Panama highlights holiday
Description of Panama highlights holiday
This tailor made holiday introduces you to Panama’s top highlights over an action-packed 10 days. Panama’s strategic position as a bridge between South and Central America means that it has a fascinating past. Indeed, your first thoughts when you hear the country mentioned might focus on the famous canal, or an infamous dictator – not to mention some very famous hats (which actually come from Ecuador)!
However, there’s much more to the country than that, and after this trip you’ll return home singing the country’s lesser known charms. The capital city, for example, is a vibrant metropolis with a diverse population and a mix of American, European and Asian influences; and the country’s coastline is peppered with beautiful, undeveloped white sand beaches. Then there are the fertile rainforests brimming with wildlife, and the lush hillsides that form the centre of the country’s coffee industry. If you want to get to know the country even better, you can take an extension to this trip, either to the dreamy San Blas Islands or to cultural hotspot the Azuero Peninsula.
1 Reviews of Panama highlights holiday
Reviewed on 10 Apr 2018 by Jane Sweeney
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Snorkelling off Playa Zapatilla and Panama City was also great.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Use public transport in Panama City
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Five stars. It was much better than expected.
PlanetTravel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.
As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.
On this holiday you will stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort on the Panama Canal; committed to sustainability, the resort is a member of various conservation organisations including the Pan-American Association for Conservation which helps care for sick, injured and orphaned wild animals and implements monitoring programmes to conserve and protect the forest’s wildlife. Many of its highly qualified and well-trained staff specialise in tropical ecology, conservation and eco-tourism, which means that they can educate you on the natural history of the area whilst helping you to ensure your visit to this fragile eco-system does not negatively affect the environment – for example, by sticking to designated nature trails and viewing wildlife responsibly.
Our suppliers on the ground in Panama have almost 20 years’ experience in responsible tourism and have pioneered the concept of eco-tourism in Panama. Their dedication to protecting the country’s natural and cultural heritage shines through on excursions: for example, guests will always be advised on behaviour and dress when visiting cultural or sacred natural sites. They are also active members of the National Association for the Conservation of Nature, a non-profit organisation founded in 1985 by a group of scientists, business and community leaders whose aim is to protect and conserve Panama’s natural resources and biodiversity for present and future generations of Panamanians.
PeopleWe pride ourselves on delivering our clients truly authentic and unforgettable experiences in Latin America which connect travellers with the people whose country they visit. On this holiday you will have the opportunity to engage with people from all walks of life. Coffee production is a huge part of Panama’s economy and over the years it has been rates the best coffee in the world; you will have a chance to gain an insight into what it is that makes it so important to people. In Boquete you will visit Finca La Milagrosa where you will meet Hector Vargas, whose hard work has transformed his family-run operation from humble beginnings into a producer of award-winning coffee in just ten years. As well as learning about the cultural importance of coffee, your visit to Hector’s coffee farm helps his small-scale business remain successful in the face of bigger and better-financed companies.
During your walking tour of Panama City you will learn about the city’s most important cultural and historic sights but you will also have the opportunity visit a folk market. Here you can meet people who belong to different indigenous communities and if you wish to support their work, you can purchase hand-crafted products – by doing so you will be encouraging the continuation of their artisanal traditions as well as promoting the country’s cultural diversity.
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