legends, music and dance and thus have avoided traditional tourism development. Dinner and local dinner at Uaguinega Lodge.
Day 9: Kuna Yala & San Blas Archipelago
After breakfast we will have some shopping opportunities. Kuna people are famous for their top handicraft Mola. Kuna women make rainbow colored fabrics, emblazoned with fish, birds, jungle animals and geometric designs that would impress Picasso himself. We will also see the men still fish from canoes as they did before Columbus came. They still run up to the corner coconut palm trees for something fresh and cool to drink each morning, just as they have for untold centuries. Our local guide will take us to a different beach to enjoy the rest of the day in a paradise beach with spectacular views of the Archipelago. Dinner and overnight at Uaguinega Lodge.
Day 10: Kuna Yala & San Blas Archipelago
After early breakfast we will fly to Panama City. Airport assistance and check in at Hotel Torres del Alba. Leisure day on your own.
Day 11: Breakfast. Check out at 11am. Transfer to the airport. End of service.
Note: The program may change according to nature conditions and availability.
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Central America and Caribbean Panama Local Culture Cultural Journey National Parks
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