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Unpack Your Bags & Stay A While
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Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama

Day 1
Arrival to Panama

Upon arrival to Panama you will be met in the Tocumen International airport by a bilingual interpretive guide and escorted to the Country Inn and Suites located on the Panama Canal. From your hotel room, guests enjoy spectacular views of the giant cargo ships and the Bridge of the Americas that links North and Central America with South America. This evening we will host a “Get Acquainted” event with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a tour briefing.

 Day 2
Ancient and Modern Panama City

Now that you are acquainted with your travel mates, let’s get acquainted with Panama! We'll will explore the ruins of Panama Vieja founded in 1519 and the first Spanish settlement on the Pacific side of the Americas.  Today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient city of Panama was the gateway for Peru’s gold and silver to travel across the isthmus on its way to Spain. Your guide will lead you on an exploration of what remains of the cities original convents and seminaries, which were looted and destroyed by Sir Henry Morgan in 1671.

Our next stop will be the Seafood and Farmers market of Panama City. The waters off the coast of Panama on the Pacific side are rich in marine life. The fishermen come in daily and sell their catches to wholesaler buyers who then resell the fish to retailers. The stands in the seafood market are retailers who sell to the general public.  After viewing the local produce and seafood, we will head upstairs to the Restaurant de Mariscos for a lunch at one the best places to eat local cuisine with the locals.  After lunch we will head back to the hotel for a much deserved rest.

In the afternoon we will visit Casco Antiguo, the historic center of Panama City. It is a quiet, charming district of narrow streets overlooked by the flower bedecked balconies of two and three-story houses. At its tip lies French Park, a monument to the French builders and Ferdinand de Lesseps who began the Panama Canal.  As we meander through the area we will see the remaining ruins of the convents and seminaries, the famous Flat Arch which reportedly helped convince engineers that Panama was earth-quake-proof, the Presidential Palace, and the beautiful Cathedral with its mother of pearl covered spires.

Dinner will be provided at the hotel.

Meals Included: B,L, D.

 Day 3
Panama Canal Zone.

This day will be dedicated to the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal.  In the morning we will visit the former US Canal Zone, first exploring the area which housed the U.S. Army and Naval bases.  Our exploration of the Canal Zone will be accompanied by a former US military personnel who will fill us in on all the details of daily life within this territory.  Then we move on to the Panama Canal Administration Building to see the magnificent 360-degree murals depicting the monumental effort to build the canal.

Before lunch we’ll make a stop at the former YMCA which now houses the local artisans market. The Mercado Artisania is a warren of wonderful little stalls and stores where it is possible to find under one roof all of the local arts and crafts of Panama’s indigenous people. The mola, made by the Kuna Indians, is an intricately stitched and overlaid piece of fabric that can be used for many purposes.  The tagua nut or vegetable ivory, originally used to make the first buttons for clothing, is a collectible item that is hand carved and painted to resemble the local wildlife. Beadwork and Embera baskets abound.  Lunch will be enjoyed at an ocean-side restaurant located on Flamenco Island and the Amador Causeway.  After lunch we will return to the hotel for break before heading out to the Miraflores Visitor’s Center.

The Miraflores Visitor Center (MVC) is an expression of the permanent commitment of the Panama Canal Authority to strengthen the public’s knowledge of the Canal. Located on the east side of the Miraflores Locks, the MVC allows the visitor to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn firsthand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed.  From the observation platform, you’ll watch in awe as ocean-going ships are tendered through huge locks with only inches to spare.

Dinner will be provided at the hotel.

Meals Included: B, L, D

 Day 4
The Panama Canal
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One cannot visit Panama without at least doing a partial transit of the canal. This morning we will board a ship designed exactly for visitors wanting to experience what every ship transiting the canal goes through.  It will be an unforgettable journey as our boat is raised and lowered through two sets of locks, Miraflores and Pedro Miguel, and transits the infamous Gaillard Cut. Roughly five percent of the world’s commercial trade transits the Panama Canal.  Lunch is served on board and the entire transit is narrated by a canal expert who explains the history, engineering, and execution of the canal.  In the early afternoon we disembark and return to our hotel for a free afternoon to spend at your leisure.

This evening, we’ll return to Panama City for a wonderful dinner out on the town.

Meals Included: B, L, D

 Day 5
The Wild Side of the Panama Canal

This day combines the thrill of encountering wildlife in their natural habitats while passing in the shadows of the mammoth cargo ships transiting the Panama Canal.  Gatun Lake, with a surface area of 423 square-kilometers, was created in 1914 as the main waterway for the canal and contains many small islands (former hilltops) that provide protected natural habitats for many of the animals that live in the region. 

From the comfort of our expedition boat  which allows shoreline access to the rainforest covered islands we will search for white-faced capuchin, mantled howler monkey, central american spider monkey, and Geoffrey’s tamarin. We are likely to spot green iguana and three-toed sloth resting on tree branches, crocodile napping on beaches, osprey hunting for peacock bass, snail kite, and keel-billed toucan. At mid-day, we will enjoy a picnic lunch on a small island with extraordinary views of the Panama Canal and the natural surroundings.  After lunch we return to the hotel for a refreshing break to rest up for a late afternoon outing

After a nice break at the hotel, we will visit Mi Pueblito Interiorano, an exact replica of a small, Panamanian, interior town at the turn of the century.  This replica includes government offices, shops, a school and a tiny church surround a cobblestone plaza, complete with fountain. There is also a museum is devoted to the pollera, Panama's national dress.

Meals Included: B, L, D

Day 6
From Coast to Coast
Portobello, the Caribbean Sea, and the Panama Canal Railroad

This morning we head out on the newly opened Isthmian highway for the town and forts of Portobelo.  Famous for its trade fairs during the 17th century, Portobelo is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During colonial times it was one of the most important strongholds of the Spanish Main in the Americas. We will visit Forts San Geronimo and Santiago de la Gloria as well as the Church of San Felipe famous for its black Christ.  After strolling through the ruins of Portobelo we will board a small boat that will take us to a hidden Caribbean beach where we can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy a picnic lunch. 

Mid afternoon we’ll begin to make our way to the city of Colon where we board the Panama Canal Railway for the one hour ride across the isthmus to Panama City. The train follows a similar route as the original built to transport 49ers coming from the east coast of the United States across the Isthmus on their journey to the California Gold Rush.  The train ride will take us along the banks of Gatun Lake to the west and is flanked by the rainforests of Soberania National Park to the east.

Dinner will be provided at the hotel

Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 7
Chagres River and Emberá Indians

This is a perfect opportunity to visit an indigenous village in the midst of a wonderful natural setting that supports the harmony of their lifestyle and traditions. Early in the morning guests are picked up at their hotel and transferred to Port El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake, the main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon. Madden Lake also supplies 40% of the water required for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here, we board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) and travel up the Chagres River to the Embera indigenous village of Embera Drua or Tusipono.  The boat journey takes us through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park, which is the largest of the National Parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed.

At the Embera village we will be greeted with dancing and music. We will learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature. There will be handcrafts available for sale and we will have a chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a lunch of fish , plantain, and fresh fruit served in traditional style by the Embera, we visit the nearby waterfall where we can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Chagres River before heading back to Panama City.

Tonight we bid farewell at local restaurant in Casco Antiguo

Meals Included: B, L, D.

Day 8
Panama Departure

Today we’ll say farewell to this enchanting country and return home, where you’ll be eager to share your incredible Panama and the Panama Canal experiences.

Meals Included: B

Each departure itinerary may vary slightly. Although the day in which a stop is listed may differ, you will enjoy the same experiences listed here.

Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama

One amazing quality that makes Panama so unique is that from one location in Panama City travelers can enjoy so much of this beautiful country and its culture and nature without having to change hotels.

If you are the type of traveler that likes to check into to one hotel, unpack your bags, and venture out, then this is the tour for you.

Unpack Your Bags Adventure Panama
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