(Panama City, Gamboa, Coronado)
Your kids will love hearing the stories of real-life pirate Henry Morgan who looted and destroyed Old Panama in 1671 as they recreate his swashbuckling swordsmanship among the ruins of the ransacked city.
This family-friendly trip will keep your kids engaged as you travel to Miraflores to watch the huge ships passing through the Panama Canal and amazingly lowered 16 meters down two distinct steps at Miraflores Locks. You’ll also take a historic train journey through the jungle from Panama City to Colon; board dugout canoes to an authentic village of the Embera tribe; observe the rainforest canopy from an aerial tram; sail to Monkey Island where your captain will hand feed wild white-face capuchin and howler monkeys; spot sloths, turtles and crocodiles in their natural habitat; go whale watching off the coast of Coronado; and much more.
The fun doesn’t stop on this great family trip, however there’s also plenty of educational value on offer too. From experiencing traditional Embera cultural rituals in an authentic jungle village to learning about the engineering feats of Miraflores Locks, your kids will be exposed to valuable world lessons they can’t find in a classroom. And there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy quality family time at the range of child-friendly hotels and rainforest resorts that make for relaxing evenings.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and English speaking professional driver.
With its charming décor and comfortable amenities, the Country Inn & Suites Panama Canal is located at the entrance of the Panama Canal and is close to Panama business and leisure attractions. The Country Inn Hotel Panama Canal is a short drive from the Tocumen International Airport and is only a few minutes from the Marcos A. Gelabert Domestic Airport. This Panama City hotel provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere sure to please business and leisure travelers alike. Each of the spacious guest rooms and suites at this Panama hotel features cozy country-style décor and, among other amenities, offers a private balcony, high-speed Internet access, cable TV and a coffee maker. The suites in Panama City include microwaves or even fully-equipped kitchens.
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 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. 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 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. At the Casco Viejo you feel set back in time as you admire the lovely colonial houses, the narrow roads and the impressive churches. You will get a good idea about Panama’s history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this quarter. If you want to continue the tour you will be taken to Panama Viejo, the Old Panama. Panama Viejo was the first European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. This first Panama City was looted and destroyed by the notorious English bucaneer Henry Morgan in 1671 and therefore abandoned. Today there are only ruins left. Still, 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.
Important Note: Depending on ship traffic in the locks the order of the tour might be inverted to assure that the clients will see ships in the locks.
Important Note: Old Panama is closed on Mondays.
Enjoy a train journey on the historical and original railway line from Panama City to Colón. This 1-hour trip leads you through the jungle and along the Panama Canal, to the port city of Colon.Following the beautiful train trip, continue to the ruins of Portobelo. This port was the gathering point of the Peruvian treasures in the 15th century. The gold and silver was shipped from here to Spain, and Portobelo was also the center for the control and inspection of the goods arriving from Spain. Continue on to an Embera Indian Village on Rio Gatun. A fascinating and dense jungle surrounds you on a short boat trip to the village. Downriver, step out of the dugout canoe and enter the Embera village. One of seven indigenous tribes in Panama, the people of the Embera tribe will welcome you at the pier, and give you an idea on how they still live today. The village's chief will give you a brief explanation about the history of the tribe, its traditions, cultures, beliefs and handicrafts. A traditional lunch of fish and plantains prepared by the Embera women will be served. In the afternoon 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.
Encircled by gorgeous landscaping, hills, and the Chagres River, the Gamboa Rainforest Resort has a prime seat in Panama's Soberania National Park Rainforest. The 269 rooms and apartments offer stunning views of the natural surroundings, with balconies and patio seating. Security and comfort is ensured with an electronic deposit box and fire protection system. Dining consists of some buffet service and, otherwise, bar service for meals. Savor Panamanian cuisine alongside international favorites. Small creatures scuttle about the grounds, adding to the ambiance of the resort. The hotel offers short complimentary trips by bus, nature walks, and delicious strolls in the rain.
The aerial tram ride traverses a mile long tract of Humid Forest that lies within the Gamboa Resort’s boundaries. You will observe the forest canopy in some areas and are likely to encounter birds and hear Howler monkeys. The tram ascends 280 feet over half a mile and ends atop a hill. On the following boat tour, before reaching Monkey Island, you will pass by the Panama Canal right beside the huge tankers and container ships. The White-Face Capuchin and Howler Monkeys are the main attractions of this tour. Usually the Captain of your boat brings them some fruit so you can watch them coming down from their trees to get it. If you are attentive you will spot a sloth, always so lazy sleeping in their trees. You will see turtles, timid but brave at the same time, along with the proud caiman and crocodiles that live in the lake.Duration: 6 hours Includes: Transportation from and to Gamboa Resort, English- Speaking naturalist tour guide, drinking water, lunch Bring: Sneakers or hiking shoes, long pants, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, insect repellent. Important Note: This tour doesn't operate on Mondays.
Choose from a plethera of optional activities (not included) during your stay at Gamboa Resort. Optional acitivities include: Airel Tram, Monkey Island, Birdwatching on Pipeline Road, Chagres River Boat Tours, Panama Canal Fishing, Night Safaris and more!
What are the rainforest animals doing at night? Search for them on a night tour in a Gamboa open air tour bus to find out. It is possible to see tapirs, capybaras, alligators, rare tropical opossums, and two –toed sloths. An extra bonus of this tour is that you will get to know the extent of the resort grounds and learn interesting facts about the area.Duration: 2 hours Includes: Transportation from and to Gamboa Resort, English- Speaking naturalist tour guide, Drinking water Bring: Sneakers or hiking shoes, long pants, camera, binoculars, insect repellent.
Transfer by private vehicle with driver to Playa Bonita in Coronado.
Not far from Panama City, tucked into a private beach escape rich with rainforest and the ocean breeze, is the Intercontinental Playa Bonita. Guests are privy to 300 comfortable and well-maintained rooms, each designed with a historical Panamanian influence. Private telephones and all the amenities of home are featured in all rooms. Meals are offered at any of 3 restaurants, and 24 hour room service is available for late night munchies. A relaxing day at the spa or lounging by the swimming pool promise a revitalizing experience in Panama.
There are plenty of activities to choose from during your leisure time in Playa Bonita. Optional activities include: snorkeling, city tours of Panama, Canal tours, Soberania National Park hikes, sport fishing, whale watching and more! Activities listed may be subject to an additional cost.
You will be picked up and transfered from Coronado to Panama City by private vehicle and a professional English speaking driver.
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. Thank you, again.
Steve and Andrea
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.
Anthony Sokol ,
March 11, 2013
We are home with many good memories from our stay in Panama.
We found your guides and drivers to be always on time and very instructive, especially in David/Bouquette/Amistad. We liked the Panamonte Hotel in Bouquette.
Since the Amistad Park was closed due to rain on the day we arrived, we toured a Race horse breeding farm, Cerre Punte, which was magnificent and might be a consideration for your future guests
Your choice of itinerary in Panama City was quite informative and complete considering the limited time we had.
All in all, we were quite pleased with Kensington Tours in general.
Anthony and Barbara
Karen Werner ,
February 12, 2013
P and I want to thank you so much for all of your help in setting up our trip! It was a wonderful week in Panama--we loved every minute. And we especially appreciated you taking care of the hotel reservation glitch. Your partner in Panama was really great to work with--they did a wonderful job and were very professional. Everything worked like clockwork with them. We look forward to working with you again!
K and P Werner "
January 13, 2013
"My husband and I are "Boomers" and veteran world-wide travelers, from our early days with Eurail passes and VW Vans to the present! As such, we are not content with the group tours that "herd" you around and show you the tourist photo-op sites. However, as a busy medical professional I don't have time to carefully put together the type of trip that we want to have in places we have never been before. What a delight and relief to have discovered Kensington tours! Our trip to Costa Rica was the epitome of personalized, professional, and exceptional service. All our drivers and guides were wonderful - Barbara Franz, our naturalist guide in Manuel Antonio National Park was a standout. Our hotels and lodges in San Jose, Tortuguero, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio were unique, lovely, and very comfortable. We are recommending Kensington to all our friends and are already trying to decide where we will go next. Maybe Africa, maybe New Zealand! We cannot say enough about Kensington's commitment to excellence! When it can be hard to wade through the mediocre, such professionalism is refreshing. Thank you Brandi for all you did to make our trip memorable!"
jack Lester ,
February 06, 2013
"Had a wonderful experience with Kensington and our agent Nella. Everything went very smoothly and we loved the accommodations. The trip was an adventure we will never forget and Kensington made it a worry free trip.
Kimberly Dellinger ,
August 22, 2012
Ariana & I absolutely LOVED our trip to Costa Rica. This trip was even better than we had hoped or expected. The quality of the different hotels was excellent, and I was quite frankly surprised at how "deluxe" our rooms were when I was expecting more "average" type of lodging. We were thrilled & loved each place we stayed and we have told all our friends & family about this exceptional customer service. The tour guides were AMAZING, so knowledgable, friendly, spoke great English, & were willing to help us learn Spanish & the culture. We were so happy that we were able to do the different activities-- Canyon Rappelling in Arenal, Venado Cave Tour near Arenal, ziplining in Monteverde, The Springs, and the different rainforest tours. All these activities-- and the other activities along the way-- were WONDERFUL, and we felt very safe and well-cared for during our excursions. The travel arrangements & private vehicles were great- we were very comfortable & the drivers were very professional & prompt. We were treated so well that we felt like royalty!
I am telling all my friends, co-workers, family members and my patients ( I work in a dental office) about how wonderful the Costa Rica trip was with my daughter & how great the service & planning was with Kensington Tours. I have given your name to several people & hope that you'll get referrals from those I've talked with! I am definitely planning on traveling abroad again and plan to go through you and Kensington Tours when I do. My next goal is to plan a trip (maybe Europe or return to Costa Rica?) for my teenage son & I to do together in the next year or so.
My sincerest gratitude to you for making our Costa Rica trip SPECTACULAR! Well done! Below, you will see my responses to the survey (as you can see, I'm not very prompt about checking email, but eventually I get around to it!) you sent a few days after we arrived back home. Let me know if there's any problems reading my responses-- I rated everything "excellent" because that's what it was/is!
Kimberly (& Ariana) Dellinger
Dana H ,
July 09, 2012
"The trip was excellent and everything was very smooth. The hotels & guides were all great. I would definitely travel with Kensington Tours again & recommend it to family & friends! Additionally, I would like to start thinking about planning my Africa trip. I am interested in Kenya & Tanzania."
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