Arrive in beautiful, colorful, and vibrant Panama City. Built in 1519 by Pedro Arias de Avila, a Spanish conquistador who made it his base for plundering Peru’s riches, Panama today remains one of the central hubs for commerce and trade in the Americas. Panama offers diverse natural wonders, a melting pot of cultures and historical as well as modern cityscapes
After breakfast, your private city tour visits Casco Antiguo, the colonial area and oldest sector of modern Panama City, founded in 1673 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic district was built as a protected walled city after Panama City was burned down in a pirate attack in 1671. Here, see the restored colonial buildings, churches, and historical monuments. Next, visit the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal to witness this engineering genius in operation. During your guided tour, learn about the history of the canal and its construction, and observe transiting vessels navigating the locks from just a few feet away
Today, a special treat is in store when you board a vessel for a Panama Canal partial transit. Your boat will enter the canal at the Gailard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal and where the canal was carved through the Continental Divide. Enter the Pedro Miguel Locks, where your vessel will be lowered approximately 30 feet into Miraflores Lake. Continue to the Miraflores Locks to be lowered almost 60 feet to the Pacific Ocean. Disembark your ship and head to Gamboa Rainforest Resort within Soberania National Park
An enchanting journey takes you deep into the dense jungles of the Chagres, where the Emberá Indians have lived for centuries. The adventure begins with a river cruise up the Chagres in dugout canoes, the Emberá traditional hand-carved boats. Upon arrival at the Indian village, you will be taken back in time as you are immersed in ancient Emberá cultural dances and music that have not changed much since Columbus arrived in the 1500s. The Emberás will give you a glimpse into their mystical rituals and amazing knowledge of medicinal plants and other natural remedies. The Indians will invite you to explore the area’s abundant variety of birds and wildlife during a trek that takes you through the untouched jungle and past sparkling waterfalls. Top off your visit with a typical lunch in the village
Enjoy a free day to take advantage of the resort’s many activities, like an aerial tram tour, kayaking, fishing, or birding and monkey tours. Alternatively, simply relax by the pool or at the spa
This morning drive to the Caribbean coast where you will board a ferry bound for the San Blas archipelago, governed by the Kuna Indians, who maintain their autonomy and run their own economy, language, customs, and culture. The San Blas Islands, known locally as Kuna Yala, are comprised of over 365 islands surrounded by spectacular reefs, turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and centuries-old native Kuna villages. Traveling here is like stepping back in time! During your visit, you will visit two of the islands and have the chance to see the traditional way of life here. Free time allows for swimming in the crystal clear waters and to perhaps purchase some of the colorful molas made by the Kuna women. Return to Panama City late this afternoon
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.