Panama Activities

Get the forest's different perspective, take a close look from above! You can be eye to eye with the birds and animals of the rainforest while sitting comfortably in the seat of our Swiss-engineered aerial tram system. Gliding smoothly through the tree tops, you will experience firsthand the sounds and peace of the deep tropical rainforest. One of the Gamboa's tour guides will accompany you to describe the flora and fauna that you will see. The 1.2-kilometer ride culminates at a hill top where you have the opportunity to visit the Observation Tower. After walking up the spiral ramp, you will discover a panoramic view of the Chagres River, The Panama Canal, Embera Indigenous Village, and the Town of Gamboa – all surrounded by lush mountainous rainforest.

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This World Heritage Site is defined by two properties, the Archaeological sites of Old Panama and the Historic District (aka "Casco Viejo"). Old Panama is the oldest European settlement in the Pacific Coast of the Americas (established in 1519 by Spain). It was laid out on a rectilinear grid and marks the transference from Europe of the idea of a planned town. Abandoned in the mid-17th century, it was replaced four miles west of its original location by a 'new town' (the 'Historic District'), which has also preserved its original street plan, its architecture and an unusual mixture of Spanish, French and early American styles. Its massive historic sea wall built in the 1670s to defend the city from attack by the pirates still stands. Today it is one of the most important historical monuments in the Americas. The streets are filled with buildings that served as homes, cathedrals and churches and government buildings over centuries and many architectural phases. Some of these structures have been painstakingly restored and now house museums, gourmet restaurants, quaint shops and upscale residences offering an excellent peek into the varied history that the district has experienced.

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Panama's first marine national park. You reach Salt Creek by navigating through clusters of Red Mangroves, which provide sea creatures with a protective area during their reproductive and development stages. Enjoy a walk along Caiman trail. This trail takes you through several stages of lowland forest dynamics. Here, we will look for birds such as Red-throated Ant Tanager and Golden-collared Manakin. An older tract of rainforest has tall trees that provide life to birds such as the Three-wattled Bellbird and Green-breasted Mango. After the hike, enjoy a visit to the Ngobe Bugle indigenous community where we will have a chance to enjoy lunch, learn about their culture and purchase handcrafts such as painted woodcarvings and handbags. Snorkel among mangroves and coral reefs, searching for numerous fish species, as well as dynamic and brightly colored sea fans, sponges and brittle starfish.

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Start the adventure with a boat ride around Colon Island to Bocas Del Drago. We will visit Swan's Cay, a rock protruding from the depths of the Caribbean Sea, which serves as rookery for Red-billed tropic birds (the only place to be found in Panama) and Brown boobies. You will enjoy the beach at Bocas Del Drago in search for colorful giant starfish along the coastline.

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An interactive experience with coffee at Café Ruiz. The experts will explain the complete process from growing, green processing, roasting, packaging, and trading of high-end quality coffee. Casa Ruiz is the leading quality coffee company in Boquete and the excursion takes you from the coffee farm, coffee wet and dry processing facilities, roasted to an unforgettable tasting experience at the Coffee Shop. Enjoy a fresh brewed cup of coffee while watching the spectacular sunset over the Baru Volcano, the highest peak of the country at 3,475 meters above sea level.

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You will immerse yourself in the rich tropical waters of this World Heritage site to explore the reef and its inhabitants, gaining an appreciation for its size and unspoiled beauty. We will enter the Boca Grande Estuary, looking for the Coiba Howler Monkey and Scarlet Macaws along the mangrove banks of the river. Snorkel the coral reef of Bahia Damas, where sightings of Snapper, Grouper, Jack, Moray eels and the benign White-tipped shark are not uncommon. In the vicinity, you can also find a series of natural hot springs. Visit central station of the penal colony, where you are free to roam the installations of the once notorious prison. Abandoned cells, chapels, a cemetery, dining halls and the original 1919 main prison building still stands the test of time. A boat to the nearby Los Monos Trail gives you a great opportunity to explore the inner rainforests of the island, home to White-faced Capuchins, Coiba Spine and Lanced-tailed Manakins among others. Lots of snorkeling and beach time at the northernmost islands in the park known as Canales. In this area, you can find more coral reefs and the chance to see some of the marine mammal life of the park. Migrating Humpback whales, resident Bottle-nosed and Spotted dolphins navigate the channel between Coiba and Canales Islands.

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Your Naturalist Guide will give you an introduction to your 4-day adventure while traveling from a vibrant cosmopolitan city to small farming towns and indigenous villages; from multi-lane highways to narrow country roads; from skyscrapers to simple houses along rivers with meadows and forests discover this private 65,000-acre Punta Patio Nature Reserve, the largest private natural protected area in Central America and part of the Darien National Park complex of preserved lands. Led by your Naturalist Guide you will hike into the forest in search of nature creatures and exquisite flora. You will learn about the work that the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON) is carrying out to protect the reserve and how the rainforest is regenerating.

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Take a boat tour through the Panama Canal into secret waterways to find hidden islands where Capuchin and Howler monkeys can be seen leaping in the trees above. Occasionally, they become curious of visitors and venture down to take a closer look. This Panama Canal tour provides a unique opportunity for viewing wild monkeys in their natural habitat. Other animals you might spot on this tour include Two and Three-toed Sloths, Crocodiles, and turtles that are native to Gatun Lake. The boat ride to and from the island passes through the Panama Canal, giving you the chance to spot huge container ships and cruise liners during their passage across the world.

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Enjoy a cloud forest tree canopy trek on a zip line that allows you to contemplate the rainforest from fourteen different canopy platforms while smoothly soaring in the heights of the cloud forest from one treetop to another. You will glide through the trees and encounter a world unknown. You will discover a fascinating perspective of wildlife that you had never appreciated. Native species of flora and fauna can be observed. You will marvel at the sight of a great variety of orchids, trees and wildflowers that are found throughout the area. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. At an elevation of 2,286 meters (7,500 feet) you will have an opportunity to hike this dormant volcano looking for the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, Three-wattled Bellbird, Black-faced Solitaire, Volcano Hummingbird, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher and Prong-billed Barbet in their cool habitat of orchids, bromeliads and wild avocados.

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Enjoy a one hour drive to El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake, the main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon, Madden also supplies 40% of the water required for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here you will board a motorized piragua to travel up the Chagres River. The dugout canoe journey will take you through the rainforests of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park, the largest of the national parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed. Along the Chagres River, you may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhinga, Neo-tropical Cormorant, Amazon, Ringed, and Green Kingfisher, along with Red lored Amazon Parrot and Keel-billed Toucan flying above. You will reach the Embera indigenous village where you will be greeted with dancing, music and a sumptuous lunch made up of fresh fish, plantains and tropical fruits prepared by your hosts. Learn about their customs and their relationship with nature while visiting the village. The Embera Indians are famous for their basketry and wood carving skills. There will be handcrafts available for sale and you will have a chance to be painted with the traditional "jaguar", a natural dye used to adorn their bodies.

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Embark on a motorized dugout canoe and head for the Mogue River. You will look for Roseate Spoonbill, Ibis, Osprey and Raccoons fishing along the river. The trip up river takes you through millenary mangroves making the boat ride extraordinary. You arrive at the village of Mogue where its inhabitants greet you. After the formalities and presentations you will be able to learn about their culture and traditions. You will also have the opportunity to buy their beautiful arts & crafts that are made from natural materials. The men are expert carvers of Cocobolo wood and the women weave extraordinary baskets from palm fibers with dyes from different plants. On your return trip to the lodge you will enjoy a coastal tour of the reserve. Explore the area surrounding the lodge on your own, enjoy the view from the second floor veranda or enjoy a siesta on one of the hammocks or at your cabin.

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The Panama Canal Visitor Center 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 Center 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. The center features an ample, fully equipped theater, three observation terraces, two snack bars and restaurant with panoramic view, a gift shop, and a hall for special events. Four exhibition halls constitute the heart of this Visitor Center. The exhibitions include historic pieces, interactive modules, video presentations, models of the Panama Canal, and objects used in Canal operations. The History Hall portrays the background, technological innovations, and sanitary initiatives that went hand in hand with the construction of the Canal. This exhibition hall honors the hundreds of men and women who made this achievement possible. The Hall of Water: Source of Life emphasizes the importance of water, conservation of the environment and biodiversity, protection of the Canal Watershed, and the Panama Canal Authority's commitment to the sustainable management of this resource and the interoceanic region. The Canal in Action depicts in an amusing manner how the Canal operates and allows us the experience of being inside a navigation simulator and one of the lock culverts. A virtual ocean-to-ocean transit is also made possible through the use of a topographical model. This exhibition showcases Canal improvement, modernization, and maintenance projects. The Canal in the World provides information on the importance of the Canal to world trade; describes the trade routes it serves; and identifies its main users, the various types of vessels that transit the waterway, and the commodities they carry. In addition, it presents an overview of studies conducted in order to guarantee the future competitiveness of the Canal and the benefits to the Republic of Panama.

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Enter into the rainforest to observe the vast array of animal species that make this pristine habitat home. We will encounter Fort San Lorenzo which is known as the "Guard of the Chagres River" since for 75 years this fort, with only 300 soldiers, repelled numerous attacks by the Pirates of the Caribbean preventing them from trespassing the gateway to the Americas. Its cannons still stand in this living testament to history. From here we continue to the historic town of Portobelo, famous for its trade fairs during the 17th century colonial times, it was one of the most important strongholds of the Spanish Main in the Americas. Once there, we will visit Forts San Geronimo and Santiago de la Gloria as well as the Church of San Felipe. The journey will end with a 45-min Trans-Isthmian train ride back to the Pacific coast of the continent. The railway follows the route used to transport 49ers coming from the east coast of the United States across the Isthmus to continue their journey by boat to California during the Gold Rush.

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