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.

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What to do on a layover in Panama City

The Biodiversity Museum at the Amador Causeway

If you have a long layover in Panama City International Airport, don’t stay bored inside some walls and get out and explore a city that offers a delightful combination of history, diversity, close national parks and cosmopolitan living.

Visit the spectacular colorful Biodiversity Museum design by Frank Gehry. Located in Amador Causeway it showcase Panama’s incredible biodiversity. This is a must and later take a biking ride along the Causeway. This is an ideal adventure if you are traveling with kids.

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El espíritu atrapado en una gota. Osvaldo Achu Kantule

Visit the MAC: Contemporary Art Museum of Panama – The Museum of Contemporary Art, popularly called MAC, is the only museum of contemporary art that exists in Panama. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, which has legal status and its building is located on the Avenida de los Martyrs, San Blas Street, Ancón. There is always a show or unique exhibition for the local or Latin American artist. Book our Art Tour and get to know our local artists.

Go hiking, birding or wildlife observation in Metropolitan Park – Explore a tropical forest in the heart of Panama City on a tour through the Parque Natural Metropolitano and Ancon Hill. Watch for sloths, birds, monkeys, insects and tree frogs as you hike through the tropical rainforest, and learn the names for Panama’s native plants and animals. Take in sweeping views of the City from the lookout mirador, see flocks of birds erupt from the foliage and experience the tranquility of Panama City’s only wildlife refuge. You can join one of our rainforest adventures and discover why Panama is the Isthmus that changed the world.

Casco Viejo

Something very local: try a ceviche and local beer – if you want to experience the way of the locals, head to El Mercado del Marisco or stroll in Casco Viejo old colonial town where you will find beautiful shops, , and good restaurants. Our cuisine has received international recognition due to the new generation of young chefs that have raised the quality of our gastronomy by mixing hundreds of years of diversity. Book our gastronomy tour as we are the first tour operator offering this unique experience.

The Journey between two Oceans

Discover the natural and cultural beauty of the Atlantic and Pacific of Panama on board the Discovery Expedition Cruise. This incredible journey will take you to the Darien National Park in search of unique wildlife and for a cultural exchange with one of our distinct indigenous groups: the Emberas. We will also navigate the Pearl Island Archipelago and discover some of the idillic islands of the Pacific. You will also have the unforgettable experience of crossing the renowned Panama Canal and navigate through the Gatun Lake and the world-famous Chagres River while exploring the legendary trails of the of Pirates and Conquistadores that once fought in the Isthmus that changed the world. Ask for summer savings up to 25% off

For details on the program please click here.

2019 Departures:  March 30th, April 30th, May 28th, June, 4th, October 26th, November 27th

2020 Departures:  March 31st, April 29th, May 19th, May 26th, October 24th, November 25th

For reservations: info@ecocircuitos.com

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.

For a complete list of the movies and details for 2019 click here

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 starting $285.00 plus taxes

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