Take an all inclusive, fully guided Panama vacation with Caravan Tours and your Panama Canal hotels are included.

Our Caravan Panama Canal tour is one of the most economical options for vacationing in this beautiful Central American country. Our tour guests stay at some of the finest hotels in Panama including:

  • Marriott Courtyard Panama
  • Gamboa Rainforest Resort
  • Westin Playa Bonita Resort
  • Intercontinental Miramar Panama

For one low, all inclusive tour price, your Caravan vacation includes all Panama Canal hotel accommodations plus all itinerary excursions, transportation, food, and hotel transfers.

In fact, the tour price for this fully guided Latin America vacation is usually less than the price you would have to pay just for hotel accommodations if you were travel this tour on your own.

Below is an overview of the all inclusive Panama Canal hotels you’ll get to enjoy as our guest.

Marriott Courtyard Panama City

Guests of the Marriot Courtyard in Panama City can enjoy luxurious hotel accommodations along with the modern flair this Spanish city has to offer. A short half hour drive from Panama City Airport, the Marriott Courtyard hotel is in the heart of Panama City’s business district and features upscale shopping within a five-minute walk. This Panama Marriott Hotel features many modern conveniences:

  • 24-hour business center
  • Fitness center
  • Outdoor pool
  • Restaurant bar and lounge
  • Air-conditioned rooms with access to WiFi and laundry amenities

Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Following your cruise to Colon on the Caribbean coast, you’ll head back for a 2-night stay at Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This is one of the most unique eco-lodge resorts near Panama’s Soberania National Park Rainforest. There are just 166 rooms. The suites have a rustic-elegance yet, they are outfitted with all the modern comforts you would want, including:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Wi-Fi
  • Flat screen satellite television
  • Sensory Spa by Clarins

Westin Playa Bonita Resort

This beachfront five-star Panama Canal hotel is located just 16 km from downtown Panama City and offers 611 Spanish colonial-style rooms. This spectacular new Panama beach resort hotel is located on the Pacific Coast and offers guests:

  • WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio
  • Rotating schedule of activities
  • 4 beachfront swimming pools
  • Playa Bonita Beach (just steps from the resort hotel’s pool area)

Intercontinental Miramar Panama

This is one of the most luxurious Panama Canal hotels overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Bay of Panama. The Intercontinental Miramar Hotel offers spacious suites with ocean views allowing you to watch vessels enter the canal. Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts are known around the world as an international luxury hotel brand and Caravan tour guests are treated to all the finest amenities during their last night in Panama City. Amenities include:

  • Tennis Courts
  • Sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish Bath
  • Air-conditioned rooms

About Caravan Tours

Caravan Tours is a second generation family owned tour company that has been offering all inclusive, fully guided vacation packages throughout North and Central America since 1952.

Fully escorted, all inclusive Panama Vacations by Caravan Tours currently feature these four Panama Canal hotels. While our all inclusive tours are filled with exceptional site seeing and adventures, guests can still relax and enjoy 2 consecutive night stays.

Visit Caravan’s Panama Cruise FAQ page for more details about this all inclusive Panama Canal vacation.

Or, call our Caravan office at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to request a brochure.

Casco Viejo is the “Old Quarter” in Panama City; the capital of Panama.

It may be said of many places in the world that a visitor would feel like they were “stepping back in time” when they visit. for the very first time. The Old Quarter is such a place.

Casco Viejo is a World Heritage Site and generally described as the historic center of a very modern city. It is also a popular destination on many Panama tours and features homes with unique balconies that are simply overflowing with flowers.

Many of the building structures in Casco Viejo Panama were built in the French style and during a period of strong French influence. The unique ambience of Casco Viejo resembles the more-famous French Quarter of New Orleans.

In recent years lucky travellers have discovered exceptional entertainment at the many new night clubs, restaurants and shopping opportunities now available in the “Old Quarter.”

Gold Altar of San Jose Cathedral

San Jose Cathedral is just a short distance away from Casco Viejo. Visitors come to San Jose Cathedral to see the Gold Altar, an example of fine woodcarving that is gilded with real gold.

Other visitors set aside time to visit the Presidential House, which is open for tours on Sunday.

La Vieja – Old Panama

Panama La Vieja or Old Panama is the name given to a part of the city located on the Pacific Coast. The strong Spanish influence is still visible here with a history that goes back hundreds of years to the time when expeditions passed through or stopped on their way to find gold and silver.

The historic Old Panama district, firmly settled in modern Panama City, has its own pattern of streets and buildings that invoke a much different lifestyle than what one finds in the modern metropolis.

Tourists to Panama’s La Vieja (which means “old woman” will find the ruins of the old cathedral and bell tower still standing, along with the residence known as the Bishop’s House. You can view photos here.

Old Panama’s Kuna Market

While visiting Casco Viejo and Old Panama many visitors enjoy some leisure time at the Kuna Market. The market features unique crafts, fresh produce, and other items that showcase the exceptional talent of the Kuna native population.

At one point in their history, the native Kuna people could be found in many other areas of the country but they now live primarily in the northern section of Panama as well as part of the San Blas Archipelago.

Panama Canal Museum

No visit to Panama or Panama City would be complete without some quality time in the Panama Canal Museum. Formally called the Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum, this institution is conveniently located in the Casco Viejo area, near Plaza de la Independencia.

Regarded as one of the best museums in the country, the Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum provides a detailed history of the construction and operation of this massive early 20th century project. With exhibits on two floors, the Panama Canal Museum does offer some English information but much of the text is in Spanish. For two dollars visitors can get a rather thorough education on the canal, its history, and construction.

Casco Viejo Part of Caravan Panama Tours

Panama City, Old Panama and Casco Viejo are included as part of Caravan Tours’ all inclusive Panama Tours. These are fully escorted 8-day tours, which are exceptionally priced starting at just $1,295 and include all hotels, meals, and itinerary excursions.

Visit Panama Tours Reservations to check tour availability.

Call Caravan toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

old panama city

Old Panama and Panama City may well be some of the best unknown jewels of Central America, if not the world; yet to be discovered by vacationing world travellers.

Panama City

Some visitors to the capital have described it as a cosmopolitan metropolis, small in size but rivalling some of the world’s better known and favorite tourist cities. The city’s population is approximately half a million making it less congested and more attractive to visitors as well as new residents.

Panama City has retained its old world heritage charm yet it is modern in all the right ways. Tocumen International Airport offers efficient airport service and the city has strong financial and Internet communications, excellent entertainment facilities, plus modern hotels and restaurants to rival any large city.

In fact, this capital city consistently rated as one of the world’s optimal locations for retirement and boasts a vibrant stable economy. Surprisingly, many of the sights, tourist attractions and activities of here remain relatively unknown to most travellers.

While the majority of Central American tourism focuses on the beaches, rainforests, and biodiversity of Guatemala and Costa Rica, Panama has been slowly coming into its own.

Nonetheless, Panama City has earned its reputation as a symbol of American culture and was chosen as the American Capital of Culture for 2003.

Old Panama – Casco Viejo

The capital’s “old quarter” is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is commonly referred to as Old Panama or Casco Viejo. This is actually the original site of the first Spanish settlement that served as the base for the Spanish conquest over the Inca Empire back in the early 1500s.

Casci Viejo was the first European settlement in Central America and became an important trade route especially for the export of Central American gold and silver to Europe.

Over the past five hundred years the unique architecture of Old Panama developed into a pleasing blend of Caribbean, Spanish Colonial, and French Art Deco however, centuries of marauding pirates and fires have created many architectural ruins that continue to attract tourists and history buffs from around the globe.

The remains of the original cathedral, a bell tower and the bishop’s house still stand. Current residents here offer local crafts and market goods all along the ocean front near the architectural ruins.

French Quarter

Casco Viejo is considered to be the historic hub of this capital city. French-period homes in this part of Old Panama have marvellous balconies and line the narrow streets. This a popular place for strolling and taking in the unique atmosphere. The area is sometimes described as the “French Quarter” in reference to the historic and exciting section of New Orleans. There are plenty of opportunities for shopping, along with good restaurants and clubs.

Other Old Panama Attractions

The Golden Altar of Iglesia San Jose is another popular tourist attraction, as is the Vasco Nunez de Balboa Park, a monument to the explorer of the same name. Vasco Nunez de Balboa is believed to be the first European person to see the Pacific coast of Central America in 1513. The Balboa statue stands above the bay and its well-maintained flowerbeds and plant displays are a good photo opportunity.

Caravan All Inclusive Panama Tours

Whether you go to Panama City for the modern metropolis, or to explore the history and architecture of Old Panama, you will surely not be disappointed.

Both destinations are included as part of Caravan Tours’ all inclusive Panama Tours. These fully escorted 8-day tours are exceptionally priced, starting at just $1,295.

Visit our Tours Reservations to check availability.

Or call Caravan toll-free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826).

Embera Village on Chagres River Panama

Although visitors to this central American country generally overlook the significance of the Chagres River Panama, we have included a river cruise on our fully guided Caravan Panama tour.

Our begins in Panama City, which is recognized internationally as a great place to live, work and even retire. As well, the architectural ruins and old world heritage buildings of Old Panama (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) continually attract tourists from around the globe.

Panama also gained worldwide recognition in 1914 with the opening of the Panama Canal, an engineering marvel that forever changed shipping and marine transportation between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

However, there is much more to this country than the historical ruins and man-made wonders and that’s why we have included a Chagres River Panama cruise on our tour.

Chagres River

Panama’s Chagres River cuts through central Panama, crossing the continental divide before draining into the Caribbean Sea. The Chagres River is an integral part of the Panama Canal. The construction of the Gatun Dam across the Chagres River created what at the time was the world’s largest artificial lake. Gatun Lake has since become an important waterway for the tens of thousands of ships and boats that traverse the Panama Canal annually.

National Park

The Panama Canal watershed is vital to the continued operation of the Panama Canal. In an effort to protect the natural forests and to ensure sufficient water supply to maintain water levels for the operation of the Panama Canal, the Panamanian government created the Chagres National Park in 1985. Although much of the surrounding environment was disturbed during canal construction, modern day efforts have been made to maintain and restore this important natural resource.

This glorious area and the virgin rainforest jungles of Chagres National Park are the native habitat of many unique species. There’s always a chance you’ll spot the elusive jaguar, a tapir, or several exotic species of monkeys, river otters, and colorful birds. Panama is a nature-lover’s paradise!

Chagres River Bridges

There are two main bridges that span across the Chagres River. The Bridges of the Americas was completed in 1962 and connects the North American continent with the South American continent. The second bridge is part of the Pan-American Highway. It is the newly constructed (2004) Centennial Bridge located just nine miles north of the Bridge of the Americas. Centennial Bridge was constructed to relive the traffic congestion of the older Bridges of the Americas.

Embera Indian Village

The Embera Indians of Panama are unique culturally and one of the original pre-Colombian indigenous peoples of the Central America. The Embera inhabit the lush tropical rainforests of Panama and a short Piedras river trip will bring you to thatched huts of an authentic Embera Indian village.

Here, deep in the rainforests of Panama, where the Embera Indians co-exist with nature and the River, little has changed in the past 500 years since Columbus first discovered America. Piedras River is much smaller than the Chagres River and a little removed from the international attention and congestion of the Panama Canal. The Piedras River is a naturally protected setting and well worth the visit.

River Wildlife

There are more than 240 species of reptiles and over 10,000 different types of plants, floral and fauna in Panama. Caravan Panama tours along the Chagres river also offers plenty of opportunity for visitors to witness the Harpy Eagle (the national bird of Panama) along with howler monkeys, toucans, and many other indigenous members of the wildlife population.

Caravan Panama Tour

River cruises along the Peidras and Chagres River Panama are included as part of our all inclusive Panama Tours. These are exceptionally priced, fully escorted 8-day vacations by Caravan Tours, starting at just $1,295.

To check tour availability, call Caravan toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) or visit Panama Tours Reservations.

panama canal locks cruise

A good number of the 15,000 ships that pass through its three sets of locks annually are now Panama Canal cruises that cater to tourists from around the globe.

Since its completion in 1914, the Panama Canal remains as one of man’s most incredible engineering marvels.

Prior to the building of the Panama Canal ships from North and Central America that wanted to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had to endure the long and arduous journey around the southern tip of South America.

The distance a ship takes from the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal is less than 50 miles; considerably less than the 5000+ mile journey around South America. What used to take weeks can now be travelled in a matter of hours.

The Panama Canal is one of man’s largest and most sophisticated engineering feats.

Canal Route

The Panama Canal operates year round and in recent years Panama Canal cruises have become increasingly popular. Most cruises along the Panama Canal include shore excursions. On Panama’s naturally beautiful, sun drenched coasts, vacationers can enjoy Panama’s rich culture and bewitching natural beauty.

Miraflores Locks – Panama Canal cruise ships entering from the Gulf of Panama on the Pacific side, travel approximately eight miles inland to reach the first set of locks, the two-stage Miraflores locks.

Petro Miguel Lock – After cruise ships traverse the mile long Miraflores Lake they must pass through the single stage Pedro Miguel lock before entering the eight mile, manmade Culebra Cut, which crosses the Continental Divide.

Gatun Locks – The next leg of the journey is along the five mile Chagres River into Lake Gatun, a 20 mile wide (33 mile long) artificial lake created when the Gatun Dam was built across the Chagres River. Panama Canal cruise ships then make the last leg of the journey through the three stage Gatun locks which leads them back down to sea level on the Caribbean side at Limon Bay.

Types of Panama Canal Cruises

There are many tour operators that offer a variety of Panama cruise deals. The itinerary and shore excursions for Panama Canal cruises will vary but may include such popular ports of call as Aruba, Belize City, Cabo San Lucas, Cartagena Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Zihuatanejo, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Puerto Vallarta, Puntarenas and St. Thomas.

Themed excursions are also available that allow tourists to discover a world of ancient wonders such as Mayan ruins and world of the Inca bathed in the soul stirring beauty of the Caribbean.

Some Panama Canal cruises last for the entire vacation where vacationers remain with the ship except for various shore excursions.

Other Panama cruises are much shorter and may be part of an all inclusive vacation package tour. Our Caravan Panama Canal cruises are all inclusive and fully escorted.

All Inclusive Tours

Caravan’s Panama Canal fully guided tour also includes a jungle cruise along the Chagres River to visit an authentic Embera Indian village. From Panama City, our tour guests will also explore places like Panama Viejo (Old Panama), Bridge of Americas, Gamboa Rainforest, Colon, and Playa Bonita.

A Panama Canal cruise is included as part of Caravan Tours’ All Inclusive Panama Package Tour. This is a fully escorted 8-day package tour exceptionally priced, starting at just $1,295.

Caravan Tours offers All Inclusive Vacation Packages throughout Central and North America, including Canada.

Call toll free, 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to make a reservation or for more tour information.


Caravan Tours offers 3 different fully guided all inclusive Central America vacations including:

  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Guatemala

Central America, otherwise known as Latin America, is classified as a biodiversity hotspot extending from Guatemala in the north down to Panama in the south.

As one of only 25 biodiversity hotspot areas in the world, this sub-continent contains over 1,500 species of plants.

To preserve this fragile but attractive biodiversity, many countries within Central America, including Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama have embraced eco-tourism and actively promote Central America vacations to travelers around the world.

Panama Vacations

Panama is a vibrant and lively country that is famous for accommodating over 14,000 vessels that pass through its waters each year thanks to the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal and its amazing lock systems has proven to be a popular Central America attraction but Panama’s biodiversity has even more to offer when holidaying in this beautiful country:

Panama Rainforests – The rainforests border both sides of the Panama Canal. Because the canal acts as a bridge between Central and South America, Panama Central America vacations often include guided tours of the Panama rainforests, which have a wide range of plant and animal species including jaguars, armadillos and howler monkeys.

Gatun Lake and Embera Indian Village – Man-made Gatun Lake is over 33 kilometers long and guides vessels through the Isthmus of Panama. Panama vacations also include a rainforest cruise on the Chagres River to visit an authentic Embera Indian village..

Central America vacations to Panama may also include other popular tourist attractions including Panama City (Old Panama), Panama Canal Cruises, Gamboa Rainforest, and Playa Blanca. Read more information here.

Costa Rica Vacations

The name Costa Rica literally means “Rich Coast” and despite its small size (only 20,000 square miles), Costa Rica is full of major ecological attractions. Eco-tourism vacations can include:

Leatherback Turtle Marine National Park – Located in Guanacaste, Leatherback Turtle National Park is part of a wildlife refuge and was created in 1991 to help protect the nesting grounds of the Giant Leatherback turtle, which can grow up to 11 feet long and over 1100 pounds. Come vacation in Costa Rica during nesting season, which is any time between September and March. This national park also protects 174 bird species, plus monkeys and crocodiles and numerous other indigenous wildlife..

Poás and Arenal Volcanoes – Poás Volcano, with its mile wide crate, is located in the middle of Costa Rica and has the world’s largest active crater, which is capable of shooting 800 foot geysers. Arenal Volcano is northwest of San Jose and features three craters and holds a place among the top ten active volcanoes in the world.

Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge – The best Costa Rica Central America vacations include a chance to float down the Rio Frio River through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge where you can spot crocodiles, lizards that walk on water, spider monkeys and reclusive jaguars (from a safe distance, of course).

Costa Rica Central America tours may also include a trip through Guanacaste tropical rainforests, plus the rainforest near Arenal and the Escallonia cloud forests.

Guatemala Vacations

With a landscape shaped by sandy dunes, hilly valleys, rivers and highlands, Guatemala is an exciting place to travel and explore on any Central America vacation.

Guatemala’s amazing landscape includes Lake Atitlán, the deepest lake in all of Central America, which is uniquely surrounded by three of Guatemala’s volcanoes.

As well, the neighboring villages around Lake Atitlán have maintained their true Mayan culture.

The focus of most Guatemalan Central America vacations is generally on the ancient Tikal and Mayan Ruins of Guatemala. The village of Antigua has a real colonial feel to it the designation as world heritage sites help protect national monuments such as the ruins of the Temple of the Grand Jaguar and Plaza of the Seven Temples.

Central America Vacation Packages

Caravan Tours offers the best Central America vacations plus tour packages throughout the continental United States and Canada.

Ranging from 8 to 10 day fully escorted tours, these Central America vacations offer significant savings and are especially welcoming to seniors, families and groups.

Call toll free, 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to book your Central America vacation today.

One of the comments made by travelers on Caravan Panama vacations is the surprise at how quickly Panama City’s downtown core and metropolitan area turns into lush rainforest.

More and more travelers from around the world come to vacation in Panama City. The vacation here to take in the many surrounding tourist attractions such as the Panama Canal or the Bridge of Americas. However, in most cases, it is the natural beauty of the country that is impressed upon their minds as they leave.

A popular must-see natural attraction in Panama is Monkey Island located in Gatun Lake within the Gamboa rainforest – just 40 minutes from Panama City.

Gatun Lake Tours – Featuring Monkey Island

When the Gatun Dam was built in the early 1900’s it stopped the Chagres River from flowing into the Caribbean Sea. The dam created Gatun Lake, which at the time was the world’s largest man-made lake. Gatun Lake is still one of the 5 must-see man made wonders in Panama.

Today Gatun Lake is an invaluable asset to the Panama Canal as each year it carries tens of thousands of vessels through 33 kilometers of their journey across the Isthmus of Panama.

Clues as to what the Chagres Valley might have looked like over a century ago, before the lake was created, are visible on a Panama boat cruise across Gutan Lake. Century old trees can be spotted floating to the surface of the water. For this reason there is a clearly marked channel to keep ships on track and out of trouble as they cross Gatun Lake. Small vessels, in particular, are susceptible to getting caught up in the debris.

Other clues include are the small islands that were once the peaks of the surrounding Chagres Valley hill tops. The peaks from the valley jut out of the lake’s water surface and form rainforest “hilltop islands.”

The most famous hilltop island in Gatun Lake is Monkey Island – known for its large population of monkeys. Some may say the island is infested but most tourists are delighted at the chance to see a variety of monkeys while on their boat tour.

Monkey Island Boat Tour

Most Gatun Lake tours make a stop at Monkey Island and allow passengers to get an up-close encounter with the island’s monkey population. The monkeys are known to be somewhat curious of tourists coming up to their island and often adventurously crawl into the boats to interact.

Monkey Island is home to four species of monkeys:

Gray-Bellied Night Monkey – Also known as the Lemurine Owl Monkey this specie is native to Panama. Vacationers often miss seeing this monkey because it sleeps during the day and hunts for food at night. You may expect the monkey to have a gray belly but in fact it has a gray coat on its back that turns into a reddish-brown coat on its underside. Unfortunately, the gray-bellied night monkey is vulnerable to becoming extinct in the future.

White-Faced Capuchin Monkey – Also known as the white-throated capuchin or white-headed capuchin because of its primarily ‘white’ upper body. These monkeys are very social and live in groups of about 20 throughout Central and South America. The lifespan of the Capuchin Monkey in Gatun averages about 50 years.

Mantled Howler Monkey – The Howler monkey often likes to make an appearance for vacationers on Gatun Lake Tours. Many agree that the Howler Monkey is the loudest animal in all of Panama as it communicates through a loud sound audible up to 5 kilometers away. You will likely hear the Howler Monkeys communicating with each other from your boat on Gatun Lake!

Tamarin Monkey – Found only in Panama and Colombia this is the smallest monkey in all of Central America. The Tamarin monkey especially enjoys the moist tropical rainforests located along the Panama Canal. If you take Gutan Lake tour between April and June you may see a Mother with her young, as this is their birthing season.

Wikipedia offers additional information on the Panamanian Monkey Species.

Other Wildlife Near Monkey Island

The rainforest covered hilltop islands of Gutan Lake are also home to a diverse variety of other wildlife besides monkeys. Green iguanas, three-toed sloths, crocodiles, osprey and Keel-Billed toucans can also be spotted by visiting spectators on Gatun Lake Tours.

A boat tour guide familiar with the islands and the island inhabitants are a great resource to learn about Panama’s ecosystem and its diversity. As most Gatun Lake Cruises use small 10 to 20 passenger vessels, the tour is often quite interactive and there is rarely a “bad seat” on the boat.

Caravan Panama Vacations Include Monkey Island

A Gatun Lake cruise with a visit to Monkey Island is included in Caravan Tour’s all inclusive Panama Vacations. Exceptionally priced and fully escorted, these Panama vacations are a great value; priced from just $1,295.

Call Caravan Tours Toll Free at 1-888-CARAVAN (227-2826) for Panama tour reservations or to check tour date availability.

butterfly in panama rainforest

Apart from the canal, your Panama rainforest vacation will also highlight the area’s colorful sights, sounds, and natural wildlife. Many argue that Panama’s rainforests are the most studied and observed in the world. Did you know that the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is located in Balboa, Panama?

Unfortunately Panama rainforests have been seriously affected by Canal construction and use. When the canal was first built, large portions of the rainforests were flooded and incurred significant losses in both biodiversity and forest coffee.

Today, Panama rainforests cover approximately 58% of the country’s land area.

Panama Rainforest Biodiversity

On your Panama rainforest vacation you’ll discover that both sides of the Panama Canal are host to a diverse community of wildlife and plants. One reason these rainforests are home to such a rich biodiversity is because of their geographic location. Panama acts as a land bridge for animals moving in between North and South America. Many species tend to mingle with each other in Panama.

Some of the most popular rare and exotic species you would expect to see in Panama might include jaguars, tapirs, deer, anteaters, armadillos, capuchin and howler monkeys. On your Panama Canal cruise across Gatun Lake you will also pass by Monkey Island.

That is not to say there isn’t so much more lurking in the forests. Panama is home to:

  • 9,915 plant species
  • 218 mammal species
  • 302 bird species
  • 242 reptile species
  • 182 amphibian species

Panama rainforests are not only home to all these species but the rainforests also help to reduce erosion and sedimentation into the Panama Canal. Without these rainforests, Panama’s transport system and its biodiversity would be adversely affected.

Rainforest Hikes and Panam Cruises

All visitors enjoying a Panama rainforest vacation should take time to enjoy the natural biodiversity of this Central American country.

Caribbean Coast – The east coast contains the typical tropical rainforests where tropical rain falls all year round.

Pacific Coast – Alternately, the west coast features rainforests with very distinct dry seasons each year.

Regardless of what coast you are vacationing on, rainforest hikes and or Panama cruises are a great way to take in the pristine condition of these natural rainforests. Whether on land or water, visitors can catch glimpses of howler monkeys, sloths, tropical birds and a host of other exotic wildlife.

Panama Rainforest Resorts

There are several resorts built in the heart of Panama rainforests. The Radisson Rainforest Summit in Paraiso, Panama is a popular resort for tourists. This Panama hotel and golf course is situated on nearly 160 acres of rainforest area.

While traveling with Caravan Tours you will stay at at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort located in Soberania National Park. The hotel is also in close proximity to the Metropolitan National Park. These parks offer ample opportunity to explore, hike and take in spectacular waterfalls.

All inclusive Panama Rainforest Vacations

Caravan’s fully escorted Panama Vacations are exceptionally priced, starting at just $1,295 for a 8-day, all inclusive holiday that includes a rainforest hike.

Visit Caravan’s Panama Vacation Reviews page to read what others have to say about this all inclusive Panama vacation.

Call toll free 1-800-CARAVAN to learn more about Caravan’s all inclusive Panama canal vacation.

panama embera village

On your Caravan Panama tour you will have the change to visit an authentic Embera Indian Village.

The Embera-Wounaan Indians live in Panama’s province of Darien. Still very primitive and untouched by the outside world, these Chocó people are very friendly and open to tourists, enjoying the opportunity to share their culture with others.

One highlight of Caravan’s 8 Day All Inclusive Panama Tour is a morning’s trip up the Chagres River to visit a Panama Embera Indian village.

During this morning visit, tourists have the opportunity to:

  • Cruise the Chagres River enjoy the sights of Panamanian rainforest
  • Interact with Embera Indians in their natural environment
  • Browse and shop from the Embera handicrafts

Chagres River Panama Cruise

The Embera Indian village tour starts near Gatun Lake on the Caribbean side of Panama. Passengers board a small cruise boat and travel up the Chagres River into the heart of the Panama Rainforest. The Chagres River is actually Panama’s primary source for water and is critical in the functioning of the Panama Canal. Along the riverbanks of the Chagres there are opportunities to spot many creatures that make up Panama’s unique wildlife and ecosystem. Toucans, macaws and quetzals all help make Panama one of the best bird watching areas in the world where exotic birds can be easily spotted up in the trees.

Embera Indian Village Visit

Today the Embera Indians of Panama maintains their traditional living conditions and village structure. Each Embera Indian village is located close to the river bank throughout the Darien Province. Most are about a half day’s walk away from neighboring villages. Built on stilts, Embera Indian homes are raised off the ground and have thatched roofs and no walls. All household items such as handmade hammocks, baskets, pots, mosquito nets and bows and arrows hang from the posts and beams around the hut.

Panama’s Embera Indians, also known as the Chocó, have their own form of government and live by their own, unwritten standards. Healthcare is limited and the Embera Indians are not assimilated into Panamanian culture.

Very much community oriented, each villager contributes during harvest time to farm the land together. Food gained from hunting is shared between everyone. Often areas around the small Embera Indian village are cleared in order to grow bananas and plantain, which can be used as a crop and resource for obtaining motors, mosquito nets and other goods.

Embera Native Handiwork

After meeting the Embera Indians of Panama many tourists like to collect a keepsake and provide a way to support or thank the village for being so welcoming. Most of the time the Emberas open up their own marketplaces and sell tourists some of their very best handiwork, including colorful woven palm fiber baskets and tagua nut or cocobolo tree carvings.

Visit Caravan’s Panama Cruise FAQ page or Check Availability for the Panama Canal Cruise Vacation Packages.

These vacations always book up quickly as they are All Inclusive and include your meals, in-country transportation and all accommodations.

Call 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve your space today and visit an authentic Embera Indian village in Panama!

Waiting to board the Caravan Panama Cruise boat.

Caravan Panama Canal Cruise Boat

Explore the Panama Canal with Caravan Tours

Rather than vacationing on a cruise liner that passes through the Panama Canal in less than a day, many vacationers are opting for our 8-day Caravan Panama cruise package.

Our Caravan tour features day trip cruise expeditions in addition to rainforest adventures, beach excursions, and a visit to an authentic Embera Tribal village.

Each year, more than 14,000 vessels pass through the Panama Canal. A fair number of these ships are Panama cruise liners filled with passengers eager to get a peak of one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

The Panama Canal is approximately 48 miles long. With the gateways and lock systems, it can take a Panama cruise ship between nine and fifteen hours to cross through the canal, depending on the canal’s efficiency.

Caravan Panama Cruise on Gatun Lake

One of the most popular day cruise packages is through Gatun Lake.

Gatun Lake is a manmade lake in Panama’s Chagres Valley. The lake’s waters form a speedy 33-kilometer passageway for vessels to move through the Isthmus of Panama. However, Gatun Lake has much more to offer than just a convenient passageway.

Gatun Lake is spotted with hilltop islands that were once mountain peaks. Day cruises along Gatun Lake take guests to some of these islands, including the very popular Monkey Island. It is here that glimpses of Panama’s diverse wildlife and in particular, monkey population, can be seen in a close-up setting.

Locks Transit Panama Canal Cruise

After seeing Panama’s lock system work from the solid ground, Caravan guests have the opportunity to see the gates function from the water level on a passenger’s vessel. While seated on the small Caravan Panama cruise boat, guests get eye-level views of the magnificent Panama Canal. Guests often get to see the steel gates open and close, depending on the schedule of the Canal that day.

A Locks Transit Cruise features both the two-step Miraflores Locks (the tallest gate) and Pedro Miguel Locks, which move vessels up from the Pacific Ocean into Lake Gatun. In addition to the Canal, this Caravan Panama cruise gives guests excellent views of the Bridge of Americas while crossing the Continental Divide.

All-Inclusive Panama Cruise Vacations

The benefit of these Panama all-inclusive cruise vacations is that once you arrive in Panama there is no need to spend an extra penny. Included in the price of the fully escorted Caravan Panama cruise package:

  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) while in Panama
  • 3 nights stay in Panama City
  • 2 nights stay in Gamboa, Panama
  • 2 nights stay in Playa Bonita, Panama
  • Day cruises and land travel

Panama Canal is easily one of the Best Central America Vacations you can enjoy.

Panama All Inclusive Travel

Our fully escorted Caravan Panama Cruise Packages feature two daytime cruises and land travel along the entire Panama Canal.

Visit Caravan’s Panama Cruise FAQ page for more details about this 8-day all-inclusive vacation package.

To learn more about the Panama Canal visit this page by Britannica.

For more information or to check the availability of our Caravan Panama cruise package tour, please Call Toll-Free 1-800-CARAVAN.