Tour Operator: Ancon Expeditions
Price: $2,600 per person, less for children. Plus 7% tax.
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Phone Number: (507) 269-9415.
Day 1 Arrive to Panama
On arrival to Tocumen International Airport you will be met by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama representative and transferred to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, your lodge for the next 3 nights, located along the shores of the Panama Canal.
Night at GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT (DLX Riverview room)
Day 2 Panama Jungle Boat Adventure
Early in the morning you are picked up by your Naturalist Guide and transferred to the marina, where you board a specially equipped expedition boat. The voyage takes you across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships transiting the waterway and making contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spot Green Iguana and Three-toed Sloth resting on tree branches, crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock Bass, Snail Kite and Keel-billed Toucan among other species.
The expedition boat will allow for close approximations to rainforest covered islands in Gatun Lake to search for White-faced Capuchin, Howler Monkey, Spider Monkey and the endemic Red-napped Tamarin. You will have a picnic lunch on an island with extraordinary views of the Panama Canal and the natural surroundings. Early afternoon return to Gamboa. This afternoon is to yourselves to enjoy Gamboa.
Night at GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT (BLD)
Day 3 The Chagres River & Embera People
Early in the morning you drive to El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake. The main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon, Madden Lake also supplies 40% of the water required for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here, you board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) and travel up the Chagres River to the Embera indigenous village.
The boat journey takes you through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park, which is the largest of the National Parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed. Along the Chagres River, you may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas, Neotropical Cormorant, Amazon, Ringed, and Green Kingfishers, along with Keel-billed Toucans and Ospreys flying above.
At the Embera village you will be greeted with dancing and music. You will learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature. There will be handcrafts available for sale and youwill have a chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a picnic lunch you visit the nearby waterfall where you can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Chagres River before heading back to Gamboa.
Night at GAMBOA RAINFOREST RESORT (BL)
Day 4 Gamboa - Miraflores Locks - Chiriqui Highlands
This morning you will start off with an adventurous kayaking excursion on the Chagres River and the edge of the Panama Canal where you might be able to spot some large cargo ships passing by. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing and quiet rainforest nature walk on La Chunga Trail that leads you to the beautiful shore of the Chagres River. Being packed and ready to continue your journey after your rainforest stay at Gamboa, you will eat lunch at a local restaurant and then continue to the Miraflores Locks in the Panama Canal. Here you will learn about its history and marvel at this engineering accomplishment. The canal still operates pretty much as it did when it was inaugurated in 1914 the SS Ancon steamer was the first ship to transit the Panama Canal.
Late this afternoon you catch a flight from Albrook domestic airport to David, the capital of the Chiriqui province. Chiriqui is known as “Panama’s breadbasket” and contains some of the most breathtaking highland scenery in Central America. Transfer by van to the eastern side of the dormant Baru Volcano to the quaint town of Boquete with its countryside dotted with flower, fruit and vegetable farms, coffee plantations and extraordinary cloud fores.
Night at FINCA LERIDA LODGE (BLD)
Day 5 Cloud Forest Canopy Tree Trek or River Floating Tour
This morning you will do a canopy tree trek on a zip line that that allows you to contemplate the rainforest from fourteen different canopy platforms while smoothly soaring in the heights of the cloud forest from one treetop to another. You will glide through the trees and encounter a world unknown. You will discover a fascinating perspective of wildlife that you had never appreciated. Native species of flora and fauna can be observed. You will marvel at the sight of a great variety of orchids, trees and wildflowers that are found throughout the area.
There will be an option to go on a river floating tour down the Chiriqui River for those who don’t go zip lining today. This optional tour has an additional cost and must be arranged in advance.
Night at FINCA LERIDA LODGE (BLD)
Day 6 Chiriqui Highlands - Bocas del Toro
After a good night’s rest you pack your belongings and get ready for the 4 hour drive to Bocas del Toro. You will be literally traveling from the cloudforests to the coral reefs. You will stop along the way several times to stretch your legs, play some games and enjoy the scenery. On arrival to Almirante on the Caribbean coast a boat will be waiting for you to be transferred to Isla Colon where you will spend the next two nights. This afternoon, weather permitting, you visit Swan's Cay, a rock protruding from the depths of the Caribbean Sea, which serves as rookery for Red-billed tropic birds (the only place to be found in Panama) and Brown boobies. You will enjoy beach time at Boca del Drago and search for colorful starfish. Along the coastline, you make stops at coral reefs and mangrove isles for snorkeling.
Day 7 Salt Creek Village - Bastimentos Marine National Park
You depart by boat from the Bocas Inn traversing the expanse of Bastimentos National Park, Panama’s first marine national park. You reach Salt Creek by navigating through clusters of Red Mangroves, which provide sea creatures with a protective area during their reproductive and development stages. Upon arrival you first enjoy a walk along Cayman Trail. This trail takes you through several stages of lowland forest dynamics. Here, you will look for birds such as Red-throated Ant Tanager and Golden-collared Manakin (Cerritus sub sp.).
Mammals such as Night Monkeys, White-faced Capuchins and Three-toed Sloths also live here. An older tract of rainforest has tall trees that provide life to birds such as the Three-wattled Bellbird and Green-breasted Mango. A nearby lagoon is home to Spectacled Cayman and Slider Turtle. On the ground you will look for the tiny endemic poison dart frog Oophaga pumilio. After the hike, you enjoy a visit to the indigenous community and have a chance to purchase handicrafts such as painted woodcarvings and Ngobe handbags, followed by lunch. In the afternoon, you will snorkel among mangroves and coral reefs, searching for numerous fish species, as well as dynamic and brightly colored sea fans, sponges and brittle starfish.
Night at BOCAS INN (BLD)
Day 8 Panama City
A morning flight will take you back to Panama City where the activities today include a visit the ruins of Old Panama and Casco Antiguo. After lunch at a local restaurant you will visit the Smithsonian Marine Exhibition at Culebra Point at the entrance to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Tonight you enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Night at MARRIOTT PANAMA (BLD)
Day 9 Depart Panama
Today you are picked up at the lobby of the hotel 2.5 hours prior to your scheduled departure flight and transferred to Tocumen International Airport. Fly home. (B)
Pre or post trip extensions to San Blas Island are available.
PRICE: $2,600 per person, $1,250 for children 6 -11 years, $950 for children 3-5 years. All prices are plus 7% tax.
Lodging, meals as specified in the itinerary (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner), all land, air and water transportation within Panama, all airport/hotel transfers on scheduled arrival and departure dates, private group guides' services and expenses, services of an in-bound land operator for airline re-confirmations and tour operations, park, museum and related entrance fees, snorkeling Equipment in Bocas.
International airfare, gratuities and extras in hotels (telephone calls, laundry, room service), meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, personal equipment.
More information: Panama Family Adventure