Panama Canal Cruise Itinerary

November 10th - 18th, 2012

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Day 1 – Arrive in Panama City, Panama

Private group transfer from Tocumen International Airport to Panama City. Two nights accommodations at the InterContinental Miramar Hotel. Reception dinner.


Day 2 – Panama City and Miraflores Locks

Full day private Panama City and Miraflores Locks tour including lunch and guide. Dinner at hotel. BLD

Day 3 – Aerial Tram, Butterfly & Orchid Exhibition and Monkey Island Tour

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Experience the verdant rainforest of Gamboa from within, ascending some 280 feet from the shadowy forest
floor, through the dense undergrowth and up to the sun drenched canopy with its thousand shades of green that are only interrupted by the vibrant colors of flowering trees. Once at the top, you will have the opportunity to climb our observation tower (also accessible for wheelchairs) from where you will have uninterrupted views of the vast rainforest of Soberania National Park while at the same time watch the giant cargo ships maneuver through the Galliard Cut (the narrowest part of the Panama Canal). Once we finish our visit to the Aerial Tram and Natural Exhibits, we will experience an exhilarating 20-minute ride at high speed right through the heart of the Panama Canal. The boat will slow down and enter the labyrinth of jungle-covered islands of Gatun Lake. In this protected area the wildlife is plentiful, and you are likely to encounter capuchin monkeys, 3-toed sloth, howler monkeys, various kinds of toucans and other bird life as well as caimans, crocodiles, turtles and a wealth of butterflies. This is an exceptional place to experience the sights and sounds of the jungle up close. Our trained naturalist guides will ensure that you have an outstanding nature experience by tracing the wildlife as well as educating you about it and its habitat throughout this exceptional jungle and canal adventure. BLD

Day 4 – Full Day Panama Canal Cruise

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Passengers board motor coaches for a 45 minute ride to the town of Gamboa where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. Once in Gamboa, passengers board the Boat to start the water portion of the tour. We enter the canal at the north end of the Gailard cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut (also known as Culebra Cut because its curves resemble a snake) is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide and this section of the Canal is full of history and geological value. The vessel will travel the Cut's 13.7 kilometers on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. Before reaching the Pedro Miguel Locks at the southern end of the Cut, you will be able to view the new Centennial Bridge which crosses over the Canal. Next, we will enter Pedro Miguel Locks, which is one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, and here the vessel is lowered 9 meters in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, which is a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks, the latter being the final set of locks before reaching the Pacific Ocean. At Miraflores Locks the vessel is lowered 18 meters in two distinct steps. Once in the Pacific Ocean the vessel will sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina where passengers disembark. On the way to Flamenco, you will pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and later, you will be able to admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's splendorous skyline. BLD

Day 5 – Embera Indigenus Villa Tour

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Upon arrival to the village you will be taken back in time as you are immersed in the ancient Embera cultural dances and music that have not changed much since Columbus arrived in the 1500´s. The Indians will invite visitors to explore the area’s abundant variety of birds and wildlife during a trek that takes you through the untouched jungle and past sparkling waterfalls. During our visit, the Emberas will give you a glimpse into their mystical rituals and amazing knowledge of medicinal plants and other natural remedies. The Embera women are known as one of the world’s finest basket makers, and you will be able to watch them create these beautiful objects made out of palm leaves and dyed with natural dyes. You can also have your body painted with the natural fruit dye called Jagua, used by the Indians for body decorations as well as for its health-giving properties. Before returning back to civilization, the Indians will offer us a traditional meal of fresh fish and plantains and you will have an opportunity to purchase some of their beautiful handicraft. Group will continue after the tour to InterContinental Playa Bonita for the next 3 nights. BLD

Day 6 – Anton Valley

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Two hours drive through the rural villages and rolling green hills west of Panama City is the picturesque town of El Valle, nestled in the crater of a giant extinct volcano. To enter the crater, we will pass over its edge with spectacular views over this fertile, mountainous area. It is a tranquil town, surrounded by lush forests and jagged peaks with sparkling creeks adding further to the beauty of the valley. Situated at 1000m above sea level, El Valle enjoys a fresh and cool climate and is known as the land of eternal spring. We will visit beautiful waterfalls framed by dense jungle in Chorro El Macho, marvel at the abundance of native tropical animals, birds and flora at the Níspero Botanical Gardens & Zoo and try to solve the riddle of the pre-Columbian petroglyphs at La Piedra Pintada, which to this date no archeologist has been able to explain. And last, but by no means least, a visit to the famed Sunday handicraft market to which the Indigenous artisans bring their wares. Among the items are beautifully carved hardwood trays, elaborate figurines carved from local soapstone, Panama hats and red clay. BLD

Day 7 – Playa Bonita Beach Resort

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Day at leisure to enjoy the facilities at the InterContinental Playa Bonita. Farewell Dinner at the hotel. BLD

Day 8 – Panama City

Private group departure transfer with luggage to Tocumen International Airport. B

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