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Panama, Panama, Panama
Greetings from Panama! My name is Marina Ehrman and I have been a professional tour guide and promoter for Panama Tourism and Travel Company since 2005. I love what I do and am proud to share what my country has to offer. It is filled with endless leisure and commercial attractions, friendly happy people who open their doors to all visitors. Panama is a country of incomparable natural beauty with a variety of tourist attractions, beautiful beaches in the Pacific and Caribbean. The tropical climate year round with its diversified flora, fauna and indigenous groups make it one of the most important of Ecotourism in Latin America. I invite you to know our country’s history, culture and also enjoy the cuisine, folklore and traditions that only a place in the world can provide………Panama! Contact me and I’ll organize your visit and will be happy to welcome you in Panama. For more information on Panama, follow my Facebook page and my blog. Visit www.panamatourismtravel.com

! Morgan Attacks !

Tour Recommend
Portobelo Tour



Late at night, Morgan ordered an attack. The canoes moved swiftly and landed at a lookout post some three miles from Portobello. A Spanish canoe that had been sent to observe the strange ship saw them and raced back to the city to sound the alarm. Morgan's men had to move quickly. They had captured a guard at the lookout post and they bound his hands, making him lead the way into town. When they reached the approach to the city as dawn broke, they paused: there stood Santiago Castle guarding the entrance. But their guide assured them that the castle was in disarray and the pirates rushed across the open ground to the town. The cannon gunners in Santiago only got off one shot, which sailed harmlessly over the attackers' heads

Morgan's men rushed into town as dawn broke on July 11, 1668, firing at anything that moved. As the defenders frantically struggled to get organized, Morgan ordered sharpshooters to the top of a nearby hill which was actually higher than Santiago Castle. From their vantage point, the skilled buccaneers picked off any defender foolish enough to raise his head, effectively neutralizing the threat posed by the castle.

Fall of San Gerónimo Castle

There were some defenders in unfinished San Gerónimo castle, located in the harbor and surrounded by water. They fought for a while, but there were too few of them. Once some freed English prisoners (who had been forced to work on the construction of the castle) showed the buccaneers that the water between the town and fort was only knee-deep, a force of invaders rushed the castle, where the garrison of approximately eight men begged for quarter. The prisoners were bound and put in the church.

Fall of Santiago Castle

Once the city and San Gerónimo had been secured and all of the prisoners under guard in the church, Morgan turned his attention to Santiago castle. He sent more sharpshooters to the hill and put more riflemen in the houses nearest the church. The castle defenders were in a bind: their cannons were in poor shape and they were reluctant to fire into the city anyway.

When a frontal assault was driven back, Morgan got creative. He took some important prisoners including the mayor, some friars and nuns and some old men and women and marched them towards the castle, his own men behind them. One cannon fired, injuring two Spanish friars and killing one pirate, but no more. When they reached the gates, the pirates began hacking at them with axes.
Meanwhile, a second force of buccaneers had found some ladders and scaled the wall on the other side of the castle. There was some desperate fighting, but by 10:00 am the castle had fallen. More than half of the defenders had been killed and most of the others were wounded. The officer in charge of the cannons was ashamed of his own incompetence and begged the pirates to kill him: one happily obliged with a pistol-shot.

Fall of San Felipe Castle

Morgan controlled the town and the fort of Santiago, but he still could not get his fleet into the harbor while there were enemies in San Felipe castle on the other side of the bay. There were some 50 well-armed defenders there, but they had no food. It turns out that food was sent over daily from the town, and the castle had no stores. Still, young Castellan Alexandro Manuel Pau y Rocaberti decided to fight.

The buccaneers took their canoes across the bay and got into position for an assault. When some English pirates made it to the base of the wall and began trying to burn down the gates, young Castellan Pau panicked and invited invading captains into the castle for a parley to determine terms of surrender, much to the shock and chagrin of the other Spanish in the castle who wanted to fight. Still, once the pirates were inside there was no going back.

Under the terms of surrender, the soldiers were allowed to take the road to Panama and keep their swords. Castellan Pau was himself made prisoner, and drank poison that night, ashamed of his cowardice. Had San Felipe held out, the results of Morgan's attack might have been very different.

Typical Dances : El Punto


El Punto is an unquestionable legacy from Spain. This dance has been considered by many as the most elegant, delicate and romantic version of those dances that have rightly gained a place in the country’s wide and varied folklore

Tour Suggested
Typical Diner and Show

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Captain Morgan's ships found in Panama



Tour Suggested


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HANDCRAFT: Pots


Know how the artisans from this small, traditional town  in La Arena District of Chitre, Republic of Panama  has been producing pottery since colonial times and perhaps earlier.

Much of the ceramic work replicates pre-Columbian designs, though the local artisans also produce more modern pieces.

Kuna Yala or Guna Yala ?


In October 2011 the Panamanian Government changed the name Kuna Yala for Guna Yala , the name means "Guna-land" or "Guna mountain" in the Guna language.

The Guna people's claim that in their native language there was no equivalent to the letter "K" and that the official name should be "Guna Yala

The objective is not to create a new language but to clear away incongruities from the past which had made the writing and teaching of the unique Guna tongue difficult and confusing. In order to achieve, the dictionary uses a revised alphabet (10 consonants, 5 vowels) to better meet the morphological-phonological requirements in native word formation and meaning, often missing in the previous rather mixed orthography of Guna and Spanish.



VIDEO: Henry Morgan attack Portobelo





Tour Suggested :








 

National Festival of the Pollera

Website: http://www.panamatourismtravel.com

 
In the month of July, the city of Las Tablas, capital of Los Santos province, holds tribute to its patron Santa Librada. This is celebrated with festivities called the Festival Nacional de la Pollera. This event is very beautiful in that hundreds wear their most elegant Polleras.
The festival was created in the 60s with the purpose ti highlighting the Pollera , the Panamanian national customs promoting knowledge about the correct use of the Pollera and recognized the skill and work of the artisans involed in the making of the national dress
There are five categories in the competition: cross stitch, embroidery , chalk, and shadow , regional gala and montuna. The winners will receive jewelry made by a local artisans.


At the end of the contest the queen an all The Pollera competition's participants will take part in a float parade with the music and satreet dancing to end the festival








Boquete Tour : Volcan Baru






At 3,475 meters (11,400 feet), "el Volcan Baru" is the highest point of Panama. To get the most out of this hike, we invest two days to complete the 27 km to the top of the Baru Volcano and back to Boquete. In this way we are able to have an incredible camping experience, have a rest after the first 13.5 km up and then reach the Volcano's peak just in time to admire how a spectacular sky full of stars (and sometimes a full moon) gives away to a magical sunrise and if we are lucky enough, to the most incredible view of Panama's both coastlines.

We meet at a pre-arranged point to check that all the necessary gear and camping equipment is in place and start getting acquainted with the rest of our fellow hikers who will accompany us for the following 30 hours. Everybody is expected to have already had breakfast. A short security briefing is given by our tour guide and then we commence our journey.

Previously arranged transportation takes us on a 20 minute drive to where the real adventure begins. We start in the morning of the first day at the ranger station (where we also register by names and passports) at the entrance of "El Parque Nacional Volcan Baru" dressed comfortably to begin the hike with our backpacks full of food, water, extra clothing and with our bodies full of energy. If the group is of less than 6 hikers, then we also need to carry our tents, sleeping bags and stoves. If a large group we are going to do the hike we normally hire a driver and rent an ATV (Four Wheel All Terrain Vehicle) with a trailer attached to it to lighten our weight a bit. The ATV will transport all the camping gear (tents, sleeping bags and stoves) and extra water.
The scenery during the hike changes from rolling grass-covered hills to dense jungle to exposed rocky cliffs.

At the 9 km mark, there is a view of one of the craters, which is quite impressive. Extinct for nearly 500 years, the crater is completely covered with growth, as are the crater's walls. Some trails exist on the top, leading to either side of the crater. Other trails to smaller craters also exist, however, we are headed to conquer the Volcano's peak.

Timing depends on the amount of hikers and their physical condition. Expect from 4 to 7 hours until we get to the camping site known as "Los Fogones" at kilometer 12. Once we are there, we set up our tents, cook dinner and, make a nice camp fire. Some wine is poured around and we make a toast for a clear day and safe return. On full moon nights it is incredible. At just half an hour from the top, after the moon has set, on a clear night, you will be able to see more stars than you ever have seen before.

Next day, normally an hour before the sun rises, we hike the last kilometer and a half to the top. The morning sights are amazing. When the sun starts to rise, beautiful colors of purple, orange, pink and red appear. The sky slowly changes from black to blue while the clouds dissipate and re-form due to the temperature changes caused by the rising sun. This is the best moment to see the oceans. It is hard to put into words how amazing it is to watch this new day begin. You may have seen sunrises before, but surely few compare to one witnessed at the top of Baru.
On a clear day we can easily see the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Panama is the only country in the world in which you can do this. After delighting ourselves with the views, the cold normally makes us choose to descend.
After taking dismantling the camping site we head back to Boquete. It normally takes 1 hour less to hike back down. 

Camping Trip and Guided Hike

Price:
$ 175.00 per person


Prices includes: bilingual certified guide, transportation from downtown Boquete to Baru Volcano National Park entrance and back to Boquete at the end of the hike, entrance fee at ranger station, extra water, sleeping bag, tent, head lamp, pair of gloves, warm hat, sweater, gas canister and portable stove. Lunch, Dinner and Breakfast for the next day are provided, as well as some fruits and snacks.

Itinerary
  • 8:30 a.m. Meet at your hotel
  • 9:00 a.m. Depart to entrance of the Volcan Baru National Park.
  • 9:20 a.m. Register names and passports at the ranger station. Pay park fees.
  • 9:30 a.m. We start hiking.
  • 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Arrive to "Los Fogones" Camping Site and setup camp.
  • 6:00 p.m. Start camp fire and begin cooking dinner.
  • 7:30 p.m. Drink some wine, chill out, swap stories and count shooting stars.
  • 10:00 p.m. Lights out.
  • 5:00 a.m. Wake up and have something small to eat.
  • 5:10 a.m. Start hiking the last part to the top of the Volcano.
  • 5:55 a.m. Reach the top and choose your spot to contemplate heaven on Earth.
  • 6:00 a.m. Contemplate.
  • 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Head back to camping site.
  • 8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Prepare breakfast, get ready to return and rest a little bit.
  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Start hiking back.
  • 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Arrive to ranger station.
  • 2:10 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. Ride back to downtown Boquete.
  • 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Arrive to your hotel.
Note: schedule is subject to change. Times are approximate and depend on weather, group size, hikers physical condition and other factors.







Guided Trek Only
Price:
$ 89.00 per person









Prices includes: bilingual certified guide, transportation from downtown Boquete to Baru Volcano National Park entrance and back to Boquete at the end of the hike, entrance fee at ranger station, head lamp, pair of gloves, warm hat and sweater. Two meals, fruit and snacks are provided

Itinerary
  • 5 a.m. or 11 p.m. Meet at your hotel
  • 30 minutes to reach the Volcan Baru's National Park.
  • 5 minutes to register names and passports at the ranger station. Pay park fees.
  • 4 - 6 hours to reach the top of the Volcano and choose a spot to contemplate.
  • 1 - 2 hours to contemplate and have breakfast or lunch (depends on the time we leave).
  • 3.5 to 5.5 hours to hike down the Volcano.
  • 30 minutes to drive back to downtown Boquete.
  • At the end of the excursion, 12 hours to rest properly... at least.
Note: schedule is subject to change. Times are approximate and depend on weather, group size, hikers physical condition and other factors.

What do you need to take?
  • A backpack
  • 4 liters of drinking water (at least)
  • Snacks, chocolate bars, energy bars (meals and fruit are provided)
  • Shoes in good condition for hiking
  • A digital camera with enough batteries and memory space
  • Rain coat or waterproof jacket
  • A high level of stamina, eagerness to face the challenge and a huge appetite for adventure

Boquete Tour: Coffee Tour







Avaliable: From Monday to Saturdays
3 Hour Tour


Boquete is to coffee as Bordeaux is to wine. Panama's coffee has been considered to be the best coffee in the world for 3 years in row. So. it would be a little bit strange if you came to Boquete and you left without visiting a coffee plantation, don't you think? Prepare your taste buds for an explosion of flavors!

At a coffee tour in Panama you will learn everything about the coffee process, from when the coffee tree is planted and starts growing, until the way coffee is brewed for you to drink it. You will be able to appreciate the importance of the Ngöbe Buglé indigenous that hand pick the red coffee berries when they are perfectly ripe. You will also have a glance of the shade grown technique which only allows the precise amount of sun on each coffee tree and protects the environment. And you will end with a cupping, in which you will sample different flavors and roasts.

If you visit Boquete between December and April you will be able to see them in their colorful dresses harvesting coffee in Ruiz's plantations and if you visit Boquete between October and March you will be able to see the coffee being processed.

For those interested, here is a list of some of Panama's best coffees that have been awarded top prizes in international events: Bambito Estate Coffee, Mama Cata, Carmen Estate Coffee, Kotowa Coffee, Café Ruiz, Santa Teresa Coffee Estate, Elida and El Burro Estate (from Lamastus Family Estates), Finca Don Pepe, Café Suárez, Hacienda Cafetalera, Café Sitton, Finca Lérida, Finca Hartmann, Cafetalera Las Marianas and Café Eleta.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America, the world's largest and most important coffee trade association has selected Panama's "Hacienda La Esmeralda" as the world's best specialty coffee for a record third consecutive year. This coffee is grown and produced in the Jaramillo region of Boquete and in 2007 during an online auction 1 pound of unroasted coffee sold for a stunning price of $130.

Price:

$  25.00 per person

Chiriqui's Gulf : Island Tours














Whether you want to lie on the beach, snorkel a bit, swim in crystal clear waters or go wildlife watching underneath the rainforest canopy, there is something for everyone in this off-the-beaten-path destination!

After a 1.5 hour drive from Boquete we hit the Pacific coast. Our super panga is waiting for us in the small fishing village of Boca Chica, just outside of David. Our licensed boat captain finalizes preparations and we all hop in and begin our boat tour through the mangrove estuary of Laguna de Chiriqui.

It is very likely that at the end of this first leg of our journey we will encounter some dolphins, who will swim around our boat and playfully jump out of the water to our delight

Very soon we will enter the protected waters and uninhabited islands of Chiriqui's Gulf National Marine Park. With more than 14,000 hectares (36,000 acres) of extensive coral reef, mangrove swamps and marine meadows, this proteced area serves as a refuge for leatherback and hawksbill turtles, tiger-herons, large pelagic fish like white-tipped sharks, howler monkeys and scores of colorful exotic fish.

Nature then gives us a magnificent display as we contemplate how the sea's colors change. The dark blue tones which surround the mangroves near the shore give way to shades of turquoise and emerald wrapping white-sanded beaches on idyllic islands lined with slender coconut palms. This tropical exhibit is complimented by picturesque rocky outcrops sprinkled across the gulf. Talk about beauty, you will not want to leave!

Afterwards we will pass the late morning and better part of the afternoon exploring, swimming, relaxing in a hammock, lunching and playing on the white sand beaches of one of Chiriqui Gulf's tropical islands. Snorkeling gear is provided to explore the surrounding waters. At certain times of the year, whales are also passing by. If we are lucky enough we'll see them "spouting around".

The Islands of Gamez and Bolaños are our most popular destinations, although for those on a budget a closer trip to San José Island is offered. Your trip's final destination depends on weather and sea conditions. A major plus of this whole region is that the dry season tends to start earlier than in other parts of Panama, around November, and ends at about the same time, in May. The air out here is fresh and balmy, unlike the interior humid lowlands or the Caribbean.

If you think that just one day on an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Chiriqui just isn't enough, we also offer this beach trip as an overnighter to make this the highlight of your Panama experience!

Full Day Island Trip
Price:
$75.00 - $90.00 per person

Overnight Island Trip
Price:
$175.00 per person

* The above prices do not include Panama's Sales Tax.

Do you need to bring with me on the day of my Panama Island Tour
  • Swimming cloths and beach cloths (flip flops and hat for example)
  • Dry cloths and towel for after the boat trip
  • Sun block
  • Water bottle
  • Any additional food or refreshments that you enjoy having while on the beach (but we'll have plenty!)
  • Walking shoes to explore the islands
  • Camera
  • Snacks for at the end of trip (lunch is provided)
  • Cédula or copy of your passport and of the page with Panama's entry stamp (in fact, you should always carry this while in Panama!)

Caldera Hot Springs






If you want to relax and chill out, on the path to Boquete lies a place famous for its natural hot springs renown for their healing properties. The hot springs are located within a private farm and four undeveloped pools of mineral water with different temperatures are easily accessible. With so many adventurous and physical demanding tours in Boquete, the Caldera Hot springs is certainly a place to come if you feel like soothing your aches.

Caldera, which means boiling pot, is a small town near the Caldera River and is half way between Dolega and Boquete. The river itself serves as a refreshing cool off after bathing in the hot springs. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the Río Caldera and marvel at the smooth and warm boulders and hot pockets of water within the river itself which can be located with the help of your guide.

Two of the four thermal pools are surrounded by man placed stones which give them a touch of intimacy and privacy. The temperatures in each hot water hole range from 38°C - 46°C. What travelers most like about this hot water site is that it is totally uncrowded. Most of the times, you will have all four pools for yourself or at least one for your entire group.





Itinerary
  • Meet at your Hotel
  • 30 minutes by 4 x 4 to petroglyphs location
  • 5 minutes for walk to petroglyphs
  • 10 minutes to observe petroglyphs and listen to speech
  • 5 minutes to walk back to the 4 x 4
  • 10 minutes by 4 x 4 to the Hot Springs Farm
  • 5 minutes walking to the Hot Springs area
  • 2 - 3 hours at Hot Springs
  • 10 minutes to walk back to the 4 x 4
  • 45 minutes by 4 x 4 back to downtown Boquete
Note: morning and afternoon tours can be scheduled to start at 8 a.m. or 2 p.m. Times are approximate and depend on weather, group size and other factors.


What do you need to take?




  • Towel
  • Bathing Suit (do not bring soap or any other cleaner, PLEASE!)
  • 2 liters of drinking water (you will not exercise but the heat can make you thirsty!)
  • Some beers to cool off or wine to relax (snacks are included)
  • Digital Camera or Video Recorder
  • A complete change of cloths
  • A backpack to put everything in


  • Prices include: transportation to and from the Caldera Hot Springs (departing from Boquete), snacks, private farm entrance fee, guidance and explanation at petroglyph's site.

    Price: $ 25.00 per person

    BOOK NOW !

    * The prices do not include Panama's Sales Tax.

    Quetzals Trail Guided Hiking Tour







    General Information & Facts about "El Sendero de los Quetzales"




    Considered one of the most gorgeous paths in Central America, the Quetzals Trail is without any doubt the most popular hike in Panama's western highlands. Located within the Volcan Baru National Park, the "Sendero de los Quetzales" links the towns of Guadalupe, which is near Cerro Punta on the west side of the Volcano, with the town of Boquete which is on its east. The trail skirts the Baru Volcano on its north face and can be hiked in any direction, starting in Boquete and ending in Cerro Punta, or vice versa.

    Hiking the 9.6 kms (total distance of 6 miles) of this path may take from 4 to 7 hours. Fluctuations in timing come from differences in hiking speeds, direction chosen to complete the hike (uphill or downhill), time spent contemplating the scenery and time invested "hunting down" one of the splendorous birds that gives its name to this path: the Resplendent Quetzal.

    Boquete's altitude is 975 meters (3,200 feet) above sea level but the ranger station where the hike starts is at about 1,800 meters and Cerro Punta's altitude is 1,981 meters (6,500 feet) but the highest point in the Quetzals Trail is marked at 2,500 meters. This makes the shift in altitude around 500 meters for the entire hike. In this National Park temperatures range from 10° - 16°C (50° to 60°F).

    At each end of the Quetzals Trail the ANAM (National Authority of the Environment) has a Ranger Station that marks the beginning and end of the hike. At the last part of the paved road, roughly 8 km from downtown Boquete, Alto Chiquero Ranger Station guards the entrance on the east side of the National Park. El Respingo Ranger Station is certainly closer from the town of Guadalupe, at only 4 km but the road is not paved on this side so the ride from Guadalupe to this ranger station takes longer and you need a 4 x 4 to make it.



    Hiking the Quetzals Trail from Boquete to Cerro Punta

    Hiking the trek in this direction demands more physical stamina and endurance than going downhill, but it does have a major significant advantage: you will be able to encounter more wildlife in the lower altitudes of the National Park, especially during the first hours of light. If you choose to make the uphill trek, then our guided tours aim to arrive to Alto Chiquero's Ranger Station in Boquete at sunrise (between 6:00 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. depending on the time of year). We can start before if you wish to.

    Within the first hour you could find some Quetzals still roosting along the trail. The amount of birds rapidly decreases after the first hour, mainly due to the progression of day but also because of the increase in altitude.

    Another point in favor of this option is that although the uphill hike is more strenuous, it can be gentler on the knees than a steep rough descent. And yet another advantage is that in Boquete it more commonly rains in the afternoons and in Cerro Punta it more commonly rains in the mornings, so you may stand a better chance of remaining dry if hiking in this direction. Truth told, in the rainforest during the rainy season, there is no such thing as a guarantee for dryness.

    From Boquete's side, El "Sendero de los Quetzales" starts after Alto Chiquero's Ranger Station with three quarters of an hour hike (mostly downhill with a few ups) on a dirt road. At some point instead of continuing on the dirt/rock road we take a left and join the trail that immediately immerses us into the rainforest. After about an hour and a half or two of mostly flat terrain with only a slight pendent, the steep ascent begins.

    Series of staircases scale the steepest terrains, and present the greatest obstacles. Ongoing exposure to moisture has rotted the wood, and steps are frequently missing and covered with moss.

    Midway up the ascent we reach a picnic area with several wooden tables. Further up, about halfway along the trail, we arrive to "Mirador La Roca" which is approximately equidistant from both Ranger Stations and marks the trail's highest elevation at 3,100m. Depending our hiking pace, this part of the trail can be covered in 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. This resting area offers a viewing platform with almost 270° panoramas, a shelter, picnic grounds and a camping site. This is where we stop to have a nice lunch. An unnamed opening, several minutes before this spot, offers even greater panoramic views. In the Out and Back option we then return to Boquete.

    The rest of the trail continues upwards into the cloudforest but with a less inclined gradient. It is certainly tough enough and after 2 - 3 hours we finally reach Alto Respingo Ranger Station where we will be picked up and taken to the town of Guadalupe where we'll have private transportation back to Boquete. For the overnight option, this will be our camping spot. Simply beautiful. Almost everybody agrees that this side of the trail is the most amazing and the next day even more wildlife watching early in the morning.
    Out and back
    Price:  $ 45.00 per person

                   
    Boquete to Cerro Punta                        
    Price: $ 65.00 per person  

                
    Overnight ( Boquete to Cerro Punta)  

    Price:  $ 125.00 per person   
    Hiking the Quetzals Trail from Cerro Punta to Boquete

    The major advantage about making the hike from west to east is that it is mostly downhill and for some hikers this might mean that it is now a doable hike. If you cannot make it uphill or do not like the idea of having an early start, completing the Quetzals Trail in this direction is certainly worth it.

    Private transportation is provided from Boquete to Cerro Punta. From another point of view it is also a comforting idea to know that at the end of the hike, only after a 20 minute drive, you will be back in your hotel for a hot water bath, or in one of Boquete's many restaurants with a hot plate of food in front of you, as opposed to making a 3 hour road journey after the hike, first from Cerro Punta to David, and then from David to Boquete.
                                                                 
    Price:       $ 65.00 per person

    BOOK NOW !

    * The prices do not include Panama's Sales Tax.

    Although an early start will not guarantee spotting one of the elusive quetzals, starting the hike just before dawn will dramatically tilt the odds in your favor. In a guided tour hikers have spotted up to 15 quetzals in a single day.

    Our guided tour includes: bilingual bird watching guide and transportation arrangements to drop you off at a pre-selected Ranger Station and pick you up at its counterpart once the hiking tour is over. Hiking the Quetzals Trail in each direction has its own advantages and disadvantages, as it will be explained further on.
    What do you need to take?
    • Small backpack or rucksack (any extra weight only makes the hike more difficult: keep it light)
    • Drinking water (at least 2 liters per person)
    • Snacks (nuts, chocolate, energy bars, etc.)
    • Shoes in good condition for hiking
    • A digital camera with enough batteries and memory space
    • Rain coat or waterproof jacket ("poncho")
    • A soul at peace to contemplate nature's beauty (and a rested body for the hike)
















    Panama Rafting: White Water Rafting & River Tours in Chiriqui





    Chiriqui White Water River Tours



    Chiriqui has a rafting trip for everybody. Spectacular passages through mysterious gorges in the middle of nowhere, fun and scenic family runs, steep gradients that lead to boiling eddies and big drops, hidden waterfalls, strong hydraulics that produce wild waves and intense and crazy rapids. Are you ready for Panama rafting? And if you are looking to experience the biggest white water in Central America, the rivers of Panama get even wilder during the rainy season, specially from June to November.


    Panama Rafting Trip Options departing from Boquete



    How to choose the right rafting trip for you? Besides considering the difficulty of the river (which is known as the "Class") you also have to take into account the time you have. This is why we offer rafting trips of different lenghts:
    • Full Day Rafting Trips: leave Boquete at 7 a.m. and return at 3 - 4 p.m.
    • Overnight Rafting Trips: leave Boquete at 7 a.m. and return at 3 - 4 p.m. on the next day
    Actual trip time on the water (2.5 - 4 hours) depends on how much water is in the river (the more rain, the faster the river, the shorter the trip) and on which sections can or cannot be rafted on a specific day.
    If you can spare the time, we definitvely recommend investing a whole day on the river. In our opinion whitewater river rafting is simply the best outdoor adventure tour in the area, so why not make the most out of it?
    On the other hand, an overnight rafting trip is a magical experience... swapping stories around a camp fire on the river's shore in the middle of Panama's virgin tropical forests is an experience that cannot be matched by anything else and it is simply too awesome to be put into words. Consider an overnight rafting trip as two full day rafting trips put together, linked by the most amazing camping experience.


                                                       
       
    Chiriqui ViejoPalonIII/IVIV/IV+Full Day or Overnight*3 - 4 hours
    Chiriqui Viejo SaboIIIIII/IVFull Day or Overnight*3 hours
    GaricheUppern/aII/IIIFull Day 3 - 4 hours
    ChiriquiWitchesn/aIII/IVHalf Day*1.5 - 2 hours
    CalderaUppern/aIVToy Trip*1 hour
    DolegaLowern/aII/IIIHalf Day2 - 2.5 hours
    MajaguaLowern/aII/II+Half Day1.5 hours
    EstiIIIIHalf Day2 - 2.5 hours


     * Double the rafting time for overnight trips. The half day rafting trip on the Witches section of the Chiriqui can be transformed into a Full Day Rafting Trip by adding a visit to the Caldera Hot Springs at the end of the run. During the rainy season a run down the Caldera River can be added to any half day rafting trip to make it a full day rafting trip (this is what we call Toy Trip), or we can also run this river two times, in which case it would also be considered a full day rafting trip      

    Full Day Rafting Trips      
              $75.00 per person                  

    Overnight Rafting Trips
    $175.00 per person
                                                


    Prices include: transportation to and back from Boquete (we can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel), rafting equipment, professional guides, drinking water and meals (lunch for full day rafting trips, and every meal for the overnight rafting trips).

    Prices do not include: Panama's Sales Tax.

    Note: A minimum of 4 persons is required for a full day rafting an overnight rafting trip.

    The following list of items are suggested
    • Shoes or sandals with a sturdy sole and connected to the heel (in other words shoes that will not fall off: no flip flops!)
    • Towel and change of dry cloths
    • Waterproof sun screen
    • Cédula or copy of your passport and of the page with Panama's entry stamp (in fact, you should always carry this)
    • Bands for glasses
    • Waterproof disposable camera (only take to the river equipment that you can afford to loose)
    • Snacks for at the end of trip (lunch is provided)


    VIDEO : Widening The Panama Canal


    It’s time to experience the Panama Canal Transiting.  the Panama Canal is a traveler’s “must do” adventure


    Tour Suggested:

    Panama Canal Partial Transit
    Panama Canal Full Transit
    Miraflores Locks Visitor Center
    Panama Canal Helicopter Tour

    BOOK NOW !



    For more Tour Option : www.panamatourismtravel.com





    About the Video : Extreme Engineering is a documentary television series aired on the Discovery Channel and The Science Channel which features futuristic and ongoing engineering projects.The show was renamed Build It Bigger in the US but retains its name when broadcast in Europe.

    PANAMA NATIONAL ANTHEM

    For Tour opcion visit: www.panamatourismtravel.com


     Lyrics by Jerónimo de la Ossa
    Music by Santos Jorge


    CHORUS
    At last we reached victory
    In the joyous field of the union;
    With ardent fires of glory
    A new nation is alight.

    It is necessary to cover with a veil
    The past times of Calvary and cross;
    Let now the blue skies be adorned with
    The splendid light of the concord.

    Progress caresses your path.
    To the rhythm of a sublime song,
    You see both your seas roar at your feet
    Giving you a path to your noble mission.

    (Chorus)

    In your soil covered with flowers
    To the kisses of the warm clouds of dust,
    Warrior roars have ceased;
    Only fraternal love reigns.

    Ahead the shovel and pick,
    At work without any more dilation,
    and we will be as such at work and gala
    of this fruitful world of Columbus.

    (Chorus)

    VIDEO: History of the Panama Canal

    It’s time to experience the Panama Canal Transiting. the Panama Canal is a traveler’s “must do” adventure
                                                                                       Part 1
                                                                                    



    Tour Suggested:

    Panama Canal Partial Transit
    Panama Canal Full Transit
    Miraflores Locks Visitor Center
    Panama Canal Helicopter Tour

    BOOK NOW !


    For more Tour Option : www.panamatourismtravel.com


    Part 2




    Part 3




    Part 4




    Part 5



    See The Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks



    Tour Avaliable
    Panama Canal Partial Transit
    Panama Canal Full Transit
    Panama Canal Tour

    For those wishing to see that “8th Wonder of the World”, but have little time, I suggest this tour. This two hour tour takes you to the Miraflores Locks where we will visit the Miraflores Visitor Center and see the great ships of the world transiting through.

    Miraflores is the name of one of the three locks that form part of the Panama Canal and the name of the small lake that separates these locks from the Pedro Miguel locks upstream. In the Miraflores locks, vessels are lifted (or lowered) in three stages totalling 8 m, allowing them to transit to or from the Pacific Ocean port of Balboa (near Panama City). Ships cross below the Puente de las Américas (Bridge of the Americas) which connects North and South America.

    Four exhibition halls constitute the heart of the Miraflores Visitor Center . The exhibitions include historic pieces, interactive modules, video presentations, models of the Panama Canal, and objects used in Canal operations.




  • The History Hall portrays the background, technological innovations, and sanitary initiatives that went hand in hand with the construction of the Canal. This exhibition hall honors the hundreds of men and women who made this achievement possible.



  • The Hall of Water: Source of Life emphasizes the importance of water, conservation of the environment and biodiversity, protection of the Canal Watershed, and the ACP’s commitment to the sustainable management of this resource and the interoceanic region.



  • The Canal in Action depicts in an amusing manner how the Canal operates and allows us the experience of being inside a navigation simulator and one of the lock culverts. A virtual ocean-to-ocean transit is also made possible through the use of a topographical model. This exhibition showcases Canal improvement, modernization, and maintenance projects.



  • The Canal in the World provides information on the importance of the Canal to world trade; describes the trade routes it serves; and identifies its main users, the various types of vessels that transit the waterway, and the commodities they carry. In addition, it presents an overview of studies conducted in order to guarantee the future competitiveness of the Canal and the benefits to the Republic of Panama.
  • What is the lowest toll paid for a transit through the Panama Canal ?



    Tour Suggested:

    Panama Canal Partial Transit
    Panama Canal Full Transit
    Miraflores Locks Visitor Center
    Panama Canal Helicopter Tour

    BOOK NOW !



    For more Tour Option : www.panamatourismtravel.com

    Swimming, whether as a hobby or a sport, is a very enjoyable activity and one that is relatively easy to engage in, as well as economical. As the works in the Panama Canal progressed, there were greater opportunities to find and furnish places for these enjoyments. Therefore, to prevent a disorderly use of these areas, in December 1913 Colonel George W. Goethals, President of the Canal Commission, published Circular Letter No. 515, whereby swimming areas were being restricted to prevent any interference with the works of the canal. A special site was reserved for the use of personnel stationed at Fort Elliot and Fort Otis. The Police and Prisons Division was authorized to specifically enforce these provisions. Those who worked with floating equipment (dredges, tugs, excavators, cranes, etc.) could bathe in the ocean or the lakes near their work sites in their off-duty time, as long as they observed existing provisions.

    The desire to swim across the Panama Canal was expressed by many individuals, as soon as the works were nearing termination. On November 12, 1913, special permission was granted Captain Allan Borran and Hellen My Golding, to swim in the Canal, excluding Gaillard Cut, which was not yet completed. On November 22, beginning at Gatun Locks, Captain Borran swam a distance of some 20 miles from 5:20 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Two days later he resumed his swim at 10 a.m. to arrive at Balboa at 2:30 p.m. A total of thirty miles covered in 16 hours an 35 minutes, in addition to the resting period already stated.

    Hellen My Golding swam from Cristobal to Balboa in several stages, although her attempt did not include a swim through the locks. To this time she is the only woman to have ever attempted such a feat.

    The first ocean-to-ocean crossing of the canal was made by J. R. Bingaman and James Wendell Green who, upon requesting authorization, stated that they ought to be granted this honor, inasmuch as they were Canal Company employees. On August 18, 1914, barely three days after the official opening of the canal with the transit of steamship Ancon, they were granted authorization.

    They initiated their journey on August 22, but because they were Canal employees, they were only allowed to swim on Sundays (their main argument). In this manner, on October 18, they concluded the 45-mile journey with a total of 26 hours and 34 minutes waters time. They were assisted by boats with food, timekeepers, and officials. They were authorized to swim the locks when these were not in operation; therefore, they had to climb or descend them by stairs.
     
    The most publicized event was August 14, 1928, when Governor M. L. Walker agreed to the crossing by Richard Halliburton. The document read as follows:


    Tivoli Hotel
    Ancon, Canal Zone


    In reference to our personal conversation today, I wish to inform you that Canal officials have no objection to your proposed swim from Colon to Panama.

    To this regard, you are hereby cautioned that you will need a series of anti-typhoid vaccinations. We would also wish to inform you that alligators have been seen frequently in the Gaillard Cut.

    Likewise, you are authorized to be accompanied by a boat carrying an expert marksman, a photographer, and a reporter. You are also authorized to swim the locks.
     
    We wish to clarify that any expenses incurred by this expedition shall be borne by you and that the Panama Canal shall not be liable for any damages you may sustain.



    Sincerely,
    M. L. Walker
    Governor


    Halliburton swam through the locks, which were appropriately raised and lowered, as they would have for the largest vessel in a fleet. Based on his body weight (140 lbs.), he had to pay 36 cents. Halliburton’s journey lasted 10 days, with a total of 50 hours waters time. After his successful crossing, he wrote the book New Worlds to Conquer, published in 1929 by Bobs-Merrill & Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. The eighth chapter entitled "The SS Richard Halliburton" (page 90) is a very detailed and anecdotal description of his endeavor.

    A new attempt to cross the canal was made by Marvin Beacham and Regis Parton in 1936, but the respective authorities denied their request, even though their preparations had been well under way. On June 22, 1950, Charles Mcginn swam from Gatun to the Miraflores Locks in 36 hours. The trip lasted six days, including rest periods.

    Captain Robert F. Legge made the journey from Gatun to Miraflores in October 1958 in 21 hours and 54 minutes. He paid 72 cents for this crossing. Subsequently, Governor William Potter presented him with the Panama Canal Master Key in the grade of "Honorary Ship" in recognition of his achievement.

    On May 12, 1959, Sergeant George W. Harrison swam from Gatun to the Miraflores Locks in 22 hours and 52 minutes, resting outside the water to take food, and apply oils and massages. However, he did not swim across the Pedro Miguel Locks, but rather walked across on its edges. (Panama Canal Review, August 1966, page 8).

    On December 29, 1962, Albert H. Oshiver went from Gatun to Gamboa in a record time of 29 hours, without resting along the way. He paid 72 cents in toll. He arrived in Gamboa on the following day at 5 a.m. He was also presented with the master key of the Canal.

    The last attempt to swim the entire canal, non-stop, was by the Hindi Mihir Sen, on October 30, 1966. However, he had to give up after 15 hours on account of strong stomach cramps, after having swum 12 of the total 45 miles of the route.

    After this, no more authorizations of any kind were granted for these feats.
    The use of the waters of the Big Ditch for diving, water skiing, aquaplaning, low-draft boats, hydroplanes, ferries, yachts, and other types of water vessels is well defined in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is reviewed annually. The Code consists of 50 Titles, each divided in chapters.
    Book 35 contains provisions on the Panama Canal  It is interesting to note the drive and motivation of the ten individuals who engaged in this feat. Most of them did so to satisfy a desire, to reach a goal in their lives, and to overcome an obsession


    Notes:

    Which was the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal?

     

    SS Ancon was an American steamship that became the first ship to officially transit the Panama Canal in 1914. The steamer began life as the SS Shawmut, built for the Boston Steamship Line in 1902. About 1910 she was purchased by the Panama Railroad Company to provide shipping required for the construction of the Panama Canal. The name was changed to Ancon after Ancon Hill and Ancon township in Panama, home to the head of the Canal Commission.

    Ancon and her sister ship Cristobal played a crucial role in building the canal, bringing workers and supplies, notably massive amounts of cement, from New York to Panama for the construction project.

    On August 15, 1914 Ancon made the first official transit of the canal as part the canal's opening ceremonies. (Her sister ship Cristobal had made the first unofficial transit on August 3, delivering a load of cement, while an old French crane boat Alexandre La Valley had crossed the canal from the Atlantic in stages during construction, finally reaching the Pacific on January 7.)

    Ancon was acquired by the United States Navy from the US Army just after the end of World War I and fitted out as USS Ancon (ID-1467), a troop transport to return Americans home.

    The Panama Railroad Company replaced SS Ancon in 1938 with a second SS Ancon, a larger steam turbine cargo liner which later saw considerable action as US Navy Transport USS Ancon in World War II.






    Officially ,the SS Ancon was the first vessel to transit the Panama Canal on August 15, 1914. However, the first transit completed through the Canal was done as part of a work routine on January 7, 1914, when the crane Alexander La Valley crossed the Pacific locks without any type of ceremony


    On August 15, 1914 marked the start of a revolution in global trade and transportation. It was on that day that a cargo ship called the S.S. Ancon made the first passage through the Panama Canal