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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

Panama Travel Checklist

  • Documents to take with you
    • Passport and required visas, and record of immunizations. Keep them handy at all times.
    • Airline round-trip tickets. This are important in case the country requires return verification.
    • State drivers license. You may also need a an international driver's license.
    • Traveler checks. Possibly also pre-purchased foreign currency available at your local bank.
    • Internationally accepted credit cards. Use these for all purchases except tipping or smaller transactions.
    • Travel itinerary. Include all telephone numbers and addresses for destinations.
    • Proof of Purchase. Important for items such as a laptop so there can be no question of ownership.
    • Copies. Have two of everything in case one set gets lost!
  • Insurance
    • Medical insurance. Find out if your medical insurance is valid in other countries in case of an emergency. If not, consider purchasing a travel medical insurance policy.
    • Driver's Insurance. Some automobile insurance coverage is portable to other countries. If your coverage is portable, you can save buying car rental liability insurance.
    • Traveler's insurance.
  • Important items to pack
    • Prescription drugs. These should all be clearly marked and in childproof containers.
    • Basic first aid kit. Include salt tablets for arid countries.
    • Medical cards. These should state any allergies or medical conditions.
    • Luggage. Plain and durable is best.
    • Foreign language/English paperback book. Be familiar with basic terms.
    • Battery or wind-up alarm clock. Be sure to set it and your watch on local time.
    • Electrical adapters. Most countries uses 220 volts.
    • Personal appliances. Hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors.
    • Flashlight. This comes in handy in case of a blackout.
  • Items to leave behind
    • Itinerary. Leave a copy with family or a friend
    • Passport copy. Including all pages and photo and all other travel documentation
    • Unnecessary credit cards. Any cards you will not be using, leave at home.
    • Expensive jewelry. Other than your wedding rings and watch, any other jewelry should be costume.
    • Knives. Really, any sharp object that may be mistake as a weapon.
  • When you arrive at your destination
    • Reconfirm your next day itinerary. Also check on any future flights, hotels or car rentals.
    • Exchange currency. Have enough small currency for tipping and small purchases. Banks normally give the best exchange rate.
    • Consulate contact. Register with the Embassy for visits beyond a few days.
    • Check for hotel exits and emergency instructions. Know where to go in case of a fire.
    • Verify telephone service. Call the desk to be sure your phone works.
    • Check locks. Be sure that they work. Never leave your room key at the front desk.
    • Public transportation. Inquire with hotel staff which sources of public transportation are the most economical and the most reliable.

    Special Considerations when you travel to Panama


    PASSPORT
    A valid passport is required for travel in [Name of Country]. You will need to present it at the airports before and after your flights. Be sure to carry a photocopy of your passport in a separate location, for security’s sake. It is also a good idea to leave one with somebody at home. If you already have a passport, check to make sure it is still current (they expire every 10 years). Passports can be renewed through the mail. If you are getting a passport for the first time, you must submit your application in person.

    For information on how to obtain a passport, download an application from travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html, ask your travel agent, or call the Passport Office at 202-647-0518. Allow at least 6 weeks.
     
     
    VISA
     
     
    A visa is not needed for stays under 90 days, however tourists from the USA, Canada and EU need to purchase a $6 tourist card from their airlines at the ticket counter on the day of departure for Panama. A tourist card gives you an automatic 90-day stay in Panama and can be extended for another 60 days.
     
    MONEY
     
     
    The National Currency is the Panamanian balboa (B). However, the official paper currency is the U.S. dollar, which is accepted everywhere at the rate of B1 = US$1. The centesimos coins are of identical size, denomination, and metal as U.S. coins, and the coins of both nations are used hereinterchangeably. Credit cards are well accepted at hotels, major stores and better restaurants in Panama City. Outside Panama City, in general, cash will be necessary. We recommend getting what you think you will need in Panama City. Outside Panama City best to carry denominations of $20 or less Panama City has numerous ATM machines. Double check with your bank to make sure you ATM card will work. Traveler's checks are not well accepted in Panama except at banks:
    American Express preferred.
    You will need spending money for a few meals, snacks, optional excursions, personal gifts, drinks and guide gratuities.
     
     
    HEALTH
     
     
    There are currently no required immunizations for travel to Panama

    Hiking Camino de Cruces Trail

           









    In 1514 Balboa built a crude road, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by cutting a path through the jungle. This road was about 30 - 40 miles long, and soon after the building of the town of Panamá, was abandoned. There were no permanent villages built along the route, which contributed to it demise.
    1515, Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán used the overland trail between Antigua and the Gulf of San Miguel. At the native village of Panamá, (a Cueva word meaning "Place of Abundant Fish"), the natives told Guzmán of a trail, going north, all the way to Porto Bello, past the site of the abandoned town of Nombre de Diós. This trail had been used by the natives for centuries, and was well laid out.
    In 1517 Gaspar de Espinosa built the road that Alvitez had discovered. Espinosa used 4000 natives as slave labor to build the road.
    Smooth river stones were laid on the trail. These stones were covered with clay, and packed, to make a smooth surface. The Río Chagres was bridged with very large boulders and large trunks were shaved flat, making a road bed for the bridge.
    By August of 1519, cobbled stone road, approximately 3 feet wide ran from Nombre de Diós to Panamá. Nombre de Diós, lacked a good defensible harbor, and a road was later built to connect Nombre de Diós to Puerto Bello in the 1590's. This road, El Camino Real, was about 50 miles long, and was wide enough, to allow two carts to cross one-an-other traveling in opposite directions. The Spanish spared no expense in the construction of this road.
    In 1521, a Spaniard wrote the King describing his trip across the Isthmus from Nombre de Diós to Panamá. He related that the first part of the journey was the most difficult because of the rivers, the mountains, and the thick forest. The trip from Panamá to San Lorenzo and then Porto Bello, was easier then the return trip. This was OK, since the purpose of this route was to insure that the treasures reached the Caribbean safely. This road served the Spanish well for more than three centuries.
    In 1671, this legendary trail was the route used by Henry Morgan to sack Panama City.
    During the 1849 Gold Rush in California, the Las Cruces Trail was used again. 49er's used the Panamá Route, to get to California. The Las Cruces Trail, had not been maintained for a long time, so was very difficult to navigate, even for the sure footed mule. At best, this trip took 4 days; but usually took much longer. Some travelers are known to have taken several weeks, to make the crossing. The trekker had to face Yellow Fever, Malaria, and Chagres Fever, great swarms of mosquitoes, snakes and bugs along the way. Once they finally arrived in Panamá City, they would have to wait for a ship to take them to California.
    The only reminder today of the passage of the mule trains along the Camino de Cruces, other than the old mule shoes that can still be found along the trail, are footing points etched by the mules in the soft shale stone that forms the base of stretches of the trail as it climbs and descends the hills through the jungle.
    Large portions of the remarkably well preserved old Spanish colonial trail transverse deep ravines. The mules were forced repeatedly to use of the same footing points as they climbed or descended. Mule footing points have been found in several locations on the trail. They are quite prominent and it is easy to see the shape of the mule shoes. The ascending footing points are deep and round. The descending points are longer and more shallow with the mule’s hooves sliding and forming a trough until a catch hold was reached.
    The Soberania National Park borders the Panama Canal and contains 9.5 kilometers of the Camino de Cruces. Outside of the park, the Camino de Cruces is under increasing pressure from land development, particularly the closer it gets to Panama City.




    Summit Nature Park


    Summit Nature Park-Panama displays some of the most emblematic birds found in the neotropics. As well as being home to a pair of, what many consider to be the most powerful bird of prey in the world: the Harpy Eagle, Panama’s National Bird. If you have a sharp eye you might actually see several different species of native birds flying around the grounds. Anything from toucans to black hawks have been sighted. Make sure to bring your binoculars!
    Summit is home to more than 150 species of trees, palms, and shrubs from around the world. Walk through our magnificent Bamboo Way . The palm collection is considered to be one of the best in the world and in the dry season the breeze kicks up the wonderful fragrance of several flowering trees. Fifty one of our most impressive species are marked and include a fun little fact. Can you find them all?

    Items to bring… Long Pants, boots or sneakers, insect repellent ,Camera or binoculars


    INCLUDE: Transportation (round trip ), guide, entrance.

    Price $ 50.00 per person ( minimun 2 persons )

    New York Times: Panama the No. 1 tourist destination in 2012

    According to a New York Times publication on January 6, Panama was selected as the best place to visit in 2012 among 45 sites. The country’s economic growth, development projects such as the Panama Canal expansion and a variety of tourist attractions were cited as factors leading to this selection.

    It is important to point out that Panama received more than 2 million tourists in 2011 for the first time, and it is expected further growth for the tourism sector in the coming years.
    The article of New York Times can be viewed at: http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/travel/45-places-to-go-in-2012.html pagewanted=all&smid=fb-share


    Book a Tour Package
    www.panamatourismtravel.com

    Tourism Attraction: Herrera Province

    Herrera Province is a small province located on what is called the Azuero Peninsula. It is bordered by Cocle, Los Santos and Veraguas, and touches on the Pacific Ocean. Herrera is mainly agricultural, with interesting tourist attractions. The interior of the province is mostly farmland, cattle pasture, and towns. The province of Herrera ranks third in the production of sugarcane in Panama. Panama's most famous alcoholic drink, "seco" is made from sugarcane and is also produced in Herrera.

    The capital of Herrera is Chitre, which is located near the coast. Other important cities in Herrera are Parita, Ocu, Las Minas, Los Pozos and Santa Maria. The province is famous for its festivities during Carnival, especially in Chitre, Parita and Ocu. Chitre's carnival is one of the most popular in Panama, but those in Ocu have risen in prominence in recent years.
    The artisans of Herrera are particularly known for their clay pottery, which can be bought along the roads and streets of Chitre. There are many examples of Spanish colonial architecture in Chitre, including The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista and the Herrera Museum. The Sarigua National Park , which is a unique desert like region, is also located in the province of Herrera. The Museum of Colonial Religious Art of the Church of Santo Domingo of Parita is a museum located in the town of Parita.






















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    Tourism Attraction : Chiriquí Province

    What many visitors to Panama don't realize is that just at the western tip of the republic, lies an undiscovered land brimming with promises of wildlife, adventure, exotic culture and enchanting mountain villages that will make you long to extend your stay. This tropical mountain paradise pleasantly surprises those who don't expect to find a home away from home.
     
    Bordering on the Pacific side of the Continental Divide, undoubtedly luring most to Chiriqui are the storybook villages nestled along the craggy flanks of Baru Volcano, Panama's highest peak and only Volcano at 3,478 meters. No stranger to the visitor, Chiriqui has long charmed Panamanians from the capital to its cool mountain villages for a respite from the daily grind and heat of Panama City. A-frame Swedish style houses adorn the landscape; remnants and evidence of those Europeans who came to Panama to work on the canal and railroad projects and surprisingly found themselves at home in the pristine highlands of Chiriqui. As of late, the serene beauty of forested and flower dotted hillsides have once again caused a great many of those internationals "just passing through" to actually set up house and take on new roles as inn keepers and coffee farmers.

    Chiriqui is considered first and foremost to be Panama's breadbasket. The slopes of Baru Volcano are covered in a rich, black and fertile soil that has inevitably made Chiriqui's highlands the agricultural lifeline for the rest of Panama. Virtually everything and anything seems to grow in colorful abundance; everything from potatoes, intoxicatingly sweet oranges, vivid and exotic flowers, strawberries, and, of course, the province's most recent source for pride, highland coffee whose induction to the international coffee arena has been well received; all enjoy Chiriqui's rich conditions and all thrive upon Chiriqui's soil.

    Baru Volcano lies smack in the center of the province flanked on either side by the small and picturesque towns of Boquete to the east, and Cerro Punta to the west. Both are bustling agricultural towns where rosy cheeked people bundled in sweaters meticulously tend their gardens and farms. Boquete's people mostly cultivate coffee and during the months of October to February trucks can be seen rumbling down the streets heavy with red and succulent coffee cherries. The entire town of Boquete takes on a joyous ambiance which culminates in the yearly Boquete Coffee and Flower Festival during the month of January. This week-long festival shows off flowers imported from Europe and carefully nursed into bloom in Boquete, as well as the fair's newest addition: the Specialty Coffee Association of Panama (SCAP) coffee hut which has been hosting their yearly coffee cupping (akin to wine tasting) featuring prestigious cuppers from all over the world.

    Known as the "Valley of the Moon" to the natives, Chiriqui is also home to a large population of Ngobe-Bugle (Guaymi) Indians. Panama's largest tribe, they number about 125,000 and although found in large groups in Chiriqui's eastern town of Tole, many Ngobes make the yearly migration to Chiriqui's highlands in search of jobs as coffee pickers. A strenuous and labor-intense job, coffee picking for the Ngobes is the financial and social event of the year since they make the bulk of their money picking coffee and often return home with new wives. The Ngobes still speak their own language which they refer to as el dialecto and the women can be seen in colorful and beautiful hand-stitched dresses called naguas. Using the most vivid hues of blues, reds and greens, the dresses are adorned with triangular trimming and are certainly works of art. The Ngobes can also be seen using woven handbags called chacaras which are also quite lovely and which, along with the naguas, can be found for sale in the local shops along Boquete's main drag.

    The towns of Cerro Punta and Bambito on the Western side of Baru, offer vistas of manicured agricultural farms, wild flower farms and gurgling brooks and streams. At 1900 meters and like Boquete, this area has a brisk and cool climate that ranges from 55-70 Fahrenheit. Cerro Punta mainly produces flowers for export, and produce such as lettuce, tomatoes and cabbages. Along a drive through Cerro Punta one can see the renowned horse farms that breed and train Panama's prized thoroughbred racehorses.

    Bird watching in both Boquete and Cerro Punta is quite phenomenal. Trails crisscross their way into these lush and verdant cloud forests and continually awe visitors with their surreal like beauty. Upon reaching higher levels of the cloud forest one is struck with the ethereal sound of the Black-Faced Solitaire; a bird whose song is as lovely as the sound of chimes. The Los Quetzales trail is a popular path for visitors and connects the two towns of Boquete and Cerro Punta along the northern ridge of the Baru Volcano. An easier hike from Cerro Punta to Boquete (since the former is at higher elevation), this trail is often times a strenuous but nonetheless beautiful hike offering excellent birding opportunities where such birds as the Emerald Tucanette and the sought after Resplendent Quetzal inhabit the cool jungles and flit through their canopy of avocado and orchid laden trees. The forests surrounding these towns are also home to pumas, as well as the new world's largest herbivore, the tapir. By all means, consider yourself lucky if you should happen to come across one.

    For those in search of excitement and a reawakening of their system, Chiriqui's perfect combination of highlands and abundant rainfall set the stage for world class whitewater rafting. Descending from the flanks of the volcano, these rivers have been hailed by many a rafter to be some of the best stretches of river throughout Central America. Both day trips and multi-day raft trips are offered on the Chiriqui and Chiriqui Viejo rivers as well as various river classification levels (class III-class IV predominate). And if the excitement of whitewater has piqued your interest for a more personalized sort of water sport, three day kayaking clinics taught by stateside instructors will set you on your way down these rivers.

    Although not necessarily conducive to nature watching (one is usually more concentrated on running the rapids), these river trips offer rare glimpses of remote areas of Chiriqui that in some instances are virtually only accessible by your river craft. Some of these rivers take you through untouched gorges and to little known but spectacular waterfalls that tower above you as they cascade into the river.

    Tourism Attraction: Veraguas Province

    Veraguas Province is located in central Panama, and is the only province with both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. The capital of Veraguas is Santiago, which is the fourth largest city in Panama. The town of San Francisco De La Montana is close to Santiago, and here you can find a gorgeous church with baroque style architecture dating back to the beginning of the XVIII century. The province of Veraguas also encompasses spectacular mountain terrain along the Cordillera Central that rises as it continues into Chiriqui Province. Veraguas Province offers tourists and visitors close contact with nature, while exploring it’s rainforests, mountains, beaches and islands where there are more than 200 varieties of orchids, more than 400 species of birds, as well as a diversity of mammals, reptiles and insects.


    Veraguas includes several islands including Cebaco, Isla Jicaron and Isla Gobernadora. The largest is Isla Coiba, which includes Coiba National Park . This park has the second largest coral reef in the Central-Eastern Pacific Ocean, and is one of the largest marine parks in the world. Isla Coiba also has beautiful beaches such as Playa Damas and Playa Blanca. Other parks in Veraguas include Santa Fe National, Yeguada Lagoon Forst Reserve and Montuoso Forest Reserve.
     
     
    In addition to its mountains and jungles, Veraguas also offers beautiful beaches, such as Playa Santa Catalina, Playa Mariato, Malena and Torio, which provide great opportunities for recreation, surfing and fishing. In particular, Playa Santa Catalina is well known throughout the world, especially in the surfing community.
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    Tourism Attractions: Cocle Province

    Cocle Province is one of Panama’s central provinces, and is located on Panama’s southern coast, near the provinces of Panama, Colon, Veraguas and Herrera. It is about 1 ½ hours by car from Panama City. Cocle is primarily an agricultural area, but is fast developing into a popular tourist destination. Cocle provides produce to much of the country of Panama, and is most famous for the production of tomatoes and sugar. The capital of Cocle is Penonome, which is located on the Chiriqui river in central Cocle.

    Anton Valley

    One area worth visiting is Anton Valley , a beautiful and exotic valley which has become a popular tourist attraction. It is the only place in the country where you can find the square trees, and is one of the best places to find the famous golden frogs. Here you can also go hiking, rappelling, bird watching, horseback riding, or bicycling. There is also the Nispero zoo and a botanical garden. Another feature of this area is the local market, which is held on the weekends and is known as one of the best in the country.
    Cocle encompasses many sites of archeological importance, with significant artifacts being recovered from burial sites and ruins throughout the region. Two important sites are the El Cano archeological site, and Sitio Conte, which was the location of the first major find. Cocle artisans were known for their pottery, featuring colorful bird, animal and human decorations.

    Tourist Attractions

    Parks and museums located in the province of Cocle include the Museum of the History and Traditions of Penonome, The Archeological Park of El Cano, The Museum of Salt and Sugar, The Museum of Anton Valley and El Cope National Park




    Tourism Attractions : Panama City

    Panama Province is located on the Pacific side of Panama, bordering on the provinces of Darien, San Blas, Colon and Cocle. The capital of this province is Panama City, which is also the capital of the country of Panama. The province has a long coastline, which includes the beaches of Playa Gorgona, Playa Coronado, Playa San Carlos and Punta Chame Beach. The islands off the coast of Panama province include Isla Toboga and Isla Contadora.
     

    Tourist Attractions:

     
     
    Panamá La Vieja : What is known today as Panama Viejo, the old city of Panama, was the first city established by the shores of the Pacific Ocean, by Governor Pedro Arias Davila in 1519. This city was constantly visited by galleons coming from Peru, loaded with gold and silver, and other treasures en route to Spain. As a result of the attack by the English corsair, Sir Henry Morgan, occurred in 1671, the city was looted and set on fire, leaving instead of the Pearl of the Pacific, the ruins visible today. Among the ruins still visible that stand out are the convent of Saint Francis, the Company of Jesus, church of La Merced, Saint Joseph’s church, Saint John’s hospital, the royal houses, the slaughterhouse bridge, and the King’s bridge. Near the site, museums display objects from pre-Hispanic and colonial times, and scale models of the city back in the 18th century.
     
     
    El Casco Antiguo: After the destruction of the first city as consequence of the attack by pirate Henry Morgan, a new city was founded in 1673 at the site today known as Casco Antiguo. A great deal of the wall that protected this coastal city from possible pirate attacks still stands, sheltering what UNESCO has designated as World Heritage Site. The streets and buildings in the old quarter served as backdrop for moments crucial to Panama’s birth as an independent republic, and witnessed the first footsteps as well the very last breaths of the nation’s forefathers. The Casco Antiguo is currently undergoing a strenuous restoration process in order to recover its original splendor. The cobblestone streets of this historical site guide its visitors through picturesque squares and opulent cathedrals to finally lead them to an invigorating cup of coffee or a robust glass of wine at any of its al fresco eateries.

     
     
    Panama Canal : Considered the “Eight Wonder of the Modern World,” the Panama Canal counts with three sets of locks through which a yearly estimate of 14,000 ships transit between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. About 56,307 workers coming from the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean were needed to conclude this engineering feat, which today serves as bridge to a 5% of the world’s commerce. The Center in Miraflores counts with expositions about the functioning and history of the Canal, where visitors can learn about its locks system, pressure valves, tow ships, and other elements needed to guide ships safely between oceans.


    Causeway : Built out of rocks dug out from the construction of the Panama Canal, the Causeway provides a breathtaking view from the Pacific entrance to the waterway and the Americas Bridge, which until the year 2005 was the only connection between the divided land masses. The Causeway provides fine dining and the chance to enjoy outdoor activities such as jogging, biking, rollerblading, or fishing, all with Panama City’s skyline as backdrop.
     
     
    Afro-Antillean Museum : Since 1980, The Afroantillean Museum offered the possibility of learning about one of the most important facets of the construction of the Canal. The Museum has an exhibition hall that shows photographs of the arrival of the West Indian immigrants to Panama and their participation in the construction of the Transisthmian Railway and the Interoceanic Canal. Guided tours are offered in this hall and during the month of August, the museum organizes conferences and exhibitions alusive to the construction of the Canal.
     
     
    Mi Pueblito : This attractive place is located at the bottom of the Ancon Hill, and offers the visitors beautiful gardens with ferns and flowers proper of the countryside. It is totally paved with river stones and natural flat stone, surrounded by street lamps and houses characteristic of the urban area of the towns. The representation of the rural area is located behind with a typical house made up of mud, straw and canvas with a creole clay roof and a mud floor. Behind the house you may see the furnace, the mud oven, the traditional "trapiche" (cane press) and range raised hens.
     
     
    Museum of Religious Colonial Art : Located in the Old Quarter of Panama City, the Santo Domingo de Guzman old chapel was built in the third quarter of the 18th Century and was restored in 1974. The items exhibited in this museum belong to families and churches of Panama City and the countryside of Panama. Some of the pieces on display come from Spain while in others you may observe the South American art influence in the isthmus, either through the works, imported from Quito or Lima during the colonial times, and some others created by native or foreign artists based in Panama such as the silver chisseled and embossed processional cross, made in 1571 which belonged to the church of Veraguas.
     
     
    Reina Torres de Arauz Anthropological Museum : The Reina Torres de Arauz Anthopological Museum displays a wide collection made up of more than 15,000 pieces of gold and pottery, lithic and ethnographic, preserved in great conditions, and counts with approximately 5,000 meters of covered areas and 3,500 of open spaces. This museum preserves Panama's history from pre-columbian times, since the Isthmus' first settlers, who lived more than 10,000 years ago, until the arrival of the Spanish explorers. The stucture counts with spacious storage areas, auditorium, amphitheaters, gardens, parking spaces, and six hectares of tropical rainforest located behind the building.
     
     
    Panama's Carnival Panama City is no stranger to Momo’s festivities, when for four days, crowds head out to the streets looking for fun under the sun. During the day, cistern trucks cool down passersby with streams of fresh water while floats parade led by fantasy-clad queens. At night fall, stages located strategically around the city present local and international performers as a prelude to next day’s party.

    Visit Guna Yala 5 Days / 4 Nights

    Day : 1 - Panama City :

    Upon arrival to Panama a representative from Panama Tourism & Travel will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to your city hotel for your firs night in Panama.

    Day : 2 -  Guna Yala Island :

    In the early morning you will be transferred to the domestic airport, where you will take a short flight to the pristine Guna Yala Islands in the Caribbean Sea. Here you will stay in a secluded and quiet lodge, where you will enjoy the beautiful ocean view while balancing in a hammock.
    .

    Overnight at Yandup Lodge in an Over-the-Water Bungalow, three daily meals included.

    Day : 3 -  Guna Yala Tour Option :

    • Visit to the Achutupu, Mamitupu y Aligandí indigenous communities to observe their culture, lifestyles and traditions resides getting to know their local government style

    • Tour to the Cainora or Soskandup beaches both have white sand and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea.

    • Birds and wild flowers nature tours in the Guna Yala This tour includes a thorough exchange with nature, you will see a variety of birds from different regions who have immigrated to our country, many of them endangered. The flora in Kuna Yala is one of the most important attractions, there are lots of wildflowers and herbs of all kinds. Many of these plants are used today by the Kuna to cure various diseases
       
    • River tour
    • Tour to Achutupus Historic Guna Cementery to see how Gunas bury their loved ones

    Day : 4 - Half Day Panama City Tour & Miraflores Locks:

    In the morning you will be transferred to the Bocas Del Toro airport for your flight back to Panama City. There, your English speaking guide will pick you up and take you on a private tour to see the Panama Canal at the Miraflores Visitor Center

    After the visit to the Canal you will continue with your guide to the Historical Casco Antiguo

    Day : 5 - Departure :

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the Tocumen Airport for your international flight back home.



    Included
    • Meet & Greet at the Airport
    • 2 Nts at Hotel in the City in a Standard Room
    • 2 Nts at Yandup Lodge
    • 2 daily tours in Guna Yala
    • Half Day Panama City Tour & Miraflores Locks
    • Roundtrip flight to Guna Yala in economy class
    • Ground transfers on A/C motor coaches
    • All taxes and service charges
    Not Included
    • Airport Departure Tax (US$ 20.00 per person )
    • Tourist Card (US$ 5.00 for certain nationalities)
    • Optional tours
    • Meals not mentioned
    • Beverages
    • All extras in the hotels
    • Voluntary tips & gratuities

    Price $ 885.00 per person



    Isla Grande

    Visit www.panamatourismtravel.com for a full day tour in Isla Grande  

    Palm trees and white-sand beaches form the backdrop to this lovely little island, just 15km offshore from Portobelo


    A few hundred people of African descent live on Grande, most of whom eke out a living from fishing and coconuts – you’ll get a taste of both when you sample the fine island cuisine.

    A popular getaway for Panama City folk fleeing the urban grind, Isla Grande is an ideal setting for snorkeling, scuba diving or simply soaking up the island’s relaxed vibe






    Old Quarter




    Old Quarter is second Tourist Destination in Panama!
    In 1671, after the Pirate Henry Morgan attacked, looted and destroyed the Old City, Old Panama . Its residents and settlers, desperate for a safer and easier location to defend themselves against future seige, decided on what is now The Old Quarter.

    This unique walled city, consisting of 16th & 17th Century Spanish Colonial Architecture, is a gem which was unknown to most of the outside world until 2003 when UNESCO named Old Quarter a World Heritage Site.

    Achutupu’s historic Guna Cementery



    A visit to Achutupu’s historic cemetery gives our guests a unique insight into Guna views of life and death.  It is up-river in an undulating,elevated mainland location at the edge of the rainforest (burial is impossible on the low lying coral reef occupied by Achutupu’s community). 

    The funeral corteges arrive here by canoe, and then wind their way through dense growth until, finally, scattered palm roofs come into view between the trees, the open shelters over the graves.

    In the Guna burial ritual the deceased is interred in a hammock suspended between two upright poles in a previously prepared  excavation.  The self- supported protective covering becomes a flat platform  upon which are placed floral decorations and personal items in homage to the loved one.

    A flag mounted outside a particular tomb denotes that it houses the remains of a respected community leader.   .

    You will leave the green tranquillity of this hallowed setting with many images to store in your memory












    The Presidential Palace of Panama

    Tour Suggest




    The Herons' Palace is the governmental office and residence of the President of Panama. It receives its name because of herons roamming freely in the courtyard. The herons were first brought to the building in 1922 by former president Belisario Porras, at the suggestion of friend and famed Panamanian poet Ricardo Miro.

    History


    The building is located in the old quarter of Panama City, which was built after the first settlement was destroyed just prior and during the sacking by pirate Henry Morgan. It was built in 1673 and has undergone many changes through the years. Initially, it was used as a home for the Spanish governor, as a royal winery, as a warehouse, and as both customs and National Bank's headquarters.

    The new presidential house replaced the old customs offices on January 19, 1885. The remodeling works included the addition of a new room for official events in the upper level, along with other rooms to be used by the president and his family members. A Colombian artist, Epifanio Garay, was in charged of painting the portraits of all presidents since 1855.

    The current Palacio de las Garzas was officially inaugurated on August 3, 1923. However, it was not until 1938 that it was acquired totally when the National Bank moved to its new headquarters located at Central Avenue. This transaction was in process since 1936 through an exchange with the Panamanian State.

    Extensive renovations to the building were done around 1922, under the supervision of architect Leonardo Villanueva-Meyer. Works included the Andalusian courtyard, the addition of a third floor and two towers.

    An elevator was added in 1934 for a State visit by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt so that he could access the chambers where he was to stay.


     

    Rooms

    The Salón Amarillo (Yellow Room) is the most important room, where most formal events are held. The Salón de los Tamarindos (Tamarind's Room) is the presidential dining room and receives its name from its murals, where the Panamanian painter Roberto Lewis inspired his ideas on Taboga Island and its famous tamarind trees. This work was asked in 1938 by Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, the president of that period. The Salón Morisco (Moorish Room) was added during the 1922 renovations by Villanueva-Meyer.







    The National Theater



    Built in a Neo-Classic style, Panama's National Theater was one of the first public buildings inaugurated after the birth of the Republic, in 1903.

    The original building where the theatre was later on built was actually a monastery for nuns. They had a small theatre called Sarah Bernahrdt, as it is said that the artist was once brought to perform there during the time of the French Canal. But the National Theater, was built over the monastery and inaugurated on October 1, 1908 during the presidency of José Domingo de Obaldía. Its debut was grandiose, with the opera Aida presented by the Italian company Mario Lambardi.

    The building was designed  by Italian architect, Genaro Ruggeri, one of the most prolific architects in Panama at the time . Roberto Lewis painted the ceiling frescoes, and Enrico Corrado did the chalk sculpture. 


    With a capacity for 850 spectators, the theater features on its main ceiling and foyer, frescoes by Roberto Lewis, the most renowned Panamanian painter of the first half of the 20th century.
    Ceiling of the National Theater - Panamá City



    San Jose Church & Gold Altar

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    Famous Gold Altar of the Church of San Jose in Old Quarter is considered one of the greatest treasures of Panama. The church located on Avenida A near the corner of Calle 8 in the Old Quarter of Panama City. The famous "Gold Altar " was designed in the seventeenth century in Baroque style. Originally was located in the temple of the same name San Jose in Panama La Vieja, which pertained to religious Augustionos. In 1671 the English Privateer Henry Morgan attacked and sacked the this settlement. The Order of Augustines decided to move their church to the new town and in 1675 inaugurated a new monastery and church. The altar was completely renovated in 1915 by Mr Donderis.


    Unfortunately I have to disappoint your hopes, but the altar is not realy gold. This massive baroque altar is carved in mahogany and covered in gold leaf. If you take a trip to Old Quarter , do not forget to visit the San Jose Church and admire the majestic beauty of the famous altar. 





    One of the things you might want to see when you visit Panama is the famous golden altar of the Church of San Jose in Casco Viejo. The Church of San Jose is a small almost nondescript building on a narrow street in the San Felipe district of Panama City. Inside is the famous Golden Altar, which is made of carved wood and is covered in gold flake. Commonly known in Spanish as the "Altar de Oro" (Golden Altar), it was originally in a church in "Old Panama." When English pirate Henry Morgan attacked the city the jesuits painted the altar black to hide the gold. The pirates left it alone, thinking it was worthless. After Morgan sacked and burned "Old Panama" the Jesuit monks of the Order of St. Agustine moved the altar to the new church and its present location.




    Legend






    When Morgan and his men's approach the settlement the priest tried a desperate strategy to preserve the altar. He painted it completely black. When Morgan entered the church the priest was able to convince him that the alter before him was made of simple wood not gold. Morgan of course demanded what had happened to the "other altar." The priest told him that the famous altar had been stolen by another pirate. He even convinced Henry Morgan to donate some money to a fund to replace the altar. Morgan is supposed to have said to the priest, "I don't know why, but I think you are more of a pirate than I am."

    The Flat Arch and Santo Domingo Church


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    The Dominican friars began to build their church and convent in new Panama immediately after the founding of the city. In Old Panama they had a substantial building of stone, and some of this entered into the edifice in the new city. In the fire of 1756 all the woodwork was burned and the church was not rebuilt. It is a typical piece of the architecture of the period, the façade still showing where the towers rose, and the little statue of Saint

    Dominic still standing above the board front entrance. The church is situated on the corner of Avenue A and 3rd Street. It is built of rubble masonry, with dimension stone in the façade, and was erected by the lay brothers of the order. It is 75 feet wide and 120 feet long. The nave is 70 feet deep. Instead of having side naves the church has three arches or vaults for shrines on each side, and one arch on each side for entrances, that on the street side for the people and on the side opposite as a means of entrance from the old monastery. The apse is 50 feet deep and is formed by three grand arches (one was shattered in the earthquake of 1882) and two side arches. Near the main entrance, forming on of the supports for the choir is a brink arch, spanning a space of 50 feet, 35 feet high at the crown and 25 feet at the spring. So flat an arch is said to be an engineering “sport,” and is pointed out as one of the sights of the city.




    Much interest centers in the old Dominican Church at the corner of Avenue A and Third Street, because of the Flat Arch, fifty feet wide, that spans the portals. The woodwork of the church was burned in the fire of 1756 and was never rebuilt, but the flat arch still stands and the quaint legend that attaches to it is interesting.—The friar who was directing the construction of the church had the arch built as we see it standing, but it fell; a second effort was made to erect the arch and it fell again. It was then that the friar prayed for guidance. In a vision it was revealed to him just how it should be constructed, and so he placed the stones with his own hands just as we see them today and achieved an architectural triumph for it has remained intact, resisting earthquakes and time with no support other than the terminal arches, which fact has puzzled practical architects from all over the world. This old arch also played an important part in building the canal, for the reason that it had remained standing all these years was convincing proof that Panama was outside of the earthquake area, and this fact was a deciding factor in the momentous question of building a lock type canal when the question was being debated as to the feasibility of a sea-level or lock type.




    The flat arch collapsed on Friday night, November 7, 2003