The Complete Panama Canal
9 days with Alexander+Roberts Rating:
Day 1 Welcome to Panama City
On arrival in Panama City, you’ll be greeted and escorted to the 5-star Central Hotel.
Day 2 History of the Canal
Marvel at the ships entering the Canal at the Miraflores Locks and delve into its history during a talk with the Panama Canal Authority. Visit the only American Cemetery in Latin America, and visit the Canal Administration Building which opened in 1914. Tonight we’ll gather for a welcome dinner with wine. (B+L+D)
Day 3 Through the Canal
Journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic on a full Canal transit, joining the huge ships that rely on this vital passage. You’ll enter the Miraflores Locks and traverse the Gaillard Cut. Arriving in the Caribbean port of Colon, transfer to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and check in to your riverview balcony guestroom. (B+L+D)
Day 4 Guided Gatun Lake Nature Expedition
Naturalist guided exploration of the islands in Gatun Lake offers a chance to learn about the tropical flora and to observe native species like sloths, caimans, and monkeys. At Gamboa’s ecological exhibits and rescue center, you’ll see and learn about additional rainforest creatures including butterflies and tropical frogs. The rest of this afternoon is free so you can enjoy the tropical setting and amenities of our resort. (B)
Day 5 Through the Forest to an Emberá Village
Travel to the edge of Lake Alajuela where Emberá villagers will meet you with their dugout canoes. Traveling silently into the virgin rainforest offers a chance to spot herons, egrets, and ospreys. With luck and sharp eyes, you might also see toucans, otters and sloths. Deep in the pristine forest, you’ll spend time with the Emberá in their village - learning about their daily life, tribal history and enduring traditions from their shamanic rites to dance and music. After lunch with the villagers, you can join a tribal elder for a nature walk to learn about their medicinal use of indigenous plants. This evening, enjoy dinner and wine at the Chagres River View Restaurant. (B+L+D)
Day 6 Panama Railroad + Portobelo + Our Pacific Resort
Journey across the isthmus aboard the Panama Railroad, built in 1855 for fortune seekers during the Gold Rush. From atop the Canal Expansion Center, you’ll see the newly-expanded canal built to accommodate massive ships up to 1,400 feet long and 180 feet wide! Then explore Portobelo, rich with history and the ruins of Colonial forts. Enjoy lunch, and then continue to the Westin Playa Bonita Resort, where oceanview rooms have been reserved for our guests. (B+L)
Day 7 Ancient History and Daily Life in Panama City
This morning's walking tour in Casco Antiguo takes you along cobblestone streets graced by fine Colonial architecture. Stop to sample ceviche and local beer at the fish market and then join city residents on the modern subway to visit El Carmen Church. At the Afro-Antilliean Museum, you’ll learn about lesser known chapters of the Canal’s construction and development. At the BioDiversity Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, you’ll learn how Panama’s vital role as a land bridge between North and South America has impacted biodiversity and human life on both Continents. After lunch, we'll visit the archaeological ruins at Panama Viejoc. Founded in 1519, this was the earliest settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. After lunch at Mercao, we’ll take you back to the Westin so you can enjoy this Pacific resort. (B+L)
Day 8 In the Countryside
Ascend into the lofty hills of Altos de Campana National Park for views of the Canal Basin. Home to a variety of exotic birds like the orange-bellied trogon and white-tailed hawk, it’s a great place for birdwatchers. Then visit an orchid farm and have lunch in a typical countryside restaurant known for its fine farm-to-table Panamanian dishes. Tonight, enjoy our Farewell Dinner with wine at the Westin. (B+L+D)
Day 9 Adios, Playa Bonita
We’ll take you to the airport today. (B)
All This Included
A full transit through the Canal is just one highlight of our journey. With our expert Trip Leader and an intimate group, you’ll also discover Panama’s rainforests, indigenous people, and historic capitol.
Panama City: Central Hotel
Canal Zone: Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Playa Bonita: Westin Hotel
Pre and Post Add-ons
Travel on to Costa Rica
5 Day Extension from $1,899
Discover Costa Rica’s natural wonders on our unique post-Panama adventure. We include terrific hotels, all on-tour transportation, and guided expeditions in small congenial groups.
Terms and Conditions
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* 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.