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Panama Canal: A Journey Between the Seas

9 days from £4,180pp

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Panama Canal: A Journey Between the Seas

 

Private Journey

 

Panama's Cultural Heartland - The Azuero Peninsula

4 days from £1,031pp

Panama’s cultural heartland, the Azuero Peninsula, has a heady mix of indigenous heritage, contemporary Spanish-inspired culture and cattle-raising. The region certainly sits slap bang in the centre of the country, on the Pacific side. The Azuero Peninsula has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian indigenous groups, with many artefacts and ceremonial sites uncovered by archaeologists. The indians did not survive the Spanish invasion though, and nowadays there is a distinctly Hispanic tradition, best observed in the region’s festivals and colonial architecture.

Day 1: It’s a 4hr shared road transfer from Panama City to Chitre, capital of the Herrera province.

Day 2: On today’s guided excursion you will be introduced to the cultural traditions of the Azuero Peninsula. Visit a family house where grotesque devil masks are made; a local drum maker who uses razor sharp chisels to hollow out cylindrical cuts of wood and call in on a potter who has been spinning his wheel manually for decades. At the home of a maker of pollera dresses - introduced by the colonial Spanish - sometimes it is a man who was does the sewing. In each place you have the chance at trying your hand at the craft yourself.

Day 3: Urracá, 'the Lord of the Wind, Rain and Thunder', was a chieftain who resisted the invasion of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, defeating them on several occasions. Exploring  Urracá's territory you visit his statue before continuing towards San Francisco de la Montaña where you visit the church, a 1727 jewel of baroque art with hundreds of hand-carved altar pieces demonstrating a fusion between Spanish Catholicism and indigenous culture. Continue to the San Juan river canyon and La Yeguada lagoon for a short hike through the forest and a swim in the waterfall.

Day 4: Return to Panama City to continue your holiday or to the city’s airport for your international flight.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Breakfast daily.


weaver

San Blas and the Kuna Indians

3 days from £670pp

Spend a few days combining relaxing beach-time with an insight into one of Panama’s most distinctive cultures, that of the semi-autonomous Kuna (also known nowadays as Guna) indians.

San Blas is a necklet of hundreds of coral islands lying off the Caribbean coast and stretching 200km to the border with Colombia, ranging from tiny islets with a cluster of palms to larger, inhabited islands. The Kuna, farmers, fishermen and traders, are notably spiritual and maintain a deeply traditional lifestyle here. The Kuna, famous for their  are famous for their bright molas, a colorful textile art form used in the blouses of the Kuna women's national dress, which is worn daily by many Kuna women. It’s a fascinating lifestyle with which you will have the privilege of getting acquainted.

Day 1: Take an early morning 50min flight by light aircraft to Playón Chico airstrip. You’ll be staying at Yandup Lodge, with simple, understated but comfortable bamboo-constructed beds with bright fabrics, a ceiling fan, private bathrooms (no hot water - this is the tropics) ,and a hammock on the veranda. The dining room overlooks the Caribbean, as almost everything does, and all meals are served en famille.

Day 2: Spend time alongside the Kuna and enjoy relaxing on the pearly white beaches, where the glass-clear water invites you to snorkel out to the coral reef.

Day 3: Return by canoe to the airstrip and fly back to Panama City to connect with your flight home or continue your holiday.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Lunch and dinner day 1, full board day 2, breakfast day 3.


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