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Panama, The Canal & Beyond

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Panama, The Canal & Beyond
Itinerary:
  • Day 1: Arrive IN PANAMA CITY
    Bienvenidos a Panama! You are greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel, ideally located on the bay of Panama, and the bustling Cinta Costera, just steps from Calle Uruguay with its many popular shops and restaurants. At 6 p.m., join your fellow travel companions and your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception.
  • Day 2: PANAMA CANAL CRUISE & FREE TIME
    Board your vessel and cruise the Panama Canal. As you enter, cruise down from the north end of the Galliard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the Canal and witness firsthand the engineering wonder of the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks. Cruise over the Continental Divide and under the Centennial Bridge and Bridge of the Americas while enjoying a relaxed morning snack and lunch. Once in the beautiful Bay of Panama, be ready for the best views of Panama City’s modern skyline. Enjoy an orientation tour of Panama City as you make your way back to the hotel, where there is free time before dinner. This evening, experience the traditional flavors and folklore of Panama during a Highlight Dinner at a local restaurant.Classic Panamanian fare is sure to delight you along with a performance of traditional Panamanian folklore songs and dances.
  • Day 3: PANAMA CITY SIGHTSEEING / GAMBOA RAINFOREST
    Discover Panama City’s role long before the Canal put it on the map. Drive by Panama Viejo, site of the ruins of the original Panama City before it was sacked by the Pirate Henry Morgan. Wander the vibrant streets of Casco Antiguo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Panama’s Historical District. Visit a local fish market and artisan market on the way to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center and Canal Museum. Then head for the lush vegetation and tropical climate of the rainforest. Once at your resort, join a guide on a nature walk and aerial tram ride. Glide through the treetops and come face to face with the birds and animals that inhabit this mountainous rainforest canopy. Visit the Observation Tower and admire the panoramic views of the Chagres River, Panama Canal and the township of Gamboa. After a buffet dinner at the hotel, meet a Local Expert from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and learn about the projects the Smithsonian is undertaking in the area and their commitment to sustainable tourism.
  • Day 4: GAMBOA RAINFOREST SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME
    Embark on a different kind of water adventure at the edge of Chagres National Park and board dugout canoes. Enjoy a ride up river through the jungle, possibly sighting toucans, sloths or monkeys. Arriving at Embera’ Puru, you are met with a traditional greeting and will learn about the Embera Indians’ fascinating culture, lifestyle and crafts. Take a short walk through the jungle with a village elder to learn about the medicinal plants they use. Back at the village, enjoy a delicious traditional Local Specialty – Patacones (fried plantains) with fried fish or chicken. Then listen to local music and watch traditional shamanic dances. Back at the resort, the afternoon is free; relax or venture back on the Canal on Lake Gatun for an optional excursion to Monkey Island.
  • Day 5: GAMBOA RAINFOREST / DAVID / CERRO PUNTA / BOQUETE
    Fly to David and travel up the mountain slopes of the Chiriqui Province near the Costa Rican border. At Cerro Punta, take in the superb views of Volcan Baru, a dormant but prominent volcano and the tallest mountain in Panama. An exclusive You’re Personally Invited lunch awaits at a thoroughbred farm situated in Cerro Punta Valley, one of the most beautiful scenic jewels in the country. As guests of the owners, explore the farm and learn how they breed these magnificent horses in a pesticide free environment. Later, arrive at the mountain resort of Boquete in Valle Escondido. Relax and take a stroll through the grounds before dinner.
  • Day 6: BOQUETE SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME
    Visit a coffee plantation and learn how coffee, a new Local Specialty in Panama, is making a grand entrance on the world stage of gourmet coffee with several award-winning estate grown varietals. Learn about the coffee-making process and meet the Ngobe-Bugle, the indigenous people who hand pick the red coffee berries when they are perfectly ripe. Back at the resort, the rest of the day is on your own. Explore the township of Boquete or join one of the optional activities including bird-watching, white water rafting, ziplining, hiking up a volcano, or horseback riding – the choice is yours.
  • Day 7: BOQUETE / SANTIAGO / PLAYA BONITA
    Descend from the Chiriqui Highlands to the Inter-American Highway. Stop in Santiago for lunch on your own and browse for local arts and crafts. On to Aguadulce and Nata in the Cocle Province, the heart of Panama’s sugar cane industry. Stop in Nata to view the beautiful basilica, said to be the oldest church in colonial America. Arrive at your resort, nestled alongside the aquamarine waters of the Pacific Ocean. This evening, gather with your newfound friends at a Farewell Dinner.
  • Day 8: PLAYA BONITA / DEPART PANAMA CITY
    Transfer to Panama City International Airport or the hotel in Panama City for those wishing to extend their stay. (*Depending on your departure time, coffee and light food service, or a full breakfast will be available). If you like, you can also extend your stay on the beach at Playa Bonita.
Accommodation:
Tour Length Hotel's Name Address
InterContinental Miramar DLX
Panama City
Gamboa Rainforest Resort MD
Gamboa Rainforest
Valle Escondido Golf & Spa Resort F
Boquete
The Westin Playa Bonita DLX
Playa Bonita
Your Travel Value Includes:
  • Airport transfers in Panama City on Day 1 and from Playa Bonita to Panama City on Day 8
  • Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and tips for baggage handling
  • Welcome Reception with light appetizers and drinks (WR)
  • 7 full breakfasts (B); 2 lunches, including lunch aboard a Panama Canal cruise (L) and You’re Personally Invited lunch with drinks (PI); 4 dinners, including Highlight Dinner with wine and show (HD), 2 threecourse dinners (D) and Farewell Dinner with drinks (FD)
  • Services of a professional English-speaking Travel Director
  • Modern motorcoach with air conditioning and reclining seats
  • VACATIONS BONUS -Internal Air: Flight from Panama City to David and porter service at the airport
  • A BRENDAN VACATIONS BONUS -Internal Air: Flight from Panama City to David and porter service at the airport
  • Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges Headsets M for sightseeing so you can easily hear your guide’s commentary HIDDEN DELIGHT
  • A unique experience provided by your Travel Director
  • Portfolio of travel documents
  • Souvenir photo and My Journey booklet
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Unless otherwise noted; all prices listed are per person, based on double occupancy and are subject to change without notice. Additional Taxes and other fees may apply.