Family Fun Adventures

This fun-filled trip is perfect for families who are ready to start an exciting adventure holiday in the tropics. Explore the natural beauties of Panama together with your whole family and keep an eye out for wild animals with your fun guide. Get ready for the vacation of the year!

Experience the facets of the Panama Canal in this great itinerary combining the history of this amazing feat of human engineering with the biodiversity of its lush rainforest surroundings in the Soberania National Park. Our guides are specialists trained to provide in-depth insights and understandings in their field, from ornithology, botany, and herpetology to history, culture and traditions. These understandings foster unforgettable travel experiences, as well as responsible encounters between travelers and nature, animals and local people.

On this unique adventure you will visit the Atlantic locks and the UNESCO site in Portobello and San Lorenzo, a magnificent example of 17th- and 18th-century military architecture, these Panamanian forts on the Caribbean coast form part of the defense system built by the Spanish Crown to protect transatlantic trade. What an unforgettable adventure for families! Recreate the real Pirates of the Caribbean! 

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CHRISTMAS TIME AND NEW YEAR IN PANAMA

What would you say to spend Christmas’ holidays in Panama?

Far away from cold, discovering a new culture, relaxing on white sand beaches, snorkel, wearing swimsuits and shorts, that’s what is expecting you if you choose to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Panama!

Try a snowman made in sand, taste fresh fish and seafood, get tanned on the beach, but not only.

You will be surprised by all the Panamanian traditions you will meet during this period!

One but not the least is the grapes’ tradition.

For the new year, Panamanians eat 12 grapes and count the total number of seeds to know which number is going to be their lucky number of the year.

Then, do not be surprised to catch people driving a suitcase by street (or in their house) around 12am. It’s a superstition which is supposed to make you travel during the year.

An other tradition is the “Muñeco”. Looking like a big doll, Panamanians build it (or buy it) for New Year. Made with papier-mâché and full of fireworks, Panamanians begin to set up the Muñeco in early December. They usually represent celebrities, public figures or politicians we heard about all year long and someone they normally do not like or do not care about. Creative way of taking a last look at a despised personality before making it exploded! Muñecos remain on display in front of Panamanians home throughout December before being blown up!

Let’s stay with fireworks… Panamanians are totally keen on fireworks! You are probably also used to it for New Year, but believe me, you are not prepared for Panamanian ones!
For Christmas and New Year, fireworks don’t only last few minutes, but few hours!!! So do not be scared if you hear the same noises for 2 hours, you are not becoming deaf, you are just celebrating as Panamanians do! It’s really common that a lot of families have their own fireworks! That’s why it never stops for hours…

You will also probably see people wearing red or yellow clothes. Red for love and yellow for a good luck throughout the year.

Also, Panamanians usually hang a bunch of oranges, rice, and wheat behind the front door, for prosperity, work, and health.

Of course, you will also enjoy typical Panamanian dishes as Arroz con guandù, Papa ensalada, Jamon and Pavo, Tomales, fresh Fish, rosca de pan, chichi de saril…

A real lush, authentic and original experience to live in Panama during this period!

 

 

 

Panama: Naturally close to you

Panama is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Its unique ecology stems in part from its connection to the two continents that created a bridge that made it easier for animals and plants to migrate between North and South America. Scientists believe that the formation of the Isthmus of Panama is one of the most important geologic events to happen on Earth’s climate and its environment in the last 60 million years.

Birds are a primary indicator of biodiversity and Panama has more species than the United States and Canada combine: it has more than 970 different birds. Panama is also privileged to be home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), a scientific investigation center, which has been cataloging and monitoring this vast ecological heritage for nearly a century.

Panama offers to birders and nature enthusiast’s great opportunities to experience wildlife within short distances, involving diverse habitats in the different regions of the country, from tropical rainforest, marine coastal areas to the beautiful cloud forest in national parks and private reserves.

Our expert naturalist guides are passionate about tropical Panama and will make sure you have an unforgettable experience. Our team will create a special itinerary featuring wonderful locations where you are able to enjoy first class birding and other nature activities.

Come and discover Panama and the close nature of the neotropics with a passionate team.  We will make sure to organize an unforgettably vacation experience.  Contact us:  www.ecocircuitos.com

Visit an Embera Community in Gatun Lake – A unique experience

by:  Anne Kehmeier, Intern

Luckily I had the chance to join an exciting EcoCircuitos tour to the indigenous village of the Embera Drua people to get to know their lifestyles and traditions. Accompanied by a great naturalist guide we started our trip with a ride through the Canal Zone and the nice Soberania National Park where we even saw a small anteater on the street. Arrived at the bank of the Chagres River we boarded a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) with an indigenous guide and captain and traveled the Gatun Lake to the communityt. We had a stop for a small hike of the botanical trail “Venta de Cruces” off the community. This forest was full of interesting trees, plants and small animals like the rana hoja, a frog that looks like a leave and is very well camouflaged. The indigenous guide explained us how the trail was used and showed us many different plants. He described how these plants were applied and still are nowadays, for example for medical purposes. After the small hike we continued our boat tour to the village. While enjoying the view out of the boat over the river and the nearby forests and the refreshing water that spilled over to us in the boat from time to time we reached the bank where the Embera village is situated. Our arrival at the “dock” was accompanied with local music and we were welcomed very friendly. After some time of enjoying the marvelous location and the view of the river we were given a presentation about clothing, handcrafts and other traditions and lifestyles by a young representative of the Embera community. Most of the arts and crafts are made of natural resources like seeds, leaves and different kinds of wood. Then we even had the pleasure to have a traditional lunch which existed of delicious fried plantain and fish, followed by fresh bananas and pineapples as desert. After this yummy lunch the Embera women showed us a really fascinating dance accompanied by interesting traditional music presented by the Embera men. We were even invited to join the dance and learn some steps; this was really exciting and fun! After this program we had the opportunity to explore the village and the surroundings a little bit, of course in way that does not disrupt the daily life of the community. By doing so we could also buy some of the beautiful handcrafts made by the Embera.

I was very pleased to hear and to see that the local community really benefits from tourism and this is a way for them to demonstrate their traditions and sell their self-made products. As this community lives in the Chagres National Park, thus a protected area, they are not allowed to hunt, to cultivate fields and use the wood of the forest to keep their farms. Therefore it is a great opportunity that they profit from tourism as they welcome regularly small groups and thus they have the opportunity to sell their handcrafts like nicely designed plates, small statues, neglects, bracelets and much more. In this way they do not only preserve their traditions but also conserve and preserve the nature around them.

I really enjoyed this adventure, the people were really friendly and open-minded and I learned a lot about the life in the Chagres National Park. It was a pleasure for me to get to know the Embera people and I am really glad I had this opportunity. Thanks for this great, exciting, personal and very unique experience!

Geotourism in Chagres National Park

Early in the morning, we get to the Chagres River, the main reservoir of drinking water for the cities of Panama and Colon, also supplies water for the operation of the Panama Canal. Here we board a dugout canoe with motor and travel up the River to the Embera Drua village.

The boat journey of 45 minutes takes us through lush rainforest of the Chagres National park. From the boat it is possible to admire the beauty of the rich and flourishing nature; there is a complete silence, broken only by the sounds of the water and of the birds. The river is the only way to get to the Emberá village, otherwise it is possible to walk through the forest but that will take no less than 4 hrs. During the rainy season the river will rise a lot, while during the dry season the level of the water will be very shallow, causing problems to pass through some places.

The Emberá community was founded in the Chagres national Park in 1975, and today counts 115 inhabitants, of which 30 are kids. In 1996 a school was built also thanks to the contribution of organizations, tour operators and individuals who strongly support the protection and conservation of the environment end the life of the Indigenous communities. There are often volunteers who spend some time within the village, offering help and doing researches.

When we arrive, a representative of the Emberá community explain us everything about their history, way of living, traditions, dances, music, together with the help of some women that show us how they make handcrafts using palms fibers, woods, leaves, rocks, etc..

All the handicrafts they make are on sale at their small picturesque market.
We have also the chance to get our body painted, as the Emberá usually do, using a particular ink made of ashes and plant pigments. The tattoos will last about 8 days.

At lunchtime we sit together enjoying the delicious freshwater fish, Tilapia and Sargento, accompanied by crispy platanos y a bunch of fresh fruits, such as pineapple, passion fruit, watermelon, bananas..

After lunch we move to another open air building, where the Emberá women will perform local dances on the music played by the men using artesian flutes and drums. The first dance is performed in between them, while in the following ones everybody will take the floor and show their dancing skills!

Once we have done with that, unfortunately It’s time to board again on the piraguas and go back to the “real word”, but confident with the fact that our soul is fulfilled with the best emotions and feelings that the wonderful people of the Emberá community were passionately able to transmit to us.

Léa Maillard & Paola Alzatti.

Christmas Vacation in Panama

7 days and 6 nights
$725.00

This trip combines the cosmopolitan city of Panama, the highlands of El Valle and the Pacific Beach retreat at TOGO B&B or Buenaventura hotel.  City, Beaches and Rainforest in an unforgettable Christmas vacation in Central America.  Hike the cloudorest at a former crater in el Valle and enjoy a zip line adventure at Canopy Tour.  You will be staying at Los Mandarinos boutique hotel and SPA surrounded by beautiful mountains.  Admire the Panama Canal and the historical colonial sites and climb the observatory tower at Discovery Center.   Finish your trip by traveling into the Pacific Beach  with activities including snorkeling, fishing, and much more!

Contact us for the Caribbean Adventure in Bocas del Toro, San Blas, Boquete highlands, Azuero Peninsula and more.

For quotes and prices:  sales@ecocircuitos.com