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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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.

 

The Best Beaches near Panama City

Panama is blessed with its unique beaches in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. This amazing country has two long coasts and many islands that are ideal for family beach combing, surfing, kite surfing or other water sports.

Some of my favorite beaches I listed below:

  1.  Veracruz Beach:  It is at only 20 minutes from the City and this spot is great for those interested in Stand up Paddle or kayaking the bay of Panama.  There are several rentals for SUP.  Don’t miss it.
  2. Punta Chame:  if you like kite surfing, this is your spot.  A great mountain backdrop and very long beach.  There are also schools in the area for kite surfing.
  3.  Coronado and Serena beach:  this is a little bay ideal for surfing.  It is located close to condominiums and has easy access during the day.
  4. El Palmar and Rio Mar:  both beaches are ideal for surfers.  Some small hotels and restaurants in the area and close to Rio Mar more beachfront condominiums.  I love to go there during the weekday.
  5. Playa Langosta: in Colon on the Atlantic side this beach is on the road to Portobello and at only 1.5 hours from the city.  It is very very crowed during the weekends.
  6. Isla Grande:  Also in Colon Province a little farther from Portobello this is a small fishing town, this beach is great for swimming and also for surfing on a shallow reef.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Congo Dances from Portobello: Celebrating our African heritage

 The Congo Dance of Panama is a unique and colorful celebration of dances and part of the folklore in the province of #Colon. The dance has its roots in Africa and came to Panama by way of escaped former slaves known as “Cimarrons.”  The dance has been passed on from generation to generation, and can be seen today in the province of Colon, in costal towns such as Portobello (1 ½ hours from Panama City) where the Afro-Panamanian legacy remains very much alive.  Girls and women from #Colon province during the Congo festivities.

The Congos of Portobelo today are the descendants of the cimarrones—runaway slaves who fought for their freedom during the Spanish colonial period. After escaping into the mountain hills and forest, the cimarrones built their villages (Palenques) from which they waged wars against their former enslavers.

The Congos is beautiful dance full of mystery and legends, in which men and women stage with dances, songs and sonorous drums, the ancestral drama of life, and the fight between the good and evil.

The women dance swaying their hips in an almost erotic manner, using hands and feet to mark the man limits. They wear a long skirt made ​​up of a patchwork of very bright colors fabric, a blouse with a colorful frill necklaces, flower in her hair, and bare feet. The men wear a fringed shirt and pants (made of strips of colored cloth), masks, and bare feet and dance around the women, doing their best to get close and kiss them. The rhythm of drums, singing and applause invites everyone around to participate in the Congo.

Check out the video below of a local news report about the 2013 Festival of Diablos and Congos:

A Pirate in Portobello

Portobello is located in Colon at the Caribbean side of Panama and was established during the Spanish colonial time. With the old cannons, ruins and buildings I totally immersed into the pirates tales and leyends.

Heading north – east from Panama City it is about two hours away by bus. The ride along the Caribbean side with all the palm trees and small huts has already impressed me. It felt like a short holiday for me.  We arrived on Saturday morning and slept in “Captain Jack’s hostel”.  The hostel was designed like a hidden pirate stash. Decorated with old guns, swords, skulls and ripped pirate flags the place was really authentic. On top of it, the hostel was located on a top of a hill from where we had an amazing view over Portobello. The owner Jack had the aura and appearance of an old pirate.

After we have settled down and stored our things, we took a small boat to an outer island and relaxed and snorkeled there for the day. With nobody else besides us there, we felt like stranded sailors with some rum left.

At about 5PM we headed back to the hostel, drank some rum and exchanged our adventures with Captain Jack. It was an amazing night full of fun and stories.

The next morning we had a most delicious pirate breakfast with bacon, eggs, fruits and a secret sauce made by Jack. Before we jumped on the bus back to Panama City we visited the ruins of Portobello. Standing by the ancient cannons I could completely imagine how the Pirates attacked the port city. After a day of ancient times, I sadly had to leave this port city.

 If you want to feel like a pirate and want to experience Portobello  where Francis Drake is sunken or San Lorenzo Castle where Henry Morgan first arrive Panama.  Contact us or visit our website www.ecocircuitos.com to find out more information.  Contact us directly at 1-800-830-7142. We are looking forward to organize a trip for you!

By Marc Vedder

Fam Trip El Otro lado Boutique hotel in Portobello

Our team visited again El Otro Lado Boutique hotel in Portobello and they have a day relaxing and luxury.

El Otro Lado is a private retreat, situated in a privileged refuge of Portobelo Bay, integrating design, culture, nature and luxury in a unique manner to provide guests with authentic experiences that are select and customized.
Located approximately 90 minutes from Panama City, and next to the Portobelo National Park, El Otro Lado is the perfect venue to relax and disconnect while pondering the lush and youthful verdure. With views of the sea, the four tropical eclectic design houses integrate simple details with handcrafted traditions of Panama’s Atlantic coast.
A veritable stream of memorable experiences, El Otro Lado takes you to a dream-like place that is in harmony and balance, yet replete with life’s modern conveniences.This luxury boutique hotel offers a spectacular location in the tropical rainforest, an integrated landscape design in an unspoiled expanse, infinity view swimming pool, tropical eclectic design and indigenous decorative elements.