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Panama Canal Cruise & Panama: A Continent Divided, Oceans United 2014

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Pre-trip: Bocas del Toro, Panama: Wild Archipelago

At Bocas del Toro, you’ll find the same crystal waters and lush greenery that enchanted Columbus 500 years ago, alongside a colorful contemporary calypso culture. Immerse yourself in an unspoiled paradise, and discover the tropical birds and sea creatures that thrive in this wild archipelago.

It's Included:
Roundtrip airfare between Bocas del Toro and Panama City
Accommodations: for 1 night in Panama City and 2 nights in Bocas del Toro
5 meals: 3 breakfasts and 2 lunches
Included tours: Starfish Beach, Dolphin watching, Coral reef snorkeling, Colon Island, Ngobe indigenous community
Exclusive services of an experienced Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
  • You'll depart from the U.S. and fly to Panama City. Your Grand Circle Program Director will meet your flight at the Panama City airport and help you transfer to our hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • Off the northwest coast of Panama, near its border with Costa Rica, lies the Bocas del Toro (literally, "mouth of the bull"): an archipelago of nine islands and some 200 smaller islets with long white-sand beaches, vivid coral reefs, sheltered lagoons, rain forest jungles, and a wealth of birds and wildlife. It was here that Panama created its first national marine park in 1988, preserving a unique ecosystem for future generations to enjoy. This pristine region has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.

    The largest and most developed island of the Bocas del Toro archipelago is Colón Island, whose capital, Bocas del Toro, is home to half the population of the archipelago. Once the headquarters for United Fruit, Bocas del Toro is renowned for its easygoing ambiance and leisurely pace of life. Once well off the beaten path, Bocas del Toro is just being discovered by international travelers, so the time to see it is now.

    After breakfast this morning, fly with your Program Director to Bocas del Toro to check into your hotel. We then travel by boat to Bocas del Drago, where you'll visit Starfish Beach in search of the giant red starfish. After lunch at a local restaurant, you'll have some free time for snorkeling, swimming, or beachcombing before you return to your hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • This morning, you’ll travel to Salt Creek, where you’ll visit with villagers from the indigenous Ngobe tribe. The villagers depend mostly on their canoes for fishing and transportation.

    You search for fish yourself when you continue your discoveries in Coral Key, where myriad colorful species, sea fans, and sponges, are known to thrive. Here, you'll snorkel among the coral reefs and have lunch at a local beach restaurant.

    After lunch, you’ll return to your Colon Island hotel. Enjoy the coral reefs and tropical beauty of this seashore resort, or explore the area’s main town.

    Dinner is on your own this evening.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, you'll enjoy some leisure time to explore the area around the hotel. After lunch on your own, you'll set out on a walking tour of the town of Bocas del Toro, followed by more time to make your own discoveries.

    Late this afternoon, fly to Panama City to begin your Panama Canal Cruise & Panama: A Continent Divided, Oceans United Small Ship Cruise Tour.