(Panama City, Boquete)
Bocas del Toro
From the metropolis of colonial Panama city to Chiriquí - home to Panama’s tallest mountains, longest rivers and most fertile valleys, and the Archipelago of Bocas del Toro with its warm, cerulean Caribbean Sea, this trip has a little bit of everything!
Undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan capital in Central America, Panama City is both a gateway to the country’s natural riches and a vibrant destination in its own right. The locks of the Panama Canal offer great viewing opportunities to marvel at this engineering feat, while the historical part of town gives a sense of bygone days with colonial houses and impressive buildings which come alive in the company of a knowledgeable private guide. The province of Chiriquí boasts hundreds of different species of birds as well as the only volcano in the country. A guided hike through this lush landscape may well uncover a wildlife sighting or two! From mountain to coast, complete your journey with some r&r island time in the picture-perfect archipelago of Bocas del Toro.
Relax on your private airport transfer with English speaking professional driver in Panama city. This transfer will take approximately 1 hr.
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 minute drive to Miraflores to see the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are from 9am to 10am and from 2pm to 5pm, so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Enjoy the view on the locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations from 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, 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 on the skyline of Panama City on the other side. Lunch will be served in a Panamanian restaurant on the causeway. After lunch, the tour continues to the Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial quarter. Take in the lovely colonial houses, the narrow roads and the impressive churches in this part of the city which may well remind you of bygone days. You will get a good idea about Panama’s history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this quarter. If you are still up for more, continue on to Panama Viejo, the Old Panama. Panama Viejo was the first European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas and unfortunately, was looted and destroyed by the notorious English bucaneer Henry Morgan in 1671 and therefore abandoned. Today there are only ruins left, however the tower of the ancient cathedral is standing and has become a landmark of the town. After the tour you will be taken back to your hotel.
Please note: Depending on ship traffic in the locks the order of the tour might be inverted to try to ensure that you will see ships in the locks.
Sit back and relax on your private airport transfer with an English speaking professional driver in Panama city. This transfer should take approximately 30 minutes.
Fly from Panama City to David. The direct flight takes approximately 1 hour.
Travel to Boquete by private vehicle and driver. This transfer will take approximately 40 minutes.
The Los Quetzales trail unites the two communities of Boquete and Cerro Punta and is one of Panama’s most visited and popular hikes, named for a particular species of bird called the Resplendent Quetzal. Quite elusive, these birds are a magnificent and rare treat to observe and are a favorite among many birding enthusiasts. In addition to the Quetzal, there are more than 220 other bird species native to the area. The tour starts with a two hours drive from Boquete to Cerro Punta where your hiking adventure on the Quetzal Trail starts. From Cerro Punta to Boquete, the 10 km hiking trail climbs steadily (roughly 800 meters) as you pass from tropical rain forest to tropical cloud forest and takes approximately 4-6 hours of hiking to complete. At the end of the hike you will be transferred for approximately 30 minutes back to your hotel.(Includes roundtrip transportation from Boquete, English speaking ornithologist guide, picnic lunch). Please note that good physical condition is required for this activity.
Transfer to Almirante by private vehicle and professional driver. The transfer should take approximately 3.5hrs.
Enjoy the shared boat transfer from Boca Town to Laguna Azul on Isla Popa.
Three meals a day are included during your stay at Laguna Azul. Lunch will be either at the property or a packed lunch if you are on an excursion. Snacks are available throughout the day and beverages including non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks (national).
While at Laguna Azula, you will also have the option to enjoy various land and water based excursions and activities. Excursions are led by local guides. Please note that the excursion descriptions below do not follow any specific order but are given merely for informational purposes.
Situated within the region of Bastimentos National Marine Park and Red Frog Beach, there is ample fine snorkeling surrounding Laguna Azul. Snorkeling can easily be done at the foot of the hotel where you will discover corals, sea stars, crabs and a host of small fish swimming among the roots that surround the hotel. The calm and crystal clear waters of a deep turquoise, with an average visibility of 20 meters and between 28 and 29 degrees centigrade, make a paradise for both diving enthusiasts and snorkelers.
Experience an amazing day of swimming, snorkeling, and pure relaxation on this full day shared tour to Zapatilla Keys. Zapatilla Keys are a group of two uninhabited islands on a coral platform that are surrounded by reefs. Located inside the Bastimentos Island National Park, Zapatilla Keys are considered the most beautiful and best Caribbean beaches of the area. Tall palm trees, white sand, coral reefs and turquoise water are some of the features of these unique beaches. Recommended: snorkeling where the waters are calm to have better visibility.
The dolphin is a marine mammal that dwells in open sea waters around the Bocas del Toro area. In this shared excursion, you will witness how dolphins live and play in their natural environment. Be prepared to also experience turtles in the wild and see their impressive spawning canal. The mating season ranges from March to September during which guests can easily see this natural spectacle. Four of the eight turtle species identified in the world visit the area: white or green, hawksbill, loggerhead and bighead.
Say goodbye to this piece of paradise and enjoy the views on your shared boat transfer from Laguna Azul on Isla Popa to Boca town.
Fly from Bocas del Toro to Panama City. The transfer will take approximately 1.25 hours.
The TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro is located in the heart of Panama City in the upscale El Cangrejo, Bella Vista neighborhood just 15 miles from Tocumen International Airport. The hotel has 90 rooms equipped with the best technology including free Wi-Fi, to help you stay productive while you travel. Take the time to enjoy the Panama City sunlight at the outdoor pool. There is a fitness center incorporating the most innovative contemporary equipment as well as a Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. There is also a Gastro Bar to satisfy your taste buds.
Located in an exclusive private nature reserve approximately 15 - 20 mins from the center of Boquete, Finca Lerida Boutique Hotel and Plantation is nestled in the middle of its own coffee plantation. Finca Lerida Boutique Hotel and Planation is surrounded by a private natural forest reserve with over 550 different species of birds which makes it the ideal place for bird watching in the Highland region of Chiriqui. The property is also bordered by the VolcanBaru National Park, which has the only volcano in Panama. Further afield lies the La Amistad International Park, a UNESCO designated World Heritage site. Wake up to the symphony of birds and to the aroma of home grown “Finca Lerida” Estate Coffee brewed specially for you! Please note that given the remote location of this property, cellphone and data communication may not be reliable.
Laguna Azul Eco Boutique Hotel was designed as a place to enjoy the tranquility & overwhelming natural beauty of the Caribbean Sea. A few steps from your room lies an ecosystem of the mangroves, corals and a huge marine biodiversity. The Lodge lies in a stunning position on the shores of Isla Colon, has spacious rooms, including living, dining and a beautiful gallery. Whether in the floating deck or in the solarium, guests are tempted to sunbathe, enjoy a drink, have a exotic massage or watch the sky. The 6 suites are ocean view with balcony. Large, comfortable closet and spacious bathrooms allow guests to enjoy the Caribbean jungle at its best.
Bob More ,
April 21, 2014
"Every detail was taken care of, and all connections were on time. We were extremely pleased, couldn't stop telling everyone about our great trip. Each room / hotel was better than the last. Wow great holiday!"
Steve Walling ,
January 20, 2014
"We are home safe and sound from the best vacation I can remember. It seemed seamless to us but I know that you worked very hard to make our experience so good.
The guides and drivers were always punctual and reliable. They were very knowledgeable, personable, and funny. They provided us with very helpful information and helped us work on expanding our Spanish. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful and the rooms were very nice.
I especially appreciate our ability to update our plans while we were in Costa Rica. The zip lines were the highlight of our trip. I hate to think we almost missed out by not including it in our original plan.
You have made a friend and supporter for life. I will certainly recommend you to anyone I know going to Costa Rica.
Merrel Bowles ,
November 07, 2013
"I would highly recommend this company for overseas travel. We had personal drivers that spoke perfect English and were also very knowledgeable in conversation pertaining to their country. Drivers were always early and eager to please. Your wish was their command!!!Every tour included educated guides who knew how to make our experience fun and exciting! I loved having personal drivers and guides, as well as many inclusive meals. We will definitely use this company for future travels."
April 09, 2013
"Our Costa Rica trip was amazing. The whole family thinks its the best we've ever taken! Kensington did an excellent job of organizing everything. The two hotels they picked were amazing.
Arenal -- The Springs Resort & Spa was almost too good since as soon as the family saw it they wanted to cancel activities so they could take full advantage of all it offered. We ultimately did cancel the safari to give us a free day to spend a day at the spa, pools and Club Rio (riding the river in innertubes!). The activities Kensington setup were excellent and very adventurous. Our favorite was canyoneering (repelling), We were all terrified at the first drop-off! It's more thrilling the zip lining (also lots of fun) and river rafting (a blast as well).
Manuel Antonio -- The Preserve at Los Altos was very nice. It was like staying in a 3 bedroom apartment at a boutique hotel (same feel as Athenum in London but nicer). The drive to get there was a bit long but worth it when our driver made a surprise stop at the the "crodillio bridge". The tour through Manuel Antonio National Park is a must do for nature lovers (3 types of monkeys, sloths, etc). Our guide was excellent. If you go MA NP, try Kapi Kapi for dinner.
I'd highly recommend using Kensington (Brandi was our rep) for a Costa Rica trip. Thanks for hooking us up with them.
L Huber ,
April 03, 2013
We returned yesterday from our wonderful Costa Rican vacation and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We loved staying at the El Silencio (the kids would have liked to stay even longer so we could have taken some of the nature hikes). Being surrounded by the cloud forest was an amazing sensation that really helped us to feel that we were in a completely different world and was a perfect way to begin the trip. Maria Lucia was a very kind tour guide and showed us the all sites in a huge day (the waterfalls, Poas volcano, the coffee plantation & Sarchi). The staff at El Silencio was wonderful and Jeff and I very much enjoyed the food and the very elaborate wine tasting there.
In La Fortuna the activities ruled. We loved everything, the exhilarating waterfall rappelling, the zip lining (& tiger swing - the kids LOVED IT) the volcano hike and we had a FANTASTIC time on the river safari with Gerald and his friend Tom. Gerald was a great guide and was able to share many stories while letting us see the wildlife. We saw a spectacular Toucan flock and of course the monkeys were a huge hit. Ending up at the farm was a fun end note to the trip. Of course we enjoyed the hot springs at the Tabacon - they are pretty amazing. Jeff and I had a chance to have a massage at the Tabacon spa and it was spectacular. The service at the hotel was lovely and our room did have a beautiful view of the volcano. I think the hot springs & spa are far superior at the Tabacon.
Alex drove us from both El Silencio to La Fortuna and then from La Fortuna to Punta Islita (that is a lot of driving and he did a great job - he was so friendly and made the travelling very enjoyable). On the way to La Fortuna he made a point of showing us the Iguana restaurant and it was a great wayside stop for everyone.
Punta Islita was stunning. Our villa Ilan Ilan was ideal, the view and the setting were spectacular. The kids loved the pool (when they weren't swimming & playing in the ocean), Jeff loved being able to finally drive around a bit like a native (the villa came with a small 4 wheel car), and I enjoyed waking up every morning to see the sunrise over the cliffs at the ocean's edge, and hear the incredible variety of birds (and on the last day even the howler monkeys). We enjoyed so many of the activities the hotel had to offer. Andrey & Hector and the whole staff were so warm and hospitable. They really worked hard and made every effort to make our stay so much fun. Hector helped us plan some more zip lining, surf lessons, a dolphin sighting/fishing boat trip and a sunset horseback ride which was the perfect way to wrap up the trip.
Ronald picked us up and got us to the airport in plenty of time. Ronald was very interested in showing us the wildlife as we drove through the different areas and we really enjoyed that.
Everywhere we went the people were absolutely wonderful, kind, and proud to show us their country and it made our trip spectacular.
Erika, thank you for all you did to help make the trip such a huge success.
Brian Blades ,
April 24, 2013
"Very prompt at getting information back to us and very helpful with any changes we wanted.
This trip was as good as the last trip we did with Kensington, could'nt have been any better. Our guides were excellent, especially Gerald.
Stephen Strom ,
April 22, 2013
"The transfers went flawlessly; the guides were all superb (knowledgable; thoughtful; sensitive; responsive to our needs). The recommended hotels were, with one exception (see below), also first rate and well matched to our needs and temperaments.
Our thanks for providing 3 wonderful guides: Gary Ortiz (Antigua); Carlos Antonio Lopez (Tikal and Yaxha); and Israel Canto (Belize). All of them understood that we have ‘peculiar’ tastes (for example: photographing lichen covered tree trunks while the magnificent structures at Tikal were but meters away!). It is really critical that guides not try to make sure that we see every ‘important’ thing, but recognize instead that ‘importance’ is very much a personal thing.
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