Panama Bridge of the Americas:
March 17- 29, 2015 per person/ double occupancy
Extension: Cartagena Columbia March 29- April 2
Panama is the land bridge that unites and divides the American continent, channeled human and natural migrations and defined trade routes. Highly developed pre-Columbian civilizations and their descendants, a turbulent colonial history and the most diverse tropical ecology of the isthmus make it a most fascinating region of Central America. Panama is about the size of South Carolina and offers travelers an incredibly rich heritage. It is a living ecological laboratory of tropical flora and fauna. Twenty-five percent of the land is protected in national parks. Large indigenous ethnic groups live in semi-autonomous districts. The canal made the region strategically important and a global trade and financial center. Panama is proud of its rich heritage, protects tropical nature and has opened the Canal expansion as it celebrated the centennial in 2014.
Our twelve-day journey will be escorted from Miami. *International air is currently $473. The tour cost includes all transportation by boat, bus, rail and domestic air, best available 3-star hotels with local charm in double occupancy, tours per itinerary and 2 meals most days.
Watch the parade of ships waiting their turn through the Panama Canal and enjoy the gorgeous city skyline and half-moon bay from the boardwalk of Amador Calzada.
View the canal, Casco Viejo, Panama Bay from the top of Cerro Anton, former site of the U.S. Southern command headquarters.
Explore Panama Vieja in ruins since Henry Morgan sacked it, Colonial Casco Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the modern metropolis of Panama City.
Experience four distinct ecological and biological zones: Tropical lowland jungle, highland cloud forest, Pacific shore and islands, Caribbean shore and islands.
Meet and trade with members of the three largest indigenous groups in the isthmus: Ngobe-Bugle, Embera, and Kuna
Marvel at the engineering feat that created the Panama Canal. We will study the history, visit the locks and learn about the economic importance of the Canal for world trade.
In Soberania National Park climb the canopy tower for the best bird viewing in the isthmus.
Boat upriver on a tributary of Rio Chargres from Lago Gatun to reach an Embera comarca. The villagers invite visitors to share and learn their traditions.
Arrive in scenic Valle de Anton in time for the colorful lively Sunday market and later look for lucky golden frogs and square trees.
Explore Penonome, Nata, and El Cano in the heart of the Cocle province. Attempt to interpret mysterious petroglyphs at la Pintura.
Follow the Pan American Highway West to Santiago and David through prosperous pastoral landscape along the Cordillera Central. We stop to trade with Ngobe-Bugle people in Tole.
Rise at dawn on Finca Lerida to look for the stunning Resplendent Quetzal. On return the famous Ethiopian bean coffee and breakfast will be ready.
In the western highlands hike the famous Sendero de los Quetzales through cloud forests around Volcan Baru from Guadelupe to Boquete
Spend 2 memorable days with Kuna people to learn about their lives, cultural traditions and hospitality. The island setting will be stunning but accommodations quite rustic.