Panama & Pre-Columbian Treasures
10 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – FUERTE AMADOR, FLAMENCO ISLAND
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 23H00.
An artificial peninsula situated at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, Fuerte Amador is the gateway to several noteworthy sites. Right near there, the impressive Miraflores Locks are a shining example of the engineering feats deployed during the construction of the Panama Canal. Further north, you’ll have an exceptional opportunity to journey back in time as you discover the Embera tribe, loyal guardians of the forest and of the Chagres River. This proud people have successfully preserved their traditions and their ancestral way of life, which pre-date the colonisation of the region by the Spanish. In these villages nestling amid dense vegetation, visitors are greeted with traditional dancing.
Day 2 – MOGO MOGO ISLAND
With its 220 or more islands and islets, the Las Perlas archipelago is named for the pearl oysters in the Gulf of Panama that were harvested for jewellery or used as currency during the colonial era. Today the pearls have disappeared from these azure waters but you can still explore the sea beds and observe the graceful ballet of shoals of multi-coloured fish. On the secluded and unspoilt island of Mogo Mogo, vast stretches of white sand caressed by a crystalline sea make for excellent diving in this extraordinary marine sanctuary.
Day 3 – PUNTA ALEGRE, DARIEN NATIONAL PARK
The most remote and least developed region of Panama, the province of Darien is an unspoilt land with an extremely rich variety of flora and fauna. You will love its extraordinary scenery of rocky coastlines, mountain ranges, mangroves, rivers and creeks. If you head for the Afro-Darienite village of Punta Alegre, you will gain a deeper insight into this unexplored area. This tiny coastal village is home to the Emberas Amerindian community. From Punta Alegre, you can head to Darien National Park, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage and considered one of the most diversified parks in the whole of Central America.
Days 4-5 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 6 – GUAYAQUIL
Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Pacific”, Guayaquil is the most inhabited city in Ecuador. Founded by the conquistadors in 1535, it borders the coasts of the province of Guayas. You can stroll without any cares in the world, in the upper part of the city, next to the Las Peñas district. This Bohemian district with its colourful houses offers an impressive view of the city, if you’re courageous enough to climb the steps which separate the chapel rooms from Cerro Santa Ana lighthouse. The city is also blessed with many parks and gardens, perfect for taking a breather.
Day 7 – AT SEA
Day 8 – SALAVERRY
When your ship calls at Salaverry, this is the occasion to discover Trujillo, an elegant colonial town with brightly coloured façades, decorated with ornate wooden balconies. With its yesteryear charm, this city is also a cultural symbol of Peru, as it is home to the vestiges of the Chimú and Mochica civilizations. Chan Chan, the former capital of the Chimù kingdom is the largest adobe citadel in pre-Colombian America, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Admire the Moche pyramids, the Huaca del Sol and the Huaca de la Luna, decorated with colourful mythological frescoes.
Day 9 – CALLAO
As the country's primary fishing and trading port, Callao is the maritime gateway to Peru. From the town centre, journey on to the capital, Lima, and wander around the Plaza Mayor (formerly Plaza de Armas), crowned with its gorgeous bronze fountain. Embellished with neo-colonial buildings such as the Government Palace or the Cathedral of Lima, the esplanade is a symbol of the city's founding by conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Two streets away is the Monastery of San Francisco, one of the city's best-preserved colonial structures. Further south, don't miss the superb cloisters and patios of the Casona San Marcos.
Day 10 – CALLAO
Disembarkation at 00H00.
All This Included
Through an exceptional itinerary, PONANT invites you to discover an unspoiled America where the past seems to have left a still intact, indelible mark.
From Fuerte Amador, you will set sail aboard the L’Austral for a 10-day cruise from the wild islands in the Gulf of Panama to the legendary land of the Incas.
On the way to Ecuador, the L’Austral will stop in the Pearl Islands, which nestle in the Gulf of Panama. In the heart of this paradise, you will discover Mogo Mogo, a secret island with exceptional marine life.
L’Austral will then sail on to the magnificent Darien National Park in Panama. This little corner of paradise is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to remarkable plants and wildlife. Sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, mangroves, swamps and tropical rainforests vie with each other for beauty and offer a feast for photographers. This will also be the occasion for meeting the astonishing semi-nomadic Emberas community.
You will then visit Santiago de Guayaquil, ‘the pearl of the Pacific’. This surprising city in Ecuador will enable you to reach Quito, a capital listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or Cuenca, a small city that time forgot, with colonial houses decorated with stucco.
When the ship arrives at Callao, you will be able to visit Peru’s main fishing and commercial seaport. From museums to old churches and stately mansions, the city also boasts a unique and rich architecture.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard L'Austral
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.