Getting ready for Pride in Panama

The LGBT  community is becoming a very important niche market for the travel industry.   The modern companies are investing more in this important consumer because is more eager to spend in high-quality hotels and services.Resultado de imagen para gay travel panama

Panama is considered one of the most open-minded countries in Central America and EcoCircuitos as a company member IGLTA that offer unique travel programs for the LGBTI interested in discovering our Central America destination.

The nomadic Boys were in Panama and they wrote several articles about the Destination.  Click here for details.

 

We at EcoCircuitos embrace the combination of Luxury and Sustainability, offering to all our clients meaningful and authentic experiences in Panama.  “We combine quality service and expert advice with a premium selection in itineraries highlighting the best accommodations, unforgettable adventures and friendly local hosts“, says Annie Young Director and Partner.

This year PRIDE Panama will be featuring different events in Casco Viejo, the Old Quarters of Panama with unique activities to make visible the contributions of the LGBTI Population in Panama, the importance of guaranteeing their human rights and to join the World Commemoration of the disturbances caused by the abuse and homophobia in the Stonewall Discotheque in New York, in 1969.

 

The activities for the festival will start on Monday, June 25 and ends on Saturday, June 30, with the LGBTI Pride March from 4:00 pm in the V Centenario Park.

Join us for Pride in Panama and support diversity while discovering a unique and amazing destination.   Contact us for details at annie@ecocircuitos.com

 

 

ATTA, EcoCircuitos & Grayl to reduce use of plastic bottle pollution

“One million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, yet in the developing world, only two percent of plastic is recycled. As an industry, we must act together to free ourselves from our dependency on the single-use plastics that are choking our natural resources and threatening the very places in which our industry thrives,” said GRAYL CEO Andrew Weber.

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This new initiative is designed to challenge adventure travel companies to become part of the solution to curb global single-use plastic pollution. “We’re thrilled to work with GRAYL as its products and goals align with a cause the ATTA cares about — the reduction of single-use plastic waste in the environment,” said Shannon Stowell, CEO of the ATTA. “GRAYL has changed the way I personally consume water, both in outdoor recreation and during travel experiences. I no longer use single-use plastic water bottles. I now make my own clean water in hotels, airports, and even mountain streams. Having tested it extensively in Asia and South America, I can attest that GRAYL is packable, easy to use, convenient, and has absolutely kept me healthy!”

EcoCircuitos has joined the efforts and we will provide our clients with an exclusive discount code for the packing list and you will receive 20%off their order at checkout when shopping at http://www.TheGrayl.com

This is one of the best purifiers + filter bottles, fast and easy to use, and less than 15 seconds you will have clean and safe water to drink!

If you are a client, ask for the code and will receive a great discount on this amazing bottle!

Join us and help reduce the plastic by just purchasing this bottle before your trip.

For more information contact annie@ecocircuitos.com

 

 

 

My first wildlife experience in Soberania National Park with Ecocircuitos

By Maelle Denoual

True nature lover, I was chosen to work as an intern for 5 months in Ecocircuitos’ tour operator and it’s the first time for me in Panama. I’m French and I’ve never been further than Morocco. You can imagine how excited I was to know that I will discover a new land and such amazing country like Panama. And here I am!

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A week ago, during my first week of internship, I had the opportunity to experience, with two other clients, the hiking tour at Soberania National Park in the company of the very competent and smiley naturalist guides of the company named Fabio.

It was once again my first exploration of a rainforest and it was amazing! This tour offers an incredible opportunity for wildlife observation and birdwatching. In fact, while we were walking just at the park’s entrance, it didn’t take long before we could hear birdsongs and feel the absolutely unique atmosphere of wilderness. I felt in another world for 2 hours. Beautiful and colorful birds but also huge butterflies were flying from time to time above our head. Every time we saw an animal or a bird, Fabio was there to tell us what kind of specimen it was and inform us more about it. We have even seen a baby anteater on the side of the trail. Actually, we were very lucky because it’s not common to see one so close. I have learned so much during this hiking tour and it wasn’t exhausting but mostly enjoyable.

After the exploration of the lush forest, Fabio explained that our adventure is not finished.  We were heading to a jungle-adventure expedition across the Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal. Once aboard, we started the tour searching for more wildlife around the rainforest-covered islands. And we were lucky again because we could see monkeys having a nap on trees, many water birds, 2 big green iguanas, a sloth and a crocodile! Also, it was so impressive to see giant cargos on the canal transiting the waterway few meters away from us…I couldn’t believe that I was on the renowned Panama Canal that everybody talks about. I was thrilled!

That day was a very enriching experience thanks to these 2 different ways to discover nature and I felt very amazed by the considerable diversity of fauna and flora which offers Panama. I strongly recommend EcoCircuitos’ tours to everyone who loves ecotourism and want to visit Panama.

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EcoCircuitos practices responsible tourism and follow the standards of leave no trace and Travelers Against Plastics.  We encourage all our clients to bring their own bottle and change the way you travel.  For more information on this tours and others, please contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com

Special Rate The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection Special Rate! $138.00

Booking Window:  Until Abril 30, 2018

Rates are valid from Sunday to Thursday.  Rates are not combinable with other promotions or discounts.

Minimum stay:  1 night

Cancellation policy to avoid Penalty 14 days before arrival

A credit card is requested to guarantee the reservation on the next 72hours after the reservation is confirmed.  Reservations without a guarantee;  will be canceled without notification.

Rates above not included the 10% government tax

Rates are NET, non-commissionable

Includes buffet breakfast up to 2 adults

Not valid for groups of 10 rooms or more.

Buenaventura SPA

Welcome to Buenaventura Beach Resort part of Autograph Collection hotel has everything to make your stay on this beautiful beach a great one!

The Corotú spa located in the resort is the perfect spot to get pampered from head to toe, while the variety of restaurants, ranging from Tamarindo with its locally sourced ingredients to Tai Kai’s Japanese menu take care of all your culinary wishes.

The generously designed pool and beach area is perfect for swimming or relaxing in the sun and the staff at the poolside restaurants and the swim-up bar make sure you are well provided with food and drinks at all time. The area is perfect for water sports, including snorkeling, surfing, and fishing.

A special feature of this resort is the 18-hole par-72 Nicklaus-designed golf course, which is sculpted into the natural landscape of the Pacific coastline with views of the beach. Other activities include Tennis, the well-equipped gym and horse riding.

The newest features of the resort are the four residence style villas located on the property, which will soon be available to add that extra touch of luxury to your honeymoon or family vacation.

Panama Reading List

You are planning your trip to Panama and it is exciting!  Below you will find some reading material that could help you plan your trip and do some research.  Some of our reading recommendations include books about birds, wildlife, history, culture and more.   Also if you would like to share some other books and articles with us, please feel free to send us an email at info@ecocircuitos.com

Moon Panama (Moon Handbooks)

William Friar

Moon Travel

Frommer’s Panama (Complete Guide)

Nicholas Gill

Frommer’s 

Panama: Puente Biologico

Stanely Heckadon

Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales

Naturalists on the Isthmus of Panama (A hundred years of Natural History on the biological bridge of the Americas)

Stanley Heckadon-Moreno

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

A Bird-Finding Guide to Panama

George R. Angehr

Cornell University Press

The Birds of Panama

George R. Angehr & Robert Dean

Cornell University Press

A Guide to the Birds of Panama

Robert Ridgely

Princeton University Press

The Path Between the Seas

David McCullough

Simon and Schuster

A Day on Barro Colorado Island

Marina Wong / Jorge Ventocilla

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Reef Fish Identification – Baja to Panama

Paul Humann / Ned DeLoach

New World Publications

Central America: A Natural and Cultural History

Anthony G. Coates

Yale University Press

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico

Fiona A. Reid

Oxford University Press

A Neotropical Companion (An introduction to the animals, plants, & ecosystems of the New World tropics)

John Kricher

Princeton University Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAM TRIP: PANAMA CANAL EXPEDITION CRUISE & ADVENTURE – JUNE, 2018

Discover the natural and cultural beauty of Panama on board of the Discovery cruise Yacth.   This amazing journey will take you to the Darien National Park in search of amazing wildlife and for a cultural exchange with one of our distinct indigenous groups: the Emberas.   We will also navigate the Pearl Island Archipelago and will have the unique experience of a crossing the renowned Panama Canal.  This will be combined with historical tours while walking the legendary trails of the of Pirates and Conquistadores that once fought in the Isthmus that changed the world.

Day 1 – June 5, 2018 Welcome to Panama! 

Today at the appropriate time an EcoCircuitos representative will meet you at the Tocumen International Airport to assist and transfer you to your hotel located in Panama City. You will also receive an EcoCircuitos information kit. Upon your arrival at your hotel please check in.   Once you arrive at Tocumen International Airport you will first go through immigration, then you will proceed to pick up your luggage.  After you have your luggage you will need to clear customs and agriculture, you will pass all your luggage through an x-ray machine.  Then you will proceed to exit the area, once you pass through the exit door you can go either to the right or the left. EcoCircuitos Panama recommends that you go to the right to better locate our staff who will be receiving you with a sign bearing your name with the company’s logo.  Then transfer to your hotel in the City.  Overnight hotel Central or similar.

 Day 2 – June 6, 2018 Historical City Tour and visit the Biodiversity Museum

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During the half-day morning tour, you will visit the ruins of Old Panama, climb up the Cathedral tower, visit the Old Panama Museum and then continue to Casco Viejo (the old city compound), which dates back to the late 1600’s. A bilingual guide will describe the events in history leading up to the eventual movement of the capital city to its present location. Casco Viejo is home of monuments of Ferdinand de Lesseps and other Frenchmen instrumental in the ill-fated attempt of the French to construct a canal through Panama. The full-day tour continues to visit the Biodiversity Museum designed by Canadian-American Architect Frank Gehry, the Biomuseo is his only work in Latin America and the tropics. The building was designed to tell the story about how the Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, uniting two continents, separating a vast ocean in two, and changing the planet’s biodiversity forever. The Biomuseo’s 4,000 square meters contain 8 permanent exhibition galleries designed by Bruce Mau Design. An expert from the Museum will conduct the visit. In addition to the main spaces, the museum includes a public atrium, a space for temporary exhibitions, a shop, a cafe, and multiple outdoor exhibits displayed in the botanical park. The permanent exhibition is a combination of art and science that leads the visitor to experience a marvelous phenomenon.

Return to the hotel in the afternoon for overnight. (B, L)

Day 3 –June 7, 2018 The Pirate Trail: Agua Clara Locks & Fort San Lorenzo – Early in the morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel for a drive across the Isthmus of Panama to the Caribbean province of Colon. You will visit the Gatun Locks and Fort San Lorenzo, which was sacked by the famous Pirate Captain Morgan during his legendary attack on Panama City. Also, you will hike the San Lorenzo National Park trails looking for wildlife with an expert naturalist guide. Along the way, you will stop at a site where remnants of Las Cruces Trail, the 400-year-old colonial trail used by the Spaniards to transport gold across the isthmus, are still found. Once in Colon Province, you will take a short ferry ride over the Panama Canal, you will have the opportunity to see both the Gatun and Agua Clara Locks on one end and Colon 2000 port at the other end. Once you reach the other side of the Canal you will make your way to Fort San Lorenzo a UNESCO World Heritage Site built at the mouth of the Chagres River. The road will lead us deep into the rainforest until we get to the impressive ruins situated on cliffs overlooking endless rainforest and abandoned coastlines. The Spanish bastion formerly served to fortify and protect the river entrance of the Las Cruces Trail that led to Panama City on the Pacific Ocean. This entrance was later used as the port of entry for gold diggers on their way to California during the second half of the 19th century. Enjoy the rich history and extensive panorama of the fort and hike through the rainforest within San Lorenzo National Park, watching out for monkeys, Two and Three-toed sloths, coatimundis, toucans and other wildlife species. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.  The return if is a weekday will be on board of the transcontinental train to recreate the experience of the California Gold Rush age and enjoy the spectacular landscape of the heart of the Panama Canal watershed from the comfort of your train cabin.  Overnight at the Central hotel.  (B,L)

 Day 4 – June 8, 2018 Embarkation & Panama Canal Transit

 

Today you will be transferred to the middle of the Panama Canal for the Discovery embarkation. After embarkation, you will join the afternoon’s ship convoy for our southbound canal passage. Navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is full of history and geological value and you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, because it is very susceptible to landslides. At Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks, the Discovery will be lowered 85 feet back to sea level of the Pacific Ocean. You will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience up close the history and operation of this engineering marvel. (B, L, D)

Day 5 –June 9, 2018 Darien Jungle & the Embera Indians

Step aboard a time machine and travel back more than 600 years to a place that not many have had the privilege of experiencing. More than an excursion, this is a journey into the lives of the Embera Indians. A proud people who have been able to maintain their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region. These natives are also master crafters of cocobolo woodcarvings and basketry. After motoring up river you will see the village emerging from the jungle, as if by magic.  Keep your eyes open along the way as the region offers abundant wildlife that is particularly active along the river’s edge. (B, L, D)

Day 6 –June 10, 2018 Pearl Islands

Snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearl Islands. The archipelago owes its name to the abundance of pearl oysters, which supported a substantial fishery in the early 1900’s. On the outer portion of the archipelago, the islands are home to some pristine beaches and fertile fishing grounds. View the remains of the submarine Explorer built in 1865 during the Civil War and which sunk off the coast of San Telmo during the oyster fishery of the late 1800´s. (B,L,D)

Day 7 –June 11, 2018 Disembarkation & Hiking and Wildlife Observation at the Rainforest Discovery Center

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Today you will arrive Flamenco Marina and disembark the Discovery. Our guides will meet you for another exciting adventure.  Our EcoCircuitos naturalist guide will pick you up at the pier for a ride to the scenic Gamboa Road to Pipeline Road located in the Soberania National Park. You will experience a unique tour exploring the canopy of the Soberania National Park; you will be fascinated by the beautiful view of the forest, the lake and the national parks that protect the canal’s watershed. The upper rainforest canopy at the Rainforest Tower is 30 meters high with emergent trees reaching 40m. Our naturalist guide will explain you the wildlife that you will observe during this trip and you will learn about the sustainable use of water and the recycling materials of this great educational facility in the core of the forest.  Along the way, watch out for Green iguanas and three-toed sloths resting on tree branches, Ospreys in the hunt for Peacock basses, Snail Kites and Keel-billed toucans, amongst many other wildlife species.  Look for the White-faced Capuchin, Mantled Howler Monkey, Central American Spider Monkey, and Geoffrey’s Tamarin among other species.

 Departure to the airport late in the afternoon

At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the Tocumen International Airport for your outbound flight. You will arrive at the airport approximately 2 hours before your departure time.

Note: customers will be picked up 3 hours before flight time. (B)

End of services.-

Price per person in double: $1485.00

Rack rate:  $2995.00

For details please contact info@ecocircuitos.com

Only for wholesalers and their travel agencies with certification.

Unesco recognizes the real Panama Hat

LA PINTADA, Panama (AP) — Cultural authorities at UNESCO have recognized the artisans of Panama for their distinctive woven hats. No, not those hats; the famed “Panama hat” comes from Ecuador.

Panama’s real contribution to the world’s hat heritage is the pintao, or painted hat, handmade from five different plants and a dose of swamp mud.

Production of the circular-brimmed hats is still a family affair carried out on a household scale. The industry’s center is La Pintada, a district about 170 kilometers (105 miles) west of Panama City.

“They don’t have anything (artificial), no machinery; no factory as such exists here in La Pintada,” said Reinaldo Quiros, a well-known artisan, and designer who sells hats out of his home. “Each artisan in his own home makes the hats maintaining the techniques taught by his ancestors.”

The widely known “Panama hat” is a brimmed hat traditionally made in Ecuador from the straw of the South American toquilla palm plant. The hats are thought to have earned their misleading name because many were sold in nearby Panama to prospectors traveling through that country to California during the Gold Rush.

Artisans of the truly Panamanian pintao hat start with the fibers of several plants that are cured and then woven into braids that are wrapped around a wooden form and sewn together from the crown of the hat down.

Pasion Gutierrez, 81, grows some of the plants around his house in El Jaguito outside La Pintada, while others are found high in the mountains. Gutierrez, his wife Anazaria and several of their children and grandchildren make pintaos.  His eyesight doesn’t allow him to do the fine needlework anymore, but he harvests, prepares and braids the fibers.

On a recent day, Gutierrez said he’d gone out the night before to cut agave leaves because they believe the quality of the fibers is best when harvested under a full moon.

“It’s no good with a new moon,” he said.

Several bands of fiber are dyed black with the leaves from a different plant and then stuck in mud for three days. The fibers are woven into fine geometric designs and integrated into the hat giving it its name.

“The pintao hat has become an integral part of regional outfits throughout the country worn during traditional dances and community festivities,” the United Nations’ heritage arm’s statement said.

Depending on the quality of the work some pintao hats can cost hundreds of dollars. Authorities estimate that 4,000 of La Pintada’s 25,000 residents work creating or selling the hats.

Pedro Mendoza, a 50-year-old hat maker, hopes that the UNESCO recognition takes the pintao hat beyond the country’s borders.

“It’s really good what’s happened,” he said. “The hat for us is a way of life.”

Original article:  https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/unesco-recognizes-panamas-hat/4180101.html