Our Best of Panama itinerary takes in Panama City and the canal, cloud forest treks, coffee tours, and time on the beach at the beautiful islands of Bocas del Toro. The centre of Panama City has been newly renovated and you are based right in the heart of the old town. Next you travel to the western highlands and explore the Boquete Cloud Forest. This area offers some of the most picturesque walking trails in all of Central America. The cool, humid cloud forests of this region are home to an impressive variety of birds including Quetzals, Bellbirds, Solitaires and Redstarts and the countryside is dotted with flower, strawberry and coffee plantations. Complete your trip on the relaxed Bocas del Toro islands, where you stay in an over-water bungalow at Punta Caracol. Here there are a host of marine activities on offer such as snorkelling, diving, excursions to pristine beaches and dolphins tours, as well as the opportunity to try out local restaurants in Bocas Town.
Day 1 Depart the UK on your overnight flight via Bogota to Panama City.
Day 2 On arrival you will be met and transferred to your Panama City Hotel. Stay 2 nights at Central Hotel Panama in the heart of the old town (Casco Viejo) which can easily be explored by foot. With the redevelopment of the area there are a host of new restaurants so there are plenty of dining options nearby.
Day 3 Visit the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal where large ships can be seen transiting the canal. Enjoy a fascinating presentation by the Panama Canal Authority on the history of the Panama Canal and the workings of this feat of human engineering. Depending on your dates of travel we can also include a partial or full transit of the Panama Canal taking you from Caribbean to Pacific coasts.
Day 4 Transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to David and then on by road to the cloud forest town of Boquete which nestles in the verdant valley of the Rio Caldera. Situated at an altitude of 1060m, the town has an ideal cool climate for the production of orchids, strawberries, root vegetables and most importantly coffee! Spend 3 nights at Finca Lerida, a unique property located on a historic coffee plantation.
Day 5 Today venture deep into the Baru Volcano National Park, home to the Quetzal Trail, one of the most scenic hikes in Central America. Observe the flora and fauna as you hike through the cloud forest where ancient trees covered in moss, epiphytic plants and orchids join together to form a natural paradise. Birds that you are likely to spot here include the Orange-bellied Trogon, Three-wattled Bellbird, Black Guan, Hairy Woodpecker, Buff-fronted Quail Dove and the Resplandent Quetzal.
Day 6 Free day to explore the highlands. There are a variety of hiking trails, rafting and coffee tours or drive to the other side of Volcan Baru to Cerro Punta where you can see the pre-Columbian ruins at Sitio Barriles and orchid gardens.
Day 7 Transfer from the mountains to the coast where you take the boat to the beautiful islands of Bocas del Toro. With just eight over-water bungalows, Punta Caracol, is a romantic retreat where you can easily access the crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling. Spend the next 4 nights here.
Day 8 Free days to relax or enjoy additional excursion that you can arrange locally. Suggestions include a visit to the outlying islands to explore pristine beaches, snorkel or scuba dive the coral reefs, boat trips to visit local Indian communities, hiking in the rainforest and dolphin tours. Or spend some time in Bocas Town exploring the restaurants or markets whilst enjoying the Caribbean vibe!
Day 11 Take the short flight back to Panana City for your final night in this gem of a small country. Overnight at the Central Hotel Panama as before.
Day 12 Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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