Panama City: The Famous Canal and Beyond

Multicultural and characteristically friendly, Panama City lures tourists with its world-famous canal and so much more. The city proper, for one, is brimming with rich colonial history. Experience this South American city with our two-day trip guide.

Day 1City tour

Experience colonial and present-day Panama. Wander around the plazas and public parks of the Casco Viejo. Visit France Plaza and Las Bovedas. See the golden altar of San Jose Church. Drop by the Visitors Center of the Panama Canal for a sneak peek. In the afternoon discover the ruins of Old Panama City.

Day 2Engineering wonder

Marvel at the engineering feat Panama Canal is. Witness how the ship is raised up to 54 feet high at the Miraflores Locks. See how it is elevated up to 85 feet more at Pedro Miguel’s Locks. Watch as the vessel passes by Gatun Lake and reaches Gatun Locks in the Atlantic. Join Panama Canal tours that include meals, transfers, and specialized guide.

Framing Panama City: A three-day itinerary

Panama City is an ideal example of nature thriving well amidst modernity.It has a dense skyline of mostly high-rise buildings, yet still surrounded by a large belt of tropical rain forest. The Panama Canal was built in the middle of the forest that provides the canal with the water required for its operation. As a result, the forest is kept in a pristine state. The world-famous Panama Canal, an engineering feat at the time of its construction, is a key conduit for international maritime trade. About 815,000 vessels have passed through the canal, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Today, Panama Canal attracts tourists who want to witness how the ship is raised at several locks throughout the canal. The man-made lake of Gatun that teems with peacock bass has also become a primary destination for angling and fishing. suggests a three-day itinerary for travellers in Panama City that will introduce them to the city’s colonial history and other must-see attractions in and around the city.

Day 1The City and The Canal

Get your fill of Panama with a full day tour, urban adventure or a hop-on hop-off tour, all designed to take visitors around the sights of the modern capital city and the colonial district. Take a panoramic view from Cerro Ancon and visit the town of Casco Viejo, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. The colonial district still retains its Spanish architectures as can be gleaned through its streets, plazas and public parks, like the France Plaza, Las Bovedas, San Jose Church with its wonderful gold altar, the Flat Arch, and Cathedral Church. See the houses of French workers who started the construction of the Panama Canal. Drive through the enchanted Balboa area, the residential area of the former Panama Canal Zone and admire the Panama Canal Administration Building perched on a hill. Visit the Miraflores Locks to see vessels while transiting the Locks. Finally, visit the Amador Causeway, a man made connection of three islands, with a strong tourist development to get a breathtaking view of the city and have time to purchase handicrafts and electronic items from local artisan markets or Duty Free stores. At night, savor the Panamanian cuisine and get to taste "Chicha" Soft Drink.  Traditional dances from different regions of the country will be presented while dinner is served.

Day 2Rafting

Wake up early to tick-off the Panama Canal transit from your bucket-list. Hop on a ferry boat that will pass through the Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks and Gatun Locks, allowing visitors to experience this modern engineering wonder connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean in full. At Miraflores, the vessel will rise 56 feet above sea level, 26 feet higher at the Pedro Miguel Locks and then pass through Gaillard Cut.

Day 3The Chocoe-Embera Community

Explore the community of the two indigenous groups in Panama: the Chocoe-Wounaan and Chocoe-Embera. Although linguistically different from each other, these two groups came from the same ancestors that settled in the jungle. Both groups still use the blowgun with poison darts for hunting purposes, men wear loincloth, they live in elevated-bin houses with palm-leave roofs. They decorate their bodies using a mixture of ashes and plant pigments and they both are master wood carvers and basket weavers. Admire the exquisite woodcarvings and basketry of the Embera which are available for purchase so tourists can buy some for souvenirs. Witness a welcome flute dance performed by the Embera tribe. After lunch take some time to dip into the waters of the river before returning to the city.Alternatively, explore the Soberanian National Park, Lake Gatun and Monkey Island. 

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