Don't have an Account? Sign up now.
Forgotten Password?
Log In

zAAA Vacations® - The Complete Panama Canal

10 days

Never more than 16 guests. Guaranteed.

Small Group Discoveries

  • Our tour includes a full Canal Transit from the Pacific all the way to the Atlantic!
  • Experience more of Casco Antiguo’s Colonial-era charms in a congenial group of 16 guests or fewer.
  • Join our expert naturalists at Barro Colorado in Gatun Lake; this pristine reserve is home to 50% of all the birds and mammals found in Panama!
  • Immerse in the lively traditions of historic Portobelo, where a rich Afro-Caribbean culture endures against a backdrop of ancient Colonial sites.
  • Ride the historic Panama Railroad, built in 1855 to carry fortune seekers during the Gold Rush.

2014 Itinerary2015 Itinerary

Show all itinerary details

Day
1

An Extra Night in Panama City

AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Enjoy a free extra night in Panama City before your tour in your oceanview room at the InterContinental Miramar.

Day
2

Welcome to Panama City

Enjoy a day at leisure in Panama City. Meals B

Day
3

Old and new in Panama City

Marvel at the Miraflores Locks and watch ships transiting the Panama Canal as your guide shares history and insight. Then cross the bay for a walking tour in Casco Antiguo c, founded in 1673 and noted for its splendidly-preserved Colonial architecture. Meals B

Day
4

Through the Panama Canal!

An unforgettable day unfolds as you journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic on a full Canal transit. Enter into the Miraflores Locks and through the Gaillard Cut to cross Gatun Lake. Upon arrival in Cristobal, it’s a scenic drive to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, set on the banks of the Chagres River. Meals B,L

Day
5

Excursion to Barro Colorado Island

Journey by boat into the heart of Gatun Lake to Barro Colorado, a pristine nature reserve managed by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. By special arrangement, your Small Group will set out on a guided walk along forested island trails deep into the native habitats of myriad species of tropical birds and indigenous mammals like tapirs, sloths and monkeys. Meals B,L

Day
6

A day at leisure at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Relax poolside or join available naturalist-guided rainforest activities like birdwatching, wildlife tours or fishing on Gatun Lake. You might opt for a tour to Tucipono. This remote jungle village promises a fascinating and authentic encounter with Panama’s indigenous Embera Indians. Meals B

Day
7

By rail from Portobelo to the Pacific

Explore the Caribbean town of Portobelo c, rich with history and impressive ruins of Colonial-era fortifications. Visit the 17th-century Custom House, see the revered Christo Negro statue, sit down to a Caribbean lunch and enjoy a lively performance of Afro-Caribbean dance. Then embark on a thrilling transcontinental trip on the historic Panama Railroad. This once-in-a-lifetime journey through the tropical rainforest promises superb views of the Canal and ship traffic. Upon arrival at Corozal Station, it’s a pleasant drive to the InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa. Meals B,L

Day
8

Unwind at Playa Bonita

You have a full day to unwind and enjoy the swimming pools, beautiful beach and sports activities of your Pacific resort. Meals B

Day
9

Another day in paradise...

Enjoy another day at leisure before this evening’s farewell dinner at the Light House Restaurant. Meals B,D

Day
10

Adios, Playa Bonita

Your program with us ends this morning. Meals B

Day
1

An Extra Night in Panama City

AAA Complimentary Inclusion: Enjoy a free extra night in Panama City before your tour in your oceanview room at the InterContinental Miramar.

Day
2

Welcome to Panama City

Check in to the 5-star Bristol Hotel.

Day
3

Old and new in Panama City

Marvel at the Miraflores Locks and watch ships transiting the Panama Canal as your guide shares history and insight. You’ll be astounded by the immensity of these tankers, cargo ships and even naval ships up to 900 feet long! Then continue with a walking tour through Casco Antiguo c, founded in 1673 and noted for its splendidly-preserved Colonial architecture. At the new BioMuseum, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, you’ll discover how Panama’s vital role as a land bridge between North and South America has impacted the biodiversity and even human life on both continents.  Meals B,L

Day
4

Through the Panama Canal!

An unforgettable day unfolds as you journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic on a full Canal transit, surrounded by the enormous ships that rely upon this vital passage between these oceans. You’ll enter the Miraflores Locks and continue with these giant vessels through the Gaillard Cut to cross Gatun Lake, marveling all the while at the density of the shipping traffic and surrounding rainforest. Upon arrival in Cristobal, it’s a scenic drive to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, set on the banks of the Chagres River. Meals B,L

Day
5

A day at leisure at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Relax poolside or join available naturalist-guided rainforest activities like birdwatching, wildlife tours on Gatun Lake or a fascinating encounter with Panama’s indigenous Embera Indians. Meals B

Day
6

Our Complete Panama Canal Experience

Today’s specially designed sightseeing explores Panama’s rich biodiversity and delves into the history of America’s involvement with the Canal, from its construction to the strategic role we continue to serve in protecting this vital shipping way. We’ll begin at the Memorial Cemetery dedicated to Americans who lost their lives during the Canal’s construction and visit the USA Administration Building. From the top of Cerro Ancon, a strategic post from Spanish Colonial times to the present, we’ll have spectacular views of Panama City and the Pacific entrance to the Canal. At a US Army bunker, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for America’s continued role in protecting the Panama Canal. Meals B, L

Day
7

By rail from Portobelo to the Pacific

Explore the Caribbean town of Portobelo c, rich with history and impressive ruins of Colonial-era fortifications. Visit the 17th-century Custom House, see the revered Christo Negro statue, sit down to a Caribbean lunch and enjoy a lively performance of Afro-Caribbean dance. Then embark on a thrilling adventure on the historic Panama Railroad. Built for fortune seekers during the California Gold Rush, this was the first transcontinental railroad in the world. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the tropical rainforest with superb views of the Canal. You’ll also have a chance to observe the ongoing construction of the massive new canal being built to accommodate ships up to 1,400 feet long and 180 feet wide! Upon arrival at Corozal Station, it’s a pleasant drive to the InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa. Meals B,L 

Day
8

Discover Panama’s countryside

Today’s full-day excursion begins with a scenic drive through rolling hills and rural villages to El Valle, a charming town nestled in the crater of an enormous extinct volcano. Embark on a guided walk through the forest to a lovely waterfall before sitting down to lunch in town. Mingle with villagers who come to shop and barter at El Valle’s colorful market and visit Nispero Zoo to see beautiful tropical flowers, orchids and endangered Panamanian species like the golden frog.  Meals B,L

Day
9

A day to unwind at Playa Bonita

This day is yours to unwind and enjoy the swimming pools, beautiful beach and sports activities of our Pacific resort. Bird watchers and other wildlife aficionados might wish to join an optional guided walk through Soberania National Park, home to hundreds of avian species including toucans, tanagers and flycatchers. Howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters and agoutis also reside in this verdant tropical forest. This evening, join fellow guests for a farewell dinner at the Light House Restaurant. Meals B,D 

Day
10

Adios, Playa Bonita

Your program with us ends this morning. Meals B

Extend Your Trip

Treasures of Nicaragua

8-Day Post-Tour Extension from $2,299

Discover the historic Colonial towns and amazing natural diversity of Nicaragua, from its lakes and islands to its volcanoes and pristine Pacific coast. We make it easy by including your international flight between Managua and Panama City.

Show all itinerary details

Day
8

Welcome to Managua

Check in to the upscale InterContinental Hotel.

Day
9

City sightseeing and Ometepe Island

Managua’s Old City and modern districts reveal past and future. Then travel to Ometepe, a most unique island formed by two volcanoes in the middle of Lake Nicaragua’s vast expanse. Check in to the Villa Paraiso Hotel. Meals B,L

Day
10

Exploring Ometepe Island

Your day begins on the forested slopes of the Maderas Volcano, once the site of an ancient civilization. Then visit the Ometepe Museum and continue into Charco Verde Nature Reserve, nestled at the base of two volcanoes. Meals B,L

Day
11

The Colonial Grandeur of Granada

Travel by ferry and over land to Granada, the oldest Colonial city in the Americas. Visit La Merced Church and San Francisco Convent, home to a collection of pre-Columbian sculpture. Enjoy two nights at the Plaza Colon. Meals B,L

Day
12

Mombacho Volcano Crater Tour

Enjoy a guided nature walk around the crater and learn about this unique eco-system, home to more than 90 species of orchids. Your afternoon is free to explore more of Granada’s Colonial-era ambience at your own pace. Meals B

Day
13

Masaya Volcano and Colonial Leon

Explore Santiago Crater, active since 1946, and experience daily life at the Masaya Market, also a great place to find artisan handicrafts. In Leon, founded in 1524, you’ll visit the Cathedralc, the largest in Central America. Overnight at the charming El Convento Hotel. Meals B,L

Day
14

Juan Venado Nature Reserve

Explore by motorboat in this pristine reserve, where mangrove forests and a barrier island are home to abundant animal life. Return to Leon in the mid-afternoon. Meals B,L

Day
15

Farewell, Nicaragua

Our program finishes this morning. Meals B

Private Tour Add-Ons

Guanacaste's Glorious Beaches

Our 4-day FreeStyle Travel package includes a choice of fine beach resorts, daily breakfast and our signature private car transfers from the convenient Liberia Airport.

Tortuguero

Set along Costa Rica’s lesser-visited Atlantic coast, the tropical wetlands of Tortuguero National Park are sure to be a highlight of your travels! We include roundtrip transportation from San Jose, your choice of first class or superior first class lodge, 6 meals and naturalist-guided sightseeing.

Manuel Antonio

With its beautiful beaches, spectacular rocky headlands and dense tropical forests alive with wildlife, Manuel Antonio is a gem among Costa Rica’s National Parks! Enjoy roundtrip transfers from San Jose, your choice of first class or deluxe resort and two full days to experience the diverse wonders of the region!

MapSearch

 


Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Combine our limited-time pay-in-full discount with our Family & Friends offers and save even more:
  • Save $50 more per person when 3 guests go
  • Save $100 more per person with 4 people
  • Save $150 more per person with 5 people
  • Save $200 more per person with 6 or more people!

Similar Trips

Treasures of Nature in Costa Rica

With the most intimate groups to Costa Rica, our naturalist Trip Leader will introduce you to the country’s unique cultural heritage, pioneering conservation projects, and the remarkable diversity of its natural riches.