The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the 48-mile Isthmus of Panama from Colón to Panama City. There are locks at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake. Panama Canal today is a vital component to expanding global trade routes. Cruise ships run regular tours from either coast on regular basis.
You will explore the Isthmus of Panama, also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien. It’s a narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, linking North and South America. It contains the country of Panama and the Panama Canal. The region is home to a vast wilderness commonly called the "Darién Gap," which refers to the roadless swath of forest that's the "missing link" in the Pan-American Highway. Protected areas include Darién National Park, encompassing serrated peaks, coastal lagoons and mangrove swamps.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 7-DAY PANAMA HOLIDAY…
And, experience its jungle terrain and cruise the Panama Canal.
International flights arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City. Services arrive daily from the US (most are routed through Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston or Miami) and other Central and South American cities; KLM and Iberia fly from Amsterdam and Madrid, respectively. Flights from San José, in neighbouring Costa Rica, often stop in David before continuing on to Panama City. The recently upgraded airport in David is expected to see direct international flights from and to the US at some point.
(7 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 01 – Arrive
Panama City On arrival at the Tocumen International Airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted by private transfer to your hotel in Panama City.
Overnight at Bristol Hotel
Day 02 – Canal Tour
Panama City Take private guided brief orientation tour of the city. The tour focuses on the modern Panama City with its gleaming skyscrapers, Panama Viejo and Casco Antiguo known as the historical heart of the city. Your guide will point out the architectural influences of the Spanish, French and Italians whose nations have all played a role in the Panama history. Also watch the ships make their way through the Miraflores locks at the famous Panama Canal.
Overnight at Bristol Hotel (B)
Day 03 – Portobelo Tour
Panama Canal Transfer to the Panama Railroad Station. The Panama Canal Railway offers an unforgettable experience on a railroad that joins the two oceans. Re-creating the experience of the famous California Gold rush age and enjoy the beautiful scenery: observing the rainforest and the heart of the canal from the comfort of your train cabin. After one-hour adventure by train, our guide will greet you on arrival to begin your Portobelo Tour.
During the 17th and 19th centuries, the Port of Portobelo served as a Spanish Fortress and Caribbean terminal. Portobelo was the victim of various pirate attacks, the most well known being the attack by Henry Morgan. The small island of Drake, where his remains are located, is another attraction. We will visit ruins of the colonial port, the customhouse where the treasures and gold were stored and the Portobello church, where the famous Black Christ statue rests. A celebration to commemorate the Black Christ, which is venerated throughout the country, is held every 21 of October.
Overnight at Melia Panama Canal Hotel (B, L)
Day 04 – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Fort San Lorenzo Take a private guided tour of Fort San Lorenzo and the Gatun Locks. First you will cross the amazing Gatun Locks and then proceed to Fort San Lorenzo, which was constructed by the Spaniards in the 16th century to hold riches and gold that was transported by canoe to the fort from Peru. San Lorenzo was besieged by British pirates over the years due to its strategic location guarding the entrance to the Chagres River. Sir Henry Morgan captured San Lorenzo and used it as the entrance point to sack Panama City in 1671.
Overnight at Melia Panama Canal Hotel (B, L)
Day 05 – Tribal Encounter
Panama City Today’s adventure will take you to the indigenous community in the National Park Chagres. Where you will get to know and learn about the culture of the Embera Indians. You will witness their artisans and enjoy their knowledge of botanical plants. Their cultural dances and music will take you back centuries. You will have the opportunity to indulge in their customary body-painting, with the fruit known as Jagua. You can also observe the great variety of birds found in these areas. Walk in the jungle, explore waterfalls, and learn from a magical culture, all this in one day.
Overnight at Casco Viejo (B, L)
Day 06 – Partial Canal Transit
Panama City Transfer to Flamenco Marina, where you will travel from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. You will be able to admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's splendorous skyline, and pass under the Bridge of the Americas. At Miraflores Locks the vessel will ascend 5 feet in two distinct steps and enter Miraflores Lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks.
Next, the vessel will enter Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, and here the vessel will be raised the last 27 feet to get into Gatun Lake. Once at Gatun Lake the vessel will sail through at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the Canal. The Gaillard Cut is also known as Culebra Cut because its curves resemble a snake and is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide.
In addition, you will observe the brand new construction among the Panama Canal, the Centennial Bridge, and the vessel will travel the Cut's 13.7 kilometres on the way to the Panama Canal Dredging Division in Gamboa where you will disembark. Your private driver will be waiting to transfer you back to the comforts of your hotel.
Overnight at Casco Viejo (B, L)
Day 07 – Depart
Panama City Private transfer to Tocumen International Airport for your onward flight (B)
Make this your holiday
When to go The best time to visit Panama is during the dry season from around mid-December to mid-April. There is a prolonged rainy season from May to November, with the heaviest rain between October and November. Rain in Panama tends to come in sudden short downpours followed by sunshine.
Days are hot, nights much cooler; temperatures range from 32 °C (90 °F) during the daytime to 21 °C (70 °F) in the evening practically year-round. Humidity is always high at about 80 percent. Temperatures vary according to geography. The climate is less tropical at higher elevations. In mountain areas the average annual temperature ranges from 10ºC to 19ºC (50-66ºF) at various mountain elevations.
Visa The UK, Germany and Switzerland citizens and many other nationalities need only a passport to enter Panama, while people from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Venezuela and some other countries need a tourist visa or tourist card as well.
British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Panama except if arriving by sea. You must have a return or onward ticket and the equivalent of US$500 or a credit card.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of exit from Panama. Your passport must also have several unused pages.
For further information with the Embassy of the Republic of Panama in London.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk