3 flights (light aircraft Cessna or similar), 3 road journeys, 1 boat transfer.
This trip combines small, friendly mid-range hotels with well-equipped rooms with private bathroom and comfortable but not luxurious wildlife and beach lodges. Accommodation throughout Panama is of a high standard.
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 the latter on their return.
- Panama Canal partial transit.
- Guided tour of Panama City
- Coffee farm tour in Boquete.
- Panama Canal and rainforest boat adventure.
Summary of nights
10 days, 9 nights: Panama City 3, Boquete 2, Bocas del Toro 3, Panama City 1.
Included in the journey price
- Services of our team of experts in our London office.
- Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
- All land and air transport.
- Accommodation as specified.
- Meals as specified.
- Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
- Tips and gratuities.
- Meals other than specified.
- Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
- Optional excursions.
The unit of currency in Panama the US dollar known locally as the balboa.
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.
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 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 and advance on credit or debit card. We also recommend you take a supply of clean dollar bills.
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.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our briefing dossier.
Insurance is essential. Details of our recommend policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
Generally this holiday is suitable for all able, reasonably fit visitors, including families with children.
The trip covers climates ranging from tropical lowland to more temperate zones in the highlands. Those travelling between May and October journeys 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 around Boquete with temperatures falling to around 5°C. Rainfall and humidity will be much lower at this time.
Clothing and special equipment
Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. A waterproof jacket and/or umbrella is 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 repellent are essential and you should bring swimwear. A daypack is useful for carrying around sunblock, guidebook, water and any extra layers. Note that baggage weight on some domestic flights may be restricted
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.
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. Visitors with different nationality should refer to our Briefing Dossier and check with the Panamanian consulate.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to, or via, the USA, you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online. This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.