Explore Panama in 8 Nights • Panama City • Guna Yala • Panama Canal • Boquete
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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Panama Canal Kayaking
  • Miraflores Locks Center
  • Guna Yala
  • All-inclusive package
  • Boquete
  • Chiriqui Viejo River Rafting
  • Cloud Forest Hike and Zip-line

 

  Canal de Panama

Panama offers a great variety of places to visit and activities to choose from. The ‘Explore Panama’ package combines important historical highlights of Panama with adventurous day activities. Within 8 days you will visit two oceans, paddle in the Panama Canal, learn about the Canal and its Flora and Fauna. You will get to know people from different backgrounds, learn more about the everyday life of the Gunas and their culture and you will visit Boquete and its forests, where you can join the Boquete Tree Trek, which is a thrilling zip-line in the Cloud Forest.

 

ITINERARY


Day 1 (Saturday): Arrival in Panama

At the day of your arrival in Panama one of our Panamanian representatives will pick you up at the International Airport Tocumen and transfer you to the Hotel, where you will spend the next two nights. Panama City is quite safe and it is an interesting city to walk around.

- Economic Lodging Option:  Saba Hotel, Marbella, or similar 

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Hotel Tantalo at Casco Antiguo, or The Bristol Hotel, or similar

 

Day 2 (Sunday): Panama Canal Kayaking & Miraflores Locks Visitor Centre

Panama is best known for the Panama Canal, so it's fitting that your first day in Panama should be spent learning about the Canal. When this shortcut between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans was first dug 100 years ago, building a large artificial lake was necessary to supply the tons of water that are needed to raise and lower water levels. Gatun Lake was created by flooding the area now contained in Soberania and Chagres National Parks, turning many mountain tops into islands and creating an amazing kayaking resource with endless channels to explore, weaving past shores dense with tropical flora and fauna.

After enjoying a hearty breakfast, we will pick you up at 8:00AM and drive along the Panama Canal, passing by Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks to Gamboa Public Ramp. We continue our journey through the Canal for another hour by motorboat and then switch to 2-person expedition kayaks once we are in the Lake. We spend the next few hours scouting channels through the forest, with a break for lunch and a rest on our motor boat. While wildlife is never completely predictable, we are almost guaranteed to see sloths and different types of monkeys, including Capuchin (white-faces), howling, spider, and titi. Most likely we will see Jesus Lizards and it is easy to demonstrate how they got their name since they run across water. Furthermore, both king fishers and fishing eagles are common. If we are lucky we may also see turtles.

On the way back we will stop at the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks Centre. We will learn how the locks work and watch ships rise (or descend) over 40 feet as they transit through it. The Canal is still vital to world trade today and indeed, without it there is no world commerce as we know it. Dinner is on your own tonight.

- Economic Lodging Option: Grand International Hotel (B, L)

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Hotel Tantalo at Casco Antiguo, or The Bristol Hotel (B, L)

 

Day 3-4 (Monday and Tuesday): Guna Yala

Early in the morning we will transfer you to the Airport and you will catch an early domestic flight to the Guna Yala region, which is gateway to the extraordinary San Blas Archipelago. With more than 350 islands spreading out along the isthmus, the archipelago is a Kuna Native Reservation. The Gunas are known for their handicrafts and their unique culture. It is a nation within Panama, the Guna have their own language, culture, laws and territory. The Gunas’ effort is to preserve their own identity and control over San Blas, which made it possible to keep this region the pristine paradise that it is today.

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Flight to Playon Chico, Lodging: Yandup Island Lodge (B, L, D)

In order to get to Yandup Island you will catch a flight to Playon Chicon, which is a 45 minute flight and then continue the journey by motorboat. You will be spending two nights at the Yandup Island Lodge, which is a family-owned lodge on a small private island near the community of Guna Yala. The island is surrounded by coral reefs and a small beach with white sand and crystal clear water. Your biggest problem most likely will be deciding how to spend your time! The lodge offers tours twice a day, and your choices include visiting nearby uninhabited islands for swimming and exploration (and snorkeling if you have your own gear), learning more about the everyday life of the Gunas and their culture, visit the Playon Chico community, walking through the rain forest as your guides explain the importance and use of nature for the Guna traditions and beliefs, learning about Guna beliefs and rituals around death with a visit to a nearby cemetery, or hiking through the rain forest to a small waterfall. You can also simply relax in a hammock or paddling at leisure through the surrounding mangroves in a traditional dugout canoe. Whatever you do, you will be amply fueled by the fresh local seafood, fish, vegetables, and fruit served in the lodge's dining room and enjoy the view over the water.

- Economic Lodging Option: Transport or Flight to El Porvenir, Lodging: Ukuptupu Lodge (B, L, D)

Ukuptupu is an island near El Porvenir in the Guna Yala region of Panama and is your ideal base to explore the Guna Yala archipelago and enjoy the life on the islands. Uktuptupu is located between the islands of Wichub Wala and Nalunega. Depending on the group size you weill either catch a 25-minute flight across the isthmus from Panama City to El Porvenir and then continue the journey by boat. Or another option to go there is a 3 hours roadtrip up to Carti and then continue the trip by motorboat to Ukuptupu.

Cabañas Ukuptupu means Sand Island, and is a tourism project that started in the 1990 with a lot of effort from Mr. Juan García and his family. Their goal is to deeply fulfill the tourists and visitors needs to offer the basic facilities so that people would enjoy Guna Yala, its culture and its customs. The lodge offers tours once a day. There are plenty of activities that you can do: a tour to the beaches, religious ceremonies, festive rites which include music and dances, visit to indigenous communities and the opportunity of sharing with the local people, participation in activities, or craft making. During your stay you will enjoy typical plates of the region such as fried fish, lobster, squid, cambombia, rice with Coconut, accompanied by patacones and/or salad.

 

Day 5 (Wednesday): Panama City tour and transfer to Boquete

Another early morning as we transfer to the opposite end of Panama: the pristine western highlands. You will fly from Guna Yala at 7:00AM and arrive to Panama City at 8:00AM. From there you are going to take a connection flight to David, the capital of Panama, in the afternoon.

Today you will tour Panama City in between the flights, lead by a professional city guide! Panama City is rapidly changing, and you will get to know the colonial Panama, "Panama Viejo", the old Panama, "Casco Viejo", and the modern Panama City. You will visit historic buildings such as San Jose Church, the National Theater, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Old Slave Market, and Old Spanish prisons. You end our tour at the Amador Causeway, where three islands were united with the mainland by using materials that had been removed when the Panama Canal during its excavation. This is where you can eat lunch at one of several gourmet restaurants and watch ships leaving the Canal.
After that we transfer you back to the airport to catch the afternoon flight to David.

Upon your arrival in David we transfer you to Boquete, a small and charming mountain village tucked away on the eastern slopes of the Baru Volcano. This part of Panama is completely different both in culture and climate: you will feel like you are visiting a different country.

- Economic Lodging Option: El Oasis Hotel (B)

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Hotel Valle Escondido,or Casa Romero (B)

 

Day 6 (Thursday): Cloud Forest Hike

After breakfast you will be visiting the Hacienda Mamecillo. The tour begins with a hike in a privately owned remote virgin cloud forest of Chiriquí High lands, surrounding the perimeter of Volcan Baru National Park. The trail goes along the Zumbona, a gorgeous creek which is a tributary of the Caldera River. With more than hundreds native species of birds, including the resplendent Quetzal, birding opportunities abound. Enjoy a picnic at the base of one of Boquete’s most exquisite waterfalls, and rejuvenate with an invigorating shower. After about 3 hours hiking in a primary forest we will come back to the farm main house to table lunch. This 3 hectareas organic farm has a bit more than one hectare of coffee plants with some unique coffee varieties such as the famous Geisha  and Yellow Catuai. During our walk you will get a close up view of a coffee plantation,  and associated  coffee beam process. The tour continues inside the main house for further explanation on how the coffee bean reach your cup. In the end you will be able to take part in a roasting process and of course taste the coffee that you just roasted. 

- Economic Lodging Option: El Oasis Hotel (B, L)

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Hotel Valle Escondido, or Casa Romero (B, L)

 

Day 7 (Friday): Chiriqui Viejo River Rafting

Today you will raft on the Chiriqui Viejo River with most rapids being Class III. The river is eminently suitable for beginners and passes through a canyon and spectacular waterfalls. The Chiriqui Viejo River is the best white water rafting river with relatively easy access. It is 128 km long and originates on Cerro Picacho, on the northwest side of Volcan Baru, the highest elevation of Panama. The trip is recommended for everyone above 12 years old with or without any prior white water rafting experience. Be ready to have fun. Depending on the water level you will raft for about three to four hours.
After that you will be transferred back to the hotel and you will have some free time in the afternoon.

- Economic Lodging Option: El Oasis Hotel (B, L)

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Hotel Valle Escondido,or Casa Romero (B, L)

 

Day 8 (Saturday): Visit a Coffee Plantation or Boquete Tree Trek

Today you have two options. You can either visit a Coffee Plantation and learn all about Panama's robust coffee crops (samples included), or you can go to the Boquete Tree Trek, which is a completely thrilling zip-line. Imagine gliding through the tops of trees high above pristine rivers, traversing a cloud forest of century-old trees and waterfalls where you may encounter fog at any time and the gentle rain called "bajareque", as well as monkeys. Fortunately you will be attached securely in a harness to an overhead line. Zip-lining is an activity where adrenaline is high but the actual risk is quite low, something that becomes obvious once you see how it is actually constructed. However, it's definitely not mandatory and if you prefer to watch and take pictures, that is certainly OK too.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to David to check in for your afternoon flight at 4:00 PM to Panama City. Once arrived in Panama City you get transferred to your hotel. In the evening you can go out for a Farewell Dinner and enjoy your last night in the City before you leave Panama or continue your journey onto other adventures.

- Economic Lodging Option: Grand International Hotel (B)

- Upgrade Lodging Option: Hotel Tantalo at Casco Antiguo, or The Bristol Hotel (B)

 

Day 9 (Sunday): Departure

Today is the day of the departure so you are transferred to the International Airport to catch your flight home or onto other adventures (B).

 

FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE ? 

All mentioned transportations, inland flights, all mentioned meals equipment for day tours such as rafts or duckies, kayaks and related gear. All mentioned activities are guided and included into the package. Our guides are trained in river and sea navigation skills, first-aid and CPR.

Lodging:

Economic Option

3 nights at Grand International Hotel in Panama City
2 nights at Ukuptupu Lodge at Guna Yala
2 nights at El Oasis Hotel in Boquete

Upgrade Option

3 nights at Hotel Tantalo at Casco Antiguo, The Bristol Hotel in Panama City
2 nights at Yandup Island Lodge at Guna Yala
2 nights at Hotel Valle Escondido, or Casa Romero

Catering:

8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners

Transfers:

All mentioned transfers within Panama as well as inland flights are included.

NOT INCLUDED: International flights, Airport tax ($ 20.00/person), personal expenses, tips, meals not specified in itinerary, extras in hotels (laundry, room service, phone calls). This trip does not include an escort guide.

WHO CAN GO ? 

This package is designed for couples or friends above 18 years. It is also suitable for families that want to explore Panama. Minors must travel with a responsible adult. In order to be able to join all activities the recommended minimum age is 12 years.
Private groups with some customization can be arranged.

WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE ALONG ? Daily items: Swimsuit, shorts for navigating, sneakers or light boots with good soles, a cap, sun-block, a light jacket or windbreaker (in case the weather turns chilly), a towel and dry set of clothes for after the day trips.

WHAT SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT ? At day tours leave objects than can be deteriorated by water or valuables like jewels, cash, credit cards, etc.

 

PRICE:

- Economic Lodging Option

Number of persons  Single Room  Double Room
2 - 3 persons   US $ 2,125.00 per person  US $ 1,940.00 per person
4 and more persons   US $ 1,805.00 per person  US $ 1,620.00 per person

 

- Upgrade Lodging Option

Number of persons  Single Room  Double Room
2 - 3 persons   US $ 3,220.00 per person  US $ 2,460.00 per person
4 and more persons   US $ 2,980.00 per person  US $ 2,220.00 per person

*3 nights at The Bristol Hotel or Hotel Tantalo or similar in Panama City, 2 nights at Yandup Island Lodge at Guna Yala, and 2 nights at Hotel Valle Escondido, or Casa Romero

**3 nights at Saba or Marbella or similar hotel in Panama City, 2 nights at Ukuptupu Lodge at Guna Yala, and 2 nights at El Oasis Hotel in Boquete

SEASON:

This package is offered all year around.

NOTES:
(1) Aventuras Panama reserves the right, at its sole criteria, to exchange program with similar activities or accommodations in case it considers it necessary.

(2) Participants should get familiar and agree with Aventuras Panama Terms and Conditions.