Day 1 - Arrive in Panama City. While here, you will stay at the Grace Panama, set in the heart of the action. Located in the striking Twist Tower, this luxurious hotel boasts fantastic views over the city, stylishly contemporary interiors, an elegant restaurant and an outdoor pool overlooking the bustling streets below. The beating heart of the country’s trade and financial matters, this vibrant capital city is now built from modern architectural designs, towering skyscrapers and a host of shopping opportunities, and its thrill is often compared to that of Florida’s Miami. Nevertheless, despite its forward thinking future, Panama City still bears the title of being the first European city on the Pacific coast in the Americas, and the colonial streets of the old town can still be found mingling with contemporary bars and hotels.
Day 2 - After spending your first night relaxing in your sumptuous accommodation, your second day in Panama will see you take a tour through the city, leading you through some of the most fascinating historical sites and buildings. You will stop by Panama Viejo – or ‘Old Panama’ – which was founded in 1519, only to be pilfered and destroyed by English buccaneer, Henry Morgan, in 1671. In the same decade, a new Panama City was constructed ten kilometres away, known as Casco Antiguo, where you can see landmarks such as the President’s palace, the magnificent cathedral and the San Jose church, known for its stunning golden altar.
As evening approaches, you will be escorted to Gatun Lake, where you will enjoy a relaxing boat ride. Take the time to appreciate the splendid colours of the sunset, with a glass of wine and a selection of fine cheese, as your guide points out the diverse array of flora and fauna and wildlife such as tapirs, capybara, alligators rare tropical opossums and two-toed sloths.
Day 3 – This morning, your guide will pick you up from your hotel and you will be driven up towards Lake Alajuela. From here you will step into your dugout canoe for a journey along the Chagres River through dense jungle foliage, before stepping out for a short hike to a beautiful waterfall, shrouded in the midst of the rainforest. Hidden away from civilisation, take a refreshing swim, before visiting the village of the Embera Indians, one of seven indigenous tribes in Panama. The Embera tribe will welcome you at the pier and teach you about the culture, history, beliefs and traditions of their way of life. After a traditional lunch of fish and plantains, spend the afternoon experiencing a traditional Embera dance, getting a temporary Embera tattoo painted on and browsing the community’s handicraft wares, the sale of which benefits the local school children.
Day 4 – Today, you will rise early to hike up to the Soberania National Park, following the historic Camino de Cruces trail that was once used by merchants, slaves, European explorers and gold seekers alike. Located approximately forty-five minutes from Panama City, on the banks of the Panama Canal, the biodiversity of this breathtaking natural wonderland is the quintessential jungle experience, saturated with lush foliage, colourful flowers and curious wildlife.
Benefit from the fresh climate of the morning forest, and learn about the many different species of plants and animals you will spot on your walk – as part of a biological corridor that stretches between the Pacific to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, a myriad of birds, mammals and reptiles have made Soberania National Park their home.
Day 5 – After spending your final night in Panama City enjoy breakfast in your hotel before checking out.