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Panama’s local cuisine infused with fresh local produce, seafood and other unique ingredients are competing against other great well known culinary destinations in Latin America. This year for the first time Panama will be represented in the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The restaurants will be showcased on September 26, 2016, this event is known as the “Oscar” of gastronomy.

Panama’s exceptional cuisine reflects its rich historical influences of the Afro Antillean, Amerindian, Chinese, Spanish and other cultures that have played essential role that makes Panama what it is today. EcoCircuitos Panama invites you to experience the culinary delights in the isthmus that changed the world! Savor local breakfast cuisine that will take you to the heart of Panama’s roots, try a fresh ceviche at the local fish market or enjoy the flare of Panama’s international cuisine in the middle of city that once was taken over by pirates.

Contact EcoCirucitos Panama to find out more about our culinary programs and day tours that can be tailored to your culinary interest. Visit local restaurants, farms, cook with local chefs and more! For additional information please contact us at: info@ecocircuitos.com

By Carina Forster

Nestled in the hilly green highlands and surrounded by lush cloud forest, Boquete is the town of coffee and strawberries. It is inhabited by a charming mix of local farmers, international expats and indigenous people, who give the town it’s unique flair.

Joining the passionate EcoCircuitos guide Gerardo on a hilly road trip, we learned about the fascinating history of the area and its role as the “bread basket” of Panama. After some spectacular photo-stops at panoramic view-points of the majestic Volcano Baru, we ended the morning with a delicious cup of coffee at a local farm.

 

In the afternoon we boarded a shuttle truck up a steep and bumpy road deep in the cloud forest to reach the wooden Tree Trek headquarters situated in a picturesque valley, home to the famous Canopy Zip Line of Boquete. But instead of following the crowds to the Zip Line Adventure, we went on a hidden trail up behind the lodge with the local guide Raphael, where a mysterious and unique experience was awaiting us.

Following Raphael through lush cloud forest, we could feel his passion and respect for the surroundings. “Did you study Biology “? I asked him. “No. I just love nature and read a lot”. Was his simple response. Being a Zip Line guide for Tree Trek for over 5 years, in his free time he used to stroll around deep in the cloud forests on his own until he eventually came up with the idea of building a hanging bridge over the valley. By shooting arrows to the other side and climbing the ropes, he built 7 hanging bridges and a beautiful trail network without cutting down a single tree, just within one year.

Following these fairy tale like paths combines unique encounters with the plants and animals of the dense cloud forest with breathtaking panoramic views of rivers, waterfalls and the mighty Baru Volcano covered in mystic fogs. Together with a light dose of adrenaline when crossing the slightly shaking bridges with the ground deep beneath your feet, you have all the ingredients for a unique natural adventure.

By Carina Forster

Panama offers amazing options for Whale Watching!  Don’t miss the 2016 season and book your tour with EcoCircuitos today!

Available dates:  July 23th, July 30th, August 13th, August 27th, September 10th, September 24th.

Our daytrip started with a spectacular view of the Panama Canal covered in morning sun upon our departure from the Causeway by boat. Passing by large container ships coming from all over the world, we admired the views of Panama’s extensive skyline as the bay of Panama was getting smaller and smaller. The boat ride took us 1,5 hours out to the Pacific Ocean to the picturesque island archipelago of Las Perlas. The shallow warm waters around the archipelago are a very favorable place for humpback whales to stop over on their migration to warmer waters, which makes the possibility of spotting them between July and October extremely high.

Along your way to the islands, we started looking out for them while an expert guide explained us about the fascinating lifes and habits of the mystic creatures. We learned a lot of interesting details about their giant brains and incredible intelligence while the boat was respectfully and responsibly looking for the animals. It is a unique experience you share with people on the boat from all over the world when watching out for those majestic creatures together.

When we spotted the first one just one hour outside of the city, every thought of something else immediately disappeared when you see their giant bodies moving gently through the water. Goosebumps appeared on my skin when we witnessed their spectacular sense for communication, listening to their beautiful sounds like coming from another planet.

After we enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet on the island of Contadora, we spent the afternoon relaxing on the white-sanded beach and watching out for tropical fish and turtles when snorkeling the coral. On the way back to Panama City we spotted even more whales – in total we saw over 20 humpback whales just on one day! Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Dear friends and colleagues, check this beautiful video that promotes Panama, conservation and education.

 

By Jennie C. Trow

The Panama Canal Expansion project has brought many new innovative changes to the Panama Canal and the way it is visited. Now you will visit the new Aguas Claras Locks Visitor Center instead of the Gatun Locks Visitor Center. Both locks will still be used by ships crossing the Canal. The Aguas Claras Locks were constructed to accommodate larger vessels that will transit the Canal.

The Aguas Claras Visitor Center was built in an ecologically conscious manner, taking advantage of its natural surroundings, allowing its visitors to not only have an amazing panoramic view of the Canal but also being in the middle of nature. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch a short movie about the construction of the locks, visitors center and the several Panamanians that were involved in the project.

Afterwards if you are up for a short adventure, walk along an ecological trail close to the Center and identify the different species the Panama Canal Rescue Team has relocated within the trail.

For more information, please contact us info@ecocircuitos.com

What is Authenticity?

Take as an example a photo you took of an indigenous woman in colorful clothes during your travels and imagine looking at it at home. Imagine knowing this woman’s story, having experienced her every-day life and the beauty of her culture and traditions. Imagine the difference it would make, if you would have taken the photo just when seeing this woman on the street on coincidence, without knowing anything about her. The only thing you would personally take out of this encounter is a nice photo, without the possibility of broadening your mind and knowledge.

The key in an authentic travel experience lies in interpretation and interaction. There is a difference between seeing something and understanding something, not only with cultural encounters, but also with wildlife watching, bird viewing or walking through an unknown ecosystem.

EcoCircuitos Academic Tours

EcoCircuitos is specialized in educational travel experiences. Our guides are experts in their field and provide in-depth insights and understandings from culture and history to biodiversity. These understandings foster authentic travel experiences as well as responsible encounters between travelers and nature, biodiversity and local people.

With being one of the most biodiverse places on earth, Panama hosts world-class biological and geological experiences. With its numerous indigenous communities, colonial towns, ancient ruins and the Panama Canal, the Isthmus it is also a top-spot for historians, anthropologists and architecture lovers. What is less known, is Panama’s extensive art scene; from numerous galleries in the capital, Afro-Caribbean remains and indigenous handicrafts to artisans dating back to colonial times.

Biodiversity Tour San Edwards University

Last week, our expert guide Fabio Trujillo led the Biology class of San Edwards University from Texas on their Academic trip through Panama for 15 days. The excursion started in the rainforest area around Panama City, continued to the cloud forest-covered highlands of Chiriqui and ended in the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro. With a focus on interpretation, the students gained holistic understandings of the different ecosystems, without losing the fun-factor through outdoor adventures like zip lining and snorkeling.

 

 

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