Overview & Highlights
A relaxing holiday exploring by car the sunlit beaches of Panama’s undeveloped Pacific coast with inroads into the mountainous hinterland in search of wildlife and outdoor adventures.
With its laid-back, peaceful ambience, sunny weather and genial people, Panama is an increasingly popular destination for visitors who want to widen their horizons beyond the capital city and the Canal. It’s easy to see why - there’s a string of natural and cultural delights studding the mostly flawless Pacific coastline and its hinterland of cloud forest-clad mountains.
But what’s the best way to explore them? The charm of these highlights is enhanced by their feeling of remoteness, but they are in fact easily accessed by an expanding network of blissfully smooth highways and virtually vehicle-free paved rural roads. So we are excited by our new self-drive holiday, devised to guide you to discover our best-loved spots in Panama and rest up at a few of our favourite hotels and lodges.
Driving is utterly pleasurable and mostly easy-going as you cruise along an innovative route we’ve devised from first-hand experience. Armed with Wifi, your map and plenty of advice and tips exclusive to Journey Latin America, you will progress at a leisurely pace with plenty of opportunities to stop and discover hidden corners of this amiable country.
Transfer to your hotel in the historic centre of Panama City, Casco Viejo.
Guided tour of the Panama Canal and Casco Viejo
Collect your hire car and drive to El Valle de Anton.
Drive from El Valle to Chitre on the Azuero Peninsula.
Drive from Chitre to Playa Venao via Pese and Pedasi
At leisure in Playa Venao.
Drive from Playa Venao to Boca Chica via Sona and Puerto Vidal.
At leisure on Boca Brava Island.
Further opportunities to explore Boca Brava.
Drive from Boca Chica to Boquete via Cerro Punta.
At leisure in the Boquete area.
Drive from Boquete to David, drop off car. Fly back to Panama City.
Guided boat tour on Gatún lake; transfer to the airport for your international flight.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Very satisfied with Journry Latin Americas service in the UK and a wonderful tour which was turned into an excellent experience by our tour guide and driver.JE, Southwell
The tour was obviously well organised and structured, but it never felt rigid, there was the flexibilty to do your own thing if you wanted to, and enough 'free' time to go off and explore, or just sit and enjoy a coffee. The optional trips were varied and reasonably priced, and refreshingly there was no hard sell or pressure to join these trips. A truly wonderful journey.MD, Stafford
The overall experience was friendly and efficient, seeing the most amazing places from high up in the desert to the wilds of Patagonia.CB, Beckenham
It was a fantiastic holiday, visiting really varied and fascinating locations in an amazing country, and well paced too. One of the reasons I was able to go on the Gaucho tour was that I could fit it into a two weeks holiday from work, but a lot of your tours are a bit too long for that.DB, London
Seeing the people on the Uros islands demonstrate how they cook, the amazing Iguassu Falls, seeing a toucan close up (at Iguassu), all the different Inca sites, seeing the traditional dress and witches market in La Paz, the herbal drinks being explained in Asuncion, sunset on sugarloaf mountain and chilling out on Ilha grande.PW, Leatherhead
Machu Picchu was the ultimate climax at the end of the tour & definitely best to see it lastly. However all the previous places, people & food all definitely contributed hugely to a truly memorable trip - a visit to Peru with the preceding visits made the whole adventure far more meaningful & pleasurable.EA, London
The amazing scenery - every kilometre of the Carretera Austral, every turning, offers stunning views which never cease to surprise...I am impressed with the way it is possible to combine group tours with individual travel and with the flexibility available on the tours to meet individual needs. I find the whole booking experience from enquiry to final plans, very easy with great response from your office. The tour leaders are absolutely brilliant at what they do - I am in awe of their multiple skills!SC, Penryn
This was a trip to remember. I have a brilliant overview of this enormous country. And was pleased to visit it before tourism takes a hold. Our brilliant tour leader made the trip distinctive and accessed areas and people for us that would have been impossible on our own.RP, Matlock
The Bolivian deserts and salt flats, I found a new favourite country in South America. Outstanding scenery, the night sky with a full and clear sight of the Milky Way, several planets and a myriad of stars, friendly people and an area which I had little prior knowledge of.BD, Hartlepool
All of it! Aisen is visually stunning and unforgettable. The whole thing was a great adventure we will never forget and we loved the cities as well.TO, Loughton
Overall a very enjoyable trip - some long days and early starts but was easily do-able for a group mainly consisting of people in their 50s and 60s. Saw many amazing sights. Excellent organisation - everything worked - buses, flights, pick ups, minibuses, coaches, boats, trains etc! Never arrived anywhere and there was no-one to meet us. Had a great holiday!LB, New Malden
This was our fourth holiday with JLA, all have been wonderful experiences, different in their own ways, all with excellent tour leaders, different characters each with a passion for the countries they takes us into. Your Tour leaders are your assets do value them.HW, Bury St. Edmunds
Overall an absolutely fantastic holiday. Arranged at last minute, there is no way that we would have been able to organise something like this on our own. Everything ran smoothly, the group leader was extremely helpful and the group got on very well together, in spite of a large age range. Thanks very much!RB, Kettering
On our fifth trip with JLA we have always found the organisation to be excellent and reliable. Its good to have knowledgeable tour leaders and to stay in individual style hotels where appropriate.CS, Lymington
"Walking up to and then seeing Machu Picchu for the first time, visiting the floating Islands on Lake Titicaca , All of the Galapagos Islands visited but in particular swimming with a sea lion and seeing a Galapagos penquin up close and personal!"NHH, West Byfleet
"The holiday was wide-ranging, expertly organised and allowed us time to go 'off-tour' and enjoy the locations independently which I appreciated, given the swift nature of the journey."MB, London
An amazing mix of experiences right from the start - sites/sights/sounds/climates/flora/fauna/city/country & so on!DR, Baldock
This is the third year that we have travelled with JLA and each time it was very well organised from start to finish. We have had three brilliant trips.JH, Radstock
"Travelling across the high desert surrounded by snow topped peaks with herds of wild LLama running away from us. Then vivid pink / blue lakes appeared with flamingo feeding. This experience was the best but the salt flats are dramatic and facinating."PC, Broughton-in-Furness
The birds were wonderful - especially the time spent looking for, and finding, the Resplendent Quetzal. Also the camaraderie and the laughs with the group members, the tour leader and the driver.FW, Dornoch
The boat trip,down the river, the waterfall and above all the trip,through the mango swamps and seeing the flamingos it was magical. However the archeological trips to the different pyramids were also amazing.IR, Malta
It was overall an excellent experience.
I saw truly unique scenery and interesting historical buildings & monuments but for me it was wonderful to see all that I did and stay in clean comfortable hotels on this 'Discovery' tour. Thank you JLA.MS, Lymington
Impossible! Without exception every part of the trip was memorable and as the holiday progressed we ran out of superlatives to describe it!
This was an extremely well thought out and planned trip which gave us an excellent introduction to the 3 countries and left us impatient to return. It was a great mix of the iconic sights and less visited places of natural beauty. The group we were with were great, the tour leader was outstanding - and we really find it hard to recommend improvements.
This trip was our introduction to Latin America and it greatly exceeded our expectations. A varied and well organised trip which gave us a real feel for the countries we visited, with an outstanding tour leader. The holiday left us wanting to return to explore other parts of the continent and we would certainly travel with JLA again.
We have travelled with JLA on several occasions throughout South America. JLA may not be the cheapest tour operator, but booking with JLA means peace of mind, expert and helpful advice, reliable pick ups and travel arrangements and expert and informative tour leaders and local guides. A holiday should be free of worry and JLA take care of everything!CR, Bath
Thank you for a wonderful trip! We will return to South America in the future and JLA will be our first choice.GW, Rickmansworth
I travelled with a great group of people, a fantastic Tour Leader and amazing Driver. One of my best JLA experiences.JH, Woking
It was exciting just being in Patagonia. The hike in Torres and the Profunda ranch visit in El Calafate were wonderful because they were more personal than the usual tourist trips.SG, Berwick-upon-Tweed
I loved it all and it could not have been better.
"Getting to Machu Picchu after a 50 year dream was amazing. Although the whole of Bolivia was magical stunning scenery excellent guides and a surrealistic landscape."MF, Warwick
Everyday was exhilarating and exciting. Guatemala was so colourful - the scenery, the markets, the food, the traditional dress, the flowers and birdlife. Delicious coffee! The itinerary enabled me to take in spectacular views of volcanoes, such as in Antigua and Lake Atitlan, of the Mayan ruins at Tikal and Yaxha.JH, Weybridge
"Hats off to the Ecuadoreans for reinstating this railway line! It really is one of the world's great train journeys, and all managed with such style and comfort."AD, Newcastle
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.