Day 1. Panama CityUpon arrival at the Tocumen airport – transfer to the hotel in Panama City. Check-in and accommodation.
Day 2. Panama CityBreakfast. City tour in Panama City and tour to Panama Canal. Panama City, founded by the conquistadors in the 16th century, was the first Spanish port on the Pacific coast. Today in the country there are three cities of Panama: Old Panama (Panama Viejo), Colonial Panama (Casco Antiguo) and New Panama. In Old Panama you will see the ruins of cathedrals of the beginning of the XVII century, monasteries and bridges. New Panama is a beautiful modern city, an important part of which is the well-preserved Colonial part (Casco Antiguo), where you can see a lot of buildings of that time. This part of New Panama is declared a historical heritage of mankind and is under the protection of UNESCO. The city tour also includes visiting the Miraflores locks to view the locks and ships pass through. You will also visit the Panama Canal Museum at the Miraflores Visitor Center, where you will get acquainted with the operating of this grandiose engineering structure of the 20th century, called the World’s Eighth Wonder. During the tour we will visit the old and modern parts of the city. We’ll visit the canal’s residential zone where the ex-pat Americans lived while working on the construction of the canal, we will walk on Balboa Boulevard, one of the most beautiful streets of the capital which stretches along the coast of the Gulf of Panama. Casco Antiguo is a picturesque district of the city with narrow streets, squares and parks, where a large part of the country's history has been preserved up to now. We’ll walk near the National Theater, one of the most expressive examples of neoclassicism in Panama. We will walk around the Place de France, visit the Church of San Jose and learn about the history of the salvation of its unique golden altar. We will go to the church of San Felipe Neri to look at the wonderful Nativity scene presented by the family of the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, to the townspeople at Christmas, 2014. On Bolivar Square you can see a monument to the Liberator Simon Bolivar, the national hero of many countries of Central and South America. Further, our tour continues to Cathedral Square, where you can admire the Cathedral, the Panama Canal Museum and the Municipal Palace. We will also visit Causeway Amador, the most amazing area of Panama City, formerly three separate islands in the ocean: Naos, Periko and Flamenco, and now it is one of the most popular walking areas of the city with amazing views over the Canal. Return to the hotel.
Day 3.Panama City – Santa CatalinaBreakfast at the hotel. Private transfer to Santa Catalina (duration: 6 hours) with an English-speaking driver. Check-in at Vista Coiba Villas hotel. Santa Catalina is a fishing town on the Pacific coast of Panama. The cool, relaxed currents of Santa Catalina with excellent world-class waves attract surfers, divers and beach lovers from all over the world.
Day 4-5. Diving /Santa CatalinaDiving on the Coiba island, nights in Santa Catalina Breakfast at the hotel. Coiba National Park located in Panama, is the largest Marine Park in Central America, the area has been declared a World Heritage site. One of the most interesting facts about the actual island of Coiba, which is the largest island in Central America too, is that the island is comparable to that of the Galapagos Islands, as it is home to many endemic species of fauna and flora. In terms of diving in the Coiba region what you can expect to see in the marine life rich waters include a huge variety of marine species. Devil, Mobula and Eagle rays are the most prominent species of rays in the area, with no less than 4 species of dolphin being found here, these include common dolphin, the spotted and bottlenosed dolphins as well as the Central American spinner dolphin. Needless to say a wide variety of fish inhabit these rich waters, from the blue and black marlin to the tropical butterfly fish, giant tuna and many, many more. The area was declared a National Park in 1992, and was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2005 by UNESCO. The entire area consists of over 430 thousand acres under protection and encompasses a total of 38 island and marine areas. The Coral reef areas contained in the Coiba National Park area have been spared from what is referred to as the El Nino bleaching effects, which occur as a result of warm water currents flowing into coral reefs, such as around the Galapagos and Cocos Islands, this therefore offers the benefits of viewing a truly unspoiled and spectacular diving experience. Minimum certification for diving in Coiba is Open Water Diver.
Day 6. Santa Catalina –Panama CityAfter breakfast at the hotel –transfer to Panama City, to the international airport in time for your flight home.
The price of the program includes: