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Isthmian Explorer

This longer itinerary provides an in-depth understanding of various tropical ecosystems of the Isthmus of Panama. In addition to the lowland rainforest, it includes highland forests, mangroves, and the coral reefs of the Caribbean as well. You will have a broader vision of Panamanian culture by visiting different and further regions of the country.

Program Highlights:
  • Historical tour of Panama City
  • Wildlife viewing in the Rainforest
  • Rainforest boat excursion at the Panama Canal
  • Emberá rainforest people experience
  • Learn about Coffee growing
  • Visit Orchid Farm and Gardens
  • Birding in highland Coudforests
  • Snorkeling Caribbean coral reefs
  • Dolphin watching
Post-Trip Panama Canal Transit Available. See details below.

Day 1: Arrive in Panama City, Panama

Upon your arrival at the Tocumen International Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel in Panama City.

Day 2: Metropolitan Nature Park / Panama City Tour

After breakfast this morning, we will visit nearby Metropolitan Nature Park. This is perhaps the only rainforest within a major capital city in Latin America. Despite its proximity to cosmopolitan Panama City, it boasts a great variety of fauna, especially birds. In the afternoon you will enjoy a historical tour of the French Quarter and Old Panama City, as your guide narrates the importance of these sites in a global context.

Day 3: Hike along the Rainforests of Pipeline Road

Today you will have the opportunity to hike along the world famous Pipeline Road at the Soberanía National Park. With just over 48,287 acres, this park contains an outstanding biodiversity. In addition to the many birds, your naturalist guide will point out a great assortment of mammals, butterflies, as well as tropical plants

Day 4: Panama Canal Rainforest boat excursion

In the morning we will board our boat for an aquatic sightseeing tour of the rainforests adjacent to the Panama Canal. Along the way we will not only see different vessels transiting the waterway, but a variety of fauna, including chances to see howler, capuchin, and tamarin monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, turtles, and even the elusive capybara.

Day 5: People of the Rainforest: the Emberá

Today, we will travel outside Panama City for a journey back in time. We will spend the day with the Embera natives living in the rainforest. With over 320,000 acres the Chagres National Park is the largest protected area in the Panama Canal Watershed. Even though they are found close to Panama City, the Embera retain most of their ancestral traditions. We will learn about the local culture as our host answers all your questions. In addition, you will have an opportunity to buy some hand crafts created by the Embera, including wood and nut carvings, as well as gorgeous baskets with their bright colors.

Days 6, 7, and 8: Highland Cloudforests

You will understand why Panama contains such a high biodiversity, as the landscape changes so dramatically after our short 200-mile flight to the Chiriqui Province. We will drive to the mountains to visit local flower gardens, orchid nursery, walk through the center of town to acquire a feel for the local cultural diversity, and will visit a local coffee company. There you will learn first hand about the coffee growing process, from planting, harvesting, the selection, all the way to the final product at grocery stores and Coffee Shops.

In addition, we will have the opportunity to hike through cloudforests at the Baru Volcano National Park and La Amistad International Park with their moss-covered, epiphyte laden trees. Because of their worldwide importance in preserving unique elements of the flora and fauna, the UNESCO has declared them a Biosphere Reserve. One of the most charismatic denizens of this enchanted forest is the Resplendent Quetzal, considered to be the most beautiful bird in the World.

Days 9 to 11: Snorkel the Caribbean waters of Bocas del Toro

Following our visit to the cool mountains we will travel across the Isthmus to enjoy the turquoise blue-waters and the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean. After our snorkeling briefing we will begin exploring the coral reefs around the Cays in search of brightly colored fishes, anemones, sea turtles, and so on. In addition to snorkeling we will have the opportunity to go on a Dolphin Watching trip in search of those intelligent Cetaceans; as well as to search for different varieties of the bright Red Poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in the islands. Or if you prefer, you can just relax at our lodge or rest at the beach

Day 12: Departure

In the morning you will be transferred to the Tocumen International Airport for your flight back home, or take a post-trip Panama Canal Transit. See details below.

Land Cost

Isthmian Explorer (12 days/ 11nights): USD$1,965 per person from Panama City, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: USD$395

Does not Include

International airfare to Panama City, Panama, tourist card (USD$5), Airport departure tax (USD$20), alcoholic drinks, travel insurance, gratuities, and expenses of a personal nature (laundry, mini-bar, phone calls, medication, etc.).

Dates

This program is available throughout the year upon request.

Panama Canal Transit Extension (2days/1night)

Day A: Arrival

Arrive in Panama City, transfer to your hotel. No meals

Day B: Panama Canal Transit

Board a medium-sized passenger vessel and learn first-hand about the operation of the Panama Canal as your specialized guide explains all the inner-workings of this Engineering Wonder of the World. Depending on the date you will pass through two sets of locks (Partial Transit), or will enjoy an Ocean-to-Ocean journey. Breakfast-Lunch provided, Dinner on your own.

Land Cost

Full Transit USD$295 per person from Panama City, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: USD$70 Partial Transit USD$245 per person from Panama City, based on double occupancy. Single Supplement: USD$70

Includes

Lodging in comfortable hotel, meals as specified, all local terrestrial, aquatic and air transportation within Panama, transfers, entrance fees to Panama Canal Transit, local taxes, bilingual guide.

Does not Include

International airfare to Panama City, Panama, tourist card (USD$5), Airport departure tax (USD$20), alcoholic drinks, travel insurance, gratuities, and expenses of a personal nature (laundry, mini-bar, phone calls, medication, etc.).