Panama Pete Adventures                                    

The Big Ditch


The Panama Canal is one of the modern wonders of the world.  Many people would like to see more than just the locks.  Some take a Canal Transit with hundreds of people and the experience is less than intimate.  Experience the Canal in a unique way that will transport you back in time where you can hear the voices of the past tell a fascinating stories of how man divided the a strip of land to unite the world.

Sample Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive in Panama City and transfer to your Hotel
Upon arrival in Panama City, you will be met not just at the airport but at the gate for a VIP reception. Don't worry about your bags or customs we take care of all these little inconveniences as soon as you arrive. While you're waiting for your baggage enjoy your favorite beverage in the Royal Saloon. Your first night in Panama City will be spent in heart of Panama City’s financial district.  Accommodations The Bristol Hotel  

 

Day 2: Tour of Panama City
This morning, you are met by your local guide and embark upon a private tour that introduces the major sites and highlights of Panama City. Begin with the old city, Panama Viejo, exploring these spectacular ruins on the banks of Bay of Panama, and then continue to the colonial city, Casco Antiguo, visiting some of the numerous historical churches and public buildings, some dating back to 1673. Much of Casco Antiguo is being restored, and many buildings have received awards, including the National Theater, which contains one of the greatest turn-of-the-20th-century ceiling paintings inspired by Robert Lewis. After lunch, you will tour the first Frank Gehry building constructed in Latin America. The Biomuseo is located on the Amador Causeway, and it is a vividly hued concrete and steel structure. Accommodations The Bristol Hotel  (B L)

 

Day 3: Panama Canal Transit

After breakfast, you are transferred by private vehicle to board your vessel for your transit along the famous Panama Canal. At the first set of locks, the Miraflores Locks, your vessel ascends 60 feet in two distinct steps, and then it enters Miraflores Lake, a small, artificial body of fresh water that separates the Miraflores Locks from the Pedro Miguel Locks. The yacht passes through the Pedro Miguel Locks, one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal, and here it ascends 30 feet in one step. The vessel exits the Pedro Miguel Locks and then travels through the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut is also known as Culebra Cut in that its curves resemble a snake (“culebra is Spanish for “snake”). This section of the canal is one of the main points of interest for visitors as it was carved through the Continental Divide and is full of history and geological value. As you transit the Gaillard Cut, you can appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires as it is very susceptible to landslides, and you also have an opportunity to observe the work in progress for the Panama Canal expansion project. After your trip on the Panama Canal, you are returned to the city and back to your hotel. Accommodations The Bristol Hotel   (B L)

 

Day 4: Portobelo-Gatun-Panama Canal Railroad

After breakfast this morning, you will visit the town of Portobelo. Columbus first discovered the Bay of Portobelo in 1502; the town itself was founded in 1597 by the Spaniards. Along with Panama City, this port town became a major center for the storage and shipment of goods and riches from the Spanish Pacific domains (particularly gold and silver from Peru and Bolivia.) The town was known for its trading fairs, which lasted form 40 to 60 days and attracted fleets of military and merchant ships loaded with goods to be traded for gold and silver. During these fairs the town would swell to nearly 6000 people. To prevent pirate attacks, the city was fortified by 3 large stone forts, which face the harbor; nevertheless, the city was often sacked by English buccaneers. Visit Fort Santiago and the museum in the old Customs House. There is time to browse for handicrafts in the local merchants’ shops before visiting the Church of San Felipe, one of the oldest buildings in town still in use. The church houses the statue of the Black Christ, one of the most revered images in Panama whose feast is celebrated each year on October 21. Later, drive to Colón, the second-largest city in Panama, where you board the elegant cars of the Panama Canal Railroad and travel back across the isthmus to Panama City. Along the way, you will see ships sitting in Gatun Lake waiting to descend 85 feet back to sea level and vessels going up into Gatun Lake to start a southbound transit. Accommodation Deluxe Riverview Room at Gamboa Rainforest Resort (B L)

 

Day 5: Airport Transfer for your flight home or extend Beyond the Panama Canal
After breakfast, transfer you to the airport for your flight home.  (B)