Tour date: January 19th to February 2nd 2020
Starting with the history and charm of Panama City and the Canal, you will learn about the events in history that lead to the eventual movement of the capital city to its present location. Stay in the small town of El Valle de Anton, nestled in the second largest inhabited volcanic crater. Explore the Herrara Highlands, an area profusely inhabited by indigenous groups in the pre-Columbian era. Here we discover the manufacturing process of traditional products such as sugarcane, salt, clay and bread. Later, enjoy spectacular views hiking through scenic cloud forests in one of the many scenic trails surrounding the Baru Volcano, home to diverse flora and fauna. Travel by boat, traversing the expanse of Bastimentos National Park, Panama’s first marine national park and end the journey with a relaxing stay at the white-sanded Bocas del Toro, before heading back to Panama City.
Panama City (3 nights), El Valle Region (2), Chitre (1), Boquete (3), Bocas del Toro (4), Panama City (1 night)
Panama Tour Highlights:
- Stay 4 nights in vibrant Panama City
- Visit the old Panama ruins: Panama Vieja - UNESCO World Heritage site
- Explore the Panama Canal and learn about the history and importance of the canal for Panama’s economic growth
- Visit the Miraflores Lock – one of the three locks in the canal which work as water lifts for ships and vessels
- Travel on the famous Panama Railway
- Stay 2 nights in the second largest inhabited volcanic crater
- Come face-to-face with the places and people who make some of Panama’s tastiest and most impressive goods
- Participate in a local workshop to learn how to make artesian handicrafts
- Spend time in the town of Boquete and visit gourmet restaurants, coffee houses, shops and amazing spas
- Hike the Pipeline trail, considered one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Central America
- Taste a variety of honey and learn about the honey making process at a private farm in the highlands
- Relax on the palm-shaded beaches of Bocas del Toro
- Boat tour through the San San Pond Wetlands in search of the elusive manatees
- Experience the marvellous manufacturing process of chocolate
Panama City: Hotel Centro Americano (3 nights)
Day 1 – January 19th – Breakfast
Welcome to Panama! A vibrant city full of skyscrapers and an international commerce hub recently referred to as “Central America’s Mini Dubai” due to its economic growth and increase in luxury.
The city is also becoming a popular gastronomical destination due to its variety in high-quality restaurants. If you are looking to do some shopping, the city boasts a great variety of shopping malls and main streets full of options to meet everyone’s needs.
Arrive and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2 – January 20th – Breakfast and Welcome Dinner
Following an orientation, we visit the ruins of Old Panama which dates from the late 1600's. We will learn of the events in history leading up to the eventual movement of the capital city to its present location. The site is 57 acres full of culture and the history of the first European city built on the Pacific coast of the Americas. Our tour finishes at Casco Viejo, one of Panama’s trendiest neighbourhoods. It is a UNESCO protected district, filled with colonial buildings and outstanding restaurants and shops.
Day 3 – January 21st – Breakfast/Snacks included
Today we board the Interoceanic Train for a scenic one hour journey to Colon. The Panama Railroad became the first transcontinental railway when it was completed in 1855. The train follows the canal and runs across narrow artificial causeways in Lake Gatun that are indeed spectacular, and the ambiance of the train is very pleasant.
From Colon, we take a bus to Portobelo. This laid back fishing village is famous for its fort ruins and turbulent history as one of Spain’s most important pathways for the gold from the Americas. Following a guided walking tour, a young artist will teach us how to prepare traditional handcrafts.
El Valle: Hotel Campestre (2 nights)
Day 4 – January 22nd - Breakfast and Dinner included
Cross over the Panama Canal on the Bridge of the Americas and drive west to the beautiful mountain town El Valle. This picturesque town is nestled in the crater of a huge extinct volcano and ringed by verdant forests and jagged peaks.
With an extensive network of trails, this is a superb place for walking, hiking or horseback riding. Nearby forests offer excellent birdwatching, and the valleys of El Valle are home to an impressive set of waterfalls and natural pools.
Upon arrival, we visit the picturesque town market famous for its artesian handicrafts.
Day 5 – January 23rd - Breakfast included
In the morning, enjoy a guided hike around the valley taking in the breathtaking views and fantastic birding.
Enjoy a free afternoon at your own pace. El Valle has a variety of attractions such as Indian petroglyphs, hot springs, canopy zip lines, waterfalls, butterfly gardens, birding and hikes for all abilities.
Chitre/Azuero Peninsula: Hotel Cubita (1 nights)
Day 6 – January 24th – Breakfast and Dinner included
Relax and enjoy the scenery as you travel to the Azuero Peninsula through the jungle and sugarcane fields.
Here we will discover the manufacturing process of regional products. The most traditional are: sugarcane, clay, salt and bread. Observe how salt is extracted from the Pacific Ocean and learn about the production of the refreshing sugar cane juice, as well as the famous La Arena bread. Thanks to the many sugarcane plantations in the region, we will get to see the distillation and bottling process.
Boquete: Boquete Garden Inn (3 nights)
Day 7 – January 25th - Breakfast and Dinner included
Today we drive through beautiful landscapes of cloud forests, volcanic peaks, fruit and vegetable farms on our way to Boquete. The small town is located in the highlands of Panama’s Chiriquí province, snugly fitted into a lush valley and surrounded by towering mountains, gushing streams, and abundant coffee farms. It is so peaceful and quiet that it has been voted as one of the top 5 places in the world to retire. You will find gourmet restaurants and coffee houses, shops and many amazing spas.
Enjoy some time in town before our evening dinner.
Day 8 – January 26th - Breakfast included
Enjoy the different sights and sounds of nature. This morning we will have a half day hiking tour on one of the most famous trails in the country: The Pipeline Trail. Joining two important communities Boquete and Cerro Punta, this trail is one of the best-known eco-trails in Panama and worldwide, due to the large number of birds that have been reported there. This is an excellent place to witness and enjoy a lot of Panama ́s biodiversity, including plants, butterflies, amphibians, monkeys and hundreds of other interesting wild creatures.
Day 9 – January 27th - Breakfast and Dinner included
Honey has a long-standing history with humans, dating back thousands of years. While today it is commonly used in various products for sweetening and flavoring, it has also been used for medicinal purposes and also religious rituals. Today we visit a private honey farm in the highlands to learn about the secret lives of bees and the complex process behind producing one of the most delicious ingredients in the world. Walk through the property’s beautiful gardens, filled with a variety of local plants and flowers, and then awake your taste buds to the delicious silkiness of freshly made organic honey with a unique honey tasting!
Bocas del Toro: Swans Cay (4 nights)
Day 10 – January 28th - Breakfast and Dinner included
Travel by bus and then a short boat ride to Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Rapidly becoming a Caribbean favourite, Bocas del Toro has it all – palm-shaded beaches with crystal-clear water, spectacular snorkeling and lots of wildlife. Culturally, Bocas is a melting pot of West Indians, Latinos and expats, resulting in diverse music, nightlife and food scenes.
Enjoy some time walking around Bocas Town and exploring the artisan shops before dinner.
Day 11 – January 29th - Breakfast included
Bocas Town is the bustling center of the area and it is a great spot to start your exploration. Many of the shops, overwater bars and restaurants are located on 1st, 2nd and 3rd street, meters from the hotel.
Today is a free day to simply relax by the pool, on the beach or possibly take a boat tour around the island chain, zipline through the rain forest canopy or snorkel in some of the most biologically diverse tropical coral reefs in the region.
Day 12 – January 30th - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Early start today (7 am) but it’s completely worth it to discover one of the secluded secrets of Panama – the beautiful San San Pond Sak Wetlands Reserve! Our day begins with an orientation talk to hear about the incredible work the rangers and volunteers do to help save this precious wetland ecosystem made up of complex of lakes, streams, swamps, rivers and beaches. The wetlands are the natural habitat for several endangered species such as the mysterious manatees. Several species of sea turtles lay their eggs in these shores and sloths, river otters, white-faced monkeys, caimans, iguanas, poison-dart frogs and more than 150 bird species also call these wetlands their home. Our guide will point out many wildlife, flora and fauna as we travel via boat down the San San River.
Day 13 – January 31st - Breakfast and Lunch included
Enjoy the sweetest rainforest experience. A local farmer will teach us interesting aspects of cocoa and chocolate, from its origin and history, to the harvesting of the fruit, drying and grinding of the seed and of course taste testing!
Panama City: Hotel Centro Americano (2 nights)
Day 14 – February 1st - Breakfast and Dinner included
Back to city life! Head back to Panama to finish exploring this amazing city. Visit the Panama Canal, the 80 km channel that joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The canal was built to maximize maritime trade and is one of the most important sites in the city. Visit the Miraflores Lock – one of three locks in the canal which work as water lifts for ships and vessels. There is a museum at the Lock where we will learn about the history and importance of the canal to Panama’s economic growth.
The afternoon is yours to explore and enjoy the city. In the evening, enjoy one last dinner with your group to reminisce about our favorite memories.
Day 15 – February 2nd - Breakfast included
Adios! Today we transfer to the airport for our flights home.
2020 Journey Through Panama Tour – Dates & Prices
January 19th – February 2nd, 2020
Tour Cost per person based on double occupancy: $3675.00 CAD
Air Fare: Direct flights to Panama are available from many Canadian cities. Contact our office for airfares and flight information. Call for airfares from your city
Single supplement $1160.00
In order to make each tour, a special experience space is limited to 20 people. We encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment and for the best airfares.
Flights: Call us for flight and airfare information from your closest airport in Canada as we can often access flights not easily found on the Internet and offer alternatives.
Tour price includes:
- 14 nights’ accommodation based on double occupancy
- Meals: all breakfasts, 2 lunches and 8 dinners
- All admissions and cultural visits listed in the itinerary
- Air-conditioned motor coach transportation
- Fully escorted by a Canadian Tour Leader and Panama guide
Not included: Travel insurance, airfare and gratuities.
Singles wishing to share: We often get requests for single travelers wishing to share accommodation. If you are interested in traveling with a companion please let us know and we can try to match you up with a suitable traveling partner.
Transfers: To and from the airport to your hotel are included on the tour dates. Airport transfers can be arranged for a cost when you purchase extra nights before or after the vacation.
Insurance: Medical insurance is mandatory in order to enter Cuba. Cancellation and trip interruption insurance is optional. Premiums depend on your age, the length of time away and the cost of your tour and insurance will be discussed and quoted at the time of booking.
Tour Deposit: $300.00 per person.
Forms of Payment: Cheque, Visa and Master Card or email.
Payments made by credit card are subject to a 3 percent processing fee. For information regarding e-mail, payments contact your financial institution. It is easy and convenient.
Cancellation Policy: In the event that you have to cancel you must notify Discovery Tours immediately in writing. The following scale of charges will apply according to the date that notice is received. Airfare penalties may differ and will be discussed at the time of ticket purchase.
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.