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Panama Family Adventure Tour
- Day 1: Arrive Panama City
After arriving at Panama City's international airport, you will be met by a Southern Explorations representative to transfer you to your hotel in the capital. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, exploring this cosmopolitan city on your own.
- Day 2: Tour of Panama City and Canal
Begin your day with a tale of two Panamas. Walk up Cerro Ancon, 200 meters above sea level, for a spectacular 360 view of Panama City and the Canal. Here, your guide will explain important details of the modern history of Panama, including the former US presence and how it shaped Panama into the country we see today.
Your next stop will be the famous fish market to try the city’s famous fresh ceviche. This market was donated by the Japanese government in 1989 at a cost of 8 million dollars; it opened its doors to the public in 1994. The idea was for local fishermen to greatly benefit from being able to sell their catches here, creating a sustainable living for themselves and their families. Today, the fish market is a must see when visiting Panama City.
You’ll continue on to the picturesque Casco Viejo, commonly called the walled city. Casco Viejo was founded by the Spaniards in 1673 after the First City of Panama (Old Panama) was destroyed. Together with Old Panama, Casco Viejo is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is appreciated worldwide for its unique historical and artistic value. The neighborhood’s character comes alive with a walk through its narrow cobblestoned streets. Marvel at the area’s beautiful colonial and neoclassical architecture, squares and monuments, while learning more about the history and culture of the city.
You’ll visit the famous Santa Ana Park, which was used by the Spaniards in the 19th century as a place for celebrations and special events. Visit the famous Café Coca-Cola, built in 1875, the oldest café in Panama. Many famous personalities have visited this historic site, including Che Guevara. Get to know the places were the locals do their shopping and live their day-to-day lives.
7 hour tour
- Day 3: Embera Indians Lake Alajuela
After breakfast, you’ll meet your driver in the lobby for a special journey to a local Embera village on the Chagres River for a unique peek into the lives of one of Panama’s seven recognized indigenous tribes. The Embera people have populated the Choco region of western Colombia and the Darien region of eastern Panama for centuries, long before Spanish colonization. Today, more 30,000 Embera inhabit Panama. While most still live in the Darien region, some communities have migrated to Chagres National Park between Panama City and Colon, allowing visitors a chance to experience their unique culture.
Your adventure will begin with a 1-1.5-hour drive into the Panamanian jungle. From here, you will take an Embera dugout canoe ride down the Chagres River, observing the lush flora and fauna of this virgin rainforest along the way. Keep an eye out for a great variety of birds, turtles, caiman, monkeys, sloths, and more. After you’re welcomed at the pier by members of the community, you will have the rare opportunity to interact with the Embera natives and learn more about their traditions, music, homes, typical dances, native dress, and overall way of life. They are proud of their history and culture and open to sharing.
Enjoy a typical lunch prepared by the Embera women, consisting of catch of the day, fried plantains and rice. You will also have time to buy handcrafted souvenirs (please bring small change for purchases) to support the community. (B,L)
8 hour tour
- Day 4: Soberania National Park & Gatun Lake
Spend the day in nature on an exciting day outside of Panama City in the surrounding rainforest. After breakfast, you’ll meet your guide in the lobby to begin with a morning visit to Soberania National Park, a biologically diverse swath of rainforest only 16 miles outside of the city. Spanning 55,000 acres, the park is known for its abundance of birds, with over 525 species identified here. Soberania National Park is also part of an ecotourism and environmental education project whose main objective is to conserve the area’s birds through environmentally sustainable projects.
At the park, enjoy a walk on the trails to take in the rainforest scenery and discover its great variety of bird and mammal species. Howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters, coatis and white-faced capuchin monkeys all call the park home. Visit the viewing platform by the lake, or climb Soberania’s 40-meter (131-ft) observation tower to observe the famous blue cotinga and toucans.
After lunch, continue to Gatun Lake for an amazing ecological boat ride. Gatun Lake is located within an immensely diverse tropical ecological zone and is surrounded by untouched exotic rainforest. Barro Colorado Island, the largest island on the lake, has been protected as a nature reserve by the U.S. Government since 1923 and is the one of the most important sites of scientific study on tropical forests in the world. A boat ride on the lake will reveal the area’s many different species of birds, monkeys, iguanas and sloths, among others. It will also give you the opportunity to get close to massive ships as they wait to cross the Canal. (B,L)
7 hour tour
- Day 5: Panama City - Pacific Coast Resort
Today you’ll be transferred from the city to the beach (2 hour drive). You will cross the famous Bridge of Americas to reach the Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama Autograph Collection. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the many amenities of the resort. (B)
- Day 6-7: Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort
Enjoy the next two days at the Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama Autograph Collection (B)
- Day 8: Beach Resort - Panama City - Home
You will be transferred to Tocumen International Airport for your family's flight home, ending Southern Explorations' services. (B)
WeatherWhen to Visit
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.
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.
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.
Min-Max Air Temp
*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
BOCAS DEL TORO
Min-Max Air Temp
*Year Round Temperatures in °F
*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
Panama Family Adventure Tour
- Per Person$2,395
$2395 Panama Family Adventure (Private Departure) High Season November 1 – April 30
$1895 Panama Family Adventure (Private Departure) Low Season May 1 – October 31
$3195 Panama Family Adventure (Private Departure) Holiday December 21– January 2
$1895 Panama Family Adventure (Private Departure) – Child under 12 sharing* High/Low Season
$2295 Panama Family Adventure (Private Departure) – Child under 12 sharing* Holiday
* Prices for children under 12 sharing with parents, maximum of two children per room
- Included in tour cost
- Private transportation
- 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
- 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)
- Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear
Panama Family Adventure Tour
- Trip Dates
- Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.Saturday, January 19, 2019 to Saturday, January 26, 2019AvailableSaturday, February 16, 2019 to Saturday, February 23, 2019AvailableSaturday, March 16, 2019 to Saturday, March 23, 2019AvailableSaturday, April 13, 2019 to Saturday, April 20, 2019AvailableSaturday, May 25, 2019 to Saturday, June 1, 2019AvailableSaturday, June 22, 2019 to Saturday, June 29, 2019AvailableSaturday, June 29, 2019 to Saturday, July 6, 2019AvailableSaturday, August 10, 2019 to Saturday, August 17, 2019AvailableSaturday, August 31, 2019 to Saturday, September 7, 2019AvailableSaturday, October 12, 2019 to Saturday, October 19, 2019AvailableSaturday, November 16, 2019 to Saturday, November 23, 2019AvailableSaturday, December 21, 2019 to Saturday, December 28, 2019AvailableSaturday, January 18, 2020 to Saturday, January 25, 2020AvailableSaturday, February 15, 2020 to Saturday, February 22, 2020AvailableSaturday, March 14, 2020 to Saturday, March 21, 2020AvailableSaturday, April 11, 2020 to Saturday, April 18, 2020AvailableSaturday, May 23, 2020 to Saturday, May 30, 2020AvailableSaturday, June 20, 2020 to Saturday, June 27, 2020AvailableSaturday, June 27, 2020 to Saturday, July 4, 2020AvailableSaturday, August 15, 2020 to Saturday, August 22, 2020AvailableSaturday, September 5, 2020 to Saturday, September 12, 2020AvailableSaturday, October 10, 2020 to Saturday, October 17, 2020AvailableSaturday, November 21, 2020 to Saturday, November 28, 2020AvailableSaturday, December 12, 2020 to Saturday, December 19, 2020Available
- Panama City
- Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
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.