Jungles Canals and Coral Reefs of Panama

Jungles, Canals & Coral Reefs

12 days

This family adventure holiday in Panama will see you and your family explore the rainforest around the Panama Canal, zip-line through cloud forest and snorkel over coral reefs on Caribbean islands. Look out for iguanas, sloths, monkeys, turtles and more along the way!

12 days

A Panamanian adventure for the whole family

A perfect introduction to Central America for families.

A family adventure holiday taking in rainforests on a specially equipped expedition boat, walking through cloud forests, swimming by Caribbean islands, visiting historic Panama City and the Panama Canal. Listen out for howler monkeys and keep an eye open for sloths.

You'll travel by dugout canoe to meet the Embera indigenous people. Learn about their traditions and relationship with the forest. Watch giant cargo ships passing through the engineering feat that is the Miraflores Locks.

Head west to the cloud forest and coffee plantations of the Chiriqui Highlands. Zip-line through the forest canopy, keeping your eyes peeled for orchids and birds along the way. Then float and swim your way down rivers before heading to the Caribbean and the islands of Bocas del Toro. Here you and your family will have the chance to snorkel coral reefs, walk the cayman trail in search of monkeys and more and go turtle spotting.

  • Expedition style boat trip into rainforest
  • Zip-line through forest canopies
  • Watch giant ships navigate the canal
  • Snorkel over coral reefs
  • Float and swim down rivers
  • Explore the Bocas del Toro islands by boat

Here's a taster of your itinerary. For more details please see the itinerary tab and trip notes.

Day 1 - Fly to Panama City.

Day 2 - Wildlife watching jungle boat.

Day 3 - Meet the Embera people.

Day 4 - Zip-lining in the cloud forest.

Day 5 - Learn how coffee is made.

Day 6 - Go river floating.

Day 7 - To Bocas del Toro.

Day 8 - Caiman trail & Salt Creek.

Day 9 - Boat trip around Bocas del Toro.

Day 10 - Travel to Panama City where you'll see the city on a guided tour.

Day 11/12 - Take an overnight flight home.

Day 1. Fly to Panama
Fly to Panama. On arrival you'll be met at the airport and taken to your comfortable hotel outside of the city not far from the Panama Canal, surrounded by rainforest and with a good sized swimming pool.
Day 2. Jungle Boat Adventure
Early morning, you'll head across Gatun Lake on the Panama Canal in a specially equipped expedition boat. You pass giant cargo ships transiting the canal, contrasting with the lush jungle surroundings. Along the way you'll be on the look-out for iguana, sloths, crocodiles, osprey, toucans and more. You'll get close to rainforest covered islands and look for different types of monkeys. Have a picnic lunch then return to your hotel where you have the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 3. Meet the Embera People
Head to the shores of Madden Lake and take a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) up the Chagres River to an Embera community. The Embera are indigenous people of the area. You'll be met with traditional singing and dancing. You'll learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature. You also have the chance to be painted with jagua, a natural dye the Embera use on their bodies. You'll have lunch, then can have a refreshing dip in a river before returning to your hotel.
Day 4. Zip-lining in the cloud forest
You'll be taken to the airport and fly to David in the west of Panama. From here you'll travel to a zip-lining centre and zoom through the canopy. Continue for about an hour and a half to your accommodation on the slopes of Baru volcano where you stay the next three nights.
Day 5. Coffee Farm
You'll visit Las Lagunas today, a family run farm in the Chiriqui Highlands. Here coffee is grown and cattle and horses are raised. In the morning you'll have a tour of the coffee plantation, and see how the crop is processed and roasted then sold as a world class coffee. Continue to a plant nursery where you'll learn about farming methods and enjoy the beautiful surroundings rich in birds and butterflies. Following lunch you'll visit some lagoons including the highest natural lake and wetland system in Panama. This nature reserve is home to many birds and you can follow nature trails or explore by sit-on top kayak.
Day 6. River Floating
This morning you will be driven for about an hour and a half to a nearby river. Enjoy a river floating tour by raft, accompanied by expert guides. You'll pass through beautiful scenery and can swim in the river. A picnic lunch will be served on the river bank.
Day 7. To Bocas del Toro
Today you'll be driven towards Bocas del Toro, this is a scenic journey of about four hours. There will be time for breaks along the way. The last part of the journey is made by boat to take you to Isla Colon, one of the islands that makes up Bocas del Toro. From April to November, you can take an optional turtle nesting or hatching trip in the evening.
Day 8. Cayman Trail and Salt Creek Village
Depart by boat, traversing Bastimentos National Park, Panama's first marine national park. You reach Salt Creek by navigating through mangroves. Take a walk along Cayman Trail - through forest looking for birds and mammals such as monkeys, sloths and the poison dart frog. After the walk, visit the indigenous community and have lunch. In the afternoon, you will snorkel among mangroves and coral reefs, searching for fish, as well as brightly coloured sea fans, sponges and starfish.
Day 9. Boat trip around Bocas del Toro
Begin the day with a boat trip around Colon Island to Boca del Drago. Weather permitting; you will visit Swan's Cay, a rock protruding from the depths of the Caribbean - home to tropic birds. After lunch you have time on the beach where you can search for giant starfish. Make a stop for snorkeling as you return to your hotel.
Day 10. Panama City
Fly back to Panama City this morning where you have a tour of the impressive Miraflores Lock on the canal, and explore Casco Antiguo - the old centre of the city. Stay the night in the city centre.
Day 11. Depart
You'll be taken to the airport for your flights home. Alternatively, you may choose to extend your trip with a few days at the beach on the Pacific Coast, please ask us for details.
Day 12. Arrive UK
  • Where will we stay?: 10 nights in hotels
  • What meals are included? : 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches
  • Flights: Options include United, Air France, KLM and Avianca
  • Trip code: FPJC
  • Age guideline: 7 -18