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Panama, the Canal and Beyond

8 Days 2 Countries 3 Cities

Cruise the Canal to the Pacific, explore Gamboa Rainforest and ride dugout canoes as you spot toucans and sloths.

"We thought the Panama tour was great"


About this trip

It may feature the famous and dynamic capital, an unforgettable canal cruise and the sands of Playa Blanca but this trip also takes you beyond all that to meet locals in villages and the rainforest.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... learning about the biodiversity of the Panama Canal with a Smithsonian researcher who explains of the environmental impact of the canal across its 90 years of history.

Trip type: Hidden Journey

Trip code: LPAN

7 Nights


12 Meals
  • 7 full breakfasts.

  • 3 dinners.

  • 2 lunches (including Be My Guest).

On-trip Transport

All transport shown.

Panama, the Canal and Beyond

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Panama City (2 Nights)

Bienvenidos a Panama, Central America's most beautiful gem and home to the eponymous Canal. You are greeted at the airport by a local host and transferred to your hotel overlooking the Bay of Panama, just steps away from Calle Uruguay with its many popular restaurants and shops. This evening, join your fellow travel companions and your Travel Director at the hotel for a Welcome Reception.

Welcome Reception
Le Meridien Panama

2. Panama Canal Cruise and Free Time

Board your vessel and cruise the Canal, Panama's premier attraction. As you enter the most important waterway in the world, cruise down from the north end of the Galliard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the Canal, and witness firsthand the engineering wonder of the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks, the final set before reaching the Pacific Ocean. Cruise over the Continental Divide and under the Centennial Bridge and Bridge of the Americas. Snacks and lunch are included onboard. Once in the beautiful Bay of Panama, prepare for the best views of Panama City's modern, fast-changing skyline. Afterward, your time is free for independent activities. Enjoy the evening in Panama City to sample local cuisine. Note: The start time of the canal cruise is dependent on ship traffic and in some instances the trip may operate in the afternoon.

Full Breakfast

3. Panama City Sightseeing – Gamboa Rainforest (2 Nights)

Discover Panama City's role long before the Canal put it on the map. Visit Panama Viejo, site of the ruins of the original Panama City before it was sacked by pirate Henry Morgan. Next, wander the quaint streets of Casco Antiguo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Panama's Historic District. Afterward, make a stop at the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center and Canal Museum. Then head for the lush vegetation and tropical climate of the rainforest. Once at your resort, join a guide on an exciting nature walk and aerial tram ride. Glide smoothly through the treetops and possibly spot birds and animals that inhabit the rainforest canopy. Visit the Observation Tower and admire the panoramic views of the Chagres River and Panama Canal. After dinner, join a discussion with a Smithsonian researcher, a Local Specialist, and learn more about the diversity of Panama.

Full Breakfast
Gamboa Rainforest Resort

4. Gamboa Rainforest Sightseeing and Free Time

Embark on a different kind of water adventure and meet your boteros (boatmen) at the edge of the Chagres National Park. Enjoy a ride up river through the jungle, possibly sighting toucans, sloths and monkeys. Arriving at the village of Emberá Drua, you are met with a traditional greeting and will learn about the Emberá Indians' fascinating culture, lifestyle and crafts. Enjoy a Cultural Insight as you taste delicious and traditional patacones (fried plantains) with small samples of fried fish or chicken. Then, listen to local music and watch traditional shamanic dances. Back at the resort, the afternoon is free.

Full Breakfast

5. Gamboa Rainforest – David – Cerro Punta – Boquete (2 Nights)

Fly to David and travel up the mountain slopes of the Chiriquí Province. At Cerro Punta, take in the superb views of Volcán Barú, a dormant but prominent volcano and the tallest mountain in Panama. An exclusive Be My Guest lunch awaits at a thoroughbred breeding farm situated in Cerro Punta Valley, one of the most beautiful scenic jewels in the country. As guests of the owners-one of Panama's most prominent families-explore the farm and learn how they breed these magnificent horses in a chemical-free environment. Later, arrive at the mountain resort of Boquete in beautiful Valle Escondido.

Full Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining
Valle Escondido Resort, Golf and Spa

6. Boquete Sightseeing and Free Time

Visit a coffee plantation and learn how coffee in Panama is making a grand entrance on to the world stage of gourmet grounds with several award-winning, estate-grown varietals. Learn about the coffee-making process with a Local Specialist and see the Ngobe-Bugle, an indigenous group who hand-pick the red coffee berries when they are perfectly ripe. The rest of the day is free in the Valley of Flowers to do some exploring before dinner.

Full Breakfast

7. Boquete – Santiago – Nata – Playa Blanca

Descend from the Chiriquí Highlands to the Inter-American Highway, the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway. Stop in Santiago for lunch on your own. Then it's on to Aguadulce and Natá in Coclé Province, the heart of Panama's sugar cane industry. In Natá, view the beautiful basilica, said to be the oldest church in Central America. Arrive at your resort, nestled alongside the Pacific Ocean. This evening, recount cherished memories of your Panama holiday with newfound friends at a festive Farewell Dinner.

Full Breakfast
Farewell Dinner
JW Marriott Playa Blanca

8. Playa Blanca – Depart Panama City

In the morning, depart Playa Blanca for your transfer to Panama City International Airport or choose to extend your stay in Playa Bonita.

Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Be My Guest
    Dine on a traditional lunch at a local family's equestrian estate.

  • Cultural Insights
    Taste delicious patacones.

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Local Specialists
    Meet a Smithsonian researcher in Gamboa and learn about Panamanian coffee with the Ngobe-Bugle.

  • Trafalgar Cares
    Embere Indians Visiting the Embere Indians at their village of Embere Drua, you'll learn about their culture, lifestyle and crafts.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

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from our brochure

What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour of Panama City

    • Cruise a portion of the Panama Canal

    • View the Volcán Barú volcano, the Natá basilica and the Pacific Coast

    • Visit the historic district of Casco Antiguo in Panama City, Panama Viejo, Gamboa Rainforest, Chagres National Park, and a coffee plantation in the Chiriquí Highlands

What's Included


    • 7 full breakfasts.

    • 3 dinners.

    • 2 lunches
      (including Be My Guest).

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • A Trafalgar bonus - Intra-Air Flights: Panama City to David including porter service at airport

    • Cherry-picked hotels all tried and trusted

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • Porterage and local charges included

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

    • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday

    • VIP entry to many sights

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience


Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.

sunset heart

Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.

Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 4 Reviews

  • Trip:


    Our tour was excellent we saw a lot and did a lot. Accomodations were all excellent too.The best part of all was our GUIDE THEO JOLLY.He was so helpful to everyone.He even helped people who were staying longer to make arrangements for things they wanted to do after the tour.He definitely went

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Excellent service, excellent tour director, excellent bus driver!Product : We were able to see so much of Panama, not only the canal but also the fabulous country!

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Our arrival got off on the wrong foot. The first hotel asked for vouchers to cover our stay, which we were not given. I feel Trafalgar needs better communication with their employees and businesses that they work with. We paid for gratuities at the time we signed up and had

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Great service. It was great to receive the printed materials to be able to take them on the trip.Product : Very knowledgeable tour guide, however, needs practice in the English language.Wonderful hotels.

Panama, the Canal and Beyond

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8 Days, 2 Countries, 3 Cities

Panama, the Canal and Beyond

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

    • Crossovers: All the 2016 departures will operate per the 2016 brochure. Hotels and inclusions may vary. Please inquire at the time of booking.
    • Land and Intra-Air: prices include economy air and air-related charges for flight between Panama City - David and are accurate as of 1 May 2016.
    • Hidden Journey itineraries have a maximum of 26 guests.
    • Luggage: There is a 25 lb/11 kg baggage weight limit per person on the internal flight to David therefore a small carry-on is recommended. Additional luggage will be transferred by coach the evening of Day 4 and will be waiting for you on arrival in Boquete on Day 5.
    • Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
    • We've arranged a Christmas celebration for the 22 Dec departure.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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