If you are like many others, you want to travel, but you don’t want to spend time planning the trip and you don’t want to be away long. Here’s your answer! We’re leaning on my expertise to take a group to discover Panama in a short trip. See the highlights with an insider’s view. Depending on sign-up interest, if all goes well, I’ll see you on an exciting trip to Panama. Don’t miss it! Sign up now.
The plan is to go before Thanksgiving. November is a festival month in Panama when the rainy season is coming to an end and it cools off a bit. Here’s what you can expect.
We’ll arrive in Panama City’s International Airport and immediately be transported to my favorite jungle-based hotel on Lake Gatun, the man-made lake that powers the Panama Canal. I love being immersed in the jungle sounds of exotic birds and insects while being surrounded by luxury.
From one side of the hotel you can look over the lake as you dine in one of the restaurants. From this hotel, there are several possible excursions. On the first day as you adjust, pick an excursion that speaks to you, or just rest on the hammock outside your room and get used to the humid climate. Visit a butterfly habitat, kayak on the Panama Canal alongside the massive vessels, take a trip to the top of the jungle canopy to observe unique foliage up close, hike, or go to see capuchin moneys in the wild. The offerings do change now and then, and weather can be a factor, so exact possibilities are a surprise.
Alternatively, those interested will arise early and to explore the Canal by motor boat and on a jungle hike (picnic lunch included). Bring your camera with a good lens to make distant pictures look closer. You’ll also need sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Remember, we’re in the tropics, very close to the equator, where the Earth is hottest.
We’ll step back in time and visit an authentic indigenous community which maintains its historical way of life, even the loin cloths. They’ll teach us about their language and dances. You’ll wantto help support them by buying some of their beautiful handiworks.
Before we leave the jungle, we’ll visit the amazing Smithsonian Panama Research Center, the world’s leading jungle habitat research facility on an exclusive tour. See science in action being done here.
Next we head to the super modern capital, Panama City. Of course, you can swim in the hotel pool, but we’ll board a ship early in the morning and spend the day on the beach (snorkeling equipment included) on nearly secluded Tobago Island. No cars here. Wander its narrow streets. Dine at one of its quaint hillside restaurants.
Out hotel is walking distance to a fantastic museum that explains the bio-diversity of Panama, Biomuseo. After visiting the museum, walk to the popular artisan market, also nearby, for your souvenir shopping. Don’t forget to bargain!
Hop a bus or take a taxi down the street to the ever-popular Amador Island shopping district. Here duty-free shops cater to cruise ships which dock at the port. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one the great restaurants nearby, overlooking the beautiful night skyline of the city.
On your final day in Panama we’ll visit the Canal’s Miraflores locks to get an up-close understanding of how the Canal works, and we’ll head to the old city, Casco Viejo. Here, the rich live side by side with starving artists. Every other storefront seems to be an artist gallery or fancy restaurant. This area is known for its colonial architecture. Tucked among the storefronts are some very interesting sites. We’ll cap off our trip with a farewell dinner under the moonlight before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest before departing in the morning for home.
Sound nice? Want to be included? Let us know by dropping an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in Panama!