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Discover Panama 2017-2018 (Itinerary A)

9 days with Collette Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Cyber Monday Sale! Save 15% off this trip. Expires November 28. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Collette Passport Club members save an additional $100 to $150 per person off select tours. Offer applies to guests who have traveled with Collette within the past two years and is combinable with other discounts. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Gamboa, Panama - Tour Begins
Welcome to Panama, a country of lush rainforests, rich history, diverse wildlife and spectacular coastlines. Your tour opens at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort where you’ll enjoy your private balcony and hammock overlooking the beautiful surroundings. During your leisure time, feel free to use the complimentary bikes or kayaks to explore.

Day 2 Gamboa - Emberá Village - Gamboa
Meet your fellow travelers during a welcome breakfast. Set off on an excursion to an Emberá indigenous village. Board dugout canoes for a scenic ride up the Chagres River to a settlement of Emberá, the “Keepers of the Rainforest.” The Emberá strive to preserve their heritage and love to share their traditional techniques of home building and handicrafts – such as basket weaving and tagua nut carving – with visitors. Join in their dances and partake in a simple lunch cooked traditionally. The remainder of your day is free to enjoy Gamboa Rainforest Resort. (B,L,D)

Day 3 Gamboa - Panama Canal Cruise - Panama City - Gamboa
Start the day off with an incredible highlight. Board the Pacific Queen for a partial transit cruise through the Panama Canal. Enjoy lunch onboard and pass through two locks as you revel in a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this incredible engineering feat firsthand. Learn all about its construction and operation from your onboard guides. Disembark at Flamenco Marina in Panama City. Visit the Mercado de Mariscos, a seafood market, and try fresh Panamanian ceviche. Continue to Casco Viejo, the Old Quarter. It’s your choice on how you will visit this UNESCO World Heritage site, which was settled in 1673. Perhaps you’ll follow your guide for a short walking tour down its cobblestone streets showcasing the Plaza de la Independencia, the Presidential Palace, the National Theater, plus restored colonial churches and monuments. For a more immersive experience you may journey through this same neighborhood with a local resident…hear the story of the Casco Viejo’s comeback from a member of the community who will take you through the place he calls home, highlighting the incredible revitalization of this historic area and its people. (B,L)

Day 4 Gamboa - Anton Valley
Arrive at Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to view the Panama Canal and learn about its rich past, present and future as you watch ships traverse the lock system. Drive a short distance on the famed Pan-American Highway before heading up the mountains to Anton Valley, a community nestled inside the second largest volcanic crater in the world. Meet the locals at the handicraft market and try your hand at negotiations, a local pastime of marketgoers. You’ll get to peruse artisan souvenirs made by indigenous peoples, including the “mola” embroidery of the Kuna Yala. Afterwards, check in to your hotel at the base of the mountains that make up the crater. (B,D)

Day 5 Anton Valley
Delve into history and biodiversity. This morning, visit a frog conservation center that protects critically endangered species, including the emblematic Panamanian Golden Frog, said to bring good luck to anyone who sees it. Your next stop is a nonprofit orchid nursery that dedicates itself to cultivating and conserving local and regional orchids. It houses over 100 different types. We follow that with a visit to the Butterfly Haven exhibit; stroll through the screened tropical displays that are home to over 250 live butterflies. This afternoon, visit El Chorro Macho waterfall. Embark on a moderate hike along the rainforest trails, crossing several bridges before arriving at the impressive waterfall. You may even take a swim in the natural pool. Your evening is free to continue exploring this charming mountain community. (B)

Day 6 Anton Valley - Chitré
This morning, step into the heartland of Panama and become immersed in the culture as you visit a village of artists. Interact with makers of the famous Panama hat and see firsthand how these wearable works of art are created. Continue on to meet the famous cigar rollers of Panama, whose craft has become legendary within the cigar community. Head north to Chitré, one of the first Spanish settlements in Panama, established in 1558. Get to know a traditional way of cooking at a clay oven bakery and sample these delectable sweets. After visiting a local pottery artist, it’s on to a sugarcane mill for a taste of sugarcane juice called “guarapa.” Next, pause to experience the region’s pre-Columbian and colonial times at the local museum. Tonight, get acquainted with the local culture at dinner featuring a folklore and dance show. (B,D)

Day 7 Chitré
Spend the day meeting the locals in Chitré, the “folklore capital” of Panama. Meet Panamanian women who have dedicated their lives to making the handwoven pollera dress. Then it’s off to spend time with a famous local artist whose whimsical masks are used in traditional Panamanian parades. Your day continues with a visit to one of Panama’s famous rum producers. Visit the historic hacienda to discover the life of the founder, a Spanish immigrant who brought jobs and prestige to the region with the development of the distillery. Learn the art of making rum, as well as the local drink “seco,” also distilled from sugarcane. If you like, you may take an oxcart ride through the sugarcane fields. Enjoy a typical lunch, then finally sample the product for yourself during a tasting session and discussion in the bodega. The rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy at your hotel. Tonight, you have the option of experiencing an authentic home-hosted meal in a local family’s house; take this opportunity to learn about their lives, culture and food. (B,L)

Day 8 Chitré - Playa Bonita
Journey to Playa Bonita, just outside of Panama City. Arrive midday to soak up the sun and ocean views from your beachfront property. You can also meander through the hotel’s shops or use their complimentary kayaks. After enjoying some fun and relaxation at your resort, bid farewell to Panama at a special dinner. (B,D)

Day 9 Playa Bonita - Tour Ends
Your tour comes to a close today. (B)
Map
All This Included
Explore the colors and natural beauty of Panama – a land between the seas. Cruise through the canal aboard the Pacific Queen on a partial transit and stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Travel via dugout canoe to meet the indigenous Emberá people. Explore bustling local markets. Visit the historic district in Panama City, Casco Viejo, and the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center. Visit an orange grove as you learn about the importance of this crop. Stay in Anton Valley, a community nestled entirely within a volcano crater. Meet the locals and learn about Panamanian folklore, artisan crafts, and rum distillation in Chitré. Complete your Panama experience with a final night in your resort overlooking Playa Bonita.
  • 15 meals
  • Centrally-located hotels provide a home away from home
  • Hotel-to-hotel baggage handling
  • A professional tour manager accompanies you throughout your trip
  • Expert local guides provide insightful, personalized tours
  • Unparalleled sightseeing includes all of the "must-sees"
  • Enriching cultural experiences bring the destination to life
  • Private climate-controlled motorcoach enhances your tour
  • Free round trip sedan service that takes you from your home to the airport when you purchase an air-inclusive Collette tour (within 50 miles of nearest airport gateway)
Highlights
  • Discover the various arts of creating Panamian hats, masks and dresses.
  • Peruse a local handicraft market filled with crafts made by indigenous artisans.
  • See the traditional way of cooking at a local clay oven bakery.
  • Join your guide for a hike along the rainforest trails.
Accommodations
Gamboa: Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Anton Valley: Los Mandarinos Hotel
Chitré: Cubita Boutique Resort Spa
Playa Blanca: Westin Playa Bonita
Pre and Post Add-ons
Pre Night Hotel:
  • Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Post Night Hotel:
  • Westin Playa Bonita

Notes
  • This tour requires average physical activity. You should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, possibly over uneven ground and cobblestoned streets.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Collette Vacations terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.