Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more


Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

Send an Enquiry
*
Contact details
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
Print-Friendly dossier

This holiday introduces you to the extraordinary history of a country linking oceans, spanning cultures and hosting pathways for smuggled gold, we take you to visit some of nature’s most fecund forests, laden with ebullient wildlife and luscious plants.

Your first thoughts about Panama may envisage hats (actually from Ecuador); a large, strategic canal; a fallen dictator and maybe some refugees from justice. But that would be underestimating the unexpected charms and variety of this hilly Central American republic. Your trip with us will change your mind about that. 

The capital city is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan, an eclectic mix of American, European and Asian influences forged by centuries of immigration, while the palm-defined, pearl white beaches are undeveloped. The Panamanian people, relaxed and welcoming, will ensure you have an enriching holiday.

For an even more comprehensive experience of what Panama has to offer the visitor, we recommend you take one or other of our extensions to this holiday, to San Blas, Contadora beach or  or the Azuero peninsula, Panama's cultural heartland. 

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Panama City and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

Partial transit of the Panama Canal.

Day 3

Guided excursion in Panama City

Day 4

Fly to David and transfer to highland Boquete.

Day 5

At leisure in Boquete.

Day 6

By air and water taxi to Bocas del Toro islands.

Days 7-8

At leisure in Bocas del Toro.

Day 9

Fly back to the mainland and transfer to Gamboa.

Day 10

Boat tour on Lake Gatún. Transfer to Panama City airport for international flight home.

VIEW FULL ITINERARY DETAILS
ReadMore
Close

Visit Us

Places visited on this holiday

Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

Back to list of places visited
Panama City
Panama City

Panama City is more cosmopolitan than Latin, and enjoys a strategic position which has led to an eventful history, with immigrants arriving from all over the world. On the Pacific coast Panama la Vieja, the first Spanish colonial site of the city and a conduit for plundered gold and oriental silks and spices was sacked by pirates and abandoned. The city moved to what is now known as Casco Viejo where vestiges of colonial streets and buildings have been restored, cocktail bars and trendy restaurants have opened and a lively cultural hub has been established. The sky-scraper filled modern city, hub of commerce and international trade linked to the Panama Canal is an energetic quarter buzzing with shopping malls, sophisticated restaurants and entertainment. Away from the bustle along the Pacific coast, you’ll find relaxed resort hotels with a multitude of activities.

When to go

Situated well within the tropics, Panama City has a typical tropical climate with high temperatures (over 30°C) all year round. May-Nov is rainy season. The city lies outside the main hurricane belt.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency

Balboa. The national currency is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There are a few ATMs in the city where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, amounts may be limited, and vary from bank to bank. Notes can be obtained from exchange houses and also from banks which will supply advances on a debit or credit card. Panamanians are sometimes reluctant to accept US dollar notes of higher denominations. 

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

 A couple of days staying in Soberanía National Park, where residents include a large variety of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, as well as a profusion of bird species.

Getting there

There are flights via US and European hubs, the journey from London takes around taking around 13 hours.

Key events
Carnival, Feb-Mar. is celebrated with much gusto in Panama City: costumed revelry, music and dancing culminate in a big Shrove Tuesday parade.
Semana Santa, Easter. Celebrated with religious processions. 
Independence Day, 4 Nov. A huge parade through the old city. 

Back to list of places visited
Boquete and the Chiriquí Highlands
Coffee Plantation in Boquete Panama

Inland from David on the sultry coast, the highlands of Chiriquí province provide a welcome relief from the humidity. The cool mountain air, rugged mist-shrouded hills, Alpine forests and boulder-strewn rivers come together to create a delightful landscape, while the fertile volcanic soils produce an abundance of coffee and citrus fruits. Visitors flock to the attractive town of Boquete, a centre for outdoor adventures. The volcano Barú (3,475m) looms above the town and River Caldera runs through a steep gorge, while the La Amistad National Park straddles the border with Costa Rica with hiking trails, bathing pools and waterfalls.

When to go

Temperatures in the highlands (1,000m) are uniformly high at 25°C all year round but at altitude the air is much fresher than on the coast. The rainy season is Apr-Nov while Jan-Mar is fairly dry. The region lies outside the main hurricane belt.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

Balboa. The national currency is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There are  ATMs in main towns and cities (including one in Boquete) where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the  UK and amounts may be limited. You are best advised to acquire dollar bills before travelling to the province. Panamanians are sometimes reluctant to accept US dollar notes of higher denominations.

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

A beach wind-down on the Caribbean Bocas del Toro archipelago, with 6 large tropical forested islands and scores of smaller ones. The islands have pristine beaches, coral reefs, and excellent snorkelling and diving.

Getting there

It’s a 1 hour flight from Panama City to David, from where it is a 1 hour drive up to Boquete (38 km) on a paved road.

Key Events
Feria de las Flores y del Café: Boquete, Jan. A festival to celebrate flowers and coffee takes place over a two week period starting the second week of the month, during the coffee harvest. It attracts vendors and visitors from well beyond the region.
Independence from Spain Day, Boquete, 28 Nov. A day-long parade of marching bands from all over the country.

Back to list of places visited
Bocas del Toro and The Caribbean
Bocas Del Toro

From the desolate beaches that pepper the coast near the Costa Rican border to the impenetrably wild forests on the fringes of the Darien Gap, the majority of Panama’s Caribbean coast has remained unspoiled since well before Captain Morgan arrived to plunder Portobello in 1668.Vestiges of this period are evident in the now tranquil fortresses that look out majestically over the stunning bay of Portobello.

Far removed from the glittering sophistication of Panama City is the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro, near the border with Costa Rica. Long isolated from the rest of the country the forested coral islands and adjoining mangrove-stifled mainland it still has a remote, pristine ambience. Banana plantations brought the region into the embrace of the country’s economy and now developers have their eye on the virgin real estate for future condominiums. However, much of the province is protected: the Bastimentos Marine Park is an important conservation area offering superb diving and snorkelling. With a laid back Afro-Caribbean culture alongside friendly indigenous villages, it’s a lovely place to relax.

A short distance off the Caribbean Coast lies The San Blas Archipelago, which is described in more detail on the San Blas Islands page.

 


When to go

Situated within the tropics, Bocas del Toro has a balmy climate with high temperatures (over 30°C) all year round. Although there is plenty of sun, the province receives copious rainfall throughout the year; the drier months tend to be Feb-Mar and Sep-Oct. The region lies outside the main hurricane belt.

Language

Spanish, English and native tongues.

Getting local currency

Balboa. The national currency is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There’s an ATM in Bocas del Toro town where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, and amounts may be limited. You are best advised to acquire dollar bills before travelling to the province. Panamanians are sometimes reluctant to accept US dollar notes of higher denominations.

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

The Chiriquí highland region of temperate cloud forest (70km by road), with mountain villages and prolific wildlife, is ideal for hiking: quetzals and jaguars may be spotted in La Amistad International Park; a few days at a rural retreat in Boquete (3hr scenic drive) with a visit to a coffee finca.

Back to list of places visited
Panama Canal and Soberania National Park
Panama Canal

Panama is a fascinating country but the main draw for visitors is undoubtedly the 77 km Panama Canal linking the Pacific with the Caribbean. This colossal project was completed in 1914 and since then has transformed shipping routes world-wide. In addition to being crucial to international trade it is now a worthwhile tourist attraction. Soberanía National Park fringes the eastern banks of the immense artificial Lake Gatún alongside the canal and is blanketed with a dripping rainforest which explodes with vivacious wildlife, especially tropical birds. The Canal Zone also hosts hiking trails and a railway – the trails were built to transport looted gold - between Panama City and Colón on the Caribbean on mules; the railway was built to aid construction of the canal.

When to go

Panama’s Canal Zone and the rainforest have a typical tropical climate with high temperatures (over 30°C) all year round. May-Nov is rainy season and the flowering months are Apr-May. The region lies outside the main hurricane belt.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency

Balboa. The national currency is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There are a few ATMs in Panama City where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, amounts may be limited, and vary from bank to bank. Notes can be obtained from exchange houses and also from banks which will supply advances on a debit or credit card. Panamanians are sometimes reluctant to accept US dollar notes of higher denominations.

Time difference

GMT -5 hrs.

Combines with

A few days in multi-cultured Panama City, with its history of plundered gold, pirates, and international trade;  Portobelo, east of the Canal at the Caribbean end, a town built on a beautiful bay which much impressed Christopher Columbus who landed there. Its history of pirates and pillage is manifested in its ruined forts and the sunken galleons in the bay, a popular spot for divers.

Getting there

The southern, Pacific end of the Panama Canal is 15 km (20 mins by road) west of Panama City. Soberanía National Park is 28 km from the capital, a drive of 30 mins.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

More inspiration

Other holidays you may be interested in

View all holidays
Rural Colombia

Undiscovered Colombia, Providencia and Panama City

Private journey

18 days from £4,672pp

Granada

Alcion: Central America Discovery

Group tour

22 days from £2,593pp

Explore and Relax Costa Rica and Panama Coast: Pacific route

Private journey

13 days from £2,770pp

Panama Canal

Panama Canal: A Journey Between the Seas

Private journey

9 days from £4,785pp

Close

Please select a Start Date

Please select who's going

Please select the number of rooms

Not enough rooms have been chosen

Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

Check available dates and pricing for this trip in four easy steps.

When Would You Like to Travel?

Step 1 of 4

If your preferred travel date is not shown there are a number of reasons why this might be. Please just let us know and we'll be happy to take a closer look for you.

Who's going?

Step 2 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Number of rooms required

Step 3 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Holiday price total

Step 4 of 4

Tour:

Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

Departure date:

Travellers:

Room type:

Total:

The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

10 days from £1,924pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

Private Journey

 
Close

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email

Or...

Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend

reCaptcha_try_again

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/panama/holidays/signature-panama-canal-wildlife-and-beach

Page ID: {02039C5D-230E-476F-9B36-E7996B739226}

Page Name: signature-panama-canal-wildlife-and-beach

Page Display Name: Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

Page Template Name: T013-Private-Tour-JJ

Page Template ID: {1987AD35-218E-4B05-8DCF-B80B79F469E7}

Parent ID: {CAD11E44-EDFA-47A3-AE17-115E4A8CAE67}

Parent Name: holidays

Parent Display Name: Holidays

Parent Template Name: T007-Tours

Parent Template ID: {C007F36D-3091-4A02-8D0A-2302CE1DCA8E}