Panama Canal Cruise & Tour8 Days Tour from USD $1295#1 In Value

Dear Traveler, Welcome to a great vacation at an affordable price. Your Panama tour is fully guided and includes all meals, all hotels, and all activities. Happy Travels! Caravan
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Caret DownCaret Up Red2021 Daily Tour Itinerary

2021 Daily Tour Itinerary

Day 1 • Panama City, Panama

Welcome to fun, vibrant Panama, home to the Panama Canal, the most important waterway in the world. The Isthmus of Panama divides the North and South America continents. During your tour you'll take two daytime cruises on the Panama Canal, one through the canal locks and another on Gatun Lake. In Panama you'll see the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, stroll sandy beaches, explore rainforests, and meet the the native Embera tribe. Caravan provides transfers from Panama’s Tocumen Airport to your hotel for a two night stay. Rooms are available for check-in after 4:00 p.m. Join Caravan for an 8:00 p.m. welcome briefing. Dinner is served until 9:30 p.m. at your hotel.

  • Meals: Dinner
Panama Canal Gaillard Cut

Day 2 • Old Panama, Miraflores Locks

This morning, visit the ruins of Panama Viejo (Old Panama), the city founded by the Spanish in 1519, as a gateway for gold from the Inca Empire. Next, on your scenic drive of Panama City's bayfront, enjoy views of Casco Antiquo (The Old French Quarter) and today's modern skyline. Panama City is a blend of Manhattan, Miami, and Las Vegas seasoned with Latin American flavor and style. Lunch. Visit the Canal Museum at Miraflores, overlooking the Panama Canal locks. Learn about the Canal construction and operation. From Pre-Columbian times to the present day, Panama had a prominent role as the major transit route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Next, drive through the City of Knowledge, located on the former site of Fort Clayton, the headquarters of United States Army South. Enjoy dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 • Panama Canal Cruise - Gatun Lake

This morning cross the Isthmus to Colon, the Caribbean port at the north end of the Panama Canal. Your short drive through Colon passes by the Free Trade Zone, the largest in the Americas and the Panama Canal Railway Station. Visit the Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center. See the newly constructed locks at the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. Learn how the locks raise ships 87 feet above the Caribbean Sea on to the Panama Canal. Lunch. Afternoon boat ride on Gatun Lake, the artificial lake which forms part of the Panama Canal. See the lush jungle watershed region of the Panama Canal. Cruise through jungle canals and by hilltop islands, home to a variety of wildlife. Look for monkeys. Enjoy a relaxing two night stay at your resort located in the rainforest. Dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Gatun Locks

Day 4 • Panama Canal Cruise - Locks Transit

Today an unforgettable adventure as you cruise another portion of the Panama Canal. Cruise by the Bridge of the Americas, pass through Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks, and cross the Continental Divide. Then wind through the Gaillard Cut to the town of Gamboa. Your small passenger vessel allows for close-up views of the opening and closing of the huge six foot thick steel gates of both the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks. See, at eye-level, how transiting vessels are guided by tugboats and pulled by small trains. (Please note, route may be reversed.) Lunch. Return to your jungle resort. Stroll the gardens, swim in the pool, or enjoy the scenic views from your private balcony. Dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 • Embera Tribe, Playa Bonita

This morning, cruise on the Chagres River to visit an Embera tribal village. The Embera inhabit the rainforests of Panama. See exotic Embera handicrafts, such as tightly woven palm fiber baskets and carvings made form tagua nuts and the cocobolo tree. Lunch. Look for colorful butterflies on your visit to a butterfly garden. See rare tropical orchids at an orchid nursery. Visit a live jungle sloth exhibition. Next, cross over the Panama Canal on the Centenario Bridge. Continue to your beach hotel for a relaxing two night stay on the Pacific Coast. Dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 • Playa Bonita

Entire day at leisure to enjoy your beach resort. Swim in your hotel's infinity pool. Lunch. Enjoy a carefree afternoon. Time to beachcomb and enjoy your resort's amenities. Dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Playa Bonita

Day 7 • Handicrafts, Biodiversity Museum

Morning return to Panama City via the Bridge of the Americas. Enjoy spectacular views from Amador Causeway connecting Perico, Naos, Culebra and Flamenco Islands. Visit a Kuna tribal marketplace. Shop for colorful Kuna mola embroidery depicting rainforest animals and marine life, and exotic wood handicrafts. Lunch. Visit the world-renowned Museum of Biodiversity, designed by architect Frank Gehry. Enjoy a farewell dinner.

  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 • Panama City

Your tour ends after breakfast this morning at your hotel. Breakfast begins at 6:00 a.m. Caravan provides transfers to Panama’s Tocumen Airport, arriving at 5:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan.¡Hasta la vista!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Panama City Skyline

Two Daytime Cruises on the Panama Canal

With Caravan, you enjoy two daytime cruises on the Panama Canal. Your Panama Canal Gatun Lake Cruise is one hour by small watercraft. Your Panama Canal Locks Transit Cruise is usually three hours, depending on canal schedules. This is a public vessel so you may be joined by other tourists. The smaller size of the ship allows for unique close-up views of the opening and closing of the six foot thick steel gates of both the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks.

Gatun Locks
Playa Bonita
Panama City Skyline

Caret DownCaret Up Red2021 Hotels

2021 Hotels

Accommodations in the hotels and lodges are rooms with two beds and private bath or shower. A limited number of single rooms are available. Triple rooms are usually two beds, sometimes with a cot or rollaway.


Courtyard by Marriott Multiplaza Mall

Days 1, 2 • Panama City

Courtyard by Marriott Multiplaza Mall

Courtyard by Marriott Multiplaza Mall

The Courtyard by Marriott Panama City hotel is centrally located in Panama City, Panama. This modern hotel is near the business district and is located approximately 30-60 minutes from the Panama City Airport, depending on traffic. The hotel is adjacent to the Multi Plaza Pacific Mall, a large, upscale shopping mall featuring a movie theatre, many restaurants and over 200 stores. The Courtyard by Marriott Panama City amenities include a 24-hour business center, small fitness center, small outdoor plunge pool, restaurant, bar/lounge and a washer/dryer for guest use. All guest rooms are air-conditioned and feature a flat screen TV, in-room safe, hair dryer, iron/ironing board and a coffee/tea maker. Free internet access.


Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Days 3, 4 • Gamboa

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is located in Soberania National Park, in the heart of Panama's rain forest. The resort is just north of the Continental Divide, on the banks of the Chagres River, near where it flows into Lake Gatun and the Panama Canal. Guest rooms feature a hammock and patio furniture on a private balcony with park and river views. All rooms are air-conditioned and include a mini-bar, in-room safe, hairdryer, iron/ironing board, coffeemaker, and satellite television. All rooms are non-smoking. Resort amenities include a large outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, beautiful gardens, and walking and jogging trails. Fitness equipment, a hot tub, thermal bath and sauna are available at the full service spa. For a fee, the spa offers massage, a beauty salon, body and facial treatments. Guided fishing in the Panama Canal is also available for a fee. Free internet access.


Westin Playa Bonita Resort

Days 5, 6 • Playa Bonita

Westin Playa Bonita Resort

Westin Playa Bonita Resort

The Westin Playa Blanca Resort is a spectacular new beach resort located on Panama's Pacific coast. From the grand lobby you have sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Resort amenities include a private beach, multiple outdoor pools, swim-up bar, lounges, fitness center, beauty salon, and spa with massage services. The spacious guest rooms are air-conditioned and have cable TV. Free internet access.


InterContinental Miramar Panama

Day 7 • Panama City

InterContinental Miramar Panama

InterContinental Miramar Panama

The modern InterContinental Miramar hotel is located in Panama City in the middle of Panama Bay. Panoramic water and city views abound. A short stroll from the hotel takes you to the scenic walkway on Panama Bay . The InterContinental Miramar has tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, a beauty salon, and fitness center with massage, sauna, Jacuzzi, and Turkish bath. All rooms are air-conditioned, and feature cable TV, in-room safe, hair dryer, iron/ironing board and a coffee maker. Free internet access.

Caret DownCaret Up RedAirport Transfers

Airport Transfers

arrival Transfers

Caravan's vacation packages include arrival transfers from Tocumen Panama International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama to the Courtyard by Marriott in Panama City on the day the tour begins. See Travel Tips for more details.

departure Transfers

Caravan's vacation packages include departure transfers from the Intercontinental Miramar hotel in Panama City to Tocumen Panama International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama arriving at 5:30 am, 8:00 am and 11:00 am. on the day the tour ends. See Travel Tips for more details.

Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan.

Caret DownCaret Up RedPassports & Visas

Passports & Visas

Panama requires a current U.S. passport valid for six months after your date of entry. Non-U.S. citizens ask your Travel Agent or call the local Panamanian Consulate about necessary documents and visas. It is recommended that children under 18 years old traveling internationally without both parents or legal guardians, carry a notarized letter of authorization signed by the missing parent(s) or guardian(s). A notarized birth certificate showing only one parent, a parent’s death certificate, or a court order of child custody may also be permissible. Failure to have proper documentation could result in denial of boarding by the airline, due to international child protection laws. See Travel Tips for more details.

Caret DownCaret Up RedWeather & Clothing

Weather & Clothing

Temperature °F (high/low) Rainfall (inches)

Panama City
TempRain
Jan87/751.6
Feb89/750.6
Mar91/750.6
Apr91/753.4
May87/757.9
Jun86/757.5
Jul87/757.3
Aug86/757.8
Sep86/757.1
Oct84/7510.3
Nov86/758.9
Dec87/755.3

Temperature °F (high/low) Rainfall (inches)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Panama City
temp87/7589/7591/7591/7587/7586/7587/7586/7586/7584/7586/7587/75
rainfall1.60.60.63.47.97.57.37.87.110.38.95.3

Clothing Tips

This is a predominantly casual tour. Casual wear is suggested for sightseeing and daytime travelling. Dress code for most evenings is smart casual. See Travel Tips for more details.

Caret DownCaret Up RedTravel Tips & FAQs

Travel Tips & FAQs

These are only the first 7 Travel Tips. Read all 63 Travel Tips

My Tour Price Includes

Virtually everything! Hotels, all meals, all of the activities described in the itinerary pages, airport transfers in select cities, gratuities to hotel porters, restaurant staff and local guides. Caravan’s professional Tour Directors and local guides will be with you every step of the way, ensuring a worry free vacation. They are fluent in English, experienced and fun, ensuring a worry-free vacation.

My Tour Price Does Not Include

Prices do not include air travel, country entry or departure fees, airport porters, visas, phone calls, valet, laundry, all items of a personal nature, extra food and beverages not on the regular menu, and tips to the Caravan Tour Director and Driver. General fees and taxes are additional and listed separately beneath each tour’s price.

Caravan’s $99 Protection Plan Offers Peace of Mind

Caravan’s Travel Protection Plan offers peace of mind if you cancel for any reason whatsoever prior to the departure of the tour. The travel protection plan also includes air, baggage, evacuation and medical coverage. The cost is $99.

Age of Travelers on a Caravan Tour

Usually, you find a mix of different age adult travelers on a Caravan Tour. Children age five (5) and over are welcome, and children usually join tours offered during Christmas holidays, summer vacation and spring break vacation.

A Well-Paced Itinerary

A well-paced and unhurried itinerary is our goal, after all, you are on vacation! Touring days begin and end at reasonable hours and include frequent stops. While the occasional early morning departure is necessary, we do our best to ensure a leisurely vacation.

Preparing for the Tropics

It is recommended to bring at least one pair of quick-dry pants and one quick-dry shirt. The quick-dry pants that zip at the knee to convert into shorts are particularly popular. Be sure to also bring a sweater or jacket for the cooler night temperatures. Caravan does not make product endorsements, but many Central Americans feel that Avon Skin So Soft oil (not cream), or Avon's Expedition anti-mosquito spray is effective protection against mosquito bites in the jungle. Caravan does not endorse any vitamin, but please note that Central American pharmacies sell 500 milligram vitamin B-1 tablets, a non-prescription vitamin, as "anti-mosquito" pills. Many Guatemalans take Vitamin B-1 pills and eat garlic for about two weeks prior to and during their visits to the jungle because they believe that the smell of Vitamin B-1 and garlic repels mosquitoes. If you believe this may be of value, consult your doctor for further information on Vitamin B-1 and garlic. Guatemalans also avoid eating bananas in the rainforest, as it is believed that this smell attracts mosquitoes. Also, it is wise to wear light-weight quick-dry long-sleeved pants and shirts in these tropical areas.

Meals

Included meals for each tour are listed at the end of each day. Meals are shown by B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). All meals in Latin America are included. Many meals are included in the USA and Canada. Full, buffet, or deluxe continental breakfasts are included everywhere. Coffee and tea are provided at all meals. In Latin America, bottled water is provided free on the motorcoach and purified water is provided at the meals. Alcoholic beverages are not included unless specified.

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Customer Reviews

These are only the first 7 Customer Reviews. Read all 185 Customer Reviews

"Amazing. Going through the Canal was the thrill of a lifetime. This was our first trip with Caravan and we will be taking another adventure with you. The Canal locks were the highlight of the trip. Couldn’t ask for better accommodations, the hotels were all topnotch. Enjoyed all the meals, something for everyone. Friends told us about Caravan and they were 100% right. We will be telling all my other friends about Caravan Panama."

Mr. & Mrs. G.S., Ormond Beach, Florida

"This was our third Caravan tour and once again, it was wonderful. The detailed schedules and activities allow us to enjoy the tour with no concerns about logistics. Wonderful job of providing background and history. Every meal offered tremendous variety and diverse regional cuisine of Panama. Thanks to our Director and the many people helping with the tour, we learned a lot, experienced wonderful opportunities, and enjoyed local culture."

Mr. & Mrs. M.L., Brussels, Wisconsin

"Panama is a spectacular place. The hotels were beautiful, the last one being the best I’ve ever stayed in. The food and drink was great. We had such an informed director, he knew history and current affairs. Very helpful and always there if needed. This was a wonderful tour that I will remember."

Ms. M.N., Buffalo, New York

"Panama: a WONDER of the world! A fantastic week - expertly planned and executed! From history, observation and riding through canal, with additional side events...awesome!! A most memorable experience."

Ms. P.M., Winnetka, Illinois

"This was my fifth tour with Caravan. They have all provided wonderful opportunities to see spectacular scenery, enjoy the cuisine, and interact with local culture. The guides are professional, personable, competent and enhance the tours. Our canal transit was great as we had informative visits to the locks as well as the history to place the canal and its technologies in meaningful context."

Mr. J.D., Upton, Massachusetts

"I selected this trip as an alternative to taking a cruise which visited the canal. What’s not to like about this trip? It totally went beyond my expectations. It provided so much more than the cruise we were considering. I am glad I found Caravan to give you a try. Our party of four would at dinner each night, review and evaluate the day, giving each other a high point or low point of the day. This was the first time trying to come up with a low was extremely difficult. Caravan has got traveling down to an artform."

Mr. & Mrs. D.G., Rockville, Maryland

"We have fallen in love with guided tours. We don’t know how Caravan does it. We wanted to see the Panama Canal and we got to see every angle. Everything planned perfectly. The entertainment at night was very interesting, showing pride in the Panama culture. There is not enough space about our amazing tour director. His heart and soul was into the tour and travelers, his experience shows. Not only did we learn from the trip, we learned from fellow travelers. They became our family for a week."

Mr. & Mrs. D.M., Tampico, Illinois

Read All 185 ReviewsClick Here to Read All 185 Customer Reviews

Caret DownCaret Up RedWhy Travel with Caravan?

Why Travel with Caravan?

Excellence Since 1952

You can trust our years of experience with tours of superb quality and excellent value. Caravan has enjoyed the same family management and ownership since 1952.

PanAm Jet
In 1959, Pan Am invited Caravan to be the very first tour company to fly their clients on its new line of Clipper Jets.
Vintage Motorcoach
In 1964, Caravan introduced the very first fleet of air conditioned motorcoaches in all of Europe.
Leather Back Turtle Park
Caravan is a proud supporter of the Leatherback Turtle National Park and Costa Rica's efforts to protect this endangered giant.
Federal Reserve Bank Of Chicago

Caravan Care

For your safety, Caravan cancelled most 2020 and all 2021 tour departures and refunded 100% of all payments received. See Caravan’s Covid-19 Update.

Caravan's Proud History

In 1965, Roger Mudd hosted a two-hour CBS TV special on Caravan Tours. This TV production took about one month to make and was so successful it inspired the 1968 romantic comedy movie “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium.” In the early 50’s the Mayor of Dublin presented Caravan with the Key to Dublin for bringing the first American tour to the city after WWII. Since then, Caravan has been recognized as a pioneer in travel. You can trust in our stability, experience and dedication to quality.

Great Hotels

Stay at park lodges, scenic resorts, and excellent hotels in great locations. See hotel descriptions on each tour page.

Meals

In Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala, Caravan includes all meals. For USA and Canada tours, included meals are listed on each itinerary page. In Latin America, bottled water is provided free on the motorcoach and purified water is provided at the meals.

Complete Sightseeing

Enjoy complete sightseeing with more visits, extra features, and local guides.

Fully Guided by Tour Directors

All tours conducted from start to finish by professional tour directors, who are fluent in English, experienced, and fun.

All-inclusive

Caravan includes all activities listed in the tour itinerary page. Caravan does not sell any optional activities which can add hundreds of dollars to your tour price. Your free time is scheduled in great settings where there is no need to buy additional expensive activities.

Shopping Freedom

Caravan will not bring you to overpriced shops in exchange for payments. Caravan gives you ample opportunity and time for great shopping, and the freedom to choose where and when to shop.

Great Value, Book Early

Caravan’s strong buying power gives you great vacations at prices much lower than you can find anywhere. In a typical year, most of our tours sell out quickly. Book early for the date you prefer and the best air fare.

How does Caravan Tours sell these tours for such a low cost?

Caravan delivers volume to our suppliers, who in turn reward us with their very best prices. We in turn pass these savings on to you, and you reward us by buying our tours. As volume continues to rise, we then receive even better prices from our suppliers, and we pass even greater savings on to you. This year our tours are better than ever.

Trade Association Memberships

Caravan Tours is a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), NTA (National Tour Association), CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), and an allied member of ACTA (Alliance of Canadian Travel Agencies).

ASTA, ACTA, CLIA, and NTA