The country of Panama boasts exotic tropical rainforests, cool gorgeous mountain refuges, Caribbean beaches, many Indian cultures, a pretty Miami-style capital city, historic venues (Columbus and Balboa both came to Panama), adventure, and one of the world’s engineering marvels: The Panama Canal. Panama is one of the best places in the world for ecotourism today, positioned as a narrow land bridge connecting two continents and several diverse and pristine rainforest preserves. It has a wide selection of beaches, with a long twisting coast and hundreds of islands on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
There are many good reasons to visit Panama. The country is safe, with a first-world (not third-world) infrastructure of roads, medical care, communications, and business services. It is tourist friendly, with English spoken as a second language. It is just a short plane ride away, with several major U.S. cities offering direct daily flights. Discover the best of what Panama has to offer! During this incredible adventure you’ll explore the beautiful, white sand beaches of Bocas del Toro, explore the rainforest jungles, the vibrant capital city, pirate towns, colonial architecture, and the greatest engineering tribute to man — the Panama Canal.
Arrange your international flight to leave your home city sometime today, arriving in Panama City, Panama by late afternoon today. (Search for flights using the airport code: PTY). After collecting your luggage and going through customs, exit the customs area through the right side doors. A driver will meet you there and transfer you from the airport to our city center hotel. Toto Tours hosts a Welcome Dinner this evening. (Welcome Dinner)
During the half-day morning tour we will visit the ruins of Old Panama, climb up the Cathedral tower, visit the Old Panama Museum and then continue to Casco Antiguo (the old city compound), which dates from the late 1600’s. Casco Antiguo is home to monuments to Ferdinand de Lesseps and other Frenchmen instrumental in the ill-fated attempt of the French to construct a canal through Panama. Next we visit the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal to marvel at the workings of this feat of human engineering. In the afternoon, we travel to the town of Balboa, formerly part of the Panama Canal Zone. Upon returning to our hotel in Panama City, the evening is free. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Crossing the country along the Panama Canal by train, you will get from the Pacific Ocean to the town of Colon on the Caribbean Sea in just one hour. The huge panoramic train windows offer breathtaking views as you weave in and out of lush tropical rainforest along the Panama Canal. Upon your arrival in Colon, you will be picked up by your driver for a short road trip (about 1 hour) along the Caribbean coast to charming Portobelo, a sleepy little town now but once one of the most important ports in the Caribbean Sea! After touring the ruins of the colonial port, we board a boat bound for a nice beach, where we will have time to sunbathe, swim or snorkel over coral reefs. We return to Panama City at night. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Today we take a short ferry ride over the Panama Canal in the Colon province and make our way to Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on cliffs overlooking endless rainforest and abandoned coast lines. Enjoy the rich history and extensive panorama of the fort and hike through the rainforest within San Lorenzo National Park, watching out for monkeys, Two and Three-toed sloths, coatimundis, toucans and other wildlife species. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we visit the new Agua Clara Locks, part of the massive Panama Canal Expansion. The Visitor Center was built in an ecologically conscious manner, taking advantage of its natural surroundings, allowing its visitors to have an amazing panoramic view of the Canal while also being in the middle of nature. Walk along an ecological trail close to the Center and identify the different species the Panama Canal Rescue Team has relocated within the trail. Afterwards you will return to Panama City. (Breakfast / Lunch)
A morning flight takes us to the city of David located in the Chiriqui Province. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in the charming highland-village of Boquete. In the afternoon, we embark upon the Highland Skywalk, a 3½-mile circuit of bridges taking you through the treetops of the cloud forest. You will be able to see exotic bird species and other animals native to the area. Admire the extensive panoramic views of the surrounding scenery as your guide interprets the ecosystem and its wildlife inhabitants around you. The evening is free at our hotel. (Breakfast)
Today we will hike part of the famous Los Quetzales trail, which is said to be one of the most scenic trails in Central America. You will depart from your hotel in Boquete in the early morning to reach the ranger station at the Baru National Park, where we start our hike. Walking through breathtaking landscapes varying at different altitudes, you will have the opportunity to spot a variety of trees, plants and bird species, including the Quetzal and Magpie Gorgiplateada, amongst many others. (Breakfast / Lunch)
In the morning after breakfast you will get on a scenic road trip from the highlands to the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Crossing the continental divide, you will see how the landscape changes at different altitudes. Upon your arrival to Almirante, you will go on a boat transfer to Isla Colon and then a taxi transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the beach or explore the island. (All Meals)
The picturesque tropical archipelago consists of white-sand islands covered by rainforest and surrounded by coral reefs. Spend your days at your leisure, relaxing or exploring the islands and their marine surroundings. (All Meals)
Enjoy the morning at your leisure, before being transferred by boat to the airport of Bocas del Toro on the main island after lunch. Our domestic flight taking us back to Panama City is just a short hope of approximately 45 minutes. Upon arrival we transfer to your hotel in Panama City. Our Farewell dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant in Casco Viejo. (All Meals)
The tour officially ends after breakfast this morning. You can plan your outbound flight for any convenient time today. If you wish to extend your stay in Panama City, please let us know on your reservation form so that we can keep your room available for another night. (Breakfast)