Destinations: Panama City, Boquete, Isla Popa/Bocas del Toro
Duration: 9 days
*Price Range: $$$
*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare). Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.
$$$: At or under $1,200 per person.
$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person.
$$$: $1,800+ per person
Fly into Tocumen International Airport (PTY) where one of our local airport representatives will meet you as you exit your plane and guide you through an expedited immigration process. They will show you to the VIP Lounge where you can enjoy snacks and drinks while they collect your luggage for you. Once you are ready, the airport representative will guide you to your private transfer waiting outside the airport. A 30-minute drive will bring you to Hilton Panama on the trendy Balboa Avenida oceanfront walkway and two blocks from the Financial District. If you’ve arrived early enough in the afternoon, enjoy a guided historical tour of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo, before being dropped off at the hotel. Enjoy dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse inside the Hilton or explore many nearby restaurants a short walk or taxi ride from the hotel.
After an early breakfast at Hilton Panama you’ll depart for your full day adventure around the city, seeing both nature, wildlife, and the Panama Canal up close. A short drive will take you to Gamboa, where you’ll depart on a boat ride of Gatun Lake in search of iguanas, crocodiles, white-faced capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and tamarins. After your boat ride with up close wildlife encounters, enjoy a picnic lunch to refuel for an afternoon of city exploration. Your afternoon will start with a visit to Miraflores Locks Visitor Center where you’ll learn about the history, engineering and current events of the Panama Canal with the opportunity to see large vessels navigate through the Miraflores Locks. Your afternoon will continue at the Biodiversity Museum where you’ll learn about the creation of the Isthmus of Panama and its rich fauna and flora along with conservation and eco-awareness efforts. If you didn’t have the opportunity to visit Casco Viejo (Antiguo) on Day 1, then your tour will conclude with a historical tour of the renovated buildings, plazas, and San Jose Church. Return to Hilton Panama or stay in Casco Viejo for dinner and drinks at one of many local restaurants, cafes, and rooftop bars. Back at Hilton Panama, try your luck in their 24-hour casino or have a drink at Bar Blue overlooking the twinkling Panama City skyline.
Enjoy a relaxing morning at Hilton Panama lounging alongside the heated rooftop pool and sundeck or indulge in a spa treatment at Eforea Spa. For a half-day morning excursion, explore the rainforest canopy on a relaxing gondola ride at Metropolitan Nature Park. Hikers will enjoy a moderate walk along Pipeline Road in the 55,000-acre Soberania National Park, where there are 525 bird species and 105 mammals including monkeys and sloths. Return to Hilton Panama in the late morning to refresh and have lunch. A private transfer will then take you to Albrook Airport for your domestic flight to David located in Western Panama. A private transfer will be waiting for you outside of the David Airport to take you to the lovely and quaint mountain town of Boquete. Check into your cozy room at Valle Escondido Golf & Spa Resort and enjoy an organic, farm-to-table dinner at Sabor Escondido Restaurant.
After a fresh breakfast at Valle Escondido overlooking lush gardens with small creeks and rivers weaving throughout, you’ll head to Boquete Tree Trek for a full day of cloud forest exploration. Start your tour with a hike along 8 suspension bridges through the cloud forest canopy while keeping a watchful eye out for the famed quetzal that is frequently seen nesting along the trail. Your knowledgeable guide will help point out the various species of flora and fauna that live in this tropical cloud forest of the Talamanca Mountain Range. Next, you’ll pick up the pace as you fly through the cloud forest canopy on 12 different zip-line cables. Enjoy a typical lunch served at The Rio Cristal Restaurant and afterwards a coffee cupping tour. On this coffee journey you’ll learn how the nut, fruit, and flower flavors are developed; how the roasting process affects the coffee’s taste; and how to identify a good coffee by sampling different Boquete coffee roasts that have been awarded nationally and internationally. Return to Valle Escondido to enjoy the pool, splurge on a spa treatment at LaVida Spa, or play a round of miniature golf.
Choose between one or two of the following activities for a half-day or full-day of adventure: Baru Volcano at sunrise, The Three Waterfalls hike, horseback riding, and/or rock climbing. For the Baru Volcano, you’ll depart at 4am for an extreme 4×4 ride up the side of the volcano in time to see the sunrise from the highest point in Panama (11,398 feet). For those not interested in a 3am wake-up call, enjoy a later morning hike to The Lost Waterfalls, a set of three waterfalls on a moderate-to-challenging trail. Your guide will help point out any wildlife such as howler monkeys, sloths, quetzals and the elusive tapir. Swim in the waterfall pools to cool off before returning to Boquete for lunch. Your afternoon can be spent relaxing back at Valle Escondido Resort, horseback riding through the mountains, or rock climbing El Gunko or Mana. El Gunko is perfect for beginner-to-intermediate climbers with 15 routes while Mana is for experienced climbers with 7 routes. For advanced/elite climbers, there is also Legacy with 6 routes and Paradiso with 1 route.
After breakfast at Valle Escondido, you’ll take a scenic drive to the Caribbean Coast. On this 3.5 hour transfer, feel free to stop at any time to stretch your legs, take pictures, or stop for a snack. Once you’ve arrived to the Almirante dock, your driver will assist you with your luggage and purchasing a boat ticket over to Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro’s main island. After a 45-minute boat ride, you’ll be greeted by Popa Paradise Beach Resort. Another 35-minute boat ride with Popa Paradise will take you to Isla Popa, your all-inclusive retreat for the next three nights. Sip on a cold welcome drink and cool off with a swim in the pool before dinner that evening.
Sign up for a snorkeling tour and to visit nearby beaches – Red Frog Beach, Isla Zapatillas, Starfish Beach (Playa Estrella), or Bastimentos National Park. Chocolate tours, horseback riding, nature hikes, and scuba diving are also available. Spend the rest of the afternoon at Popa Paradise relaxing on the beach or at the swim-up pool bar.
Enjoy your last free day in Panama relaxing on the beach or by the pool. Splurge on a jungle massage or hike around the island’s trail system for a change of pace.
Popa Paradise will take you to the Bocas del Toro airstrip. Enjoy your domestic flight back to Panama City for your international flight home.
- Sunbathe alongside the rooftop pool at Hilton Panama when you’re not out exploring the city and nearby rainforests
- Watch marine vessels pass through Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal
- Walk and fly through the cloud forest canopy on Boquete Tree Trek’s hanging bridges and canopy zip-line
- Hike to The Three Waterfalls in the morning and rock climb volcanic formations in the afternoon
- Enjoy all-inclusive island life on Popa Island, Bocas del Toro
Best for: Family (older children), Couple, Small Group
Bucket list experiences: Panama Viejo, Casco Viejo, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Panama Canal, Miraflores Locks, Biodiversity Museum, Pipeline Trail, gondola ride at Metropolitan Nature Park, Soberania National Park, Gatun Lake, cloud forest, coffee tour, The Lost Waterfalls, Baru Volcano, canopy zip-line, hanging bridges, rock climbing, horseback riding, Red Frog Beach, Isla Zapatillas, Starfish Beach (Playa Estrella), Bastimentos National Park, chocolate tour
Accommodations & Location:
- Hilton Panama, Panama City
- Villa Escondido Resort, Boquete
- Popa Paradise Beach Resort, Isla Popa/Bocas del Toro
Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support. We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!