Search | About Us | Specials | Testimonials | Index
EcoAdventures
Panama
"Crossroads of the World"

Panama - Crossroads of the World
Panama - "Crossroads of the World"
For years Panama has been known as the "Crossroads of the World" because of the Canal, but tourism to Panama has recently expanded. The long-protected areas of the Canal Zone are now open to visitors; former canal buildings have been modernized to provide first class hotel accommodations, while limiting intrusion into these hidden, natural areas. Guided hikes through rainforests and boat trips on the canal offer new adventure. The previously unexplored highlands of northern Panama have a cooler climate and rich biodiversity. You can end your visit to Panama with a restful and relaxing stay at an all-inclusive beach resort that boasts all the modern amenities of an international hotel, just a few hours from Panama City. For the adventuresome, we recommend a visit to Bocas del Toro on the north Caribbean Coast, or an off-the-beaten-path snorkel and dive trip.

 


Panama City
3 Days/2 Nights from $325†

Package Rates Include*:
• Round-trip transfers between airport & hotel via motorcoach with airport meeting & assistance (6:00 AM - 20:00 PM)
• Airport baggage handling, two bags per person
• Panama 3-Cities Tour
• Two nights hotel accommodations including taxes & service charges
• Call 800-326-5025 for airfares from major US cities
Airfares and air taxes not included
†Rates subject to change

Itinerary

Modern Panama City
Modern Panama City

Day 1: Arrive Panama City Meeting service at the airport and transfer to the hotel of your choice.
Day 2: Panama Three Cities Tour. Panama City is actually the site of three cities: modern Panama City, Colonial Panama City, and the ruins of Old Panama. Panama City CathedralVisit some of the most important sites of Panama City starting with the ruins of Ruins in the oldest part of Panama City.Old Panama - 'Panama La Vieja,' founded in 1519, the first city and first settlement on the Pacific Ocean. Visit the capital, 'Castilla de Oro,' and center of operations for the conquest of South America. This city was built during the 16th century and was later partially destroyed by the attack of the pirate Sir Henry Morgan in 1671. You will then visit the Casco Viejo, a colonial area that represents the second Panama City, characterized by a very special architecture. Weather permitting; this tour will be a walking tour taking you through the 'Plaza de la Independencia' with its Cathedral and the 'Palacio Municipal'. Next visit San Jose Church and its Golden Altar, followed by the 'Arco Chato' and the 'Convento de Santo Domingo,' home to the Religious Artifact Museum. Head up the 'Paseo de las Bovedas' into the 'Plaza de Francia' and finish at the Plaza Bolivar, home of the national theater, San Fransisco of Asis Church and some newly remodeled homes. Last but not least, visit Modern Panama City: Its Banking Area and other important sites.
Day 3: Transfer to the airport, or extend your stay in Panama with additional destinations.

Hotel Selection Panama City
Rates Per Person
3-Day Package*
Extra Night Rates
 
Dbl
Sgl
Tpl
Dbl
Sgl
Tpl
Country Inn & Suites Amador
$325
635
249
$85
165
70
Crown Plaza
$495
985
359
$170
340
125
MarriottPanama
$255
719
299
$105
209
95
Miramar Intercontinental
$589
1170
429
$219
435
160
Bristol Hotel - JAN-APR
$575
1150
429
$210
425
160
Bristol Hotel - MAY-DEC
$609
1219
459
$229
459
175
*Rates include breakfast
Airfares and air taxes not included
†Rates subject to change

Panama City Optional Tours

Optional Tours Rates Per Person†
1 Pax
2 Pax
3 Pax
Half-Day Panama Canal Zone: Miraflores Locks (Daily)
$91
51
46
Half-Day Partial Panama Canal Transit Tour (Saturdays only)
$219
185
175
Full-Day Panama Canal Complete Transit Tour: (Specific Saturdays only)
$285
250
239
Half-Day Barro Colorado Tour (Daily)
$185
135
119
Half-Day Pipeline Nature Trail (Daily)
$340
175
119
Full-Day Las Cruces Trail with Lunch (Daily)*
$335
169
115
Full-Day Train to Colon & Portobelo Tour (Daily)*
$380
227
185
Full-Day Anton Valley Tour with Sunday Crafts Market*
$259
149
120
Full-Day Anton Valley Tour with Zipline Tour (admissions extra - Daily)
$289
195
170
Full-Day Fort Lorenzo & Gatun Locks Tour with Lunch (Daily)
$305
159
125
*Lunch is NOT included
†Rates subject to change
All tours are via private vehicle with a private driver and guide. Meals included as per the tour description.


The Canal Zone

There are several ways to visit the Panama Canal. The closest and most convenient are the Miraflores Locks right outside of Panama City. These are the tallest in the system due to the extreme tidal variation in the Pacific Ocean.

On Saturdays a tour operates that provides a partial canal transit through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks and then cruises the famous Gailliard Cut, a nine-mile excavation through Panama's backbone, to Lake Gatun. During the transit you will have the opportunity to experience and hear explanations of one of the modern wonders of the world. Arrive at Gamboa on Lake Gatun and motorcoach transfer back to Panama City.


The Miraflores Locks, the tallest in the system due to the extreme tidal variation in the Pacific Ocean.
The Miraflores Locks, the tallest in the system due to the extreme tidal variation in the Pacific Ocean.

Half-Day Panama Canal Zone: Miraflores Locks (Daily)
For those who want to experience the so-called "eighth wonder of the world," but don't have much time, this tour offers a short visit to the Miraflores Locks for observation of transiting ships and complete information at the Miraflores Visitors Center and its miniature mock-up of the Panama Canal


Half-Day Panama Canal Transit Tour (Saturday)
Gailliard Cut, Panama CanalEarly morning pick-up at your hotel and transfer to Dock 18, for a 7:30 AM departure on board one of the ships that will transit the Panama Canal starting with the Miraflores Locks (the tallest in the system due to the extreme tidal variation in the Pacific Ocean). Then you will cruise the famous Gailliard Cut, a nine-mile excavation through Panama's backbone, through to Lake Gatun. During the transit you will have the opportunity to experience and hear explanations of one of the modern wonders of the world. Arrive at Gamboa on Lake Gatun and motorcoach transfer back to Panama City, arriving Pier 19 at about 1:00 PM. Return transfer to your hotel.


Full-Day Panama Canal Transit Tour (Available only on specific Saturdays)

Panama Canal Map

Lunch is not included
Tour is via motorcoach/boat with private hotel/pier transfers

Early morning pick-up at your hotel and transfer to Dock 18, for a 7:30 am departure on board one of the ships that will transit the Panama Canal starting with the Miraflores Locks, right, (the tallest in the system due to the extreme tidal variation in the Pacific Ocean). Then you will cruise the famous Gailliard Cut, a nine-mile excavation through Panama's backbone, through to Lake Gatun. Crossing the lake you will pass the Smithsonian Institute's Barro Colorado Island with its lush, beautiful jungle scenery. During the transit you will have the opportunity to experience and hear explanations of one of the modern wonders of the world. Arrive at Cristobal Port on the Caribbean side of the canal about 3:30 pm and motorcoach transfer back to Panama City, arriving Pier 19 at about 5:30 pm. Return transfer to your hotel.



Full-Day Train & History Tour to Colon & Portobelo (Daily)

Another fun trip is the train trip to Colon, called the Train & History Tour. The Trans-Isthmian train was the first transcontinental train in the world, running parallel to the Panama Canal.Another fun trip is the train trip to Colon, called the Train & History Tour. The Trans-Isthmian train was the first transcontinental train in the world, running parallel to the Panama Canal. The train combines luxury on board with extraordinary views along the Rainforest. The train has an open car where visitors can enjoy a drink, and the passing scenery of this historic route, alfresco. Visitors travel from Panama City to Colón, from one ocean to another, in one hour, catching sight of ships in the canal and the colorful life of Panamanian towns in addition to the rainforest. Upon arrival at Colón visitors are escorted to the historic Spanish settlement of Portobelo before returning to Panama City. Portobelo introduces visitors to the adventure and intrigue of the age of pirates and conquistadors. Visitors tour the forts and newly restored customs building in addition to the local church, which houses the famous "Black Christ."


Full-Day Fort Lorenzo & Gatun Locks Tour with Lunch: Daily

Gatun Locks, Panama CanalObserve the Spanish efforts to safeguard one of their treasure routes as exemplified at Fort San Lorenzo, a stone fort built in the late 16th century. The series of successive forts that were built at this spot, a high bluff at the mouth at the Chagres River, were meant to protect the final leg of the trail known as the Camino de Cruces. This was one of the trails that the Spaniards had developed across the Panamanian isthmus to carry South American loot back to Europe. En route you'll pass through Ft. Sherman, until recently home of the U.S. military's jungle survival school. This area, now a protected tract of evergreen rainforest, is home to many bird, mammal, insect and plant species. You'll take a short walk in this tropical reserve on an old gravel road and observe and discuss some of this amazing diversity. You'll have lunch at the Hotel Melia Panama Canal, and then proceed to view Gatún Dam, the largest of the Panama Canal system. You will also take a look at the old French canal, which was started in the 1880´s, as well as the third locks excavation which was an aborted attempt by the U.S. government beginning in 1938 to build a third lane for ships to enter the canal. From here you go to the nearby Gatún Locks observation area, where you'll have an impressive view of the Caribbean Sea 87 feet below Lake Gatún, and you can see ships being lowered from lake to ocean level as well.

The careful observer can identify the crested guan and great currosow, along with the motmot. There will be a pause for lunch and a brief swim in one of the crystal clear pools of the beautiful Casaya River.

NOTE: This tour is moderately difficult with four hours of hiking over variable terrain. It is recommended for older children and adults who can handle occasionally rugged terrain. The tour lasts about six hours total.


Nature Tours from Panama City

Rainforest Aerial Tram, Gamboa Rainforest Resort, PanamaGamboa

Gamboa, 30 km. north of Panama City, is a small town on the east bank of the Panama Canal, north of the Chagres River. In the early 1930s the Panama Canal Company constructed Gamboa at the confluence of the Panama Canal to house its Canal Maintenance (Dredging) Division. The facilities are now closed and the buildings have been restored to accommodate tourists who want to visit the 22,000-hectare Soberania National Park. This is a protected area containing a wide variety of forest and freshwater habitats, administered by Panama's National Authority for the Environment (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, or ANAM). Day tours from Panama City are available, most notably, the Pipeline Nature Trail, the Barro Colorado and the Las Cruces Trails.

Suggested Optional Day Tours
1 Pax
2 Pax
3 Pax
Half-Day Barro Colorado Tour (Daily)
$184
134
117
Half-Day Pipeline Nature Trail Tour (Daily)
$212
106
71
Full-Day Las Cruces Trail with Lunch (Daily)
$303
151
100
Full-Day Anton Valley Tour with Sunday Crafts Market
$165
80
62
Full-Day Anton Valley Tour with Zipline Tour (Admissions extra)
$205
130
105
†Rates subject to change

All tours are via private vehicle with a private driver and guide. Meals included as per the tour description.


Half-Day Barro Colorado Tour (Daily)

Barro Colorado Nature Monument Map

Visit the center of scientific tropical field studies, Barro Colorado Island. This island and the surrounding Barro Colorado Nature Monument is the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's primary site for study of the lowland moist tropical forest. To reach the monument you will travel a short distance in a comfortable boat from the resort marina down the Chargres River to the Panama Canal. You will then travel north past the scenic town of Gamboa, an important facility for the operation of the Panama Canal, and parallel to the canal through Gatun Lake. Lush tropical, vegetation and scenic vistas surround you on all sides. This is a tour for people of all ages who will enjoy the forty-minute boat ride and easywalk on moderate terrain in the rainforest. Be sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to protect against insects. Photographs should be taken with a flash.


Half-Day Pipeline Nature Trail Tour (Daily)
Four-hour moderately strenuous hiking tour with expert nature guide
Peregrine Falcon, aka Harpy Eagle, is the national bird of Panama.
This is a world-class birdwatching tour in the heart of the rainforest. The Pipeline Road is an 11-kilometer, unpaved road that begins just north of Gamboa and winds through the Soberania Park's most accessible lowland monsoon rainforest. You will explore bird habitats next to a winding stream, through mature forest slopes, and along a ridge top, which will give maximum opptortunities for sightings. Commonly seen birds include the black-tailed trogon, ringed kingfisher, long-tailed woodcreeper, black-breasted puffbird, shining honeycreeper and several species of the parrot family. This adventure is not difficult with three hours of hiking over variable, mostly easy terrain. It is recommended for birdwatchers and nature fans of all ages.


Full-Day Las Cruces Trail (Daily)
Six-hour moderately strenuous hiking tour with expert nature guide & lunch

Casaya River, PanamaTake a unique hiking adventure in an old growth lowland tropical rainforest. Cross the historic Charges River to the old town site of Las Cruces and walk up the Casaya River, through the old growth tropical rainforest. Cross the stream bed and walk along the forested ridge to the historic Las Cruces trail and return to the old Las Cruces townsite. As you follow the trail, stay alert for insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Capuchin and howler monkeys can be seen, along with coatamundis, agoutis, and pacas. A wide variety of forest birds are also in the area, including several species of parrot sand toucans.


Full-Day Anton Valley Tour with Crafts Market (Sundays Only)
The journey starts with a two-hour drive west from Panama City to Anton Valley (below). At 1200 feet above sea level, The Anton Valley offers a number of attractions to visitors, which you will visit: The Square Trees petroglyphs, El Macho Waterfall, ecological areas, thermal waters, and the town craft market shop which is crowded on Sundays by everyone in the town. Anton Valley, PanamaLunch is included and then return to Panama City.


Full-Day Anton Valley Tour with Zipline Tour
(Admissions extra)
The journey starts with a two-hour drive west from Panama City to Anton Valley. At 1200 feet above sea level. The Anton Valley offers a number of attractions to visitors, which you will visit: The Square Trees petroglyphs, El Macho Waterfall, ecological areas, thermal waters, and the town craft market shop which is crowded on Sundays by everyone in the town. Lunch is included, followed by the "Three Trees Canopy Adventure," where you speed along on a zipline between three platforms at the top of the rainforest canopy.