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'Panama Adventures'

What makes this trip special?

Wildlife around the Canal

Wildlife around the Canal

Panama Canal Zone

Among the canal's many highlights is its natural surroundings of rigorously protected tropical forests, which provide the water that feeds the canal.

Escape the Metropolis

Escape the Metropolis

Casco Viejo - Panama City

Narrow cobbled streets, small plazas and colonial French & Spanish buildings seem a world away from the skyscrapers of modern Panama City. Recently restored under UNESCO World Heritage and dotted with chic boutique hotels, the Casco Vieja offers an atmospheric stay in the capital.

Historical Jungle Trail

Historical Jungle Trail

Camino de Cruces

Las Cruces trail, a 400 year old path connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic Coast. Once used by merchants, slaves, European explorers and gold seekers the 6 mile hike takes you into rainforest and past historical landscapes.

Hike the slopes of a volcano

Hike the slopes of a volcano

Chiriqui Highlands

Los Quetzales trail runs from the town of Cerro Punta to Boquete along the slopes of Baru Volcano. A scenic and sometimes demanding trail through cloudforest, it gets its name from the good opportunities for viewing the Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the Maya.

Coffee, Cloud forest & Adventure

Coffee, Cloud forest & Adventure

Boquete - Chiriqui Highlands

On the Eastern flank of Baru Volcano the growing mountain resort of Boquete offers some great walking, birdwatching trails and adventure activities, such as white water rafting and zip-lining. Boquete is well known for its perfect micro-climate and soil for growing high quality coffee beans.

Snorkel Blue Caribbean Waters

Snorkel Blue Caribbean Waters

Bocas del Toro

Six islands and over 200 islets make up the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Shallow waters bursting with marine life make it one of the best locations in Panama for snorkelling.

Itinerary map for Panama 'Panama Adventures' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Panama City
  • 2 Panama City
  • 3 Panama City
  • 4 Chiriqui Highlands
  • 5 Chiriqui Highlands
  • 6 Boquete
  • 7 Boquete
  • 8 Boquete
  • 9 Bocas del Toro
  • 10 Bocas del Toro
  • 11 Bocas del Toro
  • 12 Panama City
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Panama Adventures'

DAY 1

Panama City

On arrival in Panama City you will be met at the airport and driven to your preferred hotel for a 3 night stay.

DAY 2
B

Rainforest Discovery Centre and Panama City

The Panama Rainforest Discovery Center is located on the famous Pipeline road, one of the most renowned places in the world for bird watching. In fact, here was established a record number for a bird count organized in 1985 by the Audubon Society, when 385 species were identified in 24 hours. Together with your naturalist guide you drive to Gamboa and start walking on the pipeline road arriving at the visitor center, observing up to 13 species of hummingbirds that are recorded on the feeders. Continue on the trails and see manakins, anteaters and trogons, before heading up the 40-meter tower for the canopy birds such as the famous blue cotinga and toucans, and visit the viewing platform by the lake to see aquatic birds like wattled jacanas, least grebes, herons and snail kites. As well as birds you have good chances of seeing monkeys, crocodiles, coatis, and butterflies. You then return to Panama City later in the day and are taken on a city tour visiting Panama La Vieja, the first city established by the Spanish in 1671, Casco Antiguo with its unique French, Spanish and Italian architecture styles and Miraflores Lock where you can see ships as they pass through the canal.

DAY 3
BL

Las Cruces Jungle trail and Gatun Lake

Just 45 minutes from Panama City in Soberania NP is the Las Cruces trail, a 400 year old stone road built through the jungle to connect Panama City on the Pacific with the town of Cruces from where the Spaniards continued their passage by small boat, down the Chagres River to Fort San Lorenzo and the Caribbean Sea. A 6 mile hike along this mostly flat but muddy and uneven trail (5 hrs) takes you into rainforest and past historic landmarks. Be prepared to get your feet wet fording creeks along the way. On arrival at the Chagres River you have a picnic lunch on a small island, then travel by expedition boat across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal, where you pass gigantic cargo ships in sharp contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, there are opportunities to spot green iguana and three-toed sloth resting on tree branches, crocodile, osprey hunting for peacock bass, snail kite and keel-billed toucan among much else. On islands within the lake there are capuchin, howler monkey, spider monkey, and Geoffrey’s tamarin.

DAY 4
B

Multi-active in the Chiriquí Highlands

Leisurely start for a flight to David below the Chiriquí Highlands. You are met and driven to Volcán on the west of Barú volcano for 2 nights at Los Quetzales Lodge at a cool 2200m. The lodge’s 400ha reserve extends into Barú NP and La Amistad reserve. There is time to stretch your legs on a walk near the lodge.

DAY 5
B

Lots to do around here. The lodge’s options include riding in nearby farming scenery or walking in their cloud forest reserve. Mountain bikes are available independently. Spa therapies include massage, hot stones and reflexology. It is 10 min walk to an impressive orchid farm.

DAY 6
BL

Los Quetzales Trail

The Los Quetzales Trail runs for 10km through fabulous cloud forest on the slopes of Volcán Barú. It’s a very scenic walk of about 5hr (sometimes up and down, sometimes muddy), with good chances of seeing a number of birds and mammals. The locals put a near 100% chance of seeing the Resplendent Quetzal here January to May; 25% at other times. As you emerge at the rangers station at the end of the trail a vehicle will be waiting with your luggage to take you to your lodge in Boquete for a 3 night stay.

DAY 7
B

Canopy bridges and zipline

Today you will be taken on a guided hanging bridges & canopy zipline tour. The hanging bridges is a system of trails and suspended walkways through the forest. Here you have a chance to see a variety of fauna including birds such as the resplendent quetzal, monkeys and cloudforest flora including orchids, ferns and bromeliads high in the tree tops. You will then enjoy a canopy zipline adventure where you glide through the forest on a series of 12 different zip-line cables for 4.5 kilometers suspended at heights of between 30-60m (100 to 200ft) above ground. After the tour you will be taken back to your hotel.

DAY 8
B

Whitewater rafting

Several good rafting rivers tumble down the volcano carving their way through the cloud forest. There’s a gentle 2½hr class II introduction, several class III trips, and an exhilarating world class 4hr class IV run. For pristine nature and waterfalls the 3hr mostly class II and III rapids on the Río Gariche are recommended. Choose sensibly, according to season and your experience. Rest of the day free at the lodge.

DAY 9
B

Island-hopping in Bocas del Toro archipelago

Crossing to the Caribbean by road you take a boat to the reefs and islands of Bocas del Toro. You stay 3 nights at a 2-3* lodge in the wacky little town of Bocas del Toro, mingling with locals, ex-pats and backpackers in its bars and cafes. (Or upgrade to a quieter superior over-the-water lodge on a remoter island.)

DAY 10
B

Today you go island-hopping in the marine national park, on a shared trip that starts with a short boat ride from Bocas pier to Dolphin Bay where there is an excellent chance that dolphin will play around the boat. On to Coral Keys for some great snorkelling, and stop at a simple restaurant nearby for lunch (not included). Continue by boat to the aptly named Red Frog Beach for a spot of relaxation (and frog spotting). Boat back to Bocas pier in the late afternoon. Bocas pier is a short walk from your hotel.

DAY 11
B

A second day’s shared island-hopping, beginning with a short boat ride from Bocas pier to Playa de las Estrellas, where snorkellers can see the many starfish usually found in the clear waters here. On to the white sands of Boca del Drago for some beach time and swimming in calm turquoise sea. There’s a simple restaurant here for lunch (not included). In the afternoon it’s onwards by boat to visit Bird Island, home to large colonies of sea birds, and then return to Bocas pier.

DAY 12
B

Panama City

A leisurely start for the mid-morning flight back to Panama City. You are met on arrival and driven to your hotel. There’s free time for shopping, city sightseeing, etc.

DAY 13

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK or perhaps add a 2 night trip to the Kuna Yala (San Blas) archipelago - see days 4 and 5 of our ‘Panama Odyssey’ itinerary.

Guide prices for 'Panama Adventures'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Guide price with mid-range hotels 2 people sharing £2,935 £2,955
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Panama
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'Panama Adventures'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 100%

rating

The canopy zipline, the trek to the waterfall on the way to Boquete. Seeing 2 sloths. Relaxing on our deck at Eclypse.

Seasonal information for 'Panama Adventures'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
2 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
3 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
4 Chiriqui Highlands 31°C rainfall 36mm
5 Chiriqui Highlands 31°C rainfall 36mm
6 Boquete 22°C rainfall 52mm
7 Boquete 22°C rainfall 52mm
8 Boquete 22°C rainfall 52mm
9 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
10 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
11 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
12 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Panama Adventures'

Days 1 - 3

Toscana Inn Hotel

Centrally located nearby to popular tourist attractions. The hotel has standard rooms for single, double and triple occupancy. All rooms have air conditioning, wifi and TVs. The hotel has a terrace with views of the city and a restaurant serving Panamanian dishes.

Toscana Inn Hotel
Days 4 - 5

Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa

Guadalupe
rating

Average rating 4.5 (13 ratings)

Tucked away in a highland cloud forest, Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa is 2200 meters above sea level inside the primary forests of Volcan Baru national park. The climate here varies from 24°C on a sunny day to 7°C  in the chilliest winter night (the cold nights means biting insects are virtually absent). Timber-built, Los Quetzales Lodge is beside a river in the picturesque agricultural village of Guadalupe. The simple spacious rooms all have private bathrooms with hot water, room service and telephone service. The Lodge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a friendly laid-back atmosphere.  There is a small spa in the grounds, next to the river and surrounded by trees.

Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa
Days 6 - 8

Finca Lerida

Boquete
rating

Average rating 4.5 (13 ratings)

This small working coffee farm has two types of accommodation:

The first, "Finca Lerida Bed and Breakfast", comprises of Scandinavian style cabin cottages dotted in the grounds near the entrance to the property, each with a living room, open fire, two bedrooms, bathroom and verandah.

The newer "Finca Lerida Ecolodge" has 11 comfortable modern double rooms each with private bath, a porch overlooking the forest and the lodge's own small coffee plantation.

Finca Lerida
Days 9 - 11

Hotel Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro
rating

Average rating 4.2 (5 ratings)

This waterfront chalet style hotel is located in the heart of the Bocas village on Isla Colon.  Bars, restaurants, water taxi docks are all just a short stroll away.

The wooden structure of the hotel is built out over the water with a communal deck area where breakfast is served. All 11 rooms have a/c and private bathrooms, WI-FI , Flat Screen cable TVs,  telephones, coffee makers, ocean kayak rentals and in-room massage.  The décor has a nautical theme. Three rooms have balconies and ocean front views.

Hotel Bocas del Toro
Day 12

Toscana Inn Hotel

Centrally located nearby to popular tourist attractions. The hotel has standard rooms for single, double and triple occupancy. All rooms have air conditioning, wifi and TVs. The hotel has a terrace with views of the city and a restaurant serving Panamanian dishes.

Toscana Inn Hotel