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Panama Nature Tour

$2,595.00

Captivating cities, spectacular nature reserves, pristine coastlines, abundant wildlife, and one big canal – Panama has it all! This is a 12 day Panama Nature Tour is ideal for nature-lovers – a resplendent quetzal on the highland trail, an unruly troupe of howler monkeys outside your cabin or a breaching whale that leaves you breathless. Adventure tourism means zipping through rainforest canopies, swimming alongside sea turtles or trekking to sublime cloud-forest vistas. One small tropical country with two long coasts makes for a pretty big playground.

A narrow, snake-shaped stretch of land that divides oceans and continents, Panama has long been one of the world’s greatest crossroads – far before the construction of its famous canal. Though its historical ties to the US have led to an exaggerated perception of the country as a de facto American colony, Spanish, African, West Indian, Chinese, Indian, European, and several of the least assimilated indigenous communities in the region have all played a role in the creation of the most sophisticated, open-minded and outward-looking society in Central America. Panama is the southernmost country in Central America, bordered to the North by Costa Rica and to the South by Colombia. The Darian gap separates these two countries which has no land crossing.

This itinerary is fully-customizable and can be tweaked to best fit your travel desires.

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HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Visiting Panama La Vieja and the Panama Canal in Panama City
  • Searching for whales, dolphins, and other sea life near Boca Chica
  • Hiking through tropical forest in search of magnificent quetzals and monkeys
  • Learning about the coffee process from seed to cup
  • Relaxing on the spectacular beaches of Boca Chica
  • Cruising on Gatun Lake looking for monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and other wildlife

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Day 1: ARRIVAL IN PANAMA CITY (-/-/-)
Welcome to Panama City, home to nearly half of the country’s 3.6 million people. Upon arrival at Tocumen International Airport you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel in Panama City.

Hotel: Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro (Standard room)

Day 2: PANAMA CITY & CANAL TOUR (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Full day City & Canal Tour – Private tour with English speaking guide.
The visit starts with Panama la Vieja first Spanish settlement, founded in 1519 and destroyed in 1671 following the attack of the infamous pirate Henry Morgan.

After Panama Viejo we shall drive to the colonial quarter, also known as “Casco Antiguo”lying at the foot of Ancon hill. This is where Panama City was rebuilt after the destruction of Panama Viejo. The Casco Antiguo’s unique colonial atmosphere.This beautiful little area has several attractions that you shouldn’t miss: the famed flat arch or Santo Domingo Church, the beautiful gold- plated altar of the San Jose Church, the Cathedral Square, the Presidential Palace and other numerous colonial churches and monuments.

After a stop for lunch, short transfer through the modern part of the city will take us to Miraflores locks. Ships must pass those imposing water elevators to navigate in and out the Panama Canal and it is a fascinating and unforgettable show to watch the steel giants going through the locks, where the biggest of them, called “Panamax”, only have 2 feet between their hull and the side of the chambers!

Panama was inhabited by several indigenous tribes prior to settlement by the Spanish in the 16th century. Panama broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada remained joined, eventually becoming the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the Panama Canal to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the total transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama by the end of the 20th century, which culminated on 31 December 1999.

Return to the hotel after the visit.
**Panama la Vieja is closed on Mondays**

Hotel: Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro (Standard room)

Day 3: GATUN LAKE (B/L/-)
Breakfast. Jungle Boat excursion – Group excursion with English speaking guide on board. The Panama Canal is a unique ecosystem. This excursion takes you on Gatun Lake to observe the local flora and fauna from a boat that will come as close as possible of the forested sides of the canal. Your day of adventure will start with a road transfer from your hotel to the town of Gamboa, the maintenance and dredging port of the canal. In Gamboa you will embark in fast launch and start navigating on Gatun Lake admiring the fascinating flora, fauna, and the ships transiting the canal.

Monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, iguanas and conspicuous birds such as anhingas, jacanas or snail kites are very frequently seen. You will witness history in the making as we pass close by work being carried out to expand the canal. Eventually our journey will take us off the beaten path to a secluded part of the Panama Canal, in the heart of Gatun Lake’s rainforest where a Jungle boathouse is anchored. There, you will enjoy a delicious Panamanian style lunch with refreshments.

After lunch you may take part in a variety of other activities like swimming, fishing, hiking or kayaking. In the afternoon transfer back to your hotel in Panama City.

Hotel: Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro (Standard room)

Day 4: TO VOLCAN (B/-/D)
Breakfast. Private transfer with Spanish-speaking driver to Albrook domestic airport. Domestic flight with Air Panama to the City of David. Duration approx 45 min.

Private transfer with Spanish-speaking driver from David to your hotel in Hotel Cerro Punta.

Meeting with your driver upon arrival in David. You will enjoy a picturesque mountain road until you reach the village of Volcan. A few Kilometers after Volcan you will take a 10 km long dirt road that will eventually lead you to Mount Totumas lodge, in the middle of a gorgeous scenery of mountain forest.

Hotel: Mount Totuma’s (Standard room)

Day 5: VOLCAN (B/L/D)
Breakfast. Day at leisure.

There are 8 self-guided marked trails ranging from 1.4 to 4.2 kms for guests to choose from ! In addition there are also guided trails to the peak of Mount Totumas as well as to remote areas in La Amistad National Park. The difficulty level of the trails vary from easy to difficult and normal good physical condition is recommended. Private guides* are available upon request for birdwatchers and for nature lovers (*extra cost).

Hotel: Mount Totuma’s (Standard room)

Day 6: TO BOQUETE (B/L/-)
Breakfast. Departure from Mount Totumas is usually after breakfast, but transfer at a different time can be easily arranged. Boquete is known for its cool, fresh climate and pristine natural surroundings. Flowers, coffee, vegetables and citrus fruits flourish in its rich soil, and the friendliness of the locals seems to rub off on everyone who passes through.

Pick up by a 4×4 vehicle that will take you to your next destination .
Hiking Los Quetzales Trail – Private full day tour with English speaking guide
This is without any doubts one of the most spectacular jungle hikes to be done in Central America. This 12 kilometre trail links the villages of Cerro Punta and Boquete, in Panama’s Western Highlands. It goes up to 2500 m of altitude shortly after departure and goes down most of the way after, through a marvelous scenery of mountain rain forest, full of bamboo trees, ferns, orchids and bromeliads. A normal good physical shape is recommended. And of course, there is always the chance of spotting the magnificent quetzal, the sacred bird of ancient Mayas and Aztecs! upon arrival at Boquete our driver will be waiting for you to take you to the hotel. Picnic style lunch is included on this day.

Hotel: Boquete Tree Trek Mountain Resort (Standard room)

Day 7: LOS MAMECILLOS COFFEE FARM (B/L/-)
Breakfast. Los Mamecillos organic coffee farm – Private tour with English speaking guide.
This day starts with a short drive to a family run farm located 1700 mts above sea level. In site we will start with a hike through a private reserve inside the forest, the first part of the trail will cross an organic coffee plantation, the Isabella coffee production plants, after that we reach a series of waterfalls, the first and biggest one is of 25 meter high, then we keep walking to the 2nd and 3rd waterfalls. Finca los Mamecillos host more than a hundred birds’ species native to the area, including the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, birding opportunities are endless around the trails. After the hike in the forest enjoy a hearty meal prepared with the freshest organic vegetables and free range meat from Los Mamecillos Farm, a delicious combination of fresh salads, fresh baked bread and grilled chicken and pork (Vegetarian meals must be ordered in advance).

After lunch we will have the interesting explanation for producing the organic products, such as coffee, vegetables and free range animals in a eco-friendly farm. You then visit the coffee plantation and finish at the main house where you will learn about the complex process of coffee production as you enjoy a nice cup. After a couple healthy snacks consisting in fresh seasonal fruits we are prepared to take you back to your hotel with the best wishes for you to remember the experience at Los Mamecillos.

Hotel: Boquete Tree Trek Mountain Resort (Standard room)

Day 8: BOQUETE – BOCA CHICA (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Private transfer with Spanish speaking driver from Boquete to Boca Chica.

Hotel: Bocas del Mar (Standard room)

Day 9: GULF OF CHIRIQUI (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Gulf of Chiriqui exploration tour – Shared group excursion with local boat driver/captain.

The tour leaves at 9:00 a.m. from the hotels deck, exploring and looking for whales all along the way (during whale season July-October). We may also meet with other fascinating species such as dolphins, sea turtles, rays, pelagic birds and
sometimes even whale sharks.

Afterwards we head to one or two of the beautiful white sand beach islands in the gulf for beach time and snorkelling before returning just at lunch time (approx. total trip duration 4 hours) Whale watching in the Gulf of Chiriqui has become one of the country’s top tourist attractions. From July to October (approx.), hundreds of humpback whales coming from Antarctica gather in the warmer equatorial waters for mating and breeding. It is a great opportunity to spot these majestic giants in their natural environment.

Hotel: Bocas del Mar (Standard room)

Day 10: BOCA CHICA (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Day at leisure.

Hotel: Bocas del Mar (Standard room)

Day 11: TO PANAMA CITY (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Private transfer with Spanish-speaking driver from Boca Chica to David.

Domestic flight with Air Panama to Albrook Airport in Panama City. This flight takes approximately 45 min.

Arrival at Albrook national airport.One of our drivers will be expecting you to take you back to your hotel in Panama City.

Hotel: Tryp Panama Centro (Standard room)

Day 12: DEPARTURE DAY (B/-/-)
Breakfast. Private transfer from your hotel in Panama City to Tocumen International Airport.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Important Info” tab_id=”1449289392103-be095264-cb20″][vc_column_text]PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever changing nature of our world, activities, hotels, and sites are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.

PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months upon return date to your home country. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveller.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Inclusion & Exclusion” tab_id=”1449208780765-5fd2d40a-5e8d”][vc_column_text]TOUR INCLUSIONS:
– Accommodation in double occupancy, in mentioned hotels or similar
– Hotel taxes
– Daily breakfast
– Additional meals as mentioned in the itinerary
– Tours as mentioned, with English speaking guides during tours
– Transportation as mentioned in the itinerary, with Spanish-speaking drivers
– Local flights as mentioned

TOUR EXCLUSIONS:

– International flights (can be booked by [email protected])
– Mandatory Travel Medical Insurance (can be booked by [email protected])
– Extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service, porterage, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
– Meals or drinks not specified in the itinerary
– Any additional/extra tours or park fees
– Personal and/or medical expenses
– Any incidentals out of pocket or medical expenses. Please ensure you carry appropriate insurance, which covers all
the activities in this itinerary, inherited risks, luggage protection and holiday cancellation.
– Late check-out or early check-in
– Departure taxes or immigration fees (to be paid at some airports or land borders)
– Costs associated with changes to your itinerary for reasons beyond our control
– Any other service not mentioned in the “included” list or the itinerary
Note: This is just a quote and suggested program. If at time of booking quoted hotels are not available, similar hotels will be
booked and price is subject to change.

*IMPORTANT NOTES:
– Though we will do our best to follow this itinerary as closely as possible, it is subject to change due to factors beyond our control
– Please note that it is the responsibility of each traveller to make sure they have the proper shots, documentation, etc.
– Passports MUST BE VALID FOR 6 MONTHS BEYOND YOUR RETURN DATE TO YOUR COUNTRY. Finisterra Travel is not responsible for improper documentation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Sample Hotels” tab_id=”1449223591510-29ce0fb2-4171″][vc_column_text]
SAMPLE HOTELS
PANAMA CITY – Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro
VOLCAN – Mount Totuma
BOQUETE – Boquete Tree Trek Mountain Resort
BOCA CHICA – Bocas del Mar

 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Pricing & Dates” tab_id=”1449223591510-29ce0fb2-4172″][vc_column_text]Date: UPON REQUEST