Cultural Heritage & National Parks
10 Days / 9 Nights
$2860P/P Double Occupancy
This exciting and varied program will take you to four of the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Panama: Historical Panama City, the Caribbean Fortifications of Portobelo &San Lorenzo, the La Amistad National Park and Coiba Island. A great mixture of cultural and natural highlights will allow you to spend an unforgettable journey to Panama’s most important treasures.
Day 01 Arrival at Panama
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 the Casa Antigua, Casco Antiguo, breakfast included
Day 02 Full day Panama City & Miraflores Locks Tour (B, L)
In the morning, 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 between 09:00 and 11:00, 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. Lunch will be served in a Panamanian restaurant on the causeway. After lunch 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. Panama's historic district together with the Old Panama has been declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO in 1995 due to its importance in Colonial times. Afterwards you will be taken to Panama Viejo, the Old Panama. Panama Viejo was the first European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. This first Panama City was looted and destroyed by the notorious English buccaneer Henry Morgan in 1671 and therefore abandoned. Today there are only ruins left. Still, the tower of the ancient cathedral is standing and has become a landmark of the town. After the tour you will be taken back to your hotel. Overnight at the Casa Antigua, Casco Antiguo, breakfast included
Day 03 Portobelo & San Lorenzo (B, L)
Today you will visit the next UNESCO world heritage site: the fortifications of Portobelo and San Lorenzo. First thing in the morning you will enjoy an hour train ride along the Panama Canal to Colon on Panama's Caribbean side. From there, your English speaking guide will take you to Portobelo. In the 15th century the Spaniards transported all their Peruvian treasures through this small port to Spain. Today, Portobelo is a ruin complex set up in the middle of the tropical rain forest. Among the sites are a set of fortresses, castles, military bases as well as the ancient custom house. After lunch in a typical restaurant, you will continue to the fort of San Lorenzo. A magnificent example of the 17th and 18th century military architecture, this Panamanian fort on the Caribbean coast formed part of the defence system built by the Spanish Crown to protect transatlantic trade. Overnight at the Casa Antigua, Casco Antiguo, breakfast included
Day 04 Panama City /Cerro Punta (B, L, D)
Today you will be transferred to Panama City's domestic airport for a 50-minutes flight to David, Panama's second city. From David, you will be transferred uphill to the quaint mountain village of Cerro Punta. Cerro Punta is located at the foothills of the Baru Volcano. This alpine village is nestled in the Chiriqui highlands the land of eternal spring with a diverse combination of rainforest, lush emerald green meadows, springs, rivers, waterfalls, high mountain lakes, coffee plantations, vegetable and flower farms, dairy farms, racehorse and cattle ranches. Overnight at the Los Quetzales Lodge, Standard Room, three daily meals and non-alcoholic beverages included
Day 05 La Amistad National Park (B, L, D)
After visiting two cultural heritage sites, you will visit a natural highlight today: The La Amistad National Park. This Park is shared by Costa Rica and Panama. A unique site in Central America where Quaternary glaciers have left their mark, this park allowed the fauna and flora of North and South America to interbreed. Four different Indian tribes inhabit this property, which benefit from close co-operation between Costa Rica and Panama. Your English speaking guide will take you on a nice hike in the park. With his help you will spot many different animals: mammals, reptiles and especially birds. The afternoon is free at leisure at the lodge. Take advantage of the horses or mountain bikes included at the hotel or simply relax in the fresh air of Cerro Punta Overnight at the Quetzal Lodge, Standard Room, three daily meals and non-alcoholic beverages included
Day 06 Cerro Punta /Santa Catalina (B)
Today you will be transferred from Cerro Punta to the small coastal village of Santa Catalina. Santa Catalina is a small fishing village located on the Pacific Ocean in the province of Veraguas. It is home to black sand beaches and world class surf. But there is much more to do in Santa Catalina than just surfing. The village is the closest access point to Isla Coiba, a UNESCO world heritage site which is literally a tropical paradise, offering a plethora of wildlife to spot, jungle to explore, and sea life to dive or snorkel with. Overnight at Hotel Santa Catalina, Standard Room, breakfast included
Day 07 Coiba Island National Park (B, L, D)
Coiba National Park protects Coiba Island, 38 smaller islands and the surrounding marine areas within the Gulf of Chiriqui. Protected from the cold winds and effects of El Nino, Coiba's Pacific tropical moist forest maintains exceptionally high levels of endemism of mammals, birds and plants due to the ongoing evolution of new species. It is also the last refuge for a number of threatened animals such as the crested eagle. The property is an outstanding natural laboratory for scientific research and provides a key ecological link to the Tropical Eastern Pacific for the transit and survival of pelagic fish and marine mammals. You will visit Coiba Island on a two day sea kayaking trip. Today you depart Santa Catalina early morning by boat. You will travel around 90 minutes along the Pacific Coast to get to Isla Coiba. Then you will embark your kayaks to explore the secluded bays brimming with wildlife and the white sand beaches. Enjoy pristine snorkelling with the opportunity to see rays, sharks, turtles, puffer fish and much more marine life. In the evening you will take a short hike on the island and enjoy the silence and the sky full of stars. The accommodation is at the local park ranger station which is rather basic but offers electricity and even A/C in the evening. The meals will be prepared especially for you, as there are no facilities whatsoever on the island. Overnight at the ANAM park ranger station, three daily meals and non-alcoholic beverages included.
Day 08 Coiba Island National Park (B, L)
Your guide will prepare your breakfast before your activity of choice beach combing, hiking, snorkeling, or more kayaking. Alternatively just sit back and relax in a hammock while keeping a close eye on the resident croc named Tito. After lunch you will depart by boat for a cruise through the beautiful park islands and follow the coastline back to Santa Catalina. Overnight at Hotel Santa Catalina, Standard Room, breakfast included
Day 09 Santa Catalina /Panama City (B)
Today you will be transferred back to Panama City for a last night in the historic and lively Casco Antiguo. Enjoy a night out in the vibrant capital often compared to Miami. Overnight at the Casa Antigua, Casco Antiguo, breakfast included
Day 10 Departure (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Tocumen Airport for your international flight back home.