A friend and travel companion worked with Javier to create a tour that pieced together many of the options that Adventures Panama offers, to allow an activity-packed trip through Panama that lasted 9 days. From the moment we arrived in Panama City until the day we left, we felt well taken care of. Javier is an excellent communicator (we used What's App to keep everyone in our group of 5 included in day-to-day updates), very organized and flexible to the changes that sometimes arise with travel.
We first visited the Guna Yala region on the Caribbean side, where there was plenty of time to explore and learn about the nearby community and snorkel the beautiful coral reef, as well as ample time for napping in hammocks on the front porch of our overwater palapa-style bungalows. We enjoyed ultra-fresh seafood throughout our stay there, as the local fishermen delivered their catch daily. :)
We toured the ancient ruins of "old Panama" or Panama Viejo, as well as the "other" old Panama, the colonial section of Panama City known as Casco Antiguo - our local guide Juan was a wealth of information about Panama's history.
We also traveled to the highlands & stayed in the charming mountain town of Boquete. The cool breezes and mountain air were a welcome change from the tropical weather of the lowlands. Boquete has made a name for itself for producing high-end specialty coffee, and we were fortunate enough to spend an entire day (hands down my favorite day of the entire trip!) on a small coffee farm that also offers a hike through its gorgeous cloud forest, with a sighting of both a male and female resplendent quetzal (!), up and down hills and out to a lookout point to take in the view of nearby 11,000 foot Volcan Baru and the surrounding valley. We were surprised by an incredible gourmet lunch prepared by proprietors Rolando & Gabriella. Our afternoon wrapped up with a delicious coffee tasting.
In the highlands we also rafted river rapids, did a thrilling zipline tour through the cloud forest canopy AND because of the timing of our trip, spent a wonderful evening ringing in the new year at the Panamonte Inn. WOW.
Of course, a trip to Panama would not be complete without visiting the Panama Canal. We managed to get to see locks on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides. Fascinating! Our final full day in Panama we kayaked the Chagres River (with local guide Juan) to the point at which it meets the Caribbean Sea at Fort San Lorenzo. I was pleased that we did NOT see any crocodiles in the river during the 2 hours we spend paddling. :)
I highly recommend Adventures Panama and am so happy to have been able to travel to this part of the world.