Panama, a land where the past and present intertwine magnificently. From remote beaches where howler monkeys wake you up with the rising sun, to historic neighborhoods that have unique cuisine on every corner, this destination has something to offer for everyone. High Season (with hot & sunny days) is from December- April, and availability at the best lodges become slim months in advance. Green Season refers to May-November when you’ll have higher humidity and rain. Pack your bags and get ready to visit Panama in 2020!
Insider’s Guide to Panama:
Tip 1: New Extraordinary Journeys & Quick Escapes
Tip 2: Explore San Blas by Catamaran
Tip 3: Sail from Panama City to Cartagena
Tip 4: Multi-Destination Travel Planning
Tip 5: El Otro Lado in Portobelo
Tip 6: Panama in Style – From Caribbean to the Pacific and Beyond
Tip 7: Isla Palenque – A “Unique Lodge of the World”
We are continually seeking out the best unique and rare experiences to offer our travelers. Last June, I visited Panama to see what is new and happening for the 2020 Green Season. Since returning, our expert team of Trip Designers has created and updated our favorite Extraordinary Journeys & Quick Escapes. If you find yourself wanting to visit Panama and don’t have a week of time to spare, look no further than our option of a long weekend to Panama City.
Our Insider’s Journey Panama: City, Canal, and Wildlife is a great start for anyone who is interested in discovering more about the Panama Canal, but also wants a taste of adventure and history in a span of 5 days total. Learn about the fascinating Fort San Lorenzo in Colon, a major Spanish fort and now UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Soberania National Park a 55,000 acre area of protected rain forest where over 525 different species of birds have been identified. End the tour with a VIP tour of the Panama Canal. Discover the Frank Gehry Biodiversity Museum located at the entrance of the Panama canal. Prepare for the journey of a lifetime in a city that keeps the world functioning properly.
The San Blas Islands are one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets. With little infrastructure on the islands and respect for the local indigenous Caribbean communities who inhabit the islands, travel to this destination can be quite difficult. That is why we have designed a Pirates of the Caribbean-type journey for you (also great for families) on our Panama’s Caribbean by Catamaran Extroardinary Journey. What better way to explore remote white-sand islands and turquoise Caribbean water than sailing the Dutch or Lemon keys? Our 40 ft. Catamaran can comfortably sleep 8 people and we include a chef, captain, and guide. Kayaks, snorkeling, fishing gear, non-alcholic refreshments and other activity gear are included.
If you’re a fan of sailing and would like to explore further than the San Blas Islands, our sailing crew can guide you all the way to Cartagena, Colombia. This crossing takes approximately 36 hours depending on wind conditions. It’s important to note that from the months for December – May you will have to sail from Cartagena to Panama, and vise-versa for the months of June – November. An amazing experience for a honeymoon, group of adventurous friends, families, or multiple couples traveling together.
Similar to sailing from Panama to Cartagena, we are able to include multiple destinations into one itinerary and organize all of the logistics to make it operate with ease from the moment you land to the moment you return home. For those traveling from the United States or Canada, Panama is a convenient stopping point. If visiting Patagonia is on your bucket list along with Panama, simply tell one of our trip designers and they will connect the two countries for you in the most logistically-sound way.
Before or after sailing San Blas, we encourage travelers to spend at least 3 nights at El Otro Lado in Portobelo, Panama for a few reasons. First is easy accessibility, our Catamaran can pick you up or drop you off from their entry. The property is located across from Portobelo town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site for it’s unique Congo culture, so it’s most easily accessible by boat and no roads actually lead to the property from the town.
El Otro Lado is a true passion project and a cultural-gem thanks to excellent management from a group of owners who care to preserve it. Hundreds of years ago, Portobelo was a major port town for the Spanish where they would fill their ships with gold from the Aztec and Inca to bring back to Europe. This high demand brought slavery to Panama, and since being abolished, Portobelo is now a vibrant small town full of Caribbean music and dance. Our walking tour in Portobelo features a visit to a local music school where the children practice the drumming music of their ancient ancestors, and if you are lucky, you might be able to jump in a jam fest!
If you are looking to spend 9 days discovering the best of Panama, look no further. Our classic Panama In Style Extraordinary Journey offers the best of both worlds – unique cultural & historical experiences, along with adventure and barefoot luxury. Start by landing in Panama City and begin a day of discovery from the American Trade Hotel in the Casco Viejo neighborhood, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later on, visit the Miraflores Locks Museum and watch massive ships cross the canal, then continue to visit the native Embera tribe before relaxing in the cool highlands of Boquete. Here expect fun experiences like partaking in a cheese making class at an organic farm and taste some of the world’s best coffee at a plantation owned by locals. Last but certainly not least, you will end this journey at wonderful Isla Palenque.
Recently, Isla Palenque was announced “A Unique Lodge of the World” by National Geographic, Isla Palenque, is a private island resort on 400 acres adjacent to the Gulf of Chiriquí Marine Reserve. This luxury eco-resort offers a sophisticated hideaway for guests to relish endless opportunities for both adventure and relaxation. Dine on contemporary cuisine reminiscent of Panama’s cocina tipica. Rest in lavish rooms inspired by island life. Indulge in the soothing sounds of nature at this revered resort that quite literally means “sanctuary.” Take advantage of the 6-bedroom beachside villa estate, great for families or groups of friends traveling together. Who wouldn’t want to relax by this pool with Pacific views and fruquent wildlife visitors such as howler monkeys and sloths?
Your Travel Experience is Our Passion
At Latin Excursions, we have a team of travel designers, visionaries, and operations specialist who truly care about creating memorable experiences for you and getting you ready to travel to Panama. Our goal is to make travel meaningful and fun, so that you come home feeling inspired by the people and places you visited. Whether you want a quick escape to simply relax on a remote island in a beach side casita, or want to dance the night away in the Caribbean with a local Afro-drum circle and end the night in an astonishing ocean/pool-side villa, we have you covered for Panama. Contact us to begin planning your dream journey.
Someone once said, “your journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” We encourage you to take the first step by reviewing our collection of itineraries, hotels, villas, and ships to choose from here at Latin Excursions. Then, give us a call for your free, no obligation, trip assessment and to learn why travel experts like Wendy Perrin, Travel+Leisure and others recommend our services for private Latin America travel.