New Hotel in Panama: Santa Maria Luxury Collection

A new and contemporary hotel just open doors in Panama City this month.  The beautiful Santa Maria Golf & Country Club.

The Santa María Hotel is a luxury hotel by the Starwood brand, as part of their Luxury Collection.  Located within the Santa María Country Club near the international Tocumen airport.

The hotel’s 182 accommodations allow the stunning city and golf course views, many from balconies. Feel at home with a coffeemaker, wireless High-Speed Internet Access, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Restful sleep is ensured by one king-size or two double Luxury Collection beds. Bathrooms clad in Italian marble offer refined amenities and bathrobes.   Suitable for both business and leisure, each Executive Suite includes a separate living area for meetings or casual gatherings. Two exclusive Deluxe Suites are distinguished by the best views of the golf course from outdoor terraces.

Balance and wellness are the goals of our world-class spa, whose 600 square meters include five treatment cabins, a Turkish bath, a steam room, a beauty salon, a relaxation area, and locker rooms. Yoga and Reiki sessions are held outside.

For more information on rates, special discounts and Events, contact our office at  or for incentives


EcoCircuitos merges with Panama Marine Adventures!

Panama City, February 16, 2018 – EcoCircuitos Panama has been a leading tour operator in Panama since 1999 and today we are excited to announce our merger with Panama Marine Adventures, Inc., a leader in the creation and development of high-quality experiential products for Panama’s tourism industry since 2003.  The merger is effective today, and the companies will combine business operations in the coming year.

Annie Young will continue as Executive Director in EcoCircuitos, with Jose Rodolfo de la Guardia joining the board of Director of EcoCircuitos. The companies have been providing high-quality services in Panama, Central America and will continue to operate as usual.

EcoCircuitos Panama, with over 18 years of experience, has been under the sole direction of Annie Young and now with this merge the company “will drive technology, new tour products, and innovation, addressing the needs of event planners, marketers, and international wholesalers”.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be partners of Panama Marine Adventures. Their high-quality service combined with our knowledge and talented team will create a leading tour operator and DMC committed to our clients and responsible travel in Panama”. Annie Young, EcoCircuitos.

“We are delighted to join forces with EcoCircuitos Panama team, whose reputation, talent and experience will expand our capabilities to develop new products. The merger will also enhance our expertise in the design and implementation of events, activities, transportation and program logistics”. Joselo de la Guardia, Panama Marine Adventures.

Discover Panama better than before with us! For details and more information contact our us at:

Annie Young J. –
Jose Rodolfo de la Guardia –

New Luxury Collection hotel in Panama

The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort is the ultimate getaway world-class golf destination, located in the exclusive community of Santa Maria, a five-star enclave delivering bespoke experiences crafted for travelers seeking a deeper, more authentic connection to the places they visit. As a true Destination Authority®, the resort’s team of experienced concierges led by Les Clefs d´Or® invite guests to explore the hidden gems of Panama’s culture and to live unique lifetime experiences that are a reflection of its culture and its love for the outdoors. A place where explorers of today can experience the treasures of Panama.

santa maria


– 7 miles, 9 minutes’ drive from Tocumen International Airport (PTY)

– 8 miles, 12 minutes’ drive from Panama City

– Next to the business community of Costa del Este and Santa Maria Business Districts


This luxurious urban oasis boasts elegantly-appointed deluxe guestrooms and suites with authentic Panamanian design elements including the Guna Yala inspired traditional Mola bed runners, handmade baskets made by the Embera indigenous community and wood extracted from the depth of the Gatun Lake.

Offering 182 luxury rooms with stunning urban and golf course views including:

– 164 spacious Deluxe Rooms (52 Double Bedrooms)

– 16 One-bedroom Executive Suites featuring private living room and golf course views

– 2 exceptionally spacious Suites: The Master Suite and The Grand Suite beautifully decorated and privately set with dining room, living room, and stunning golf course views. The Grand Suite features a private terrace, perfect for a hospitality suite.



Is the centerpiece of the 285 hectares of the Santa Maria community. The 18 hole, 72-par Nicklaus Design private golf course is immaculately groomed to perfection. The golf course features rippling fairways, beautiful greens, and sculpted bunkers, forming the center stage of the resort and creating breathtaking views from nearly every corner.

For more information, please contact us at  or .  This is the ideal place for your meetings, incentives, and conventions.

5 Top EcoLodges in Panama

Panama is the best keep secret in Latin America.  My country is one of the best adventure travel destinations with amazing ecolodges surrounded by nature.   Panama is part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and is known as one of the most biologically diverse countries in Central America.   There are more ecolodges in Panama and below you will see a list of my favorites.

Mount Totumas Cloudforest Ecolodge


Just 2 hours from David in Volcan is located this wonderful cloudforest Eco lodge a truly unique experience in Panama.  At Mount Totumas Cloud Forest there is a variety of accommodations and depending on guests preferences and budget.   I love the Cabin where I stayed with my partner and loved the amazing views of the National Park.   The ecolodge is located in the buffer zone directly bordering La Amistad National Park.  Guests can enjoy 8 marked trails through the reserve with access into the adjacent national park, which is Central America’s largest protected mountain wilderness area. Hot springs are also located nearby. In the Mount Totumas Cloud Forest Reserve there are keystone species presented such as Resplendent Quetzal, Three Wattled Bellbirds, Mantled Howler Monkey, Black and Crested Guan, White-Faced Capuchin, spider monkeys, mountain lions amongst many others.   The hotel has a sustainable practice and most of the employees and guides are locals who work as integral players in the operation of the hotel.  The owner brings her expertise in Asian and European cuisine to Mount Totumas and creates dishes drawing from their gardens  and the local produce vendors in Volcan.

Canopy Camp Darien

canopy tent

This is the best birding ecolodge to experience the Darien specialties.  The Canopy Camp Darien features eight large, safari-style tents that are designed specifically for use in environmentally sensitive areas; they are very eco-friendly. The tents are on raised platforms, to keep you up off the ground and dry in the lowland rainforest of Darien.  Each the tents occupies an area of 173 square feet and offer plenty of space to store your luggage, clothing, and gear. Large windows on all sides with flaps allow natural light and breeze to enter the tent during the daylight hours.  Each has two single beds or one queen bed, two tables, a floor fan and overhead light, and a solid plantation teak wood floor.  Each tent has a full private bathroom located directly outside of the tent on the platform.  Each bathroom has all the essentials – flush toilets and a shower that offers serene, private views of the surrounding rainforest.   Just a step outside of the tent, the platform offers covered space to relax in lounge chairs in the shade during the hot mid-day sun or an afternoon rain, with exquisite views of the jungle surrounding the camp from your own observation deck.

Tranquilo Bay EcoLodge


Discover the ecosystem of Bocas del Toro Archipelago through snorkeling, kayaking or hiking with one of the lodge’s biologist guides. Encounter uncounted birds, different monkey species, iguanas and much more during your stay, relax and refresh in a unique natural environment.The interior of each of the cabanas is tastefully and comfortably appointed with air-conditioning, local hardwoods, tile floors, fine linens and a calming color palette to welcome you at the end of your adventure each day.
 The Tranquilo Bay EcoLodge offers 6 individual cabanas, 4 with ocean view and 2 with rainforest view, and all equipped with either queen-size or double bed equipped with orthopedic mattresses. Additional beds for children are available upon request. The furniture is carefully handcrafted from local hardwoods, and every bedroom is equipped with a small seating area, reading lights and a small supply of books for leisurely hours. And if you prefer relaxing outdoors, there’s a covered porch with hammock and Adirondack chairs waiting for you. All cabanas have air conditioning and hot water, as well as coffee makers and hair dryers.  A covered porch with a hammock and Adirondack chairs awaits to help you escape the “every day” that you left behind when you enter the grounds at Tranquilo Bay.


Villa Tavida Ecolodge

 Located in a private reserve that has been protected for 25 years, Villa Tavida offers its guests the opportunity to escape from the modern day world. Surrounded in nature, guests have breathtaking views of a nearby waterfall and can easily be accessed by a hike down a nature trail to get a closer look. Villa Tavida is just 35 km from Penonome and approximately 50 km from Playa Blanca.  This exclusive guest house offers 5 comfortable rooms, all overlooking the waterfall Tavida.  Some units include a balcony and/or patio. Every unit has a private bathroom with free toiletries.  The lodge offers free parking on-site. Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant. The services are aimed at promoting environmental, cultural and economic welfare.


Isla Palenque EcoResort

IP Rooms 3 4 Outside A

A beautiful island of  160 hectares of lush jungle, framed by 7 untouched beaches, house a number of wilderness trails and hidden spaces to be explored by guests of the barefoot-luxury Beach Suites (mid-2018) and Villa Estate.  The ecolodge is at just minutes walk from the beach and it offers an outdoor pool and a restaurant.  The accommodation will provide you with iPad. Featuring a shower, the private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Some rooms offer views of the sea and the pool area. Extras include a safety deposit box, linen, and a fan.  At The Resort at Isla Palenque, you will find a private beach area. Other facilities offered at the property include a tour desk and luggage storage. Daily guided tours are offered and the property has a large area with hiking trails.  An additional package must be purchased directly to the Hotel to include additional services : 3 daily meals at the on-site restaurant, as well as on-site guided tours and one round trip boat transfer per party between Boca Chica and Isla Palenque.We encourage you to travel different in Panama.  Explore the real and authentic destination and stay in unique properties that will make your vacation memorable.For more information on this ecolodges and other options in Panama, please contact us at


Diving in Coiba National Park

The Coiba National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the neighboring islands and archipelagos of the Gulf of Chiriquí, Secas, Montuosa and Isla Ladrones, offer some of the best adventure and exploratory diving in the world.

In this region of the Panamanian pacific coast, the continental shelf is narrow and closely bounded by the Middle American Trench. Water depths plunge abruptly to abysmal depths, bringing deep Open Ocean, “pelagic” conditions very close to shore. The nearest substantial land mass lies 10,000km to the west.


“Coiba National Park possesses the second largest coral reef in the Tropical Eastern Pacific.”

Tide ranges of up to 5 mts / 16 ft every six hours, currents in exposed areas are common. Lateral visibility on average 22 mts / 70 ft depending on location. Seawater surface temperatures hover around 78 F year round.  Thermocline depth varies throughout the year and can reduce water temperature several degrees. This cooler water brings the larger pelagic life closer to the surface.
The marine environment is extremely dynamic and boasts over 760 species of fish, 33 species of shark including the Reef White Tip, Scalloped and Great Hammerhead, Galapagos, Bull, Tiger, and the bizarre Guitar Shark. Add to this, a variety of Rays, Giant Manta, Modula Rays, Thurston’s Devil Rays and Stingrays. Schooling species include the Spotted Eagle; Cow Nosed and Golden Rays.  The areas protected beaches are the nesting grounds for four species of marine turtle, including the giant Pacific Leatherback.

A Mecca and complexity of migratory routes for marine animals, and other marine species.

A great variety of marine mammals, including several species of Dolphin, Pilot Whales, Orcas, Fin, Brydes and Sperm Whales. Recent scientific studies have indicated that the migration route taken by the Antarctic Humpbacks Whales to this region is the longest marine mammal migration, some 8,000 km. Humpback Whales can be seen in the area all year round. Key months are  August to October. Their haunting songs can be heard whilst diving around the park.

In hands of expert Dive  Master and conservationist Kevan Mantell we run our diving adventures in the area where local and international conservation efforts and initiatives, plays an active part in the protection and conservation of the region.  Kevan has been participating in a  broad spectrum of key Scientific Investigations / Conservation Biology initiatives. We encourage our visitors and guests to assist with the conservation of this unique marine eco-system.

For more information, contact us


Panama: a new gastronomic destination

By:  Annie Young J.

There is definitely a connection between tourism and gastronomy and the trend of foodie travelers experimenting the local tastes during their adventure travel is growing worldwide.

Panama is a destination that has it all and our gastronomic experience is motivating more travelers to come back to savor our tropical cuisine.  More and more foodies from around the world are amazed by our culinary variety and exploring the city becomes an adventure.

From eating ceviche at the local Fish Market, going for tapas and cocktails in a rooftop in Casco Viejo to more elaborated dishes from local chefs in Downtown Panama City.

Panama’s local gastronomy infused with fresh local produce, seafood, and other unique ingredients are competing against other great well known culinary destinations in Latin America.

There is a new generation of chefs (Jose Carles, Mario Castrellon, and Chombolin) that are determined to make Panama one of the most innovative cuisine destinations of the region.

Donde Jose and Intimo are two of the best gastronomic experiences in Panama. Both chefs are constantly developing new recipes and techniques using local and native ingredients with a tropical twist. Their clientele including me enjoys trying new flavors and combinations. Both restaurants have won international recognition.  If you are in Panama, experience a gastronomic tour for the senses.

For more details on our gastronomic adventures, contact us at

New Model of Climate Change Effects on Coffee Availability and Bee Pollinators

Overcoming Doomsday Scenarios Depends on Biological Intelligence


Areas in Latin America suitable for growing coffee face predicted declines of 73-88 percent by 2050. However, diversity in bee species may save the day, even if many species in cool highland regions are lost as the climate warms. The research, co-authored by David Roubik, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, will be published in early online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences edition between Sept. 11-15.Scientists David Roubik

“For my money, we do a far superior job of predicting the future when we consider both plants and animals (or in this case the bees) and their biology,” Roubik said. “Traditional models don’t build in the ability of organisms to change. They’re based on the world as we know it now, not on the way it could be as people and other organisms adapt.”

A research team modeled impacts for Latin America, the largest coffee-growing region under several global-warming scenarios—considering both the plants and the bees. The team consisted of bee experts from the Smithsonian in Panama; the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Vietnam; the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica; Conservation International and the University of Vermont in the U.S.; CIRAD in France; and CIFOR in Peru.

Despite predicted declines in total bee species, in all scenarios at least five bee species were left in future coffee-suitable areas; in about half of the areas, 10 bee species were left.Mountain in Panama

For land no longer suitable for coffee production, the team recommended management strategies to help farmers switch to other crops or production systems. In areas where bee diversity is expected to decrease, but coffee can still be grown, adaptation strategies may include increasing bee habitat and maintaining native bees. Many coffee types prefer to grow in the shade of tall trees. Choosing tree species that favor bees are a win-win strategy, according to the authors.

Roubik’s favorite example of a potentially huge environmental change that did not play out as predicted is the case of Africanized honey bees, which were accidentally released in Brazil in 1957. Roubik’s studies in Panama of coffee pollination taking native rainforest bees into consideration began in the 1970s as the aggressive non-native Africanized honey bees swarmed north through Latin America. Doomsayers predicted the worst: that the killer bees would disrupt the delicate balance between tropical forest species and their native pollinators. Roubik discovered the opposite to be true. In lowland tropical forests in Mexico, plants pollinated by very busy Africanized bees ended up producing more flowers, thus making more pollen and nectar available to native bees.

“Africanized honey bees in the Western Hemisphere both regulate their nest temperature and their own body temperature using water,” Roubik said. “When the climate is hotter—unless it’s too dry—they’re better adapted to endure climate change and pollinate coffee—an African plant.”

By paying attention to biological processes and managing coffee for maximum pollination depending upon the effects of climate on both the plants and the bees, as well as strategically adjusting shade, rotating crops and conserving natural forests, it may be possible for coffee producers to adapt to climate change.

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, headquartered in Panama City, Panama, is a unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Institute furthers the understanding of tropical biodiversity and its importance to human welfare, trains students to conduct research in the tropics and promotes conservation by increasing public awareness of the beauty and importance of tropical ecosystems. Website: Promo video:

Contact us for academic travel and join amazing experts in different fiels on the isthmus that change the world:  Panama!  for details

# # #

Imbach, P., Fung, E., Hannah, L. et al. 2017 Coffee, bees, and climate: Coupling of pollination services and agriculture under climate change. PNAS.