Self Drive
Across Panama Self-drive
15 (Days / 14 Nights)

On this two weeks journey you will cross Panama from east to west and stop at some the most beautiful and secluded spots of the country. Firstly you will spend 3 days in Panama City and drive then to towns and villages that could not be more diverse. The tranquil El Valle and Boquete with exuberant nature, Santiago with its rich cultural life in the heart of Panama as well as unspoiled beaches on the Azuero Peninsula and on the Gulf of Chiriqui- this self-drive program let you experience Panama and all its facets.



Included

• 4 Nts Toscana Inn Hotel, standard room (B) (B) • 2 Nts Park Eden, standard room (B) • 2 Nts Casita Margarita, standard room (B) • 2 Nts Las Lajas Beach Resort, beachfront room (B) • 2 Nts Finca Lerida, deluxe room (B)  • 2 Nts Hotel Bocas del Mar, standard bungalow (B) •  Shared Half Day Panama City & Miraflores Locks Tour  • Shared Embera Indians Village Tour  • 12 days of car rental (Toyota Yaris Advance or similar)  •  Basic mandatory car insurances & unlimited mileage • Drop off fee David  • Local flight in economy class•  round transfers on A/C motor coaches



What to bring

In Panama City the people are very well dressed and take pride in their appearance. In the rural areas and because of the relatively large fluctuations in temperature it is always a good idea to have long sleeves and even a jacket for the cooler spots. Long sleeves are also comfortable at night as they will protect you from mosquitoes. You will want light clothing such as cotton tee shirts as well, as the temperatures can be quite hot. Be sure to bring a good pair of shoes for any excursions as open-toed shoes are not recommended. Also, be sure to bring a pair of beach sandals and light shoes for when it is much hotter out. And bring an umbrella regardless of whether it is the wet or dry season.

Basic Packing List:Sun screen,Light Jacket & Raincoat,Mosquito repellent,Long sleeved shirts & T-shirts,Medications,Sandals & Bathing Suit,Toiletry items,Comfortable walking shoes,Binoculars,Shorts & Long Pants,Camera,Hat or Cap

 

Day 01 Arrival in Panama City

After your arrival to Panama you will be picked up at the airport by our representative and transferred to your city hotel. Panama City is the capital and largest city in Panama. It is home to a lot of different cultures and an enormous historical sector in the Old City, a district famous for its Spanish fortifications and several beautiful buildings from the colonial period. Panama City is a destination you will surely enjoy during your visit to this gorgeous country!

Overnight at Toscana Inn Hotel, Standard Room, breakfast included.


Day 02 Shared Panama City & Miraflores Locks Tour

In the morning, your English speaking guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a private tour to Panama City and the Miraflores Locks. You will start the tour with a 30 minutes drive to Miraflores to see the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are between 09:00 and 11:00, so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 18 meters in two distinct steps. You will enjoy the view on the Locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations of your guide. To complete the visit of the Canal you will visit the Museum and Visitor Center at Miraflores which gives you a good idea on the construction of the Canal – a masterpiece of engineering. You will also learn about the history of the canal and its significance for Panama and the entire world trade as well as on the current expansion project.

After the visit to the Canal you will continue with your guide to the Amador Causeway, a road that connects three Islands in the Pacific Ocean and offers magnificent views on the Canal on one side and of the skyline of Panama City on the other side. The tour continues to the Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial quarter. At the Casco Viejo you feel set back in time as you admire the lovely colonial houses, the narrow roads and the impressive churches. While visiting the highlights of this colonial district – the Cathedral, the golden Altar, French Plaza and the Huertas Passway – you will sure get an idea on Panama’s long and interesting history.

Overnight at Toscana Inn Hotel, Standard Room, breakfast included.


Day 03 Shared Embera Indian Village Tour

In the morning your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you up north towards Lake Alajuela. There you will step into small boats, which will carry you up the Rio Chagres. A fascinating and dense jungle will accompany you on your boat trip. Upriver, you will step out of the dugout canoes and enjoy a short hike (can be a bit muddy) to a beautiful waterfall in midst of the rain forest. Enjoy this tropical paradise far away from any civilization, take a swim in the refreshing pool just beneath the waterfall and submerge in this true tropical getaway. Now you are ready to visit the village of the Embera Indians, one of seven indigenous tribes in Panama. The people of the Embera tribe will welcome you at the pier and gladly give you an idea on how they still live today. The villages chief will give you a brief explication on the history of the tribe, its traditions, cultures, believes and handicrafts. Then, a traditional lunch of fish and plantains prepared by the Embera women will be served to you. In the afternoon you will experience a traditional Embera dance and have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts. The sale of local products directly benefits the village and helps to pay the school fees for the children. You can also get a temporary Embera tattoo painted on your arm or leg.

Overnight at Toscana Inn Hotel, Standard Room, breakfast included.


Day 04 Panama City - El Valle

Today your rental car, a Toyota Yaris Advance or similar, will be delivered to your hotel. You can decide beforehand at which time you want to receive the car. After a short explanation about driving in Pana-ma you are free to explore the country on your own. Drive to El Valle de Antón (approx. 2 hr drive) situ-ated in the midst of an extinct volcanic crater. Here you stay for two nights at the charming family guest house Park Eden surrounded by lush and green gardens.

 

Overnight at Park Eden Bed & Breakfast Standard Room, Breakfast included


Day 05 El Valle

Enjoy your day off and feel free and adventurous to explore the El Valle area which is surrounded by the caldera of the former volcano. Get advantage of the numerous tour opportunities such as hiking, horse riding, biking and bird watching as well as plenty of flowering plants bloom in its eternal spring micro-climate. There are small scale local enjoyment including natural thermal water, mud baths, petroglyphs (cave pictures) and a waterfall plus the delights of a must visit gourmet restaurant Los Mandarinos.

 

Overnight at Park Eden Bed & Breakfast Standard Room, breakfast included.


Day 06 Peninsula de Azuero

Linger south-west down the Azuero Peninsula in Los Santos Province. This region is the folkloric heart of Panama. The locals have a passion for what they call, cultura tipica. Here they stitch the national cos-tume - brightly colored, multi-layered, ruffled skirts, pollera and make the myriad hued papier-mache masks worn at festivals. This is an arid cowboy ranching region edged by empty Pacific beaches. Stay for two nights in the charming village of Pedasi.

 

Overnight at Casita Margarita Boutique B&B Standard Room, Breakfast included


Day 07 Azuero Peninsula

Enjoy a free day on the Azuero Peninsula. Book an optional snorkeling tour to Isla Iguana, explore the mangroves by kayak or watch the turtles nest on Isla Cañas.

 

Overnight at Casita Margarita Boutique B&B Standard Room, Breakfast included


Day 08 Pedasi – Las Lajas

Take an easy start into the day, leave the coast and head in-land maybe via Tonosi and Macaracas (sad-dle making workshop) to Santiago, the region's bustling commercial hub. Perhaps make a small side trip north to visit the impressive, ornately decorated church at San Francisco de La Montana. Built in 1727 this pilgrimage site has elaborate carvings, and vibrantly colorful frescos which mix Catholic images with Indian folklore. After exiting Santiago continue straight forward until you pass small towns as Tole, and San Felix. When you have arrived San Felix take the exit off to your left towards Las Lajas.

Finca Buena Vista Las Lajas is situated on the outskirt of Las Lajas overlooking a beautiful valley and the mountains surrounding it.

Overnight at Finca Buena Vista Las Lajas, Standard Room, breakfast included.


Day 09 Las Lajas

Free day in Las Lajas. Relax at the beach  nearby or enjoy any of the tours available from hotels 

Overnight at Finca Buena Vista Las Lajas, Standard Room, breakfast included.


Day 10 Las Lajas - Boquete

The journey from Las Lajas towards David is a picturesque one with grazing horses and cattles; sparkling rice paddies, coffee plantations and numerous rivers heading down from the central Cordillera to the Pacific. Then head up into the cloud forest on the eastern slopes of Barú volcano to the growing mountain resort of Boquete. Here you stay for two nights at the charming Finca Lerida, surrounded by a beautiful coffee plantation.

 

Overnight at Finca Lerida Coffee Plantation & Boutique Hotel Deluxe Room, Breakfast included


Day 11 Boquete

Free day for to explore Boquete. We recommend a visit to one of the high quality local coffee estates to learn all about the process from cultivation to grinding. There are plenty of hiking, bird watching, white water rafting, zip line and hot springs offerings available locally, plus some extraordinary gardens which are open to the public.

 

Overnight at Finca Lerida Coffee Plantation & Boutique Hotel Deluxe Room, Breakfast included


Day 12 Boquete – Boca Chica

After breakfast back downhill to David.

As soon as you reach David, please follow the Panamerican Highway to the east for 45 minutes approx-imately you will see a small sign for the entrance of Horconcitos, after it you will have to drive just 30 minutes until you reach the town of Boca Chica. Follow the signs to your hotel. Boca Chica is located very near to the Chiriqui Gulf National Park. The park contains many secluded white sand beaches. The forested islands are home to howler monkeys, coyotes, ocelots, margays, rac-coons, jaguarondis, ant-eaters and in the bays and in the ocean there are leatherback and hawksbill tur-tles, dolphins, whales and a wide variety of other tropical, colorful fishes. The rest of the day is at your free disposal.

 

Overnight at Bocas del Mar Standard Bungalow, Breakfast included


Day 13 Boca Chica & Chiriqui Gulf Islands

Enjoy the free day at your hotel or check with your hotel for optional excursions. Optional excursions are available locally to explore the archipelago (cost not included in the package).

 

Overnight at Bocas del Mar Standard Bungalow, Breakfast included.


Day 14 Boca Chica – David – Panama City

Today you will drive back to Horconcitos and continue on the Panamerican Highway, until you reach David, approximately 1.5 hours away. Upon arrival to David you will find a big sign to the David Airport, follow the signs until you gets to the Airport. There, present yourself in the National Rent a Car Office to drop off your car. Please note that you should drop off your car on time to catch your flight to Panama City.

At the airport, a representative of Panama Trails will pick you up and transfer you to your city hotel for your last night in Panama. Enjoy an evening out in this vibrant and lively city often compared to Miami.

Overnight at Toscana Inn Hotel, Standard Room, breakfast included


Day 15 Panama City – Departure

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

End of services


Dates Sgl Trvl Sgl Dbl Tpl Child
From: 01 MAY 17 To: 31 OCT 17
N/A $3135 $2080 $1685 N/A
From: 01 MAY 18 To: 31 OCT 18
N/A $3120 $2000 $1620 N/A

. A minimum of 2 people it is required to book this package.
. Price not valid during:Fiestas Patrias: November 1st -  5th, 2017,Christmas & New Year’s: December 19th, 2017 -  January 1st  2018,Carnivals: February 10th   – February 13th, 2018. Easter Week: March 29th - April 01st , 2018.

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