Whale watching adventure in Azuero Peninsula

If you want to see humpback whales, the best place is Azuero Peninsula.   Every year thousands of humpback whales are swimming along the coastline of Panama as part of their migratory journey. They will pass Panama over a four months period, from July to October. This is an amazing opportunity to head out to the pacific ocean and admire the huge friendly giants from up close.  Join us in the adventure!

Day 1 – Welcome to Panama!

Today at the appropriate time an EcoCircuitos representative will be meet you at the Tocumen International Airport to assist and transfer you to your hotel located in Panama City. You will aso receive an EcoCircuitos information kit. Once arrival, please check in and overnight.

Your transfer will take 25-30 minutes approximately.

Overnight: Hampton Hotel. Standard Room

Day 2 – Azuero Peninsula!

Early in the morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the Azuero Peninsula. This diverse region of the country is made up of three culturally rich provinces: Herrera, Los Santos and Veraguas. The Pacific Ocean is located to the west and the Gulf of Panama to the east of the peninsula. Azuero is known as the folkloric center of Panama, the traditional clothing, such as the beautiful Pollera, and handicrafts, such as ceramics based on pre-Colombian designs, originated and are still made in the areaty in the Pacific off Pedasi is whale watching. Whales are a common sight in the waters of the Azuero Peninsula near Pedasi. Once you arrive you will check in and overnight at hotel.

Turtles Experience at Isla Cañas

At around 4:00 PM you will be transferred from hotel to the port of Cañas, where your boat will be waiting for you to take you to Isla Cañas. On the short boat ride you will enjoy the mangroves and the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Isla Cañas with its 14km long beach is the most important nesting site for sea turtles on the Pacific Coast of Panama. From July thousands of sea turtles of five different species arrive to the coast of Isla Cañas to nest. Once you arrive to Cañas Island you will enjoy a traditional dinner prepared by a local family. After dinner, you will hop on a horse cart and start exploring the beaches of Cañas Island together with your guide, in order to look for the sea turtles to arrive and nest. Once you spot a turtle, your guide will take you closer so you can observe in detail how the impressive animal digs a hole in the beach and lays its eggs.  After the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel. Duration: from 4pm until 11pm approximately.  Overnight: Cubitá Boutique Hotel. Standard Room (B)

Day 3 – Made in Herrera

Discover the manufacturing process of the traditional products of the Herrera Province: sugar-cane, salt, clay and bread. Experience the many uses of sugarcane from refreshing sugarcane juice called “Guarapo”, traditional cooking of sugarcane honey to the production of artisanal sug-arcane liquor; see the extraction of salt from the Pacific Ocean; visit the production of handmade clay pottery; and learn how the famous La Arena bread is baked. Overnight: Cubitá Boutique Hotel. Standard Room (B)

 Day 4 – Whale Watching at Iguana Island

Today at the appropriate time you will be transferred to Playa El Arenal in Pedasí, to board your boat. After a short briefing about responsible whale watching you will start the tour on the Pacific Ocean. Around Pedasi’s coastline, dolphins are frequently seen and between June and October humpback whales. These whales migrate from cold waters to Panama’s Pacific coast with warmer water temperatures to give birth. Your captain and guide are trained for responsible whale watching and will enlighten you with many interesting de-tails about the whales, while – with a bit of luck – you are able to observe these giants of the seas.       After the whale watching you will head towards Iguana Island – a wildlife refuge 8 kilometers off the coast. The island is famous for its white sand beach, crystal waters and coral riffs including 17 different types of corals that shelter more than 350 species of fish. You will enjoy the white sand beach for a while before returning to the mainland for a lunch.

After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in Pedasi. Overnight: Hotel Playa Venao. Standard Room (B, L)

 Day 5 – Free day in Azuero Peninsula

Free day for relaxation and optional activities. There are many activities that visitors can do during their stay such as: swimming, snorkeling, horseback riding, walks in a tropical dry forest, surfing in Playa Venao, deep sea fishing, turtle watching and more. Overnight: Hotel Playa Venao. Standard Room (B)

Day 6 – Transfer back to Panama City

At the appropriate time an EcoCircuitos Representative will be waiting for you for your transfer from Pedasi to Panama City.

Overnight: Hotel Playa Venao. Standard Room (B)

 Day 7 – Departure

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

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

** END OF SERVICES**

PRICES PER PERSON: $1142.00

Minimum 4 people traveling together.

Rates valid from July 15th until Oct 30th, 2015

 The program includes:
– 6 nights of lodging and taxes

– Government taxes

– Private transfers in and out (Tocumen International Airport)

– Tours and meals as mentioned above

– Breakfast at all mentioned hotels (day 2 thru day 7)

– Information kit
– Lodging taxes

 

The program does not include:

– Optional activities

– International airfare and taxes
– Departure taxes ($40.00 per person for Panama)
– Meals not specified in the itinerary

– Alcoholic beverages

– Personal equipment
– Extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service, etc.)
– Gratuities

 

Rates are valid until, October 30th, 2015 and subject to change due increases on fuel prices

  • Prices are net per person.
  • Prices are given in US Dollars.
  • Prices are subject to change without previous notice depending on any significant increase in rates, taxes, fuel or due to availability problems.
  • Prices are based on the minimum of paying participants previously informed.
  • If the minimum number of paying participants changes, the rates would also change
  • Tips for drives and guides not included

**Prices are subject to change without notice, according to fuel increases, taxes and hotel availability.  

Note: This is a quote not a reservation. Please note that all quotations given are subject to availability at the time of reservation and cannot be guaranteed until payment is received. Please note that credit card payments are subject to processing fees.

 

EcoCircuitos Travel Policy

EcoCircuitos realizes that has important environmental and social responsibilities in and out of the office.  We create memorable travel experiences in Panama’s natural history and cultural heritage.   Our office team and supplier ensure quality service, cultural sensitivity, local knowledge, innovation and social and environmental responsibility.  As travellers ourselves we believe giving something back is essential.  Therefore we work with our team, suppliers and customers to ensure that benefits will contribute directly to the communities we visit and their environment.

For more information, please visit our web page www.ecocircuitos.com at Responsible Travel Policy.

Enhance the traveler experience with local talents… local knowledge.

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Whale Watching in Panama: Eco Guidelines for a sustainable adventure

Awe-Ispiring . Amazing . Unforgetable

Observe these elegant giants of the Pacific Ocean during their migration season that goes from July till November. At just 40 miles south from Panama City you will enter a rich biological corridor home the Pearl Islands Archipelago. Observe these amazing creatures as they make there way to their favorite warm tropical waters to give birth to their calves. Join this once in a life time experience with EcoCircuitos Panama; we will guide you through the deep waters of the Panama Bay onward to the Pearl Islands in search for these magnificent mammals.  Other options available in Azuero Peninsula and the Gulf of Chiriqui.

Here is some important guidelines for whale watching:

  • Slowly approach Cetaceans sideways, never from front or rear.
  • Never cross the path of a Cetacean or a group of Cetaceans in the aim to anticipate their moves and facilitate a closer encounter: they will most probably feel chased and avoid you.
  • Slow down to “no-wake” speed, and maintain a steady direction. You will make them feel more secure, and the probability of a close encounter will be higher.
  • Never split a pod or group of Cetaceans.
  • Be aware of other boats in the surrondings. Dolphins and Whales should never feel encircled, and it is very sensible to leave the area if it happens to be already busy.
  • Be especially aware of the presence of mothers and calves, exactly as you would be in your intraspecific relations.
  • Never spend more than 20 minutes with Cetaceans, unless they want to spend a longer time with you.
  • Never feed cetaceans. You do not want to perturb their natural feeding habits, which may cause big problems in the long run.
  • Try to make as little noise as possible.
  • Be aware of possible signs of distress (see below), and leave at very low speed the area if you notice any.
  • Kindly discourage other people from putting a lot of pressure on the Skipper in the aim of making her/him get closer and closer (and finally too close) to Cetaceans. It sadly happens more often than one can imagine. The best Whale Watch Operators are the ones who are more sensible, not the ones who get closer. Moreover, the most sensible operators have often the best encounters.
  • If you swim with Cetaceans, do not try to touch them or get closer than they want you to. As important, check the local regulations before you get in the water with them. Most countries or states do not let people swim with Cetaceans.

EcoCircuitos realizes that has important environmental and social responsibilities in and out of the office.  We create memorable travel experiences in Panama’s natural history and cultural heritage.   Our office team and supplier ensure quality service, cultural sensitivity, local knowledge, innovation and social and environmental responsibility.  As travellers ourselves we believe giving something back is essential.  Therefore we work with our team, suppliers and customers to ensure that benefits will contribute directly to the communities we visit and their environment.

For more information and tour description please contact us info@ecocircuitos.com

COIBA National Park – Attractions and Activities

Located in the Gulf of Chiriquí, Coiba National Park is a marine reserve off Panama’s Pacific coast. Coiba National Park (Nacional Parque Coiba) is comprised of a group of 38 islands including Coiba Island (Isla Coiba) and the waters surrounding them and covers 430,825 acres. Identified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2005, Coiba National Park offers rich and well preserved natural resources.

Because Isla Coiba served Panama as a penal colony, access to the island was very restricted. Almost by accident, 80% of the islands’ natural resources have therefore survived untouched and flourished through limited human contact.

Coiba National Park is managed by the National Authority for the Environment (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, ANAM). The park is accessible only by permit from ANAM.  A number of tour operators in Panama, including EcoCircuitos Panama offer adventure tours, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving trips to Coiba and can assist in obtaining appropriate permits.

The tour operators depart from several different places on the Panamanian coast.

Attractions in Coiba includes:
• Exhibition and Information Center, Park Ranger Station.
• Viewing Platforms (Miradores) El Gambute.
• Thermal Springs and Nature Interpretation Trial.
• Monkey Trail.
• Nature Interpretation Trail to ancient Mangrove Forest of Santa Cruz.
• Trial to the Waterfall at Juncal.
• Nature Interpretation Trail to the Volcanic Rift Valley.
• Volcanic Fault.
• The Island Granito de Oro (Grain of Gold)
• The Penal Colony, La Central Camp.
• Nature Interpretation trails of Jicaron and Jicarita.
• River Kayaking. Rio San Juan and Punta Hermosa.
• Nature Interpretation Trail on Isla Rancheria.
• Nature Interpretation Trail Isla Brincanco, Archipelago of Contreras.

Source:  http://www.coibanationalpark.com/

Beyond the Panama Canal

Beyond the Panama Canal, you could find yourself in lush tropical rain forests of the Canal Watershed or walking through the maze like streets of Casco Antiguo between the colorful colonial buildings and art shops and gourmet restaurants. You may also find yourself on a deserted island watching tropical fish weave through your toes. This is just a touch of what you will find in Panama. The country’s rich history is just like the fine detail you will find in a Guna indigenous mola.

In a diverse country like Panama, it comes as no surprise that travel and tourism are well developed. Tiny locally owned luxury boutique hotels coexist with many of the world’s big names in the hospitality sector, such as Waldorf Astoria, Trump, Hilton or Marriott.

Escape the winter and let yourself be surprised by Panama. Encounter traditional indigenous settlements less than two hours from the city’s international banking district, watch the incredible wildlife along the Panama Canal while huge cargo ships cross from ocean to ocean in the background, spend the morning in a state-of-the-art convention center and the afternoon on a perfect beach. Whatever you are looking for, you can find it here.

Suggestions: Stay in the colonial district of Casco Antiguo and visit nearby landmarks such as the Miraflores Locks, Panama Viejo arqueological site, the Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry and climb Discovery Centre Rain Forest tower-climb up 30 meters and gaze over the forest canopy in the Soberania National Park.

Visit the picturesque San Blas Archipelago, home of the Guna people and eat amazing seafood while learning about this vibrant culture. Then make your way to the Chiriqui highlands and search for the resplendent quetzal and drink the renowned Geshia coffee. Also make your way to the Bocas del Toro Archipelago for great snorkeling and beach combing at its best. If you have time visit the Azuero Peninsula the heart of Panama´s colonial culture and great beaches for surfing and sunbathing. For the more adventurous trek the Darien gap. Panama has something for everyone.

By EcoCircuitos Panama

INCENTIVES AND MEETINGS THAT ARE SUSTAINABLE

Incentive travel is a reward or recognition to the staff of an organization that fulfill their goals.  This type of travel it is used also by companies to change the behavior, to improve productivity and to motivate the team to become more successful and engage with the organization philosophy.

EcoCircuitos Incentives is committed to making Panama a better place through tourism.  As we are true believers that any type of travel can include the sustainable component, we work with our clients, partners and staff to develop incentives programs that are authentic, fun and responsible.

SUSTAINABLE PARTNERS

We encourage our clients to incorporate sustainable and responsible practices into their planned meetings and incentives travel to Panama.  Our company will source the best locations and venues that share this commitment of responsibility while we take active actions to reduce, reuse and recycle the waste generated by the events and activities.

EcoCircuitos Incentives offers innovative Meetings, Incentives and Events for clients who demand only the best.  Our experiences are unique and specifically designed to inspire our travelers.  All of our incentives are fully customizable to ensure the best possible experience for our clientele and organize in different areas of Panama that offers cultural, folklore and diversity.

Our company is committed to responsible travel and sustainable tourism development. We believe that travelers are agents of change and we aim preserve the travel experience for generations to come by educating travelers on the diversity & cultural wealth of the places they visit.  We aim to provide adventures in Panama with minimal negative impact on the environment or on the local cultures of the places we operate.

EcoCircuitos Incentives is the choice for all travelers who want conscientious travel with style. A percentage of all our profits are donated to local organizations that support sustainable development and conservation. Ask our team for a list of partner’s organizations.

For more information contact us!

http://www.ecocircuitos.com/incentive

Escape to Azuero Peninsula

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By Yarelis Campines

Almost finishing the high season Cubitá tours invited us to a Fam-Trip to Azuero Peninsula. I was excited just by reading the itinerary. My family is from Azuero, so I’m passionate of our folklore and culture.

Azuero Peninsula is located in the southern of Panama and provides the best cultural experience. The Carnivals and many festivals are celebrated in Azuero that is conformed for Herrera, Los Santos and Veraguas. The best part is that you have everything close, the historic towns, cultural activities and beaches with crystalline water.

We started our trip departing from Multiplaza, Panama City to Azuero. Fabian our guide was so nice giving us some introduction about all the activities we were going to do. Our first stop was at El Caño Archeological Site which is located in El Caño in the province of Coclé. In El Caño was discovered the most important graves in the last 70 years with many pieces of gold and precious stones. It was called by its discoverer ‘El Dorado de Panamá’.

We were so lucky because we could see this grave with some archaeologists working on it. Nobody can’t take photos but we will have these memories forever.

Then we went to visit two of the oldest churches of America continent with more than 150 years of foundation in Natá and today is stil using. These town are very quiet with a lot of history. Just seeing the houses you almost feel in the 1558 when it was founded the town. At noon Fabian said, the next place was Fonda El Ciruelo to have a typical Panamanian lunch. I definitely have to come back to that Fonda to taste again the best tamales, lechona and biñuelos.

With a great lunch, we departed to Guararé to know some local women who make with their hands the beautiful typical dress of Panamá, ‘La Pollera’. We had a nice moment trying to learn with them and appreciating their arts. Continue visiting the towns, we stopped in the house of Mr. José who with his family work creating some diablicos mask. These masks are used by the local people for festivals. After that we went to La Arena de Chitré where a family prepares the best bread of Azuero Peninsula made in a traditional oven.

After the last stop we depart to know the hotel. Cubitá boutique hotel with a friendly atmosphere and highlighting the typical Panamanian environment.

On Sunday early in the morning we started the day with a good breakfast for then continue our trip to La Hacienda San Isidro located in Pesé in Herrera province to know how two of the Panamanian products are prepared (Ron Abuelo and Seco Herrerano).

Just arriving at the farm we stop being transferred by a traditional wagon with cows that was fascinating!

We learned a lot about these products and enjoy some cocktails prepared with Ron Abuelo.

After this fam-trip we are very glad to help you to organize your trip to the cultural heart of Panama, Azuero Peninsula!  For more information about this tour and others, you can email me directly at info@ecocircuitos.com

 

 

 

 

Fam Trip to Azuero Peninsula

By Franzisca Beyer

Just at the end of my internship I was invited to a great trip to Azuero and for sure I was more than happy to go on this last trip with Panama Al Natural who organized the whole trip.
Our trip started with visiting the archaeological park el Cano (province of Cocle), where remains of bodies, weapons, tools and pieces of gold, whose antiquity dates between 700 and 1,000 years were found. The excavations in el Caño started in 2006 in an area of about 5,000 square meters, but the first archaeological finds of bodies and parts were found between 2008 and 2009, when the first discoveries were reported. Visiting this place was a very nice start to our trip.
Later that day we arrived to Parita a small town near Chitre, where we visited a man who produces traditional masks. We were invited to his home, he explained and showed us how to fabricate these masks. It was heartwarming to see him working with so much passion.
Having arrived in Pedasi, we got picked up by our guide for the next hours. I already had been to Pedasi, but I had not heard before about Isla Cañas, which is about an one hour ride from Pedasi. This island is the most important place in Panama where turtles  come to spawn and whales on their migration path can be observe.

After delicious fried fish with patacones we took a long walk at the beach, hoping to meet a turtle. It was deep dark..I was listening to the sounds of the ocean and trying to keep this amazing atmosphere in mind.
And it was our lucky day because just when we started our way back to the hotel we saw a big and beautiful turtle spawning. It was one of the best days in my life…we all sat down and observed her patiently. The turtle finished spawning and started to cover the eggs carefully, after assuring herself that all eggs were well protected she started her long way back to the ocean. Impressed of this wonder of nature we also got back to the hotel.
The next day after having lovely prepared and delicious pancakes at Hostal Doña Maria we continued our trip to a small town called San José, where we had traditional lunch and got an introduction about the pollera, the typical dress of Panama which was quite interesting. It is incredible how enthusiastic these women produce the polleras and how successful they are. We finished the day with a tasty diner at hotel Mykonos in Santiago.
Early in the morning we started our last day with a boat trip to an island in the bay of Montijo. Our boat was accompanied by dolphins, the sun was shining and the island was just stunning beautiful with a white-sand beach and pristine water. While eating my picnic lunch at the beach, I watched pelicans catching fish and I was thinking about how lucky I am to experience Panama with EcoCircuitos.
Now I am back in the office writing my last report and I would like to thank EcoCircuitos for my internship here in Panama. This last trip and the Panama Canal Transit are definitely experiences that I will remember a life time.