• Overview
  • Photos & Video
  • Pricing
  • Dates
  • Trip Reviews
  • FAQ
Spend this day of your Panama vacation in the internationally-renowned tropical biological reserve of Isla Barro Colorado. This Panama travel adventure begins at 6:30 AM with a drive through a rainforest to the small nearby town of Gamboa. There a boat will be waiting to cruise into Gatun Lake, one of the world's largest manmade lakes which was created with the building of the Panama Canal. The island of Barro Colorado and the adjacent peninsulas provide important habitat for almost 400 bird species and over 100 mammal species. Access to the reserve is strictly controlled and may be visited by guided tour only, making this a unique stop among Panama tours. Your itinerary will include the Gigante Peninsula and the Barro Colorado Natural Monument (BCNM). This lush bio-diverse paradise has been administered by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute since 1946 and is considered the best-protected and studied tropical rainforest in the world. Here you'll hike along interpretative trails through the complex ecosystem and then enjoy lunch at the Smithsonian Exhibition Center. The meandering return journey will cruise into bays and channels along forested coastlines where wildlife is plentiful. You'll arrive back in Panama City by mid-afternoon. Transportation, boat trip, lunch, specialized guide and Smithsonian conservation fee are included in trip cost.

*Minimum 4 Travelers and offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Children under 12 years old are not allowed.
Itinerary

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Seasons in Panama:

Rainy Season & Dry Season
In Panama seasons are not as much defined by drastic changes in temperature; rather, they are determined by the amount of rainfall. The Panama dry season, December through April, or what is known in Panama as "summer", tends to be much sunnier and drier. The rainy season in Panama, May through November, in has more rainfall in the mornings and then tends to dissipate in the afternoons to blue sky. Lower temperatures during these months can be expected in Panama. Panama's Dry Season is not always dry and the rainy season is not necessarily rainy and wet all the time. Panama is a tropical country where the rains and sunshine intermingle. During the rainy season, mornings are generally very bright and sunny and afternoon rain showers are common every day.

Panama Tropics:
The country's climate is characterized by heavy rain that does not normally last long, or more constant rainfall lasting all night (or all day) long. Temperature changes are mostly determined by altitude rather than by season or amount of rainfall. The weather is, on the whole, quiet unpredictable.

Humidity:
Panama is a very humid country. In some regions relative humidity can reach 90% (especially on the Atlantic coast). The North Pacific is less humid, but the entire Caribbean coast is quite damp.
 

PANAMA CITY

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN76-890.0
FEB76-900.0
MAR77-900.0
APR78-890.3
MAY78-872.4
JUN77-862.6
JUL77-873.0
AUG77-862.6
SEP76-864.0
OCT76-855.2
NOV76-863.6
DEC76-871.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

BOCAS DEL TORO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-874.9
FEB68-8710.4
MAR69-883.3
APR70-8814.5
MAY72-897.0
JUN72-8910.2
JUL71-8816.5
AUG71-8917.3
SEP71-8912.2
OCT71-895.9
NOV71-8911.5
DEC69-8722.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F
 

BOQUETE

Avg Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN661.1
FEB660.6
MAR681.7
APR683.8
MAY6811.3
JUN6813.7
JUL689.2
AUG6813.1
SEP6817.1
OCT6814.1
NOV6811.6
DEC662.5

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

Gamboa - Isla Barro Colorado - Gatun Lake - Full Day

Pricing
Per Person
$150
Included in tour cost
  • GENERAL:
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • GENERAL:
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Gamboa - Isla Barro Colorado - Gatun Lake - Full Day

Trip Dates
Available

Our trip to Panama exceeded all our expectations. Jonathan and everyone at Southern Explorations is a pleasure to work with. They listened to what we wanted to do and customized our trip. From start to finish it was a great trip, Panama surprised us, it was much more beautiful and exciting then we had imagined. Seven years ago they planned at vacation to Ecuador and Galapagos for us, a trip of a lifetime, it was amazing and we were blown away by the level of detail, the guides, transportation, all planned and timed to perfection. We didn't think they could impress us again when we set off for Panama but we were wrong. Thank you Southern Explorations for another exceptional vacation. - Denise and David Nardie (Panama)


Thanks so much for planning this wonderful trip for us. I cannot stress how much we enjoyed ourselves. The variety and pace were perfect. We had no idea that Panama would wow us quite the way it did. Kudos to the Southern Explorations team for introducing us to such an amazing country. We are very appreciative.   - Tanya & Pierre, Canada (Panama)


I found the staff very helpful that I dealt with, primarily Jonathan. I think the itinerary of Panama City, Boquette and Bocas is a great introduction for first time travelers to Panama.”
- Grant Kvalheim, New Jersey (Panama)

 

Panama - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer both active and cultural tours that showcase the beauty of Panama by hiking through pristine rainforest, visiting native communities, or exploring the massive Panama Canal by kayak. These itineraries vary in length and level of accommodation. Our Adventure Travel Coordinators would be happy to chat with you to help you find the itinerary that best meets your needs and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to put together a custom Panama tour for you if our current itineraries are not quite what you are looking for. We can also add extensions onto any of our existing tours.
Q: When is the best time to go to Panama?
A:  Panama is best visited during the dry season from December to May, with the busiest times of year around Christmas, the New Year, and Easter.
Q: What is the weather like?
A: Panama’s mild, tropical climate makes it a great destination most of the year. From November to May you can expect temperatures in the low-70s to upper-80s, depending on the region you’re exploring, and little rainfall. The rainy season (May to November) offers similar temperatures with frequent morning rain storms. May and November are transitional months and can offer nice weather. Please see the weather tab on your specific trip for more details.
Q: What is a typical day like on a Panama tour?
A: A typical day in Panama will vary from tour to tour, but you can generally expect to start your excursions right after breakfast, with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. A lunch break is included and you’ll retire to your accommodations in the late afternoon, with evenings free.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Panama?
A: Our Panama trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Panama?
A: Most of our Panama trips are between seven and 10 days, depending on how much of the country you would like to see.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: For the best guide availability and selection in hotels, we recommend booking three to six months in advance. December through April are especially popular times for Panama travel, so more advance planning is ideal. For the Christmas holiday season and the week prior to Easter, we recommend booking a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We only hire guides who are native to the destination and licensed or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: In major cities we offer a variety of hotels including boutique properties and larger business-style hotels. Throughout the rest of the country we work with a combination of resorts, small traditional hotels, and remote lodges. The majority of the properties are family-run or locally owned. All of our accommodations are clean and comfortable, with private bathrooms and hot water. We offer basic or luxury options in many locations, depending on taste and budget.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We will include any necessary internal flight pricing in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Eight travelers is the maximum for our Panama trips, but the majority of our departures are private.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary. This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.