9 days / 8 nights
TOUR DESCRIPTION Experience with your family the best places in Panama from the Pacific coast and the Panama Canal to the western highlands to the Caribbean coast. Explore the Panama Canal and the Chagres River, go on an adventurous white river rafting or canopy ziplining trip in the Chiriqui highlands, snorkel in the Caribbean waters of Bocas del Toro and end your trip with a historical journey through the old parts of Panama City with the chance to obtain traditional handcrafts and souvenirs at the arts and crafts market.
- Children (3-5 years): US$1,050.00 + 7% tax (sharing room with 2 adults)
- Children (6-11 years): US$1,390.00 + 7% tax (sharing room with 2 adults)
*Rates are based on a minimum of 4 paying adults (or 3 adults + 1 child between 6-11 years)
INCLUDED Lodging, meals as specified in the itinerary (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner), all land, air and water transportation within Panama, all airport/hotel transfers on scheduled arrival and departure dates, private group guides' services and expenses, services of an in-bound land operator for airline re-confirmations and tour operations, park, museum and related entrance fees, snorkeling equipment in Bocas
NOT INCLUDED International airfare, gratuities and extras in hotels (telephone calls, laundry, room service), meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, personal equipment
Day 1 Arrive to Panama
On arrival to Tocumen International Airport you will be met by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama representative and transferred to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, your lodge for the next 3 nights, located along the shores of the Panama Canal.
Night at GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT (DLX Riverview room)
Day 2 Panama Jungle Boat Adventure
Early in the morning you are picked up by your Naturalist Guide and transferred to the marina, where you board a specially equipped expedition boat. The voyage takes you across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships transiting the waterway and making contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spot Green Iguana and Three-toed Sloth resting on tree branches, crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock Bass, Snail Kite and Keel-billed Toucan among other 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. Enjoy the extraordinary views of the Panama Canal and the natural surroundings followed by a light picnic lunch on the boat. Early afternoon return to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and the rest of today is to yourselves to enjoy the hotel grounds.
Night at GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT (BLD)
Day 3 The Chagres River & Embera People
Early in the morning you drive to El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake. The main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon, Madden Lake also supplies 40% of the water required for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here, you board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) and travel up the Chagres River to the Embera indigenous village. The boat journey takes you through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park, which is the largest of the National Parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed. Along the Chagres River, you may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas, Neotropical Cormorant, Amazon, Ringed, and Green Kingfishers, along with Keel-billed Toucans and Ospreys flying above. At the Embera village you will be greeted with dancing and music. You will learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature. There will be handcrafts available for sale and youwill have a chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a picnic lunch you visit the nearby waterfall where you can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Chagres River before heading back to Gamboa.
Night at GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT (BL)
Day 4 Gamboa Kayaking & La Chunga Trail - Miraflores Locks - Chiriqui Highlands
This morning you will start off with an adventurous kayaking excursion on the Chagres River and the edge of the Panama Canal where you might be able to spot some large cargo ships passing by. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing and quiet rainforest nature walk on La Chunga Trail that leads you to the beautiful shore of the Chagres River. Being packed and ready to continue your journey after your rainforest stay at Gamboa, you will eat lunch at a local restaurant and then continue to the Miraflores Locks in the Panama Canal. Here you will learn about its history and marvel at this engineering accomplishment. The canal still operates pretty much as it did when it was inaugurated in 1914 the SS Ancon steamer was the first ship to transit the Panama Canal.
Late this afternoon you catch a flight from Albrook domestic airport to David, the capital of the Chiriqui province. Chiriqui is known as “Panama’s breadbasket” and contains some of the most breathtaking highland scenery in Central America. Transfer by van to the eastern side of the dormant Baru Volcano to the quaint town of Boquete with its countryside dotted with flower, fruit and vegetable farms, coffee plantations and extraordinary cloud fores.
Night at FINCA LERIDA LODGE (BLD)
Day 5 Cloud Forest Canopy Tree Trek or River Floating Tour
This morning you will do a canopy tree trek on a zip line that that allows you to contemplate the rainforest from fourteen different canopy platforms while smoothly soaring in the heights of the cloud forest from one treetop to another. You will glide through the trees and encounter a world unknown. You will discover a fascinating perspective of wildlife that you had never appreciated. Native species of flora and fauna can be observed. You will marvel at the sight of a great variety of orchids, trees and wildflowers that are found throughout the area.
There will be an option to go on a river floating tour down the Chiriqui River for those who don’t go zip lining today. This optional tour has an additional cost and must be arranged in advance.
Night at FINCA LERIDA LODGE (BLD)
Day 6 Chiriqui Highlands - Bocas del Toro
After a good night’s rest you pack your belongings and get ready for the 4 hour drive to Bocas del Toro. You will be literally traveling from the cloudforests to the coral reefs. You will stop along the way several times to stretch your legs, play some games and enjoy the scenery. On arrival to Almirante on the Caribbean coast a boat will be waiting for you to be transferred to Isla Colon where you will spend the next two nights. This afternoon, weather permitting, you 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 to be found in Panama) and Brown boobies. You will enjoy beach time at Boca del Drago and search for colorful starfish. Along the coastline, you make stops at coral reefs and mangrove isles for snorkeling.
Night at BOCAS INN (BLD)
Day 7 Salt Creek Village - Bastimentos Marine National Park
You depart by boat from the Bocas Inn traversing the expanse of Bastimentos National Park, Panama’s first marine national park. You reach Salt Creek by navigating through clusters of Red Mangroves, which provide sea creatures with a protective area during their reproductive and development stages. Upon arrival you first enjoy a walk along Cayman Trail. This trail takes you through several stages of lowland forest dynamics. Here, you will look for birds such as Red-throated Ant Tanager and Golden-collared Manakin (Cerritus sub sp.).
Mammals such as Night Monkeys, White-faced Capuchins and Three-toed Sloths also live here. An older tract of rainforest has tall trees that provide life to birds such as the Three-wattled Bellbird and Green-breasted Mango. A nearby lagoon is home to Spectacled Cayman and Slider Turtle. On the ground you will look for the tiny endemic poison dart frog Oophaga pumilio. After the hike, you enjoy a visit to the indigenous community and have a chance to purchase handicrafts such as painted woodcarvings and Ngobe handbags, followed by lunch. 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.
Night at BOCAS INN (BLD)
Day 8 Panama City - Pirates, History, Smithsonian Marine Lab and Biodiversity Museum
A morning flight will take you back to Panama City where the activities today include a visit the ruins of Old Panama and Casco Antiguo. After lunch at a local restaurant you will visit the Smithsonian Marine Exhibition at Culebra Point at the entrance to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Finish your sightseeing tour with a visit to the Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry located on Causeway Amador. Tonight you enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Night at MARRIOTT PANAMA (BLD)
Day 9 Depart Panama
Today you are picked up at the lobby of the hotel 2.5 hours prior to your scheduled departure flight and transferred to Tocumen International Airport. Fly home. (B)
Pre or post trip extensions to San Blas Island are available.
- Easy/moderate hiking with rolling hills and optional activities such as snorkeling, rafting and extended hikes.
- Hotel or lodge accommodation comfortable
DEPARTURE DATES 2017
- July 29 - August 6, 2017
- October 21-29, 2017
- November 25 - December 3, 2017 (Thanksgiving)
- Dec 23-31, 2017
DISCLAIMER & NOTE
- Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to tidal/weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
- This program includes a private Ancon Expeditions´Naturalist guide accompanying the group throughout the entire itinerary. Some tours are on shared basis. We accept a maximum of 12 persons on the program.
- For domestic flights within Panama each passenger is allowed 1 bag of up to 30.8 lbs (14kg). For flights to David, Medellin, Cartagena and San Jose (Costa Rica) each passenger is allowed 1 bag of up to 66 lbs (30 kg).
- Carry-on luggage is limited to 8.8 lbs. (4 kg).
- Passengers are responsible for excess baggage fees and are subject to US$1.00 per extra pound and only allowed depending on flight occupancy.
- Name or date changes on flight tickets are subject to a penalty of US$25 plus 7% tax (per change, per route)
- Ticket cancellations with more than 30 days before your trip are subject to a service fee of US$25 per ticket (taxes included). Within 30 days from your arrival our regular cancellation policies apply.
- Penalty for no show is 100% of all applicable fares, taxes and surcharges.
- Surcharge for transportation of a pet or a surf board is US$30 per item per route.
- The Canopy Zipline Tour in Boquete has the following maximum weight restrictions: 175 lbs (80 kg) for women and 250 lbs (113 kg) for men.
- (Optional) Rafting Excursion, Day 5: Minimum age restrictions will apply and depend upon the River Class and Section being run. Participants are expected to listen and follow instructions given both before and during the river outing. Some river sections are tougher than others and require an honest assessment of participants’ physical fitness level and capabilities. Participants must alert Ancon Expeditions of Panama as to any physical conditions that may impede performance on the river in advance. Persons suspected of being under the influence of drugs, alcohol or any other mind-altering substance will not be allowed to participate on the river trip. No refunds will be issued in this event.
WHAT TO BRING
- Binoculars (preferably 7x35 or bigger, also available for rent at Ancon Expeditions of Panama)
- Camera with extra batteries & film
- Flashlight with extra bulb & batteries
- Insect repellant, Sunscreen, bathing suit
- Hat, Day pack / dry sack
- Rafting participants should bring rubber soled shoes with good grip (diving booties not recommended), sunscreen, shorts, t-shirt, baseball cap, corakies or similar elastic band for glasses, dry bag, complete change of clothes and a towel.
- Water bottle
- Lightweight/quick dry cotton clothes
- Sandals, sneakers / hiking boots
- Rain gear, Windbreaker
- Money in small denominations
- Toiletries & personal medications
Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:
- Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
- Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
- Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
- Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Tour boat driver: US$5.00 per person/day
- Hotel bellman: US$1.00 per person per suitcase
- International airport bellmen (red caps): US$1.00 per piece of suitcase
"We had such a blast exploring the highlights of Panama in 9 days with our 9 and 10 year old kids. They made friends with the other family in the group and it was a tough farewell after we have experienced so many great adventures together. Our kids still talk about the zipline tour flying like tarzan through the cloud forest, and the monkeys we saw on the rainforest boat were too cute! Thanks Ancon Expeditions of this wonderful family program!¨
Anderson Family, USA
GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT
Nestled among the vast Soberania National Park Rainforest, on the banks of the Chagres River and Panama Canal, this stunningly beautiful luxury hotel and resort will guarantee you a truly one-of-a-kind vacation experience. Escape to this jungle paradise just 45min outside Panama City to encounter nature without leaving the comforts of a full-service exotic resort. Among the total of 160 rooms the resort has 43 historic villas. Enjoy the relaxing spa (steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, massage services), gym, large outdoor pool, tennis court, 2 bars, 3 restaurants, business center, gift shop and the beautiful wooden library.
Address: Zona 5, Soberania National Park, Gamboa, Panama
Phone: (+507) 314-5000
Fax: (+507) 314-9020
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
This unique and beautiful privately owned preserve in Boquete, in the buffer zone of Baru Volcano National Park, is an idyllic lodging escape in the middle of the cloud forest and shade-grown coffee plantations. Finca Lerida has 13 comfortable rooms, a living room area for game nights or relaxation in front of the open fire place, a restaurant and many beautiful trails. The eco lodge is located just 20 minutes outside the charming town of Boquete.
Address: Alto Quiel, Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Phone: +(507) 720-1111
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.
This charming family lodge located on the water's edge of Colon Island, in the town of Bocas del Toro. Seven comfortable air-conditioned bedrooms with private bathrooms, free Wifi Internet, an open air dinning hall, a sun deck, a hammock balcony and spectacular local food specialties make the Bocas Inn a favorite among visitors to this Caribbean destination. Cold beers and tropical drinks are always present at the Akee Bar. The lodge is located only 5 minutes from the Bocas airport and in walking distance to local restaurants, souvenir shops, bars and parks.
The Bocas Inn is listed among the top 20 destinations in Mexico and Central America by Outside Magazine's Travelers edition.
Address: Isla Colon, Province of Bocas del Toro, Panama
Phone/Fax: +(507) 269-9415
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 1:00 p.m.
Stay in the heart of the banking area in Panama City at the Marriott Panama and enjoy quality accommodation with all the amenities and comfort you deserve. The hotel has 389 rooms, gym and Spa facilities as well as an outdoor pool and whirlpool area, business center, restaurant, coffee, souvenir shop, bar and lounge area. The hotel is located within walking distance from restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, bars and nightlife and easy accessible as being in the city center.
Address: Calle 52 y Ricardo Arias, Panama City, Panama
Phone: +(507) 210-9100
Fax: +(507) 210-9333
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 12:00 p.m.