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Private Journeys

Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach

10 days from £2,010pp

Panama

ANCON EXPEDITIONS ©

Essentials

Transport

2 domestic flights, 3 road journeys

Accommodation

This trip combines friendly mid-range hotels with well-equipped rooms with private bathroom and comfortable but not luxurious wildlife and beach lodges. Throughout Panama accommodation is of a high standard.

Meals

Breakfast daily

Summary Of Nights

10 days, 9 nights: 3 nights Panama City, 2 nights Boquete, 3 nights Bocas del Toro, 1 night Gamboa

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Currency

The currency in Panama is the balboa which is interchangeable with the US dollar

How To Take It

The national currency in Panama is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There are ATMs in most towns,where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, and amounts may be limited, and vary from bank to bank. Notes can be obtained from exchange houses and also from banks which will supply advances on a debit or credit card.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

Tipping

Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential.

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Climate

Those travelling between May and October should encounter high temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity in the lowlands. The ‘official’ rainy (green) season is May to November.

December to April visitors will still encounter high temperatures in lowland areas, but cool evenings with temperatures falling to around 20°C. Rainfall and humidity will be much lower at this time.

It’s cooler and less humid at Boquete in the Chiriquí highlands of Panama.

For the coastal areas it’s hot all year round (often over 30°C). The busy times for visitors are the dry season months, especially weekends and Easter week. The green (i.e. rainy) season is much quieter.

Journey Grade

Generally this holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit, visitors including families with children.

If you have a disability or special considerations, please contact our office.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. A waterproof jacket and/or umbrella are also advisable. We suggest that you plan to ‘layer’ your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper, and sensible to have long sleeves for areas where mosquitos may be lurking. Sandals are a good informal option for evenings. Protection against the sun (sunblock, sun hat) and mosquito repellant are essential and you should bring swimwear. A daypack is useful for carrying sunblock, guidebook, water and any extra layers.

Note that luggage on the domestic flights is limited to 14kg.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Panama?

Situated well within the tropics, Panama has a typical tropical climate with high temperatures (30°C) all year round at low altitudes. Temperatures are significantly modified by altitude – higher up it can be very cool at night. Apr-Nov is rainy season, with the Caribbean side receiving more rainfall than the Pacific. There’s a small risk of tropical storms on the Caribbean coast but the country lies outside the main hurricane belt.  

What's the official language of Panama?

Spanish

What's the official currency of Panama?

Balboa. The national currency is at parity with the US dollar, and only US banknotes are used. (There are some local coins equivalent to US cents). There are ATMs in most towns where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have to ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, and amounts may be limited, and vary from bank to bank. Notes can be obtained from exchange houses and also from banks which will supply advances on a debit or credit card.

What is the time difference between Panama and the UK?

GMT -5 hrs.  

What countries does Panama combine well with?

A visit to neighbouring Central America countries, such as  wildlife-rich, slickly organised Costa Rica; and Colombia, with the northern coast of which Panama shares a swashbuckling history.

What are the festivals, cultural and sporting events in Panama?

Carnival, Feb-Mar. Celebrated with much gusto in Panama City, costumed revelry, music and dancing culminate in a big Shrove Tuesday parade.
Semana Santa, Easter. Celebrated throughout Panama with religious processions. 
Kuna festivals, San Blas islands. There are several festivals throughout the year, all of which feature dancing, traditional sports and feasts.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guide
  • All land and air transport within Panama
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Cruise down the Panama Canal
  • Historic Panama City tour
  • Coffee finca tour
  • Panama Canal jungle boat tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • International flights to and from the UK
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guide
  • All land and air transport within Panama
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Cruise down the Panama Canal
  • Historic Panama City tour
  • Coffee finca tour
  • Panama Canal jungle boat tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • International flights to and from the UK
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Hannah Donaldson
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

Meet the team