Fam Trip to Bristol Buenaventura, Panama Pacific Side

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To get to know the luxurious 5-star beach resort Bristol Buenaventura, located at the Pacific Ocean, we were invited to a fam trip. So, early in the morning we met the representative of the hotel and left Panama City with a small group of travel agents. After crossing the famous bridge of The Americas and the Panama Canal we enjoyed a nice journey through the interior of the country. Only one and a half hours later we arrived at the impressive resort. Firstly, the 18-hole Nicklaus Design golf course was visited including the golf shop and the area of the restaurant and terrace where nice parties can take place. The golf course can only be reserved by clients and residents of Bristol Buenaventura, and some golf packages can be created for clients who stay at Bristol Panama. Playing golf in the course of Bristol Buenaventura is also a great opportunity to enjoy stunning landscapes.

Afterwards the different parts of the resort were presented. We started at the open lobby where the team of Buenaventura welcomed us very nicely with a refreshing drink. It is nicely decorated in bright and matching colors. The tour continued with an inspection of the fitness area, the gym and the spa. Guests can enjoy great treatments like massages in a relaxing atmosphere, take a comforting bath in the Jacuzzi or have a sauna. The whole spa area is nicely decorated and calming music in the background helps to relax throughout.

Then, we proceeded to the luxurious rooms of the resort including deluxe rooms and suites which are also able to be combined. From the rooms guests can enjoy amazing views over the resort area, pools as well as lakes and the ocean. The resort offers 114 spacious guestrooms, 5 exquisitely appointed suites and 4 large and elegant lagoon villas. Our group continued the tour with visiting the two spacious salons for corporate meetings and social events with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and the elegant ballroom for social gatherings. Also, we visited the classy restaurant which offers modern Panamanian cuisine in a variety of outdoor and indoor dining areas. The exquisite breakfast and desserts are realized by a new French Chef.

The Salon Palapa which is built out of glass windows is located near the El Afresco Restaurant and over the river, a perfect romantic setting for weddings and anniversaries.

After the inspection visit, we entered a villa where we had some drinks and could rest a moment. It was announced that we are going to the beach soon where we would participate in some teambuilding activities. Therefore we met our teamers and animators who explained us the program and the rules. We got prepared for the activities and put on our bathing suits. Arrived at the beach three smaller groups were formed and we started the competition which consisted of rally, where we had to get the tools for the next assignments out of the ocean by swimming and with kayaks. We had to fill up a bucket with water and the last task was a creative one: we had to draw the logo of the Bristol hotels in the sand. It was very exciting and a lot of fun. In the afternoon we enjoyed a delicious lunch buffet in one of the elegant three restaurants of the resort. Finally we had some relaxing time at the beautiful pool with an integrated bar in the water and used the opportunity to drive quads at the beach.

After a perfect combination of excitement and relaxation we returned to Panama City.

By:  Anne & Clemence

 

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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.