From Atlantic to Pacific in Panama

Global Travel from Ocean to Ocean

With its mighty canal system, Panama provides a tremendous opportunity to learn about how global commerce works, as well as the groundbreaking engineering feat that was the creation of the Panama Canal. You’ll also get to meet villagers and spend some time learning about the challenges they face in the modern era.

The Worldwide Navigators Difference


Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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Once you arrive at the Panama City airport, your guide will meet you and help you get transferred to your hotel. After you’ve had some time to freshen up, you’ll meet with your group to get acquainted and familiarize yourself with the surrounding neighborhood, then enjoy a lovely dinner and discussion about your upcoming adventures!

You’ll get an early start today to beat the heat and the crowds, heading out around 7 a.m. when you’ll travel to a boat that awaits you on the Panama Canal and Lake Gatun. On this incredible journey, you’ll ride alongside the big ships as they pass through the canal, as well as having plenty of viewing opportunities to see wildlife on the shore.

Next, head to Monkey Island where you can see a plethora of primates, including capuchin monkeys, tamarins and howler monkeys. Look for the males to puff out their throats as they make their distinctive and noisy greetings! Next up is a 45-minute drive to the Caribbean side of Panama where you’ll visit the Agua Clara Visitor Center and see the latest expansion locks technology and learn how they work up close. Here you’ll also see ships passing through and learn more about how the canal is a vital trading hub for world commerce.

Time for lunch at a peaceful spot below the Gatun Dam, and a picnic at the fork of the French West Diversion Channel and the Chagres River. Once you’re rested, it’s time to head to the San Lorenzo National Park where you can visit a remote rainforest just bursting with fauna and flora. Finally, it’s time to visit Fort San Lorenzo, a 400-year-old Spanish fortress located on a scenic bluff overlooking the Pacific. Your knowledgeable guide will regale you with tales of pirates and privateers that took place here, as this spot that was crucial in the development of the history of Panama and the entire region. Then it’s back to Panama City and your hotel for a well-deserved night’s rest!

Today, you’ll head up to Valle de Anton, where there is a small village situated at the foot of an extinct volcano. Following a short hike, you will be able to access a zip-line at the El Macho waterfall, which looms 250 feet above the jungle floor, offering tremendous views of the surrounding landscape!

Next, it’s time for some tranquility at the Butterfly Haven, a beautiful sanctuary housing thousands of butterflies in a 1,500 square foot flight house. Then you’ll head up to the Altas de Campaña Park, a natural preserve boasting incredible peaks and valleys that stretch all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

After an unforgettable picnic lunch on a promontory overlooking the stunning Pacific coast, it’s time for a walk among the cloud forests to try to catch a glimpse of the elusive highland creatures that call this cooler region home. The area offers some of the best views in Panama, and incredible bird-watching opportunities before being returned to your hotel in Panama City.

Today, get started with a trip to Puerto Corotu on the shores of Lake Alajuela where indigenous villagers will be eager to guide you up the Chagres River aboard one of their dugout canoes! You’ll get to see a gorgeous waterfall along the way before arriving at their village, Parara Puru. Here, you’ll see a presentation on the villagers’ traditional way of life and their culture. Finally, you’ll be treated to a traditional dance along with a delicious lunch of fried fish, plantains, and other fresh fruit.

You’ll get to spend some time with the villagers, learning more in-depth about their lives and history, and even have an opportunity to receive a traditional “tattoo,” of the kind that will fade away after a few days. After immersing yourself in learning about the native people of Parara Puru and the challenges they face in the 21st century, you’ll head back to your hotel, where you’ll meet up with your group for one more dinner and a discussion about all that you’ve seen on your incredible Panama journey.

It’s time to say goodbye to Panama, but you’ll head home with stories to share with friends and relatives about the unique world this tiny but vital country occupies. ¡Hasta luego, Panama, until next time!

Panama is a tiny nation but offers an incredible opportunity for global travel, sitting at the juncture of east and west, north and south. Not only that, on this trip, you’ll learn about the challenges faced by the native people and species of this jungle land in the face of 21st-century commerce where trillions of dollars in global trade pass through the canal’s locks every year. Join us for this enlightening and delightful trip to incredible Panama!


3-6 Day
Group Trips


7-12 Day
Group Trips


7-14 Day
Group Trips

Interested in adding or modifying activities? No problem! All Worldwide Navigator itineraries can be customized to your liking!

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