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!

Diving Responsible & Protecting the Corals

From STI

Corals are actually animals! In fact, a single coral formation can be made up of THOUSANDS of tiny little animals called polyps, which are related to jellyfish. Together, polyps create beautiful corals of all shapes and sizes. Some build stony coral reefs, while others form soft corals that resemble bushes, feathers, and trees.

But corals are also extremely sensitive creatures. Something as simple as a change in water temperature or poor water quality can lead to their demise. The rise in climate change and other human impacts is putting coral reefs around the world in jeopardy. Scientists predict that up to 90% of all reefs could be gone by 2050 unless we reduce these impacts.

Coral reefs are the most biodiverse marine ecosystem. Though they cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, they are home to more than a quarter of all marine life. 

If this disease continues to wreak havoc across the Mesoamerican Reef, there will be a ripple effect of consequences for marine life and communities. When coral health declines it can throw off the delicate balance of the entire ecosystem and cause fish populations to dwindle. As the reef becomes barren, local people that rely on the reef will need to find other sources of food and income. On top of this, coastal communities will be left exposed to the damaging impacts of waves and storms. And without calcium rich corals you can also bid farewell to white sandy beaches! 

Picture by Sustainable Travel International

Needless to say, the loss of a reef system as expansive as the Mesoamerican Reef would be devastating at a time when coral reefs across the globe are struggling to survive. 

Ways you can Help

  • Use reef-safe sunscreens that don’t contain harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that are toxic the reef. More information on how sunscreen affects coral reefs and which chemicals to avoid is available here
  • Don’t touch corals or other marine life. Maintaining proper buoyancy is an important skill to keep your fins or equipment from hitting the reef or seafloor.
  • Disinfect your dive and snorkel gear between excursions by removing debris and sanitizing it with a 5-10% bleach solution. For sensitive equipment, use fresh water with antibacterial dish soap instead. Detailed instructions on how to safely decontaminate different types of gear are outlined here. 
  • Don’t litter and reduce plastic use to reduce the amount of debris that is contaminating the reef.
  • Choose responsible dive operators, hotels, and other businesses that practice proper wastewater treatment and use environmentally friendly cleaning products and fertilizers.  

From Sustainable Travel International

Panamanians: Truly happy people

In a recent survey done by Gallup, Panama ranked number 1 as the happiest country in the world. “Global happiness studies often involve two measures — how people see their lives and how they live their lives. Both concepts are rooted in behavioral economics.  How people reflect on their life is very different from how people live their life.

Panama leads not only the region, but the world in four of the five well-being elements — purpose, social, community, and physical well-being.

Four reasons why Panama is a happy destination and you should include it to your bucket list for 2020.

1 – Panama is a destination of traditional family values. Bonds are paramount, and family and friends play a very important role in society.

2 – Panama is naturally beautiful and biodiverse – a small country with two oceans and a productive environment. Panama offers close natural attractions for day trips and weekend escapes. Easy access to beaches, mountains, islands, rainforests, and more.

3 – Cultural diverse – a genuinely melting pot where the local folklore can be experienced through a multitude of festivals, dances, and traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. The different festivals reflect the influence of the various ethnic groups that make up the country. To the north, in Colon Province, one can observe traditions of African influence, such as Congo drums dating back to the era of slavery and the Black Christ feast. In contrast, the Pollera Festival in the town of Las Tablas honors the Spanish colonial traditions.

4 – Stable government and safe destination, Panama is considered to be the safest country of Latin America.

Happiness can’t be measured by how much money you make, but in Panama is influenced by the bonds of your family, friends, and environment.

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.

Resultado de imagen para contemporary art museum of panama kantule
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

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.

 

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