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Panama Canal, Rainforests & Beaches

Starting at $995


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Day 1 - Panama City, Panama
Welcome to fun, vibrant Panama, home to the Panama Canal, the most important waterway in the world. Explore rainforests and white sand beaches. Meet friendly native Indians living in the jungle. Take a day cruise on the Panama Canal. Relax on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Caravan provides transfers from Panama's Tocumen airport to your hotel for a two night stay. Rooms are available for check in after 3:00 p.m. Join Caravan for a 6:00 p.m. welcome briefing. Dinner is at your hotel. D

Day 2 - Panama Viejo, Miraflores Locks
Morning visit to the ruins of Panama Viejo (Old Panama), the city founded by the Spanish in 1519 as a gateway for gold from the Inca Empire. The Isthmus of Panama links North and South America. Panama Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Drive along Panama City's bayfront. Photostop at Balboa statue. Lunch. Visit Miraflores Locks and learn about the Canal construction and operation. Dinner. BLD

Day 3 - Portobello, Colon
Enjoy views of the Caribbean Coast on your morning drive to visit the sleepy fishing village of Portobello. Stroll the restored Portobello Fort, built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to guard their treasure fleets against pirate attacks. Portobello is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit Portobello's old Custom House. See the famous Black Christ statue at nearby San Felipe Church. Enjoy lunch. Afternoon arrival in Colon for a two night stay on the Caribbean Coast. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 4 - Embera Indians, Gatun Locks
This morning cruise the Piedras River deep into the jungle to visit an Embera Indian Village. Look for different species of colorful birds and playful monkeys. The Embera inhabit the rainforests of Panama and live in simple thatched huts. Watch native dancers as they perform in their traditional clothing. Embera make exotic handicrafts from tagua nuts and palm fibers. After lunch, visit Gatun Locks. Gatun is the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. Here you can see all three adjoining locks raise ships 87 feet above sea level onto Gatun Lake. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 5 - Pipeline Road, Playa Blanca
This morning take a birdwatching hike at the "Pipeline Road," the old service road for the Panama Canal. The Audubon Society rated this trail as one of the best birding sites in the world. Listen to the joyful sounds of the rainforest. Next, cross over the Bridge of the Americas en route to Playa Blanca for a relaxing two night stay on the Pacific Coast. Enjoy lunch. Your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy your resort's white sand beach and swimming pools. Dinner. BLD

Day 6 - Playa Blanca, El Valle
Morning visit to picturesque El Valle, a town situated in the crater of a dormant volcano. Scenic drive of the village's charming homes. Visit the local artisan marketplace. Lunch. Enjoy a carefree leisurely afternoon at your resort. Dinner. BLD

Day 7 - Panama Canal Cruise
Today enjoy an unforgettable six hour adventure as you cruise the Panama Canal. Your small vessel allows for close- up views of the opening and closing of the enormous six foot thick steel gates of both the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks. See at eye-level how transiting vessels are guided by small tugboats and pulled by small trains. Enter the Gaillard Cut and cross the Continental Divide. Enjoy lunch on board. Disembark at Gamboa on Gatun Lake. Return to Panama City for another two night stay in this lively cosmopolitan city. Enjoy free time in Panama City. Dinner. BLD

Day 8 - Casco Viejo, Handicrafts
Morning visit to Casco Viejo, the old French Quarter. See the wide brick streets and ornate wood balconies. Visit the Canal Museum. Learn Panama's prominent role as the major transit route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, from Pre-Columbian times to present day. See the Gold Altar at San Jose Cathedral. Enjoy views from French Park, a tribute to the early French canal workers. Enjoy lunch on Amador Island. This afternoon visit a Kuna Indian marketplace. Shop for colorful mola embroidery depicting rainforest animals and marine life. Dinner. Next, a night lights drive of this dazzling city. Panama City is a combination of Manhattan, Miami and Las Vegas blended with Latin American flavor and style. BLD

Day 9 - Panama City
Your tour ends after breakfast this morning at your hotel. Caravan provides transfers to Panama's Tocumen airport, arriving at 5:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan. ¡Hasta la vista! B

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