Panama City Nature & History
5 Days / 4 Nights
$860P/P Double Occupancy
Discover Panama City's Highlights-visit historical neighborhood of Casco Viejo, with its crumbling convents and cobblestones;the Panama Canal one of the world’s greatest shortcuts. The Panama Canal cuts right through the Continental Divide, linking Atlantic and Pacific. And it’s worth marveling, and you will be able to Transit it! Also visit the Gatun Lake which forms a major component of the Panama Canal;and explore UNESCO's declared Fort San Lorenzo, as magnificent example of 17th- and 18th-century military architecture, part of the defense system built by the Spanish Crown to protect transatlantic trade.
Day 01 Arrival to Panama City
Upon arrival to Panama a representative will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your city hotel for your first night in Panama. Panama City is the capital and largest city in the country. It is home to a diverse blend of cultures and an enormous historical sector in the Old City. The lively and vibrant banking district on the other hand is very modern and often compared to Miami. Panama City is a thrilling location you will surely enjoy during your visit to this gorgeous country. Overnight at Bristol Hotel deluxe room breakfast included.
Day 02 Half day Panama city Tour & Miraflores locks (B)
Your English speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a private tour to Panama City and the Miraflores Locks. You will start the tour with a 30 minutes drive to Miraflores to see the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are from 9am to 10am and from 2pm to 5pm, so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. You will enjoy the view on the Locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations of your guide. To complete the visit of the Canal you will visit the Museum and Visitor Center at Miraflores which gives you a good idea on the construction of the Canal a masterpiece of engineering. You will also learn about the history of the canal and its significance for Panama and the entire world trade as well as on the current expansion project. After the visit to the Canal you continue with your guide to the Amador Causeway, a road that connects three Islands in the Pacific Ocean and offers magnificent views on the Canal on one side and on the skyline of Panama City on the other side. The tour continues to the Casco Viejo, Panama City's colonial quarter. At the Casco Viejo you feel set back in time as you admire the lovely colonial houses, the narrow roads and the impressive churches. You will get a good idea about Panama's history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this quarter. Overnight at Bristol Hotel deluxe room breakfast included.
Day 03 Gatun Lake Tour & San Lorenzo Fort (B)
The San Lorenzo Fort is located at the entrance of the Chagres River close to Colon. It was through this river where the notorious pirate Henry Morgan arrived to the Old Panama, to take out the treasury. To get to San Lorenzo, it is necessary to cross the Gatun Locks and get into the Sherman Fort, a former military base, surrounded by a rich jungle with a wide diversity of species. It is a special place for bird watching. The Gatun Locks are a series of three lock chambers where the huge container vessels are lifted or lowered at a total of 26 meters. Each lock is 33.5 meters wide and 306 meters long and takes 8 to 15 minutes to fill with water. Overnight at Bristol Hotel deluxe room breakfast included.
Day 04 Partial Canal Transit (B, L)
After the transfer from your hotel to Flamenco Resort and Marina, the partial transit starts with a motor coach ride for 45 minute to the town of Gamboa where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. Once in Gamboa, you will aboard the cruise ship to start the water portion of the tour. You will enter the canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut (also known as Culebra Cut because its curves resemble a snake) is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide and this section of the Canal is full of history and geological value. Your boat will travel the Cut's 13.7 kilometers on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is very susceptible to landslides. In this area you will also be able to observe the work in process for the Panama Canal expansion project. Before reaching the Pedro Miguel Locks at the southern end of the Cut, you will be able to view the new Centennial Bridge which crosses over the Canal. Next, your ship will enter Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, and here the vessel is lowered 9 meters in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks, the latter being the final set of locks before reaching the Pacific Ocean. At Miraflores Locks the vessel is lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Once in the Pacific Ocean the vessel will sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina where passengers disembark. On the way to Flamenco, you will pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and later, you will be able to admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's splendorous skyline. Upon arrival at Flamenco you will be transferred back to your city hotel. Overnight at Bristol Hotel deluxe room breakfast included.
Day 05 Departure (B)
Transfer out to airport or next destination.