- Marvel at the Panama Canal, a 99-year-old engineering feat of epic proportions
- Discover Panama's enthralling history and gloriously rich indigenous cultures
- Savor Boquete's cool highland air and stunning forest as you hike in the realm of mighty Barú Volcano
- Enjoy a snorkel excursion to a secluded beach and relax at tropical retreats
- Visit a wildlife research and rehabilitation center to get up close and personal with Panamian species like the howler monkey
From the Canal to the Tropical Highlands & Islands
Let's explore a Caribbean rain forest in the morning. Then snorkel in the Pacific - we could ride our bikes there if we wanted to. Only 50 miles separate the two bodies of water, but let's fly instead. The wildlife in Panama is espectacular! The most diverse in Central America. In fact, it's "hyper-diverse." So are the population (seven native cultures!) and the landscapes (volcanoes, strings of islands and rain forest). Come hike and bike in the Chiriquí highlands. Relax on a secluded beach. ¿No habla español? No worries - English works here too. You'll fit right in. But feel like you're somewhere exotic. In Panama!
Day 1 Visit an indigenous Emberá village and learn about this community's culture and traditional cuisine Imagine you've stepped into the pages of National Geographic while cruising up the fabled Chagres River in a motorized dug-out canoe Marvel at the Panama Canal, a 99-year-old engineering feat of epic proportions Find out about the canal's historical significance, its construction and watershed during a private guided tour of the Miraflores Locks museum Enjoy dinner with a privileged view of the locks in action.
Days 2-3 Delight in Boquete's cool highland air and stunning forest as you hike and bike beneath mighty Barú Volcano, perhaps hearing the roar of howler monkeys Take a scenic flight to David in western Panama and shuttle into the vaulting Cordillera Central mountain range Tour and taste at Finca Lerida, a historic shade-grown coffee plantation.
Days 4-6 Boat from Boca Chica to a secluded beach and snorkel in the Chiriquí Gulf National Marine Park with a chance to see dolphins and colorful reef fish Descend by bike into the heart of the Chiriquí province, passing through coffee plantations and small towns set against a backdrop of towering volcanoes Enjoy one last hike at a private sanctuary that protects species like the howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, sloths, ocelots, and coatis that call Panama home.
Guests Reviews About This Trip
I thought the trip was amazing! The trip was really well thought out to show the wide diversity that Panama has to offer. Also all of the local guides we had were really able to add in-depth local knowledge. I thought the leaders went above and beyond to make sure we had the best possible experience... I wish they could be on all of our family vacations.- Bryn Mawr, PA
Our only question after our first Backroads trip - where are we going next!- Sioux Falls, SD
Casual & Premiere Inns*
Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Gamboa (1 night) Nestled within wildlife-rich Soberanía National Park, this stunning former residence of the Panama Canal's administrators has been restored to its 1930s splendor. (pool, spa)
Panamonte Inn & Spa
Boquete (2 nights) Since opening in 1914, this charming Colonial-style hotel - with beautiful gardens and a cool comfortable setting at 4,000 feet - has hosted such notable guests as Teddy Roosevelt and Charles Lindbergh. (spa)
Bocas del Mar
Boca Chica (2 nights) A boutique hotel with contemporary-styled bungalows, set amid gardens just steps from the water's edge. (pool)
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
|8 - 9 guests $4,098 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests $3,198 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests $3,798 pp dbl. occ.|
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
This Trip Is Rated Level 1-3
Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Embera cultural tour (4 hours)|
|5||Other||Boat excursion and snorkel - Archipelago de Chiriquí (5 hours)|
|Other||Afternoon optional activities (3 hours)|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 5% dirt and 95% paved).
* Includes a shuttle