Trip Inspiration

An 11 Day Panamanian Adventure

Unique History + Incredible Excursions

A small but mighty country, Panama offers visitors everything under the sun. From interesting history to incredible snorkeling, island exploration to forest hiking, each day of this adventure is filled with a new activity or unique encounter that reminds you just how diverse a destination it is.

Trip Highlights

Locations

  • 5 nights in Panama City
  • 2 nights in Boquete
  • 3 nights on Isla Palenque

Activities

  • Explore Panama City’s Casco Viejo and Cerro Ancon
  • Watch ships pass through the Canal at Miraflores Lock
  • Walk through the rainforest at Soberania National Park
  • Boat along Gatun Lake
  • Zipline through Boquete’s treetop canopies
  • Visit a coffee farm
  • Discover the 7 idyllic beaches of Isla Palenque
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to Panama might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

Arrive Panama City, Panama

Welcome to Panama! Upon arrival in Panama City, you will be met for your private transfer to the Hilton Panama Hotel. Accommodations will be reserved for three nights, including breakfast daily. Relax and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure!

Hilton Panama Hotel Meals: N/A

Day 2

Panama City

Early risers can start their day with a refreshing walk along Cinta Costera, a beautiful path that stretches along the water.

And then following breakfast, you will meet your private guide and set off for a full day tour of Panama City, including lunch. Your first stop is 656 feet above sea level at Cerro Ancon. Here, you will be treated to a 360 degree view of the city and an overview of the region’s more modern history, including the US presence and influence on Panama. Please note that Cerro Ancon is only accessible by foot, so visitors will have to both walk up and down the hill.

From there, you head to the city’s famous fish market. Donated by the Japanese government in 1989, it first opened its doors to the public in 1994. After wandering through the aisles, examining the goods, you will have a ceviche tasting.

Your next stop will be the picturesque Casco Viejo, commonly called the walled city. Casco Viejo was founded by the Spaniards in 1673 after the First City of Panama (Old Panama) was destroyed. Together with Old Panama, the Casco Viejo is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is appreciated worldwide for its unique historical and artistic value. The neighborhood’s character comes alive with a walk through its narrow, cobblestoned streets. You will have the opportunity to appreciate this area’s beautiful colonial and neoclassical architecture, squares and monuments, while learning more about the history and culture of the city.
Visit the famous Santa Ana Park, which was used by the Spaniards in the 19th century as a place for celebrations and special events. Stop at the famous café Coca-Cola. Built in 1875 it is the oldest cafe in Panama and a place where many well known personalities, such as Che Guevara, have visited.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal via private car. Here, experience a special VIP behind the scenes look at some of the most important and unique details of this engineering marvel. You will learn about the history and construction of the first set of locks at the Visitor’s Center and Museum and will have the opportunity to watch massive vessels transit through the locks.

Following your excursion, you will return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.

Hilton Panama Hotel Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch

Day 3

Panama City

Spend the day in the lush rainforest surrounding Panama City!

Your adventure begins with a morning visit to Soberania National Park, a biodiverse swatch of rainforest only 16 miles outside of the city. Spanning 55,000 acres, the park is known for its abundance of birds, with over 525 species identified here. Soberania National Park is also part of an ecotourism and environmental education project whose main objective is to conserve the area’s birds through environmental sustainability projects.

At the park, enjoy a walk on the trails, taking in the scenery and keeping your eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters, coatis and white-faced capuchin monkeys, all of whom call the park home. You may also climb Soberania’s 131ft observation tower to watch the famous blue cotinga and toucans.

After lunch, continue to Gatun Lake for an amazing ecological boat ride. Gatun Lake is located within an immensely diverse, tropical, ecological zone and is surrounded by untouched, exotic rainforest. A boat ride on the lake will reveal the area’s many different species of birds, monkeys, iguanas and sloths, among others. You will also have the opportunity to navigate close to massive ships as they wait to cross the Canal. This is the perfect adventure for nature lovers!

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

 

Hilton Panama Hotel Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch

Day 4

Panama City

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Panama. Or, hop on an ElevAir sea plane to check out one of the city’s nearby islands, like Coiba. Here, you can relax on the white sand beaches or immerse yourself in the surrounding marine life with a snorkel and mask.

Hilton Panama Hotel Meals: Breakfast

Day 5

Panama City to Boquete

This morning after breakfast and checkout, you will be met in the hotel lobby by your local private guide and transferred to the airport for your flight to David.

Upon arrival, you will be transferred (50 minutes) to Boquete and The Hotel Panamonte Inn & Spa, your home for the next three nights.

Boquete is located between 3,280 to 5,905ft above sea level, which creates a very unique microclimate that, combined with its volcanic soil, produces some of the best coffee in the world. The small town is also known to both locals and expats as Panama’s mecca for outdoor adventures. You will immediately be charmed by its ambiance, along with its favorable climate and lush vegetation.

After settling in, you will set off alongside your private guide for a walking excursion through Boquete. Wander along beautiful gardens and mingle with the locals, stopping at the local produce market and art exhibitions. You’ll cross small bridges above beautiful rivers and get a taste of the local culture, its local gastronomy and, most importantly, its people. If you choose to stop for lunch you certainly can and your guide will have great recommendations (lunch under own account).

From the restaurant, you will strap in for the town’s epic ziplining experience. Flying high above the cloud forest canopy, you traverse through century-old trees, waterfalls, abundant wildlife and, possibly, a gentle rain called bajareque. The wildlife within the treetops is immense and varied, making it possible to appreciate some of the area’s native species.

With a bit of luck, you may see monkeys and the famed resplendent quetzal. Additionally, you can marvel at the great variety of orchids and wildflowers found throughout the area as you zip along over 2 miles of cables! *Please note that the maximum weight is 175lbs for women and 250lbs for men.

At the end of the adventure, you will be transferred back to your hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to spend at leisure.

Hotel Panamonte Inn & Spa Meals: Breakfast

Day 6

Boquete

This morning after breakfast, you and your guide will depart for a full day Cloud Forest Hike and Coffee Farm excursion, including water and lunch.

The country of Panama is one of the top bird-watching destinations in Latin America, with over 950 species identified here, and the different microclimates of the Chiriquí Highlands make Boquete and its surroundings a prime place for birding. On this nature excursion, you will hike along the ecological paths of Baru National Park and learn about the different bird species that inhabit this unique ecosystem. These trails will lead you through coffee plantations and tropical forests. It is also one of the best, and most accessible, places to find the beautiful Quetzal bird thanks to the conservation of the forest and the “Aguacatillo” tree, which provides the bird with its favorite fruit. Also keep your eyes peeled for Collared Trogons, Orange Bellied Trogons, Bellbirds, Dark Pewees, and Silvery-throated Tanagers, to name a few!

Next, you will enjoy lunch at a local coffee farm, from where you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the plantations and the surrounding mountains. During your semi-private, hands-on tour, you will see first-hand the entire coffee process from bean to cup and even roast your own Geisha Coffee! The experience begins in the fields to learn about the growing and processing of coffee plants. You will then visit the roasting house where you will sample different roasts to determine your preference. The adventure ends with a full tasting. Knowing that every coffee drinker has a preference, every tour roasts beans to satisfy those particular taste buds.

You will then be transferred back to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Hotel Panamonte Inn & Spa Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch

Day 7

Boquete to Isla Palenque

Your day starts with an invigorating Mangrove Kayaking Excursion, including kayaks, a backup boat, life vests and a picnic lunch.

A one hour drive brings you to the local fishing village of Pedregal, located on the Pacific Coast. Here you will meet your guide, receive a safety briefing and set off in your kayaks. Navigating among the mangroves, you can find a variety of birds, spot fish jumping out of the water, and learn about the local community of fishermen who live along the water’s edge.

Back on shore, you will then make your way to Isla Palenque via a one hour private boat transfer. Accommodations will be reserved for three nights, including three gourmet meals per day, non-alcoholic and non-mixed drinks, a selection of guided “in-house” island excursions (dependent on tides and weather) and use of kayaks, paddle boards, fishing gear and other available equipment.

Located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama, Isla Palenque Island Resort is an undiscovered, private island sanctuary. The island’s 395 acres of lush jungle, framed by 7 untouched beaches, house a number of wilderness trails and hidden spaces to be explored. The atmosphere of the hotel is a balance of sophisticated and private comfort, combined with peacefulness, relaxation, and playfulness. The service provided by the staff is so personalized, professional and detail-oriented that the resort feels exclusive and, at the same time, familiar.

Isla is also the perfect destination for wildlife and nature lovers, and for those guests looking for the perfect combination of activity and relaxation. Unique hotel features include a private island where luxury and sustainability intertwine, 8 Beach Suites, 6-room Villa Estate vacation rental house, on-site excursions, an abundance of wildlife including monkeys and anteaters, and locally-sourced food.

Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Dinner will be served at the resort.

Isla Palenque Resort Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner

Day 8-9

Isla Palenque

Enjoy two full days at leisure to explore Isla Palenque and participate in the activities on offer. In-house guided tours are included in your stay and all meals will be served at the resort.

Take advantage of the complimentary kayaks or paddleboards and immerse yourself in the unspoiled rainforest and the secluded beaches.  There are seven beaches on the island to explore with the larges being Playa Palenque located on the West side of the island. Spanning 1.3 km of pristine coastline, Playa Palenque is the perfect spot for swimming, beach-combing and wandering. It is also where many of the resort’s nature hikes begin and the spot at which you can launch the paddleboards. Island bonfires, sunset cocktails and picnics can also be arranged here.

For a more secluded option, venture to find the Lost Beach, where the sound of the waves is your only landmark, or Playa Primera to catch the sunrise. The beach at Cala Este is a great spot to explore tidal pools, and the rocky beaches of Playa Amelia and Playa Maria are perfect for explorations during low tide. Take a kayak out to Playa Catalina, the calmest bay on the island, or go for a long jog along Playa Boca Brava.

The possibilities are endless.

Isla Palenque Resort Meals: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner

Day 10

Isla Palenque to Panama City

Today after breakfast you will be transferred back to the mainland by private boat, after which you will drive 1.5 hours to the David Airport for your flight back to Panama City.

Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and brought to your charming Casco Viejo hotel La Concordia. Located on the iconic corner of Avenida Central and San Felipe, La Concordia offers the perfect spot to experience Panama’s past and present.
One of the hotel’s highlights can be found at the rooftop, a place from which Panama City will narrate its own story. Numen Gastro Lounge provides a wide variety of cocktails, fusion tapas and live music and the striking 360º view of Panama City’s skyline makes it the perfect place from which to admire the city’s iconic landmarks – Casco Viejo, Punta Pacifica, Frank Gehry’s Biodiversity Museum and Cerro Ancon.

Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

La Concordia Boutique Hotel Meals: Breakfast

Day 11

Depart Panama

Today after breakfast you will be met for your transfer to the Panama City airport. Upon arrival, you will make your way to your connecting flights home.

La Concordia Boutique Hotel Meals: Breakfast