|from $3,990* per person||8 Days||February-April, December
Exertion level: 3
|Operator: Thomson Family Adventures
20 people max
P anama—land of colorful contrasts and mind-boggling eco-diversity! It’s where you can stand beside the world’s most impressive engineering marvel and visit with indigenous tribes-people whose way of life has remained unchanged for centuries. Where you can snap a photo of your kids ziplining through the rainforest canopy in the morning and shoot an underwater movie of them snorkeling in the afternoon. It’s where you can lounge on a beach in the company of sunbathing iguanas, look for impish capuchin monkeys (or are they looking at you?) along a forest trail, and witness a brilliant flash of red against the blue sky as a scarlet macaw streaks by.
Thomson’s exciting, well-balanced itinerary is designed to showcase the country’s cultural and natural wonders and, of course, the amazing Panama Canal. From multiple vantage points—including a boat ride on Gatun Lake where you gaze vertically up to the bow of gigantic freighters, to a fascinating tour of the intricate workings of the Miraflores Locks—your kids will come away with an understanding of the importance of this 51-mile engineering miracle (and, for once, put the word “awesome” in proper context!).
In addition to hiking through the rainforest in search of wildlife, swimming in clear waterfall-fed pools, rafting on a river that cuts through the rugged Panamanian countryside, investigating coral wonderlands teeming with marine life, marveling at the ruins of a 16th-century Spanish fort targeted by multiple pirate attacks, and sampling delicious foods, you’ll have the rare opportunity to meet the Embera people in a village along the banks of the Chagres River. This personal interaction is sure to be a trip highlight and you’ll be moved by the Embera’s dignified determination to keep their traditional cultural beliefs intact.
One of the Americas' last undiscovered destinations, Panama truly honors the “something for everyone” promise. This relatively close-to-home destination is perfect for a family vacation, grandparents and grandkids traveling together, or even a multi-generational gathering for active families who share a love of exploration.
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Panama, Central America
- May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.
- Family oriented trip.
Day 1 – Depart home / Arrive Panama City
Welcome to Panama! While the Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the modern world, Panama has many more wonders waiting to be explored. From lush forests to magnificent beaches, from the cosmopolitan Panama City to the sleepy village of Pedesi, you’ll discover them all as you embark on this exciting adventure.
Day 2 – Panama City
Indigenous tribes make up roughly 5 percent of the total population of Panama. Many of these groups still hold fast to their ancient dress and traditions.
Voyage up the Chagres River
Meet the Embera (indigenous people)
Friends Across Borders Meeting (pen pals)
Swim in a waterfall pool
Day 3 – The Panama Canal
Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of the Panama Canal in person. Cutting 9 miles across the Continental Divide, its locks raising ships 85 feet above sea level, this marvel of modern engineering will amaze you and your family. And that's only the beginning!
Take a train ride to the port city of Colon
Bike along a rainforest trail
Enjoy a picnic on the beach
Visit Fort San Lorenzo
Day 4 – Panama City / Chiriquí Highlands
Cloudforests, volcanic peaks and coffee plantations create the remarkable landscape of the Chiriqui Highlands.
Take a jungle boat adventure
Tour the Miraflores Locks
Flight to David
Days 5 and 6 – Chiriquí Highlands
Chiriquí, the “Valley of the Moon,” hosts a stunning diversity of tropical Central American landscapes, from beaches and plains to mountains and dense rainforest. Due to abundant rainfall and a temperate climate, the Chiriquí highlands are one of Panama’s most productive growing regions, with crops consisting of oranges, strawberries, and coffee beans.
River raft on the Fonseca River or Chiriquí Grande
Eat lunch on the river
Roam the streets of Boquete
Visit Gamez Island (Isla Gamez) in the Gulf of Chiriquí
Share a picnic on a secluded beach
Day 7 – Chiriquí Highlands / Panama City
Glide through the rainforest canopy
Free time in Panama City
Farewell dinner in Panama City's Casco Antiguo
Day 8 – Depart Panama City / Arrive home
Unfortunately, it has to happen sometime! Today we’ll say our goodbyes to this enchanting land and return to reality, where we’ll undoubtedly be at a loss for words in our attempts to do justice to such an indescribable experience. Hasta luego...
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