Doing good in time of Covid

Article from ATTA by Heather Kelly

These seem like very dark days, especially for tourism. However, the adventure travel community is strong, and we will get through this by supporting each other as we always have. Our team at AdventureTravelNews and ATTA has been inspired and touched every day by the stories we are hearing throughout our community. To bring a little light into this dark time, we have selected a few examples to share with all of you.

Tour Operators

Both small and large tour operators are struggling, as people simply are not traveling. While this means even multi-national conglomerates are having a hard time paying their bills, the more drastic and worrying effects fall with the individual employees who now find themselves without a job. While some countries such as the USA have implemented strong safety nets like increased unemployment benefits, many workers in other countries are at risk of losing everything they own. Here are some examples of tour operators finding creative ways to help support their guides and other employees in any way they can:

  • Ciclismo Classico has encouraged its Italian tour guides to write a cookbook and host virtual cooking lessons. A PDF copy of this cookbook is sent to anyone who donates to their GoFundMe campaign.
  • Malawian Style has started a #Photos4Africa campaign and GoFundMe page. All donors will receive a little something from Africa in exchange; a cool photo of a lion, or a personalized thank you from a guide.
  • Good Life Expeditions is co-sponsoring the efforts of local non-profit, MEDLIFE, to raise money in support of vulnerable families in Peru and Ecuador that have lost their income due to nationwide lockdowns.
  • Monkeys and Mountains is working to maintain relationships with their guests by doing regular video updates explaining their approach, offering a free online course about how to be a happy hiker at home, and sharing additional valuable resources.
  • Hidden Iceland has put together a webpage dedicated to how Iceland is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the bottom of the page, they have listed some ideas on how to support small businesses (such as tour operators) during this time.
  • Company owners are taking such measures as trying to support their team as long as possible out of their own pockets and helping members of their community that do not have access to the internet to get registered on their government’s support assistance websites.
  • Many tour operators are supporting each other by sharing what is working for them and what is not. For example, many have shared that their guests are very receptive to the idea of applying any existing payments to a future trip, especially when offered a small incentive (for example, an additional 10% credit). 

Are you an ATTA member with a story to share about how you are supporting your local guides and employees? Please share it with us; we would love to feature you on this page!

COVID-19 Update for Panama

Press release @March 20, 2020

Panama Marine Adventures, EcoCircuitos & Sublime Journeys

PMA TRAVEL GROUP informs that the National Government of Panama and the Ministry of Health have announced that as of Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. arrivals and departures of all international flights are suspended for a period of 30 days, which can be extended as the situation evolves.

The experienced team of PMA Travel Group, will work with you case by case to offer flexibility with the cancellations and to look for alternatives to postpone your client’s vacations to Panama, hoping that in a few months the COVID-19 will be controlled.

State of Emergency in Panama due to COVID-19

Press release @March 15, 2020

The government of Panama announced a “State of Emergency” to prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Panama, with other countries in the region, is working on different mitigation policies, including travel bans, to avoid the wide spreading of Coronavirus. Still, in Latin America, the cases remain relatively low. However, our government decides to close borders, including the docking of cruises and mini cruises, ships, and commercial vessels.

PMA TRAVEL GROUP informs that the National Government of Panama decreed the suspension of entry to the country of foreigners and non-residents, starting at 11:59 PM on Monday, March 16th, 2020. People with Panamanian nationality and permanent residence in the country will be able to continue entering the national territory, fulfilling upon arrival with mandatory preventive isolation of 14 days in their homes.

It is important to note that the measure does not restrict passengers in transit through the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, so connections through the hub continue without interruption.

The experienced team of PMA Travel, we will work with you case by case to offer flexibility with the cancellations and to look for alternatives to postpone your client’s vacations to Panama in a few months where hopefully the COVID-19 will be controlled.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advisory information Panama

PMA Travel Group and EcoCircuitos shares your concerns about the Coronavirus outbreak in the world. We are committed to the safety of our clients and staff.  However, Latin America is still the least effected region, in case clients are looking for different vacation options.

With strong health safety measures in place, we invite all travelers to come to Panama and enjoy a destination that offers many possibilities:  adventure travel, cultural encounters, history and canal, academic travel and modern and cosmopolitan city.   

Information About Covid-19 in Panama

1.     There are cases of Covid-19 detected and confirm in the Republic of Panama.  The people infected had travelled to Europe recently and reside in Panama.  The patients are recovering at home.  There are no indications so far that Covid-19 has been transmitted within the country.

2.     Panama maintains a permanent surveillance system, which continues to allow travelers to our country from most countries, including the United States of America or Canada to name a few.

3.     All measures adopted by the country’s health system are coherent with the development of standards and protocols established by international organizations such as WHO and CDC which do not have alerts, recommendations or prohibitions to visit Panama and maintain the country as a “Green Level 1” destination meaning that only normal travel precautions are necessary. 

4.     The development of COVID-19 worldwide is being monitored by Panama’s government with the highest levels of prevention and preparation to offer assistance in case of need with the support of the travel industry. 

Some measures from our team:

1.     We have implemented the PMA Travel postponement program.  Book Now and Travel later with special discounts.

2.     Our staff will not greet passengers with physical contact.

3.     Each driver will have will have hand sanitizers available.

4.     Our team will wear latex gloves for baggage handling in order to avoid contamination.

5.     We will spray transportation vans with disinfectant products.

For more information about the Coronavirus please click here.

Also we encourage you to read the measures Copa Airlines is taking so you can fly with confidence.  Click here.

Panama continues welcoming travelers and preventing COVID-19

 Panama continues welcoming travelers and preventing COVID-19 

Press Release

 Panama, March 7, 2020: Panama continues receiving travelers and entrepreneurs as usual thanks to its unique geographical position and connectivity as the Hub of the Americas and its development as an attractive tourism destination and business and financial center. The country is vigilant and prepared to protect its health safety during these uncertain times as a result of the COVID-19 virus 

With strong health safety measures in place, we invite all travelers to come to Panama and enjoy all of its virtues encompassed within a narrow strip of land surrounded by two oceans, bountiful rainforests, rich history and cultural heritage and a modern Panama City, dubbed as the “Skyscraper capital of Latin America”. 

Currently there is no reason for travelers coming from countries not affected by COVID-19 to avoid traveling to Panama based on the following: 

1. There are no cases of COVID-19 reported in Panama as of today. 

2. Panama maintains a permanent surveillance system, which continues to allow travelers to our country from most countries, including the United States of America or Canada to name a few.

3. All measures adopted by the country’s health system are coherent with the development of standards and protocols established by international organizations such as WHO and CDC which do not have alerts, recommendations or prohibitions to visit Panama and maintain the country as a “Green Level 1” destination meaning that only normal travel precautions are necessary. 

4. The development of COVID-19 worldwide is being monitored by Panama’s government with the highest levels of prevention and preparation to offer assistance in case of need with the support of the travel industry. 

 The following measures have been adopted to minimize risks associated to COVID-19 for the benefit of travelers and residents alike: 

1. Real time monitoring off all communication and recommendations issued by international organizations such as the WHO and foreign government institutions such as CDCs to strengthen all efforts related to control the virus in Panama. 

2. Continued communication and updates issued by Panama’s Health Ministry to share international protocols, improve prevention practices and to provide all the needed support where necessary with the purpose of guaranteeing the implementation of all necessary steps to prevent, mitigate, early detection measures and risk management. These include: 

  1. a. Public dissemination of relevant information. 
  2. b. Provide recommendations to travelers on better practices for prevention and detection. 

The tourism sector in Panama, from airport operators, airlines and hotels, to transportation companies, tour operators, restaurants and guides, is diligently working on maintaining all the necessary measures for a healthy environment with the highest standards of hygiene, early disease detection and rapid response to minimize risk and provide assistance. 

Airports and airlines have implemented strict monitoring and preventive measures to evaluate passengers arriving to Panama in order to guarantee a safe destination for travelers. 

These include: tracking the passengers’ recent travel history, non-invasive temperature measurement, monitoring passengers’ health conditions prior and after boarding. Travel restriction or cancellation measures are in place for passengers detected with symptoms or who have a recent travel history that includes compromised countries. 

Panama’s health authorities through their communication systems and with the support of the travel industry are proactively requesting travelers to follow all recommendations established by international and local health institutions to maintain the highest levels of personal hygiene and to inform of any symptoms for immediate evaluation and professional medical assistance in case it becomes necessary. 

The standard preventive measures include: 

  • • Wash hands frequently with water and soap for at least 20 seconds 
  • • Cover mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing with disposable tissues, upper sleeve or the elbow 
  • • Avoid all contact with people who may have the virus and avoid busy areas if sick 

There is 24/7 telephone assistance in case there are any questions or if there is the need for assistance. 

  • • Should there be any symptoms detected or any medical concerns when there has been contact with people who have recently traveled from compromised countries dial 169 
  • • In case of emergency, including respiratory problems dial 911 

Updates from the Panama Ministry of Health and international health organizations will be shared on a regular basis as they become available. Panama reassures its commitment to safeguard the well-being of all travelers and residents alike. 


February 27, 2020 / Press Release

The Health Ministry of Panama (MINSA) has informed that Panama does not have any suspected cases of Coronavirus in a press conference.

MINSA, with the support of the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (ICGES), has confirmed that as of today, February 27, 2020, that there are no cases of Coronavirus (nCoV) registered in the Republic of Panama.

Resultado de imagen de corona virus in panama

MINSA is working nonstop performing operations in the different ports and points of entry into the country with the help of security agencies. The Health Ministry of Panama has redoubled its efforts for passengers who arrive from risk areas; they are subject to a rigorous inspection with first-rate medical equipment and the government has a complete inter-agency contingency plan, and continue to follow the protocols for epidemiological surveillance of Coronavirus. Panama has no direct connectivity with Asia at the moment.

Resultado de imagen de corona virus in panama

Travellers within Panama are encouraged to follow hygienic guidelines such as those listed by the World Health Organization, MINSA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for protection against the spread of nCoV.

Measures include covering one’s nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, wearing face masks in shared transportation, and regularly washing hands with antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. As well travellers can take extra precautions by avoiding undercooked meat and dairy.

PMA Travel Groups & EcoCircuitos are following the recommendations of World Health Organization, MINSA and CDS for the travel industry.  

 We encourage our partners and travelers to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at this link for accurate information about the Coronavirus. 

For more advice and information on protection and prevention, visit the World Health Organization’s official website.

Contact us if you have any question at

Panama is for families

Every child dreams about exploring jungles, admiring wild animals, and being an authentic adventurer. With EcoCircuitos Panama and our preferred partners, you can enjoy an exciting family vacation. We offer brand-new family experiences, developed through the eyes of our children. Our favorite adventure starts with a biking tour at the promenade of Panama City, after trying exotic ice-cream flavors in the colorful and Old Town. We will also visit the Caribbean side, where we will discover the Portobelo and San Lorenzo forts and will learn about the real Pirates of the Caribbean. Families turn into real explorers when spotting howler monkeys, unique birds as the Toucan, and crocodiles while learning about the ecosystems of the tropical rainforest on board of a jungle boat. Discover why Panama is the Isthmus that changed the world. Click here!

Discover Panama in 2020 a great Getaway for winter time

Discover a destination full of contrast and experience unique festivals such as the renowned Panama Jazz Festival and the International Film Festival. Contact us for details! 

Panama offers a delightful combination of amazing history, diverse cultures, close biodiversity, pristine beaches, national parks, and unique gastronomy. This is the destination to experience adventure in 2020

Panama Jazz 16th Festival – January 13-18, 2020 – The annual Panama Jazz Festival, one of the region’s largest music events held in Panama City, makes its 16th anniversary. Since its foundation in September 2003 by Panamanian Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Pérez, the festival has become a cultural tourist attraction by drawing audiences from across the globe. Some of the artists that will be in Panama next year are Terri Lyne Carrington, Emmy winner Dianne Reeves, Ruben Blades, Lucia Pulido, David Sanchez, Cyrus Chesnut and many more. Contact us to visit Panama and discover an amazing destination.  Contact us for your special program including lodging and entrance fees to one or two concerts. Prices from $299.00 per person plus taxes.

Museum of Biodiversity by Frank Gehry – Panama is known for the greatest man-made creation, the Panama Canal, but people don’t realize Panama`s emergence has great importance. Panama emerged 4 million years ago, creating a barrier between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, uniting two continents (North America and South America) and contributing to the migration of species North to South. This led to a monumental change in the biodiversity of the world.  Frank Gehry, the renowned Canadian architect known for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, presents his uniquely designed Biodiversity Museum to tell the hidden past, inquisitive present and the attractive future of this small but flourishing isthmus that change the world.

9th IFF Panama Film Festival – March 26 – April 1, 2020 – With more hundreds of guests from abroad, the 9th edition of the International Film Festival of Panama (IFF). “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. Contact us at 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 plus taxes

Some of our latest Testimonials

Hola Anaisha,

Thank you very very much! 🙂 

We had THE best tour! Benny is so much fun and he told us lots of interesting facts and introduced us to the Panama Canal and it’s habitat 🙂 we are very happy now and want to thank you for everything! 

Best regards,


beste Grüße,

Rene Lehmann (M.A.)

Dear Anaisha
I just wanted to say thank you for organizing our trip to Panama. What an amazing country. Not what I was expecting at all. The trip had so many contrasts, it was amazing. Everything worked like clockwork. I will definitely come back. Thanks again.

Regards. Rachel

Environmental Tips when Travel

It is impossible to completely remove one’s “footprint” on a vacation expedition, but we struggle to organize our trips in a way that minimizes our impact and encourage our clients to a change.

Every adventure presents opportunities to tread lightly on our environment and by following classic responsible-hiking guidelines you are being part of the movement that can promote conservation and travel.

Trails and walking paths Stay on designated trails and walking paths. Cutting corners anywhere causes erosion and can damage ancient artifacts or historical locations. It is never acceptable to deface natural or human-made objects visited on a EcoCircuitos trip adventure.

Reduction and disposal of waste When possible minimize packaging and avoid using wasteful consumable goods. Trip Leaders should ensure that all trash is deposited in appropriate receptacles, even if prevailing norms are less strict. Garbage and organic waste are not to be buried or scattered under any conditions. Seek out recycling receptacles for paper, cans, bottles, foil, and plastic. Set an example and leave places cleaner than you found them, but be mindful of conveying a judgmental attitude towards local environmental sensibilities.

Bathing and washing When dedicated facilities are unavailable, these activities should be undertaken with buckets or wash basins well away from lakes, streams, and the ocean. Keep soap and detergent out of all water. Avoid wasting water and be aware that westerners’ water usage habits may be viewed as excessive in the local context.

Sanitation Use existing restrooms or latrine facilities. When there are none, walk at least 100 yards from trail, road, or body of water and dig a shallow hole (4 to 6 inches deep). Bury the waste. Do not leave toilet paper uncovered and, if safe, burn it before covering the site.

Endangered species It should without saying that guests should not collect or purchase any items made from endangered plant or animal species. Importing products derived from endangered species into other countries is not only illegal, but it provides financial incentives for pillaging critical natural resources.

Plastic Plastic waste deserves special attention from conscientious travelers visiting developing countries. Conveniences in demand by western tourists are often delivered in some form of plastic: beverages, packaged foods, toiletries, and souvenirs. Unfortunately, poor countries face an expansion of non-biodegradable garbage on an unprecedented scale and most of them lack adequate processing infrastructure. Plastic wastes cannot be easily re-used or reprocessed and have numerous associated health risks.

The Trip Leader should seek out every opportunity to help EcoCircuitos guests avoid consumption of products packaged in plastic. In particular, water bottled in glass (which can more easily be reused or recycled) is always preferred over water in plastic bottles, even at additional cost.

Transportation practices The Trip Leader is encouraged to notify EcoCircuitos if they observe a outfitter or transport company pursuing unsatisfactory environmental standards, or to report on operators taking measurable steps to improve their environmental practices.