DAY 1: PANAMA CITY
Arrival to Panama City. Pick up at the airport by the guide who will help with the transfer to the Hotel about 25 minutes away. The bilingual guide will also provide important information regarding the rest of trip.
Overnight stay at the Hotel Hilton.
DAY 2: FULL DAY MIRAFLORES LOCKS & PANAMA VIEW w/LUNCH
After breakfast at the hotel the tour starts at the Panama Canal, a magnificent work of engineering, actually the greatest and most expensive human feat of the time. After 30/40 minutes of route, you will reach the Visitor Center of Miraflores Locks, from which you will be able to see closely the ships moving along the canal, and the way it operates. Forthwith, you will visit the Amador Causeway, which offers one of the city’s most spectacular panoramic views. Afterwards, you will make a brief visit at Mercado de Abasto [wholesale marketplace], the city’s largest fruit and vegetable market, where you will find the best products of the country. Lunch will be served in one of the unsophisticated and typical restaurants of the traditional Seafood Market of the city (only fish dishes are offered). The tour continues in the Old Quarter of Panama City, the historic center of San Felipe declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, thanks to its eclectic fusion of colonial, neoclassic and French architecture. This stop includes a walk in the streets, squares and gravel roads and a visit of emblematic colonial buildings, churches and palaces. The tour ends at the Executive Mansion (entrance is not guaranteed), known as Palacio de las Garzas, and famous for maintaining intact the Salón Amarillo [Yellow Hall] and the Salón de los Tamarindos where the most famous murals of Roberto Lewis representing the history and culture of the country are visible right over there. Overnight stay at the Hotel Hilton.
DAY 3: FULL DAY VISIT EMBERÁ QUERA NATIVE COMMUNITY
After breakfast, the tour starts with a transfer of approximately one hour to the little pier of Gatún River, few minutes away from Buena Vista, where you will board a pirogue, a motor canoe, to arrive to the community of Emberá Quera, located at Gatún River’s mouth. During the journey of approximately forty minutes, you will be able to see in detail the splendid jungle and if you are lucky, its monkeys, butterflies, herons and turtles. Upon your arrival, you will be received by the Indian Chief of the community who will tell you the history of the Tribe and its cultural wealth and that of its traditions. The Emberá are native of the Darién, who in turn come from the Chocò, Colombia. They live at the edge of the river in little communities of thatch‐roofed palafittes named tambos, for counteracting humidity and avoiding floods. Men dedicate themselves to manufacture the famous pirogues, canoes made by shaping logs, used to navigate even during the dry season. Women, as for them, make splendid baskets, plates and masks out of vegetal fiber and delicate knitting. They wear collars known as chaquiras that are made out of old silver coins. All the members of the community use the genipa juice to paint their bodies with geometric designs; apparently, that works very well as repellent and has healing properties. The visit to the community will finish and you will go over a little island inhabited by monkeys. Afterwards, a typical lunch will be served to you and you will enjoy a folkloric show with traditional music and dances. Overnight stay at the Hotel Hilton.
DAY 4: PANAMA CITY – CHITRE
After breakfast at the Hotel, private transfer to Albrook National Airport, pick up at the airport of Chitré for transfer to Cubita Boutique Hotel & Resort.
In the afternoon, visit San Isidro Farm in half a day, where the best rum of Panama is produced, Ron Abuelo. The route starts with the visit to an ancient colonial house belonging to the distillery’s founder, Mr. José Varela; one of the several young immigrants who came from Spain in 1906 and established the first Panamanian sugar mill at the fertile valley of Pesé which is an optimum one to grow sugarcane. In 1936, he began to distill the sugarcane juice in order to produce liquors. Since then, his passion, dedication and experience have been passed down through three generations which have insisted on keeping the tradition, always using the best ingredients and carrying out the aging process while respecting the refining process time of this famous rum. The route continues along the plantations and at the farm mill where you will see the different stages of the production process. Firstly, you will see the juice extraction, then, its fermentation and its distillation. Later on, while going over the farm’s seedy bars, you will see the rum maturing process which is done in little oak casks until it reaches different standards that are commercialized: Ron Abuelo Añejo, Ron Abuelo 7‐Year‐Old Rum and Ron Abuelo 12‐Year‐Old Rum, and Ron Abuelo Centuria that is aged up to 30 years. At the end of the route, you will taste some types of rums through which you will sense their scent, aroma and intensity and you will also enjoy a typical Panamanian lunch during the tour.
Overnight stay at the Cubitá Boutique Resort & Spa
DAY 5: FULL DAY ISLA IGUANA
After breakfast at the Hotel, go over Isla Iguana during the entire day. The tour starts with the transfer service to Playa El Arenal, located in the colorful small town of Pedasí where you will board a powerboat, which will take you to Isla Iguana, eight kilometers away from the coast. In 1981, The Isla Iguana Wildlife Refuge was created for the purpose of protecting fifty hectares of sea and land territory. The island is the habitat of a vast colony of man‐of‐war birds, pelicans, woodcocks, very colorful crabs and green iguanas. Between April and September, five species of sea turtles arrive to the beachside in order to deposit their eggs. The island is a real paradise for sea lovers. It has white‐sand beaches, crystalline waters and sixteen hectares of barrier reef protecting seventeen species of corals and more than 350 species of tropical fish. You will go on a walk along the pathway joining the beaches of El Faro and El Cirial where you will have regard for their lush flora and fauna. Immediately afterwards, you will discover the wonderful submarine world by exploring the area in a guided snorkeling tour. You will have a snack (water, a sandwich and biscuits) during the tour and you will have some relaxing time at the beach. Later on, you will go back to Pedasí where you will have lunch and you will finally be transferred to the hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 6: HALF DAY SEA TURTLE WATCHING ECO TOUR BY NIGHT WITH DINNER
Breakfast at the hotel. The tour starts in the afternoon with the shuttle service to the Cañas pier where you will board a powerboat which will take you to Isla Cañas. From July to January, its fourteen kilometers [8.6992 miles] of seashore receive thousands of turtles, predominantly, olive ridley sea turtles that arrive to deposit their eggs. An interesting sustainable tourist project is being undertaken in the island. It arose after turtle’s eggs production and commercialization for human consumption were forbidden; that represented, along with fishing, the sole income source of the local population. Upon your arrival to the island, dinner will be served, prepared by local ladies. Afterwards, aboard a cart pulled by horses, you will reach the beach where you will see in detail turtles depositing their eggs or turtles coming out of their shells. You should pay close attention to the guide’s indications to disturb the turtles as little as possible. Finally, return to the Hotel. Overnight stay.
DAY 7: CHITRE – PANAMA CITY
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Chitre airport in order to taka a short flight back to the city, pick up at Albrook National airport by the guide who will assist you and transfer to Tocumen International Airport