There’s much more to Panama than the famous Panama Canal. There is an abundance of wildlife and a great biodiversity unique in the world. From sandy beaches to extinct volcanos, Panama offers something for every kind of visitor.
Day 1: Arriving in Panama
We will meet you at the gate at the airport and take you to your hotel.
Burbayar is a wonderful place to experience a tropical rainforest. Dense vegetation, an abundance of wildlife including many species of fauna and mammals, and simply an amazing landscape that is the very essence of a tropical rainforest. Waterfalls, rivers and the sounds of the jungle add to the overall experience in a way that is just truly unforgettable. Burbayar has a lodge that has fully equipped bathrooms and water all year long. It gets its power from a small generator as well as solar lamps. Hammocks are all around the area so it’s a great spot to read a book and listen to the hummingbirds.
Day 3: San Blas Islands
After a good breakfast you set out to go snorkeling at an unpopulated island. This island is great for snorkeling for all levels. In the afternoon we will turn back to your host island for a picnic style lunch followed by pure relaxation. San Blas Islands are really remote and this is the main attraction. For those of you who really need to get away from it all this is the place to be.
Day 4: Panama Canal Tour
Early in the morning, just after breakfast you will board a boat which will take you to a nearby airstrip for your flight back to Panama City. We will meet you at the airport and take you to the Panama Canal. It has often been referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world”. With the Pacific ocean on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, this Canal is truly a historic benchmark in the world. Before the canal was built, ships had to travel all the way down the coast of South America and around the southern tip. The canal is made up of locks and channels and is an extraordinary feat of engineering genius.
There is an excellent viewing center at Miraflores Locks where you can really see into the Panama Canal and better understand how it works. We will then move on to Pedro Miguel Locks which are the smallest of the three locks that go to Gamboa. You will actually be taken on a fast boat ride through the canal up to Gatun Lake. We will stop in the middle of the canal to have a picnic style lunch.
Day 5: Soberania National Park
The Soberania National Park is has over 400 species of birds and is a bird watchers dream come true. Enjoy a beautiful tropical sunrise and listen to the chirping of the birds in the air. This is a major part of the Panama Canal Watershed and it is located on Pipeline road. Look out for Howler monkeys, white faced monkeys and three toed sloths. You will visit the Summit Botanical Gardens and Zoo after lunch. This Zoo is of note due to the fact that it is the worlds only Harpy Eagle avairy.
Day 6: Chagres National Park
If you would like to spot a striped cheeked woodpecker or perhaps a swallow tailed kite or a bronze tailed plumleteer then Chagres National Park is the place for you to be. You can go birding all morning long and spot an incredible amount of species. After lunch we will take you to the Embera Indian Village. These Embera Indians have preserved their way of life and still practice their traditions and customs. Enjoy the food and dance and really get away from it all.
Day 7: Portobelo and Gatun Locks
While traveling toward the Caribbean coast of Panama, on the road to Portobelo, you will see the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks, the Panama Canal and the Gaillard Cut. We will stop for a moment at the Cruces Trail. This trail has some history behind it. It was once used by the Spanish during colonial times to transport goods like gold and silver.
Next you’ll see the Madden Dam and Lake Alajuela. They serve as the reserve for the Panama Canal. Once you get to Portobelo you can visit the colonial fort of Santiago de la Gloria. Later in the afternoon you will get to visit Gatun Locks from where you can get a great view of the Caribbean ocean. You can see a line of ships as they are raised up 85 feet above sea level in the three giant steps. We will cross the locks after a couple of hours and head toward Fort San Lorenzo on the mouth of the Chagres river. The bird watching on this road is out of this world. In fact, San Lorenzo is officially recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Day 8: Departure
Make sure to be at the international airport at least two full hours in advance of your scheduled departing.
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