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About your trip
This package will take you through the best-loved highlights of Panama with a tasting menu of its most exciting landscapes and cultures. You’ll find yourself easily transported through drastically changing scenery, from the urban metropolitan areas to carefully conserved rainforests, from a highland cloud forest where looming volcanoes and coffee plantations coexist, and finally to the coast with its islands, mangroves and long stretches of stunning beaches.
Get a panoramic view of Panama City from the edge of Old Town’s historical quarters
Witness the lifting and lowering of massive ships in the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal
Rise above the rainforest on a 130-foot observation tower in Soberania National Park
Have a cross-cultural encounter with the tribal people of the Embera Quera community
Navigate the Panama Canal on a private boat to Gatun Lake, surrounded by tropical wildlife
Fly through highland cloud forest treetops in a canopy-level zip line adventure
Seek the elusive resplendent quetzal and other exotic birds in Finca Lerida’s private reserve
Follow the footsteps of pre-Columbian Indians hiking through primary cloud forest
Explore the Gulf of Chiriqui National Park by boat, on foot, by kayak and by snorkel
Toast the sunset over the Pacific Ocean aboard a sundown boat ride
- Comprehensive pre-departure planning packet and expert travel advice.
- All in-country transfers as scheduled (transfers on different days are additional). Ground transportation in
comfortable private vehicles with professional drivers.
- Local and return flight reconfirmation, in-country airport check-in and luggage assistance.
- All accommodations in first-class (4 star) hotels as listed (or at similar hotels) on a shared basis with private
bath. Advanced bookings are recommended if you plan to customized the itinerary and arrive early or extend your
stay Double rooms (with king/queen bed) for couples and/or Triple/Quadruple rooms for families can be requested
in advance, but cannot be guaranteed, as most hotels offer very few rooms with Triple/Quadruple beds. Also very
few connecting or adjacent rooms are available at certain hotels.
- All meals indicated on the itinerary (B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner). Vegetarian diets accommodated on
request (advance notification required). For other diets, consult your Southwind travel specialist before making a
- All guided tours (as listed) conducted on a private basis (except the aerial tram, the nature hike at Finca Lerida,
the zip line adventure and the Bocas Del Mar boat excursions when other hotel guests may join, but the activities
will be privately escorted).
- An experienced English-speaking guide/escort will lead the entire trip (Day 01-08). An assistant guide is
provided for groups with 9 or more participants.
- Applicable entrance fees.
- Single Supplement provides single room accommodations in all hotels. Due to the limited number of rooms at the
small boutique hotels, there is a maximum of 2 singles allowed per group. If you require single accommodations,
making reservations well in advance is recommended.
DAY 01 (SAT): USA / PANAMA CITY
Travelers arriving this afternoon to Panama City, the country’s capital on the Pacific coast, are met at the Tocumen International Airport by a Southwind representative and transferred to the historical American Trade Hotel, located at “Casco Viejo” (Old Town) in a beautifully restored Spanish colonial building. Meals are on your own.
DAY 02 (SUN): PANAMA CITY / GAMBOA RESORT
How do huge cargo vessels pass through the Panama Canal? Start the day by unlocking the secrets of canal at the Miraflores Locks. You’ll see the rising and dropping of the ships as they make their way between the only passage of water joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Then, amble through the Old Town on foot, taking in the bright colors and architectural mixtures of Panama’s many heritages – Spanish, French, Italian, and American. Old Town’s charming churches, plazas, palaces and promenades have been spruced up to their original glory by a recent restoration project, which gained the district lofty status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From a vantage point on top of Old Town’s wall, look out over the Pacific Ocean and see the modern skyline of downtown Panama City. Enjoy a delicious lunch at nearby Casa Antigua or Las Clementinas Restaurants. Before heading into the rainforest, we’ll have one more stop in the city – the fascinating Biodiversity Museum. Here, world-famous North American architect Frank Gehry created his only work in Latin America. The building and its eight permanent exhibition galleries are a narrative, explaining Panama’s natural history as an isthmus with vast biodiversity. From here, depart on the one-hour drive to Gamboa Rainforest Resort, a sanctuary deep in the heart of the rainforest. (B,L)
DAY 03 (MON): SOBERANIA NATIONAL PARK / EMBERA VILLAGE
Tropical wildlife viewing and a deep village encounter await us today in Soberania National Park. You’ll find yourself perched on a 130-foot-tall observation tower, amidst the treetops, binoculars in focus. With a bit of luck, you’ll see the morning flight of the keel-billed toucan or a black hawk-eagle and glimpse the elusive mantled howler monkeys. A visit to the Discovery Center and a nature hike along the surrounding trails will round out the morning rainforest excursion. See how many of the National Park’s 525 species of birds and 105 species of mammals will you come across. After a buffet lunch back at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, you’ll find yourself gliding along the Gatun River in a dugout canoe to meet our welcoming indigenous hosts from the Embera Quera community. Cultures mingle here as you learn about their customs and beliefs, sample the traditional body painting, witness their music and dance, and admire their handmade crafts such as masks, vases, baskets and carvings. Here, on the shores of the Gatun Lake, the Embera people live closely attuned to nature – lives very different from our own. Return to Gamboa Rainforest Resort for an evening of relaxation amidst the sound of birdsong and views of the sun setting on the Chagres River. (B,L)
DAY 04 (TUE): PANAMA CANAL / BOQUETE
Today we’ll meet again with the Panama Canal – this time in the heart of the rainforest. On a private expedition boat trip to Gatun Lake, we’ll bypass huge tankers and cargo ships, all while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle. If you keep your eyes open, you may spot Howler monkeys, White-face Capuchin monkeys, and maybe even a sloth swinging lazily in the branches. In the water, look for caiman and turtles swimming along oblivious to the river traffic. Before a satisfying lunch at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, we’ll have one more visit to the forest’s canopy aboard an aerial tram! The tram ascends 280 feet above ground, covering half a mile and culminating at the top of a hill where an observation tower awaits. Ramping up another 100 feet to the top of the tower, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the Chagres River, the only river in the world that flows into two oceans. The neon colors of Panama’s tropical forest jump out from below. A short drive to the Albrook National Airport and a 35 minute flight to David (capital of the Chiriqui province in western Panama) bring us to Boquete. This is the country’s fertile “breadbasket”, a highland area of spectacular volcanoes that provides fertile farmlands, lush cloud forests, and cooler fresh air compared to the rainforest and the coast. Transfer by van to the eastern side of the dormant Baru Volcano (the tallest mountain in Panama, at 11,398’ high), reaching the quaint town of Boquete with its coffee plantations and extraordinary cloud forest ecosystem. Check in to Finca Lerida, just outside town. Finca Lerida is an ecolodge on a private nature reserve and coffee plantation, located at an altitude ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 feet. It is a great place for spotting Quetzals and other colorful exotic birds. Dinner is on your own this evening. (B,L)
DAY 05 (WED): BOQUETE
Get ready for treetop thrills this morning at the Tree Trek zip line! This zip line park gives you a safe, close-up, aerial view of the highland forest, bordering La Amistad National Park and Baru Volcano, from fourteen different canopy platforms spanning 1.8 miles in length. You’ll glide along the cables through the most diverse part of the cloud forest ecosystem – the canopy – where most of the birds, insects and mammals dwell. A bistro-style lunch is served in a mountain restaurant’s outdoor terrace beside a garden overlooking the Palo Alto River. Afterwards, a waterfall hike through the Falling Waters Nature Reserve awaits. This remarkable trail passes through virgin cloud forest, retracing the steps of pre-Columbian Indians who panned for gold in these waters. You’ll be hiking alongside Quebrada La Mina, a stream of clear waters that feeds the Rio Caldera. Among the series of waterfalls, you can even explore an underground cave and bathe yourself in the mists of the cascades. Return to Finca Lerida for the evening and to enjoy its fine Mediterranean and local cuisine at La Brulerie restaurant. (B,L)
DAY 06 (THU): FINCA LERIDA / PACIFIC COAST
Join other guests at Finca Lerida early this morning for a guided birdwatching and nature hike through the 900-acre estate bordering Amistad National Park, a natural reserve protected both by Panama and Costa Rica. It has been declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Look for the Resplendent quetzal perched in the Aguacatillo tree where it eats its favorite fruit. It is thanks to Finca Lerida’s conservation efforts that Quetzals and so many other rare birds (up to 250 species in this area) can still be appreciated. The nature trails pass through primary and secondary forests and also by the coffee fields, each in a slightly different microclimate, which adds variety to the kinds of beans cultivated. After a pleasant lunch at Finca Lerida, we’ll head out to the next portion of the trip – the coast! But first, we’ll take in a ‘bean to cup’ coffee experience at Finca La Milagrosa. At this coffee plantation, we’ll zoom in even closer on the coffee production process – from cultivation, harvest, humidity, and drying to roasting, grinding, and of course tasting! You will train your tongue on difference between Arabica and Robusta, the subtleties of Italian and French roast, and learn the traditional and artisanal aspects that make this coffee a 100% organic specialty product. After a 2-hour scenic drive this afternoon, smell the marine scent in the air as we approach Boca Chica, a small fishing village along Panama’s central Pacific Coast. This village, still mostly local and un-trodden by tourists, is uniquely positioned as the gateway to both Gulf of Chiriquí National Park and the neighboring island of Boca Brava. Check into the Bocas Del Mar Hotel, where you’re free to explore the seaside atmosphere and find a dining option – perhaps delicious fresh fish or lobster at the resort restaurant. (B,L)
DAY 07 (FRI): GULF OF CHIRIQUI NATIONAL PARK
This morning, join other Bocas Del Mar guests for a special Island Discovery boat excursion. You’ll head out into the stunning Gulf of Chiriqui Marine National Park with your local captain to the nearby islands. The national park, covering 60 square miles of ocean and islands, is known for its green iguana lizards, humpback whales, dolphins, manta rays, several species of turtles, stingrays, monkeys, and hundreds of types of exotic birds and tropical fish. Observe the marine life with the breeze in your hair and feel the warm tropical sunshine and sand between your toes on pristine white beaches. The boat will make one or two stops for snorkeling and beach relaxation at Isla Bolaños, Isla Paridas or Isla Gámez. Return to Bocas Del Mar on time for lunch overlooking the sea. Afterwards you’ll have a few hours at leisure on your own to soak up sun on the beach or by the hotel’s beautiful infinity pools. Then, celebrate the sunset today aboard the hotel’s own boat. Head out late afternoon for the Sundown Mangrove excursion and cruise along the serene waterways looking for wildlife and surrounded by amazing river forest vegetation. The environment here is totally different from this morning’s excursion, inspiring wonder at such diversity in nearby landscapes. Toast the sunset as the boat navigates the Pacific Ocean just in time to watch the sun release a smattering of color as it disappears behind the water. Spend another pleasant night at the Bocas Del Mar Hotel with dinner on your own at the resort or to explore nearby Boca Chica (B,L)
DAY 08 (SAT): PACIFIC COAST / PANAMA CITY
As a final journey on the water from Bocas Del Mar, we’ll take a kayaking tour inshore to the calm, tropical waters surrounding Boca Chica. On this private guided excursion, enjoy unique access to local beaches and move at your own pace. You can choose between a single or a double kayak or even a pedal boat for exploration along the coast and into the thick of the mangroves. Instruction will be provided on paddling technique, self-rescue, navigation, packing and other elements of expedition sea kayaking. Cover about 4 to 6 miles, taking time to snorkel, relax, and walk along the beaches. Return to the hotel for a delightful seaside lunch, then transfer one hour by vehicle to David airport for a short flight back to Panama City. Meet and transfer to the elegant and central Bristol Panama for the night. Experience the vibrant city life with a final dinner on your own this evening to try the hotel’s Salsipuedes restaurant or one of the fine restaurants nearby. (B,L)
DAY 09 (SUN): PANAMA CITY / USA
After an early breakfast, transfer to the Tocumen International Airport to board your international flight home. Arrive in the USA this afternoon and make onward connections home. (B)
The Land Cost does not include any flights. Round-trip international air from US gateways (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta) is approximately $500-$900 Panama Tropical Discovery 6 per person. Airlines offering round-trip service arriving to Panama City airport include American, United, Delta and COPA. Local round-trip airfare with Air Panama between Panama City and David is approximately $200-$250 per person. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you more information about booking flights to match your land itinerary.
- Domestic nor International flights.
- Local Panama airport departure taxes ($40, generally included on the airfare)
- Eight (8) meals at about $20-35 each.
- Tours, meals or other services not listed on the itinerary.
- Early check-in or late check-out at hotels.
- Alcoholic beverages nor items of a personal nature; such as clothing, equipment, laundry and phone calls.
- Tips to the local staff.
- Expenses incurred in trip preparation such as, but not limited to, non-refundable airline tickets, travel insurance,
and additional expenses resulting from flight delays, schedule changes, cancellations, or missed connections.
US and Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter Panama as a tourist for 90 days or less. However, they must have a current valid passport and a return ticket to your country or proof of onward travel. For those traveling with a passport from another country other than the US, visit the Panama embassy website for more information.
Panama enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, with a rainy season between May and November. Average high temperatures are in the lower 80s, with average low temperatures in the mid 60s year-round. The weather varies considerably based on the region, with microclimates that depend on elevation and geography. The climate on the Pacific coast is humid and warmer, and in the highlands expect less humidity and cooler temperatures. Panama is a yearround destination, but ideal time to visit is during the “summer” dry season of December-April
Use of Information
We only collect information that consists of name, contact number, email address, residential address, and passport details. Rest assured that all these details are privately kept by World Juanderer for one-time purpose only, if and only if you avail services once, and not transferrable to any other client or business.
We reserve the right to use or disclose any information as needed to satisfy any law, regulation or legal request, to protect the integrity of the site, to fulfill your requests, or to cooperate in any legal investigation.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- YOUR HOLIDAY RESERVATION
On receipt of your deposit, subject to availability and at our discretion, World Juanderer will reserve your place on your selected holiday. A contract is only made between you and us upon your booking being confirmed and accepted by us.
Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Each package tour and its add-ons are subject to change based on the tour operators and number or participants in the tour.
- IF WE CANCEL OR CHANGE YOUR HOLIDAY
3.1 World Juanderer reserves the right to change or cancel your booking in accordance with operating requirements or circumstances beyond its control.
3.2 If an alternative is not available or acceptable, you will be entitled to either a full refund of monies paid by you to us or transfer to another World Juanderer holiday without payment of any transfer fee.
3.4 If the change or cancellation is due to force majeure (i.e. circumstances like political unrest, war or threat of war, riots, bad weather conditions etc.), we will give a full refund of any monies paid to us less reasonable expenses incurred by us in respect of your booking.
3.5 World Juanderer is not responsible for the costs of any other travel arrangements affected due to our cancellations or rescheduling of any trip departure.
- HOLIDAY DETAILS AND CONDITIONS
4.1 With our personal experience in traveling and joining these tour packages, World Juanderer will do our best, at our discretion, to select accommodation, sightseeing trips, and transportation to give you good value for money.
4.2 World Juanderer constantly strives to improve trip itineraries and features. If such improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. World Juanderer is not responsible for any other travel arrangements affected due to our cancellations.
5.1 We will be entitled to keep for each account any interest earned on such monies.
5.3 All monies paid by you to us, whether in respect of the deposit or full payment, may be disbursed by us as and when we see fit, in respect of the services to be provided and/or fees payable under your selected holiday. The payment of a deposit or any other monies in respect of your holiday shall be deemed to be an authorization to disburse thereof as aforesaid.
- BOOKING YOUR TRAVEL
1.1 In order to reserve your holiday, you must inquire and get in touch with the Travel Specialist to check the preferred travel package. World Juanderer accepts the deposit as a first installment of the holiday price only once World Juanderer has confirmed the booking in writing.
1.2 Deposit and final payment will be converted to the local currency (if payment is non-Philippines Peso) at point of booking. Conversion is based on the prevailing exchange rate at time of full/balance payment and what is released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
1.3 World Juanderer cannot guarantee special add-on requests nor will it assume any responsibility or liability if clients’ special requirements are not fulfilled.
2.1 If payment isn’t made by the due date, World Juanderer may assume that you have cancelled and World Juanderer will levy cancellation charges in accordance with clause 3 below.
2.2 Tickets and other documents will not be forwarded until we have received full payment.
2.3 In the case of Late Bookings made within 45 days of your departure from your home country, the full cost of the holiday will be payable immediately on booking and we reserve the right to provide all travel documents at the holiday departure point.