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Panama: Canal, Rainforest & Highlands

6 DaysStarting at $4,795

Overview

As you may have heard, there is a canal in Panama. Watching a football field’s worth of ship rise in a lock on a pillow of water is one of the world’s great manmade miracles. But what about the much tinier spectacle of a hummingbird barely larger than your thumbnail? Or the quiet whiiiiiish as your native dugout canoe slices through a rainforest river? A Panama vacation is one of the finest ecotourism experiences—easy to reach, friendly in the extreme, and not yet on everybody’s radar screen. From anteaters to mantled howler monkeys, the wildlife is extraordinary. The Audubon Society conducts its Christmas bird count here so you can just imagine the abundance. To explore the culture of Panama, we travel you to a native village and introduce you to our friends along the way. You’ll see things you’ve never seen, in a place you never thought to visit—which makes this our favorite new example of a travel adventure.

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Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe.”
Travel + Leisure

Highlights

DAYS 1-2 - PANAMA CITY/EMBERA TRIBE
Your Panama travel itinerary begins at our 5-star luxury resort in Panama City. A sailing excursion on Gatun Lake lets us weave amid the gigantic ships traversing the canal and catch our first glimpse of wildlife such as monkeys and crocodiles. An afternoon jungle walk in Sobernia National Park takes you into some of the world’s richest bird watching terrain.

In a traditional dugout canoe, we’ll navigate the Chagres River to a settlement of one of Panama’s indigenous tribes. The villagers treat us to a typical meal, and we get a firsthand look at the cultural and ecological challenges they face. We’ll also go for a guided walk in Panama City. No Panama vacation would be complete without a close-up look at the canal in action, and you get yours with a fascinating visit to the Miraflores Locks and the canal museum.

DAYS 3-6 - CHIRIQUI WESTERN HIGHLANDS 
A brief flight to David City positions us for fascinating days in the Chiriqui Western Highlands, the rolling breadbasket of Panama. From our gracious, award-winning inn, we wander into the countryside to meet the farmers who raise everything from strawberries to mangos…watch for the resplendent quetzal on a walk in La Amistad International Park…and go kayaking on the serene Las Lagunas, the highest natural lakes in Panama. We also get real looks at rural life, first on a visit to a working coffee plantation for a tour and tasting, and then at a family home where we watch the centuries-old process of pressing sugar cane. On the final day of your Panama travels, we part company after breakfast.
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Map

  • Starting Point:

    Panama City – 9:00 am – Lobby of Hotel Bristol
  • Ending Point:

    Panama City – 9:00 am – Panama City Airport

Why Choose Classic Journeys

We believe in creating authentic connections by immersing you into the history and culture of a people and place. So we find the most well-connected local guides who share their relationships and knowledge with us. And with them, we handcraft walking tours in cinematic settings that allow you to see the world on foot and at eye level.
It's why Travel + Leisure magazine has named Classic Journeys as the #1 World's Best Tour Operator multiple times, and the editors of T+L say, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here's what that access means for you every time you travel with us.

  • Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
  • Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
  • Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it's closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
  • Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you're exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World's Best and Gold lists.
  • Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
  • Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
  • Sustainable travel that supports the places you're visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It's your guarantee that you'll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
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Dates & Prices

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Family Departure

Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.

Internal Airfare

This trip includes an internal flight which is priced separately from the land tour at an approximate cost of $285 per person.

Accommodations

Casa Grande Bambito

This luxurious boutique hotel is located in a rainforest surrounded by mountains, volcanic rocks and springs in the highlands of Panama. All accommodations are in suits, and the property offers hot springs, sauna and spa treatments.

JW Marriott Panama City

Situated along the shores of Punta Pacifica, this high-rise hotel boasts a paramount location surrounded by a plethora of businesses, plus shopping and entertainment options in the Financial District.

What’s Included

  • All breakfasts and lunches, and 4 dinners
  •  Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
  • Admissions to tastings, historic sites and other scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
  •  Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
  • All land transportation during the trip

Above & Beyond Benefits

Invisible Check-In

  • When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.

Privileged Access Events

  • One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.