Beach and Cloud Forest Panama Adventure
Transporting you away from the city and into incredible scenery and picturesque towns, this Panama adventure will take you through some of the most incredible spots the country has to offer. This journey is crafted for travellers in love with nature, culture, and curious about the road less travelled. Start the journey heading south, to the Azuero Peninsula where you will discover the heart of Panamanian culture. Then, navigate across the wonders of the Pacific Coast and bask in the great blue waters of the Gulf of Chiriquí. Finish your journey on a high note as you hike through the secluded cloud forest at Mount Totumas.
- Learn about Panamanian folklore from local artisans in the Azuero region, including a visit to a few artisan workshops
- Visit Boca Chica, a small fishing village located in the central Pacific coast
- Discover the beauty of the Pacific Coast as you sail across the Gulf of Chiriquí Marine National Park and uncover its breathtaking islands
- Enjoy the wilderness and the trails at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest Reserve
- Explore the remote areas of La Amistad International Park
This is a private tour and you will be accompanied by an English-speaking local guide during all the excursions. Most activities and excursions in this Panama tour are private (only for you). The price displayed is per person based on two people sharing. All tours can be tailor-made to suit your interests and requirements.
While not very big in size, Panama is full of rich and diverse locations, each with its specific landscape, traditions and ecosystem. During this Panama adventure you will have the opportunity to discover some of the country’s best off-the-beaten path destinations.
Your journey will start as you head south to the Azuero Region, the cultural epicentre of Panama. You will learn from local artisans about their traditions and the creation of the beautiful crafts that are so characteristic of this region. Costumes, pottery and masks are just some examples of the traditional techniques that you will discover during your stay.
Then, you will continue along the Pacific coast to Boca Chica, a small fishing town located in the San Lorenzo District in the Chiriquí Province. Head out into the stunning Chiriquí Marine National Park as you sail to the islands of the gulf, where you can admire the great marine life, walk along the pristine white beaches, appreciate the natural beauty of the area and spend a day kayaking, horseback riding or learning about artisan fishing techniques.
Finish your tour as you travel west into the magnificent scenery of the cloud forest in Mount Totumas Reserve and La Amistad International Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. Venture into the unspoiled trails and discover the astonishing biodiversity that inhabits this magical land.
Day 1: Welcome to the Azuero Peninsula! (-/-/-)
Flight to Panama City. An English-speaking driver will welcome you at the Panama airport and drive you to a charming hotel in Chitré (approx. 4 hours). Located about 7 km inland from the Gulf of Panama on the Azuero Peninsula, Chitré is best known for its colorful colonial buildings and its friendly and cheerful people. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore the town or choose to rest and recover at the hotel.
Day 2: Chitré Cultural Tour (B/L/-)
After breakfast, join a small group for a full day guided tour of the best of the Azuero Peninsula. Your tour will begin with a visit to the downtown of Chitré where you will learn and observe in detail the making of the “pollera”, one of the most beautiful traditional costumes in the world, visiting artisans who have dedicated their lives to the confection of this dress. After lunch, you will visit the workshops of two local artisans dedicated to Panamanian folklore. The first one builds masks that are used for traditional dances and the second one makes wooden drums that are typical of Panamanian music. You will also visit and learn why the town of La Arena is so famous for its ceramics and experience how challenging pottery making can be. Finish your tour by visiting a workshop where "cutarras" (traditional Panamanian sandals) are made. Free evening back at the hotel.
Optional evening activity: Traditional Cooking Class. In the evening, enjoy a truly autochthonous experience in the company of a rural family, where you will learn how to prepare culinary delights from this region.
Day 3: Chitré to Boca Chica in Chiriquí (B/-/-)
After breakfast, a private transfer will take you from Chitré to the town of Boca Chica, in the province of Chiriquí (approx. 5 hours, with a stop for lunch on the way. Boca Chica is a small fishing village located in the central Pacific region of Panama, about 40 km away from the city of David. Boca Chica is the getaway to some of Panama’s most impressive natural sights. This quiet village offers great options for snorkeling, diving, sailing, or relaxing at the beach. Check in at your lovely boutique hotel before enjoying a stroll in town. Free evening.
Day 4: Island Discovery Tour (B/L/-)
After breakfast, head out into the stunning Gulf of Chiriquí Marine National Park with your local captain for a half-day small-group guided boat tour of the islands of the gulf. This National Park protects 150 square km of marine ecosystems and is home to numerous wildlife species. During this scenic island discovery route, you will visit Isla Bolaños for snorkelling and swimming, as well as the lovely Isla Gámez for some relaxing time on the beach. Enjoy the beautiful marine life in the area and feel the warm tropical air and sand between your toes. Don’t forget to look out for possible sightings of dolphins, turtles, manta rays and other marine life. Lunch will be served in one of the beaches. Free afternoon and evening back at the hotel.
Day 5: Free in Boca Chica (B/-/-)
Free day to relax or take an optional activity.
- Sundown Mangrove Cruise: Head out in the late afternoon to enjoy sunset and a cruise gently along serene waterways surrounded by amazing river forest vegetation.
- Kayaking and paddle boarding: Explore the shoreline and mangroves in the area at your own pace.
- Horseback ride: Enjoy a horse ride adventure over local pastureland and tropical vegetation overlooking a stunning landscape.
Day 6: Boca Chica to Mount Totumas Reserve (B/-/-)
After breakfast, a private transfer will take you to a secluded hotel in the cloud forest of Mount Totumas (approx. 3 hours). Mount Totumas is a 400-acre private forest bordering La Amistad International Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site managed by both Costa Rica and Panama. The reserve is in a remote wilderness location with cabins and a lodge that offers all the basic amenities thanks to a sustainable off-the-grid micro-hydropower plant that taps the power of a nearby stream. Guests can enjoy marked trails through the reserve with access into the adjacent National Park, which is Central America’s largest protected mountain wilderness area. Hot springs are also located nearby. Free afternoon and evening.
Day 7: Mount Totumas and La Amistad International Park Hike (B/-/-)
After an early breakfast, enjoy an incredible half-day small-group guided hike to the peak of Mount Totumas and venture into remote areas inside La Amistad International Park. An English-speaking naturalist guide will introduce you to the many species of flora and fauna existing in the area such as the world renowned Resplendent Quetzal, different species of monkeys, birds and insects, amongst many others. Free afternoon and evening.
Day 8: Mount Totumas to border with Costa Rica (B/-/-)
After breakfast (or later), a private transfer will take you to San Vito (approx. 1 hour) or Paso Canoas (approx. 2 hours), the border between Panama and Costa Rica, where you can continue your journey into the neighbouring country. End of tour.
- Trip duration: 8 days
- Countries visited: Panama
- Level of difficulty: Low to medium
- Accommodation: 2 nights in a hotel in Chitré, 3 nights in a hotel in Boca Chica, 2 nights in a lodge in Mount Totuma cloud forest
- Transport: Private land vehicle and shared boat
- Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches
No minimum number of passengers required, and you will not be travelling with a group of people you do not know.
Prices quoted are per person in double occupancy.
Tours have a low to medium level of physical difficulty and participants can choose to do as much or as little as they like.
What to bring: Travel insurance, passport, binoculars, alarm clock, walking shoes, water bottle, daypack, sun protection, insect repellent, sunglasses and hat, swimwear, flip-flops, torch with extra batteries.
Cold destinations: The cloud forest tend to get cold and rainy, therefore be sure to pack raincoats and waterproof bags (to keep camera, cellphone, etc) for the hikes, warm clothes, warm socks, hat.
Hot destinations: Azuero tends to be hot, therefore be sure to also pack comfortable light cotton shirts with long and short sleeves, comfortable trousers made of cotton or a light synthetic material (bring at least two sets of light clothes which can be washed and dried easily), shorts.
- Best time to travel: November to May
- Extra budget recommended: Around £200 / $250 per person to cover meals and all other expenses not included in the itinerary
- What is included: Welcome reception at the airport. Private transfers. Accommodation. Entrance fees to sites of interest, museums and national parks mentioned in the itinerary. Guided activities and excursions with English speaking guides (some private, some as part of a small group). Meals as stated in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch). Taxes.
- What is not included: Flights from your country of origin. Travel insurance. Alcoholic drinks. Additional meals or snacks. Travel within and around each town. Visa fees (if any). Tips. Souvenirs. Optional activities. Meals not specified in the itinerary. Personal equipment. Extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service, etc.).
There is no minimum duration and you can include only the activities or destinations you want. To start creating your ideal, tailor-made tour to Panama, please complete and send this form. One of our Panama local experts will be in touch shortly: