(Panama City, Gamboa, Playa Blanca)
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; 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.
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.
Take in a train trip on the historical and original railway line from Panama City to Colón. This pretty 1-hour train ride leads you through the jungle and along the Panama Canal. Completed in 1855, the French Panama Canal company acquired the railway line in 1880, as an assistance to build the Canal. In 1904 the Americans bought the Canal and the railway line and were operating it until 1979. In 1998, Panama privatized the railway line and renewed it completely. Since 2001, the railway is again in use and is a unique attraction.After your scenic train trip, you will continue with your guide from Colón to the port of Portobelo. This port was the gathering point of the Peruvian treasures in the 15th century. Gold and silver were shipped from here towards the metropolis of the empire, and in addition, Portobelo was the center of control and inspection of goods which arrived from Spain. The ruin complex is built and set up in the middle of the tropical jungle and covers a set of fortresses, castles and military bases.After this historical excursion, continue to an Embera Indian Village on Rio Gatun. A fascinating and dense jungle will accompany you on a short boat trip to the village. Downriver, step out of the dugout canoes and enter the village of the Embera Indians, one of seven indigenous tribes in Panama. The people of the Embera tribe will welcome you at the pier and gladly give you an idea on how they live today. The village chief will give you a brief explication on the history of the tribe, its traditions, cultures, believes and handicrafts. Then, a traditional lunch of fish and plantains prepared by the Embera women will be served to you. 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 local children. If you are feeling daring you may even like to consider getting a temporary Embera tattoo painted on your arm or leg! After the tour, transportation to Gamboa Rainforest will be provided.
Get ready for some excitement today as you strap in and fly along an aerial tramway which traverses a mile long tract of Humid Forest that lies within the Gamboa Resort’s boundaries! See the jungle from a different perspective and observe the forest canopy - in some areas you 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 likely spot a sloth, always so lazy sleeping high in the tree tops. You will also likely see turtles, timid but brave at the same time, along with the proud caiman and crocodiles that live in the lake. This tour is approximately 6 hours in duration and transportation to and from the Gamboa resort as well as an English speaking guide, drinking water and packed lunch are included.
Relax on your private transfer from Gamboa to Playa Blanca in the company of an English speaking driver. The transfer should take approximately 3.5hours.
The JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort is the perfect place for families as it has everything that kids and big kids would ever wish for in a fun-filled vacation (great spa, pool areas, golf course and restaurants for the "big" kids and a jam-packed program of activities for the kids (3 - 11 yrs). The JW Kids program is designed for children to have a fun adventure, exploring wonderful landscapes with indoor and outdoor activities. A complimentary lounge with a games room from a pool table, ping pong, foosball, movies, music and more to organized club activities are offered. Horseriding, bird watching, flora and fauna crafting, treasure hunts, pool time as well as tennis, football or golf clinics are just some of the fun activities available. Your kids are sure to have a fabulous time and may well not want to leave at the end of their stay! (Please note that this property is not a beach front property. It is about a 10 minute walk to the beach from the hotel).
For golfing enthusiasts (or fanatics!) there is the Buenaventura Panama Golf Club by Nicklaus deign that may be of interest. Here you can discover an unmatched golf experience at the 18 hole 72-par course. Making use of the natural landscape, the course cuts into the Pacific coastline with views of the Panama beach. There are also threee local courses within the vicinity - Manta Raya, Vista Mar and Playa Blanca.
The Corotu Spa has five multi-functional treatment rooms and offers everything from pampering massages to facials and polishing body scrubs. A hydrotherapy area also features whirlpools, deluge showers, sauna and steam room. Please arrange either golf tee times or spa treatments directly with the concierge of the hotel if you are interested.
(Please note that this property is not a beach front property. It is about a 10 minute walk to the beach from the hotel).
Enjoy some leisure time on the Pacific shores of Playa Blanca. Optional activities are available at your resort (watersports, snorkelling, kayaking). (Please note that this property is not a beach front property. It is about a 10 minute walk to the beach from the hotel).
Relax on your private transfer from Playa Blanca to Tocumen International airport in Panama City. The transfer should take approximately 2 hours.
Welcome to the Country Inn & Suites Hotel Panama Canal, where you can experience and enjoy the grandest view of the entrance to The Panama Canal, the Pacific Ocean, of every ship that travels the Canal, and of the Bridge of the America's, which spans the entrance. 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's leisure attractions. Please note that this property is not located in the city center, but rather beside the canal, 15km from downtown, so a taxi ride in and out of the city center would be required to go into the historical area of the city.
Deep in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest lies the completely unique Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This magnificent five-star destination rests where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal and is the only resort property in the area. Few places on earth offer such an amazing natural experience while providing an unsurpassed level of luxury. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life and surround yourself with the tranquility of the mystical Soberania National Forest. Here, just a short 30-minute ride from Panama City, on 340 acres overlooking the stunning Panama Canal, you can commune with nature in a pristine environment where explorers and pirates once tread.
Discover a distinctive oasis at the JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort. This premier luxury resort in the luxury community of Buenaventura offers elegant accommodations and suites set amongst lush gardens and a lagoon with vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Here, every desire is anticipated – from a round of golf at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, a relaxing treatment at Corotú Spa, or a splendid meal of locally sourced produce at Tamarindo. Located outside Panama City, in the luxury community of Buenaventura, JW Marriott Panama Resort is the premier choice for A Panama destination. Seek out adventure with numerous water sports and off-site activities from surfing to zip-lining. In the evening enjoy fine wines and stellar cuisine. For adventure seekers, enjoy horseback riding, snorkeling, fishing, surfing in Rio Mar, eco tours and much more.
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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