8th IFF Panama Film Festival, 2019

With more hundreds of guests from abroad, the 8th edition of the International Film Festival of Panama (IFF) will be held between April 4 and 10, 2019. “Trying to achieve that Panama has yet another attribute, the festival is being driven as a tourist destination,” said Pituka Ortega, Panamanian filmmaker, and IFF Executive Director.

IFF Panama’s relative youth contrasts with its established position in the film circuit of Latin America. In its first edition, when it was almost an experiment, it was attended by prestigious directors like Alex de la Iglesia and Fernando Trueba, screening over 60 films from 26 different countries and packing theaters in Panama City to the brim.

Since then, the numbers continue to grow: even more, films respond to our call; their prominent directors, actors, and producers eager to personally present their films to our passionate audience; an audience who clearly feels the call of the cinema as strongly as we do.

Contact us at annie@ecocircuitos.com for The Panama Film Festival 2 nights experience includes:  entrance to the 8th Panama Film Festival, Film screening of your choice, two nights accommodation in Panama City hotel, Official program and lots of fun!  Price person in double from $285.00

The CONGO art of Panama listed as an intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO

The ritual and festive expressions of the Congo culture encompass the contemporary vision of a collective celebration of black rebel descendants enslaved during the colonial period During the Congo season, participants act out a matriarchal society in a palisade, ruled by a queen and her court. Everyone must help protect the queen and members of the palisade from the devils (diablos), and the season concludes with a confrontation between the diablos and the congos. Everyone takes part, and the expressions have been fostering social integration for generations.

 

Panama & Peru: The Conquistadors Route

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The arrival of the Spanish in the Americas was a meeting of civilizations which resulted in a completely new, incredibly rich, and uniquely surprising culture. From the route taken by Vasco Núñez de Balboa across Panama, and the expeditions made by the Spaniards in search of the treasures of the Americas, including the three voyages made by Pizarro in his quest to be the first European to reach the mythical kingdom of Birú, to the stories behind the founding of Lima, Cusco and the port of Callao: This tour is a journey into the past, to cities that speak for themselves through buildings that are filled with history, including sacred temples and the houses of conquistadores. It is a journey that tells the untold stories of our local heroes that fight for their land and freedom, the encounters with pirates, and the construction of the fortresses built to repel those same pirates.

We invite you to journey with us through time, as we take you into a past you will never forget.  Contact us for details and itineray at info@ecocircuitos.com or annie@ecocircuitos.com

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Educational Travel in Panama

In today’s world where a good education is a key to success, it is important to offer the students experiences abroad.  An academic travel can impact the participants beyond the fun and adventure.   Below 10 benefits that students gain from educational travel from Dr Wendy Amato Ph.D and take it from World Strides.

  1. Better Academic Performance – On an educational tour, students get to experience different styles of teaching and see a new side to their subject of study. When able to see, touch and smell the very things they have learned about in books, students return to the classroom with a deeper connection and greater motivation for their studies.
  2. A Global Perspective – Unfamiliarity and separation from home are great incubators for thought. New experiences will question one’s preconceived ideas. The enriching experience of educational travel encourages students to expand their world view, witness a new way of life and better understand people, history and culture.
  3. Confidence – Living for any amount of time in a culture that’s different from home can help prepare students for the future in ways more profound than any camp or holiday can. Overcoming challenges while traveling help students grow confidence and prepare them for life’s obstacles.
  4. Grit – Travelling away from the comfort of friends, family and familiar surroundings is tough. But doing it shows that a person is interested enough in the rest of the world, and confident enough to venture out and discover other parts of the world. This is a character trait that’s very appealing to employers.
  5. Networking – Travel provides students with a global network of contacts and references. Plus, instead of relying on others’ opinions, travelers establish perspective, confidence, and conviction that make it easier to gain the respect of others.
  6. Growth & Independence – While away from home and the ease of a regular support system, students have opportunities to see what they are capable of accomplishing by themselves. Travelling allows students to develop themselves in ways that can’t be achieved without stepping outside of their comfort zone, becoming more mature, independent and self-aware.
  7. Individuality – Travel provides experiences to define a person’s place and purpose and establishes lifelong values and priorities.
  8. Career Opportunities – Employers view students that have traveled as well-rounded as they have shown not only a commitment to their education but a confidence to venture out and discover new things as well as their ability to adapt to new situations.
  9. Appreciation – Getting away from home is also a chance to allow a student to realize what they miss most. Experiencing another place and culture is an opportunity to appreciate what they already have and realize the importance of the little things that often go unnoticed.
  10. New Friends – Cultural immersion through travels can also help break down language barriers and open new channels of lifelong communication. Exploring a new place opens doors to establish new friendships and relationships that never would have been acquired without traveling.

For more information about our educational tours, contact us at annie@ecocircuitos.com

10 of the best things to do in Panama

By Maelle Denoule

For the past 10 years, tourism in Panama has grown considerably, attracting more and more visitors around the world for its canal, but also for its marvelous environment. Located in Central America between Costa Rica and Colombia, and bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and on the south by the Pacific Ocean, the isthmus is a land bridge for an important number of mammals and bird’s species.

Nevertheless, the number of travelers to Panama is still relatively small compared with Costa Rica. But contrary to his neighbor, Panama still have plenty of treasures under-explored to discover. In fact, due to its unique geographical position, Panama provides paradisiac places, a variety of landscapes and an incredible biodiversity which offer travelers, an access to incredible adventures and sustainable experiences.

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Home of an amazing ecosystem, Panama gives you the opportunity to discover a rich culture and unique nature.   Our 10 best things to do in Panama:

Cultural exchange with local communities

With 7 indigenous communities around the country, Panama offers you the unique opportunity to share a cultural experience.  Their traditional lifestyle and their close relationship with nature will impact your life forever.  This authentic experience that everyone should live once in Panama, contributes at the same time to the conservation of these communities,  their culture and empower their economies.

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See the pygmy three-toed sloth in Escudo Island 

Another reason why Panama should be your next destination is to see the pygmy three-toed sloth, also known as the monk sloth or dwarf sloth. This sloth can only be found in only one place in the world: National park Escudo Island, a small island off the coast of Panama, situated in the province of Veraguas.

With no official permanent residents on the island, you can have the incredible chance to see lots of them, but it remains very important to not feed them. Indeed, wild animals who depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease, but also increase the chances of fighting and injury among animals.

Snorkel or scuba dive in Gulf of Chiriqui

Humpback whales, sea turtles, dolphins, manta rays, orcas, whale sharks, tiger sharks, and many more marine mammals and animals can be seen while swimming there. With around 760 species of fish, the Gulf of Chiriqui is becoming one of the favorite places for scuba divers and snorkelers in Panama.

Panama Canal Transit

Impossible to miss one of the world’s greatest human-made marvels, the Panama Canal. To learn about this fantastic engineering, nothing better than experience a transit. During the transit aboard the Pacific Queen, enjoy the splendorous Bay of Panama and pass by the Miraflores Locks where you can watch the locks operate. Discover at the same time its history while following the most enormous cargos and cruise ships of the world!

Volcan Baru’s summit

Located in the highlands of Chiriquí, the impressive Baru Volcano’s worth the detour. Down from its 3 474 meters, this dormant volcano is the highest mountain of Panama and one of the only places in the world from where you can see at the same time, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Apart from the breath-taking panoramic views at the top of the volcano, this one is also surrounded by lush jungle, offering the chance, during your summit, to see different birds of Central America, and if you’re lucky, the resplendent quetzal. Adrenaline guaranteed for this extremely challenging trail.

Visit a coffee plantation in Boquete

Did you know the country is world famous for the Geisha Coffee? Actually, one of the rarest and most expensive coffees in the world comes from Panama. So, if you love coffee, Boquete must be one of the stops of your itinerary. Thanks to the volcanic ash situated in the soil of the region, local farms have found the best place for the coffee to grow up and make it so special. Visit one of the coffee plantations and learn about its process. There, you will maybe have the privilege to taste one of the most exquisite coffee in the world!

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Surf in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean

Although, if the Caribbean Sea or Pacific Coast is famed for its relaxing long white sand beaches with palm trees, it’s also the best place to surf and have fun with the waves. Unlike Costa Rica, Panama is still virgin and only a few people know about Panama’s surfing potential. El Palmar, Santa Catalina, Playa Vaneo, and many other beaches can provide you the best surfing spots of Central America. Surfers? You will love it!

Try on traditional Panamanian clothing: the Pollera

Panama is also the land of a rich culture. To not lose a crumb of Panama, we invite you to discover in Pedasi, the traditional Panamanian clothing: the Pollera. National dress of Panama worn by women for festivals or celebrations is also one of the most admired national costumes of the Americas. Handmade and very colorful, this traditional dress with Spanish colonial influences is the pride of all Panamanians. Men are well, have their own traditional costume they wear during festivities. Why not try it on to make you feel, for a moment, like a real Panamanian?!

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a girl with Pollera in Pedasi, Azuero Peninsula, Panama

Whale watching while migration season

Have you always dreamt to see whales? It is possible in Panama! In fact, humpback whales come to Panama every year, between July and October, to migrate and give birth, making the isthmus, one of the few places in the planet where you can see these majestic mammals. Many species of whales and dolphins can be found in Panama’s water during that period of the year, especially in the archipelago of the Pearl Islands, on the Pacific Coast.

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Taste 5 typical dishes of Panama

Even if Panama is not known internationally for its cuisine, the food is however very tasty and diverse. Made with local and fresh ingredients, Panamanian cuisine is a mix of traditional cooking methods from diverse regions of Panama. Consequently, it’s very common to find dishes made from coconut, seafood, root vegetables, and tropical fruits along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts, but also root vegetables, starchy fruits, livestock, chicken, beans and rice, eaten everywhere in the country. Enough ingredients to make a variety of delicious typical Panamanian dishes.  You can’t miss the Panamanian Ceviche!

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Panama is for Adventurers

There’s another side to Panama, just beyond the Panama Canal — dense biodiverse ecosystems like rainforests and islands. Sip pure coffee and enjoy amazing rivers and vibrant ingenious cultures. Let go of control and give Panama the wheel.