Panama Canal and Pacific Beaches

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Price: Customized Vacation Package: Call for Pricing

9 Days / 8 Nights (Tour normally runs from Friday to Saturday)

Explore the historic Panama Canal, dubbed the 8th wonder of the world, with a Partial Canal Transit. Discover historical Portobelo, the Gatun Locks, and a momentous train passage along the Panama Canal. Then relax by the sea at one of Panama’s very best all-inclusive Pacific Beach Resorts where you can swim, snorkel, take a horseback ride on the beach, or enjoy a cold drink by the pool. Complete your trip of a lifetime to Panama by spending two nights in the rainforest where your last days in paradise will include a visit to Monkey Island and an exciting trip through the lush canopy on the aerial tram where you will have bird’s eye view of the Panama Canal.

Day 1

Arrive in Panama

Upon arrival at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, you will be met by a tour representative and transferred to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

Night at Gamboa Rainforest Resort – Deluxe River View Room with Balcony and Hammock

Day 2

Gamboa Combo Package: Gatun Lake Boat Expedition, Aerial Tram and Ecological Exhibitions Tour

Today you will experience a partial transit of the Panama Canal. Drive to Gamboa where you will begin the journey heading south on Gatun Lake. At this point the ship will be sailing at 26m (85 feet) above sea level. Shortly after departure, the ship will enter Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal. The 13.7Km (8.5 Miles) long portion of the Continental Divide was carved through rock and shale at the beginning of the last century when the canal began operating (1914).

Panama is currently undertaking the monumental task of expanding the Panama Canal. The US$5.25 billion grand-scale project is constructing larger locks and deepening the channel to accommodate post-Panamax ships, the largest of all cargo ships that now have to bypass this waterway. The project is estimated to be completed by 2015. You will have the opportunity to look at the work in progress on this extraordinary engineering venture.

Night at Gamboa Rainforest Resort – Deluxe River View Room with Balcony and Hammock

Day 3

Day Trip to Anton Valley with Canopy Adventure Zip Line Tour

Just a two hour drive through the rural villages and rolling green hills west of Panama City is the picturesque town of El Valle, nestled in the crater of a giant extinct volcano. To enter the crater, we will pass over its edge with spectacular views over this fertile, mountainous area. It is a tranquil town, surrounded by lush forests and jagged peaks with sparkling creeks adding further to the beauty of the valley. Situated at 1000m above sea level, El Valle enjoys a fresh and cool climate and is known as the land of eternal spring.

We will visit beautiful waterfalls framed by dense jungle in Chorro El Macho, marvel at the abundance of native tropical animals, birds and flora at the Níspero Botanical Gardens & Zoo and try to solve the riddle of the pre-Columbian petroglyphs at La Piedra Pintada, which to this date no archeologist has been able to explain.

Today may very well be the highlight of your Panama trip as you soar high above the ground through the rainforest. You will glide through the treetops above the pristine river and famous Chorro el Macho waterfall during your Canopy Adventure Zip Line Tour.

The Chorro Macho Trail is an easy, short loop across several bridges and through some spectacular mature rainforest. The beautiful and impressive Chorro Macho waterfall is a major attraction on this trail, so don’t forget your camera! This trail also departs from the entrance to the Canopy Adventure, but diverges to the right after the first suspension bridge. It quickly heads away from the stream and begins winding up the hill toward the first platform for the adventure, 0.84 kilometer (0.5 mile) away. You would enjoy a total of 4 platforms during the tour.

After the Canopy Tour, enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant, and last, but by no means least, a visit to the famed Sunday handicraft market to which the Indigenous artisans bring their wares.

Night at Los Mandarinos Resort and Spa – Deluxe Room

Day 4

Transfer to All-Inclusive Pacific Beach Resort

This morning we depart on our scenic drive across the Bridge of Americas and the entrance to the Panama Canal heading west along the Panamerican Highway toward the Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort.  Lunch will be available and after checking in you will have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the amenities of the resort.

Night at Sheraton Bijao All-Inclusive Beach Resort – Deluxe Ocean View Room

Day 5

Day at Leisure to Enjoy the Beach

Day at leisure to enjoy the amenities of the beach resort

Night at Sheraton Bijao All-Inclusive Beach Resort – Deluxe Ocean View Room

Day 6

Half Day Panama City and Miraflores Locks Visitors Center Tour

Panama City is a vibrant, cosmopolitan and beautiful city, Capital of the Republic of Panama, and located at the Pacific side of the American Continent. Built in 1519 by Pedro Arias Davila, a Spanish Governor, it has been considered as one of the most important cities of the Americas.  During this tour, participants will have the opportunity to visit the most interesting places of the city, like:

Casco Antiguo: The oldest sector of modern Panama City, founded in 1673, it is known as the Casco Viejo. This beautiful little area has several attractions that travelers shouldn’t miss and can easily cover in a walking tour of a few hours. A monument to the French entrepreneurs who began the Panama Canal stands at the bayside end of the Casco Viejo. There is also an adjacent art museum in the converted strong house, known as Las Bovedas, once used for storing gold. Other points of interest are the famed flat arch or Santo Domingo Church, the beautiful gold- plated altar of the San Jose Church, the Panama Canal Museum, the National Theater, the National Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and other numerous colonial churches and monuments.

Participants will have the opportunity to do a walking tour at the Casco Viejo section, walking by monuments such as the Plaza Bolivar, the San Francisco de Asis Church, Bolivar Palace and the National Theater; “Las Bovedas Promenade”, with one of the most spectacular views of Panama City.

Mirafloress Locks/ Panama Canal: This classic experience brings you to the very best that Panama has to offer: The Panama Canal. Participants will be able to witness the magnificent Miraflores Locks and most probably, its operation. An expert canal guide will take us back in time to be part of it. What a wonderful way to experience this magnificent architectural masterpiece and to have a breathtaking view of the 8th wonder of the World. This tour will also include a visit to the Miraflores Locks Exhibits.

As part of this wonderful tour, participants will visit the “Causeway”, a group of three islands linked to main land by the breakwaters of the Panama Canal. The US Army used this area for the defense of the Panama Canal, due of strategic location. Today the Causeway has restaurants offering international fine cuisine, great bars, shopping and the new Flamenco Cruise Terminal.

Artisan Shopping: Panama boasts 7 indigenous tribes and all of their beautiful, handcrafted treasures. Shop for handmade baskets, wood carvings from the precious coco bolo wood, unique jewelry, treasured mola appliqué materials sewn by the Kuna Yala Indians of the San Blas islands, rainforest styled gifts and a plethora of Panama Canal memorabilia.

Night at Country Inn and Suites Amador – Standard Canal View Room

Day 7

Chagres River Adventure and Visit to Embera Indigenous Community

This trip is truly paradise found in its purest form! The enchanting journey takes us deep into the dense jungles of Chagres where the Emberá Indians have lived for centuries. Our adventure begins with a one-hour ride up river in dugout canoes, the Emberá traditional, hand carved boats.

Upon arrival at the village you will be taken back in time as you are immersed in the ancient Embera cultural dances and music that have not changed much since Columbus arrived in the 1500´s. The Indians will invite visitors to explore the area’s abundant variety of birds and wildlife during a trek that takes you through the untouched jungle and past sparkling waterfalls.

During your visit, the Emberas will give you a glimpse into their mystical rituals and amazing knowledge of medicinal plants and other natural remedies. The Embera women are known as one of the world’s finest basket makers, and you will be able to watch them create these beautiful objects made out of palm leaves and dyed with natural dyes. You can also have your body painted with the natural fruit dye called Jagua, used by the Indians for body decorations as well as for its health-giving properties. Before returning back to civilization, the Indians will offer us a traditional meal of fresh fish and plantains and you will have an opportunity to purchase some of their beautiful handicrafts.

Night at Country Inn and Suites Amador – Standard Canal View Room

Day 8

Panama Canal Partial Transit Tour

The tour starts at the Flamenco Resort and Marina on Amador Causeway at approximately 9:30 a.m. Passengers board motor coaches for a 45 minute ride to the town of Gamboa where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. Once in Gamboa, passengers board the vessel to start the water portion of the tour. We enter the Canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the Canal. The Gaillard Cut (also known as Culebra Cut because its curves resemble those of a snake) is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide.  This section of the Canal is rich in history and geological significance. We will then travel the Cut’s 13.7 kilometers on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is so susceptible to landslides. In this area you will also be able to observe the work in process for the Panama Canal expansion project.

Before reaching the Pedro Miguel Locks at the southern end of the Cut, you will be able to view the new Centennial Bridge which crosses over the Canal. Next, you will enter the Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, and here the vessel is lowered 9 meters in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks, the latter being the final set of locks before reaching the Pacific Ocean. At Miraflores Locks, the vessel is lowered 18 meters in two distinct steps.

Once in the Pacific Ocean the vessel will sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina where passengers disembark. On the way to Flamenco, you will pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and later, you will be able to admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City’s spectacular skyline.

Night at Country Inn and Suites Amador – Standard Canal View Room

Day 9

Depart Panama

Today you will be picked up in the lobby of the hotel about 2.5 hours prior to your scheduled departure flight to be transferred to Tocumen International Airport.

Departure day. (B)

 

This is a private tour so it can be customized to be longer with add-ons to visit the Kuna Yala and San Blas islands or the archipelago of Bocas del Toro.

Contact Us to Reserve this Tour!

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