WONDERFUL PANAMA CITY & THE PANAMA CANAL - COPA AIRLINES STOPOVER
4 days / 3 nights
Enjoy the highlights of Panama City and the Panama Canal. Learn about the history of Panama City, visit the engineering marvel at the Panama Canal's visitor center at Miraflores Locks. Navigate through the Panama Canal waters on Gatun Lake on a small expedition boat to observe the wildlife and birds.
Best available rate based (minimum 2 persons):
Hotel choice a) La Concordia Boutique Hotel, Casco Antiguo
Price per person in double occupancy basis: US$910.00 + 7% tax
Single occupancy supplement fee: US$450.00 + 7% tax
Hotel choice b) Central Hotel, Casco Antiguo
Price per person in double occupancy basis: US$760.00 + 7% tax
Single occupancy supplement fee: US$300.00 + 7% tax
INCLUDED 3 nights hotel accommodation, roundtrip airport transfers (Tocumen), transportation and meals (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch) as indicated in itinerary, park & related entrance fees, Naturalist guide fees & expenses.
NOT INCLUDED International airfare, meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, personal equipment, gratuities and tips, extras at hotel.
DISCLAIMER Price and itinerary are correct at the time of publishing, however they are subject to change due to climate or local conditions, availability or factors beyond our control.
DAY 1 - Arrival to Panama City
On arrival to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, you will be met by your Ancon Expeditions of Panama driver outside Customs and transferred for approximately 35-40 minutes to your hotel in the beautiful old historical part of Panama City: Casco Antiguo.
Night in Panama City
DAY 2 - Full Day Panama City & the Panama Canal
This morning you start your city tour at the Panama Canal where you will visit the Panama Canal Visitors’ Center at Miraflores Locks where ships can be seen transiting the waterway. The 3-floor exhibit halls will provide information about the history, engineering, and current events related to the Panama Canal.
Then drive through the former Panama Canal Zone managed by the United States from 1903 to 1999. Old military bases have been turned into residential neighborhoods, universities, and one of the most important commercial hubs in the region combining airports, container ports, and cargo railways that provide support to the Panama Canal operation.
Your next stop is the Biodiversity Museum (opens Thursdays through Sundays), designed by the world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. As a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, the Biodiversity Museum serves as a gateway to new information about the biodiversity and natural history of the Isthmus of Panama. Scientific experts from both the Smithsonian Institute and the University of Panama oversee the contents of the museum and aim at teaching visitors about eco-awareness, conservation, and Panama’s extraordinary natural treasures in various unique exhibition galleries. Did you know that the Isthmus of Panama has more bird, mammal, reptile, and plant species than the US and Canada together in just 75,990 Km2 (approx. 29,000 square miles)? In fact, 3 million years ago, the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama changed both the climate and the biodiversity in the planet and played a key role in the creation of the world we know today.
Continue to Casco Antiguo. In 1673, after the devastating pirate attack, Panama City was moved some 7.5 km west of its original location, to a small peninsula at the foot of Ancon hill, closer to the islands that were used as the port and near the mouth of a river that eventually became the entrance of the Panama Canal. The relocated town, known today as Casco Antiguo or the Historic District of Panama, not only had better access to freshwater but could be fortified. The military engineers, moreover, took advantage of the morphological conditions that complemented the wall surrounding the peninsula, all of which prevented direct naval approaches by an enemy. Several buildings within the District are identified as important for the country’s 17th-20th century heritage. Most outstanding are the churches, above all the metropolitan cathedral with its five aisles and timber roof; San Felipe Neri, San José, San Francisco, and especially La Merced with its well-preserved colonial timber roof. The Presidential Palace originally built in the late 17th century and partially reconstructed in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, is a revealing example of the transformations that characterize the Historic District as a whole. The House of the Municipality, the National Theatre, the Ministry of Government and Justice, and the Municipal Palace are outstanding buildings of a more recent period. Casco Antiguo is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lunch will take place at a local restaurant in the old town.
Drop off at your hotel by mid-afternoon.
Night in Panama City
DAY 3 - Panama Canal Rainforest Boat Adventure
Early in the morning, you are picked up at the lobby of your hotel by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama Naturalist Guide for a 45-minute drive to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. Here you board an expedition boat and depart on an adventure that will include a voyage across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships transiting the waterway, 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 wildlife. Gatun Lake was formed to give way to the Panama Canal in 1914. With a surface of 423 square kilometers, at the time of its creation was the largest man-made lake in the world. The flow of all the rivers within the Panama Canal Watershed is contained in Gatun Lake to provide water for the operation of the lock system. More than 52 million gallons of freshwater are used for every ship that transits through the Panama Canal from one ocean to another.
Your expedition boat will allow for close approximations to rainforest-covered islands (former hill tops) in Gatun Lake to search for White-faced Capuchin, Mantled Howler Monkey, Central American spider monkey, and Geoffrey’s Tamarin.
After enjoying a picnic lunch on the boat observing the large cargo ships in the background transiting the Panama Canal, return back to your hotel early afternoon.
Night in Panama City
(B, picnic lunch)
DAY 4 - Depart Panama
This morning you will be picked up at your hotel lobby for a private transfer to Tocumen Airport approximately 3 hours prior to your flight departure. Return back home with loads of memories about Panama!
B (Breakfast), L (Lunch), PL (Picnic Lunch) D (Dinner) – meals included
Upon request available on any dates for 2+ persons (subject to availability)
WHAT TO BRING
- Camera with extra batteries & film
- Flashlight with extra bulb & batteries
- Day pack / dry sack
- Water bottle
- Lightweight/quick dry cotton clothes
- Rain gear
- Bathing suit
- Insect repellant
- 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: US$10.00-US$20.00 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
LA CONCORDIA BOUTIQUE HOTEL, CASCO ANTIGUO
La Concordia holds one of the best-kept stories in Casco Viejo, located in a well-attended corner in Avenida Central, between the Santa Ana and San Felipe neighborhoods. As the Panama Canal construction attracted a new wave of population into the city during the late 1800s, this charming building, property of the Vallarino-Zubieta family at the time, was leased to the American Silvers & Paterson association with the purpose of being transformed into a hotel: La Concordia. It was one of the tallest buildings back then, where a canteen, a cigar factory and a warehouse occupied its ground floor while its roofed kiosk topped the building, offering a spectacular view of the bay, Cerro Ancón and the Cathedral. Classic, elegant and ample, each one of the ten rooms in La Concordia has been exclusively tailored to provide a tasteful and unique experience. With high ceilings, generous windows, colorful accents, and a bespoke style, each suite ranges from 35m2 to 60m2 and has its very own private balcony. Each room features free high speed wireless Internet, satellite television, central air conditioning, double-glazed windows, digital safe, gourmet mini bar, valet parking and 24-hour concierge service. Guests can enjoy fine dining at the Tarraco restaurant, La Cava and the Numen Gastro Lounge.
Address: Ave Central & Calle A & Calle B, Santa Ana, Panama City, Panamá
Phone: +(507) 300-1125
Check in: 15:00 hrs
Check out: 12:00 hrs
CENTRAL HOTEL, CASCO ANTIGUO
The historic hotel is located in the Casco Antiguo of Panama City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, next to the Panama Interoce¬anic Canal Museum and facing the Plaza de Independencia. Located opposite the Cathedral, the hotel is just steps away from the Municipal Palace, and is close to the Presidential Palace, along with other attractions in the area. The Central Hotel opened its doors for the first time in 1874. It hosted guests such as Theodore Roosevelt and Count Ferdinand de Lesseps among other public figures of the time. The Central Hotel was the first hotel in Panama, serving as a “rendezvous” for all of the passengers who traveled to the American continent, and becoming famous throughout the western hemisphere for offering high-style European and American services at reasonable prices. Construction work on the building has been completed. This work consisted of totally restructuring the building while maintaining the façade and respecting the original structure. The hotel is unique given its location, modern appearance, history, and institutional connections. The hotel features 135 rooms, a pool, restaurant, bar and Spa.
Address: Plaza de la Independencia, Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panamá
Phone: +(507) 392-1307
Check in: 15:00 hrs
Check out: 12:00 hrs