Darien: The Lost World

Price

$7,435/Group of 4 for 6 NIGHTS

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Explore Darien's Nature Reserve with our naturalist guides, enjoy the coastal boat trip around the Gulf of San Miguel and visit the Embera indigenous community at Mogue River. Winding down your adventure, visit cultural sites and discover Colonial and modern Panama.

Summary

Tocumen International Airport is a regional hub for commercial flights heading to and from The Caribbean, South America, North America and Central America (also, the European cities of Frankfurt, Madrid and Amsterdam are served). It is one of the few airports in the region that has two landing runways able to serve the largest commercial aircraft operating today. Common airliners at the airport include Boeing 737s, Embraer 190s and Airbus A320s. The largest passenger aircraft flying to/from the airport are the Airbus A340 and the Boeing 777 flown by Iberia Airlines and KLM, respectively.

Exotic tropical rainforest, beautiful mountain refuges, and Caribbean-style beaches, one of the best birding sites worldwide, seven living Indian cultures, Panama is the sophisticated capital city with a vibrant night life, Spanish colonial historical sites (UNESCO World Heritage Site), golf, diving, snorkeling, not to mention that 8th wonder of the world and engineering marvel, the Panama Canal. It is hard to think of any other destination in the world that has such a variety of attractions that close and easy to get to.

Forming a bridge between the two continents of the New World, Darien National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) contains an exceptional variety of habitats – sandy beaches, rocky coasts, mangroves, swamps, and lowland and upland tropical forests containing remarkable wildlife. Two Indian tribes live in the park. Darién is located a few hours east of Metropolitan Panama City.

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY #1

TOCUMEN AIRPORT (PTY) PICK-UP WITH TRANSFER TO HOTEL
CHECK-IN AT RIANDE CONTINENTAL AEROPUERTO (1-NIGHT)

DAY #2

BREAKFAST
PANAMERICAN HIGHWAY SCENIC RIDE – 5 HOURS
TUIRA RIVER BOAT RIDE – 1.5 HOURS
DARIEN NATIONAL PARK - WORLD HERITAGE SITE
CHECK-IN AT PUNTA PATIO LODGE (3-NIGHTS)
MELLOW NIGHT TRAIL HIKE

DAY #3

MOGUE RIVER BOAT RIDE
INDIAN VILLAGE
COASTAL TOUR

DAY #4

MELLOW TRAIL HIKE
BIRDWATCHING/NESTING TOUR

DAY #5

LEISURE AT PACIFIC OCEAN BEACH
TUIRA RIVER BOAT RIDE – 1.5 HOURS
PANAMERICAN HIGHWAY SCENIC RIDE – 5 HOURS
CHECK-IN AT RIANDE CONTINENTAL AEROPUERTO (2-NIGHTS)

DAY #6

ARCHEOLOGICAL RUINS & HISTORIC DISTRICT - WORLD HERITAGE SITE
MIRAFLORES VISITOR CENTER
SHOPPING/DINING

DAY #7

TRANSFER TO AIRPORT

Activities

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tour Highlights

  • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF 100% GUIDED ACTIVITIES
  • EXPERIENCE THE STUNNING ARCHITECTURES OF HISTORIC DISTRICTS AND FORTRESSES
  • LEARN ABOUT THE FASCINATING CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE REGION
  • JOURNEY ALONG THE BREATHTAKING WATERS OF GREAT RIVERS WHILE VISITING MARINE SANCTUARIES
  • DAZZLE YOUR SENSES NAVIGATING THROUGH OCEAN BREEZES AND ADMIRING COASTLINE SCENERIES
  • LOOK OFF THE BOW FOR WHALES, DOLPHINS, FLYFISH, SEA TURTLES
  • VISIT THE 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD: THE PANAMA CANAL
  • MARVEL AT THE SIGHT OF GREAT VARIETY OF RAINFOREST FLORA & FAUNA

Lodging

Riande Continental

Relax your senses and enjoy the freshness of Riande Aeropuerto Hotel, Casino & Resort, an extraordinary resort situated half-a-mile from the Tocumen International airport.

Punta Patiño Lodge

Punta Patiño Lodge is located atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the South and surrounded by the natural splendor of the area. Its ten well-appointed, rustic cabins are air-conditioned and have private bathrooms. A dining hall and a chapel dating back to the early 20th century are all part of the lodge's facilities. Electricity is only available after sunset to sunrise (approximately from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.)

Transportation

Private transport service offers a safe, convenient, and flexible way to travel anywhere within Panama. Private transport can be scheduled anytime you wish and from any airport, hotel, private home or identifiable landmark in Panama. All the vehicles used for private transportation are air conditioned, well-maintained minibuses (passenger vans) driven by reliable and punctual Panamanian professionals, who are eager to help your group move safely about the country.

Not Included

  • MEALS (U.N.O.)
  • INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE
  • GRATUITIES
  • HOTEL EXTRAS

What to Bring

  • Binoculars (preferably 7x35 or bigger, also available for purchase at FTS online store)
  • Camera with extra batteries & film
  • Flashlight with extra bulb & batteries
  • Insect repellant, Sunscreen, bathing suit
  • Hat, Day pack / dry sack
  • Water bottle
  • Lightweight/quick dry cotton clothes
  • Sandals, sneakers / hiking boots
  • Long pants, Rain gear, Windbreaker
  • Money in small denominations
  • Toiletries & personal medications

What to Expect

Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the finest in the eco-tourism industry. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:

  • Naturalist guide/Tour leader: US$10.00-US$20.00 per person/day
  • Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
  • Transfer driver: US$2.00 per person
  • Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day
  • Tour boat driver: US$5.00 per person/day
  • Hotel bellman: US$1.00 per person per suitcase
  • International airport bellmen (red caps): US$1.00 per piece of suitcase
  • Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to tidal/weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.
  • Weight restrictions apply to luggage in domestic flights as follows: each passenger is allowed 1 bag of up to 25 lbs. (11 kg) per person. Carry-on luggage is limited to 10 lbs. passenger (4.5 kg).
  • Passengers are responsible for excess baggage fees and are subject to US$1.00 per extra pound and only allowed depending on flight occupancy.
  • Free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to a foreign country.
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  • Travel protection is the unique combination of insurance benefits and assistance services specifically designed to help protect travelers.
  • Coverage benefits can include Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical/Dental Coverage, Emergency Medical Transportation, Travel Delay, Baggage Delay, Baggage Coverage, and Accidental Death.
  • Travel protection insures your prepaid and nonrefundable tickets, accommodations and other travel expenses, in case you miss your trip for a covered reason.
  • There are many covered reasons for cancelling a trip; however, the most common is an injury or illness. For example, a family is planning a summer vacation and a week before the trip, a close relative is admitted to the hospital with a life-threatening illness. The family could file a claim for any prepaid, nonrefundable expenses or other costs associated with a change or cancellation of their vacation plans.
  • While you can buy travel insurance up until the day before you depart, we recommend you purchase as early as possible to receive the maximum benefits if you have to cancel your travel arrangements for a covered reason.
  • Travel protection policy coverage generally starts at 12:01 A.M. on the day the scheduled trip begins. Therefore, travel protection cannot be purchased after that time.
  • FTS can only recommend the services of companies that provide top-quality coverage and impeccable customer service to our clients. You may purchase your policy directly by contacting Allianz Travel Insurance at http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/.