San Blas Islands Escape
Remote Caribbean islands await as you escape from the crowds and find bliss on the San Blas, Panama’s little secret. Enjoy four days of sailing, chilling in hammocks, wandering empty beaches, and gazing across turquoise waters. On this experience you will also discover Panama City and the famous Panama Canal, but mostly it’s about being safe and private, away from everybody else.
Day 1 - Panama City
Old Panama City Walking Tour
Built along the world-famous Panama Canal, Panama City is a hub for global commerce with a long and storied history. Tour the city on foot with an expert local guide. Sample fresh sugar cane juice while rubbing elbows with locals in a tight downtown market.Walk along the narrow streets of Casco Viejo, past centuries-old buildings. Gaze upon a golden altar amid reverent silence in San Jose Church. See thick walls that were constructed to protect the old city from pirates.Climb the ruined tower among somber ruins: this is all that remains of Panama Viejo, the first European settlement on the Americas’ Pacific Coast.
Stay at The Santa Maria Panama City
Gaze across the green. Tee off. Shield your eyes from the sun as you trace the golf ball’s journey through the air, past a backdrop of the tall, pale skyline of Panama City. The Santa Maria is a stately escape in the heart of Panama City. Plan your trip while sipping coffee in the coffee shop. Enjoy views of the 18-hole course from the window of your spacious Executive Suite. Pamper yourself at the spa. Or step out of the urban oasis and explore a number of nearby attractions, from unique neighborhoods like Casco Antiguo to the ruins of Panama Viejo and the Panama Canal itself.
Day 2 - Panama City
Panama Canal from the Sky
See the singularly impressive Panama Canal from a private plane. The sparkling metropolis of Panama City with its proud skyscrapers sits amid sprawling rainforest. It contrasts the old city, crumbling down below. Peer out the window at city landmarks like Panama Viejo, while your guide provides interpretive commentary.Then loop around for a look at one of history’s great engineering feats: the Panama Canal, a complex waterway comprising artificial lakes and locks. The famous highlight is Miraflores Locks, where ships are raised or lowered sixteen meters, connecting the canal to the Pacific Ocean. But with a private flight you will also discover the lakes, locks and natural waterways that connect the canal.
Transit Part of the Panama Canal
Board a cruise ship and enter the Panama Canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, a staggering valley cut through the Continental Divide. Marvel at this stunning feat of human ingenuity, extending for over a dozen kilometers through landslide-prone terrain. Experience Pedro Miguel Locks, where the ship will be lowered nine meters to an artificial lake. Later, descend another sixteen meters between the two-step Miraflores Locks.From there, look across the Pacific Ocean and wonder at the degree of effort and planning that went into constructing and maintaining the canal to this day. You can visit the Panama Canal and see the locks. But it’s far more real when you’re on the water, cruising through the canal.
Days 3 to 6 - San Blas Islands
Yacht & Catamaran Charters around San Blas Islands
A chain of small islands recedes into the distance, painted in the soft tones of white sand, azure water, and cobalt sky. Cruise around hundreds of tiny islands and cays aboard a private yacht or catamaran.Your crew will take care of everything, from navigation to meals and daily activities. Enjoy a cocktail while dangling your toes over clear water. Explore pristine marine environments with a snorkel and flippers. Dine on fresh seafood under the stars.Chart a course with your captain, stopping wherever interests you. Visit the Kuna people, proud indigenous stewards of the archipelago, who value keeping their islands clean and uncrowded. The San Blas archipelago offers hundreds of options, islets and cayes and waters where you can be enjoying pure Caribbean privacy.
Arts and Crafts of Kuna Yala, San Blas Islands
Occupying the idyllic San Blas Islands, the Kuna people are masters of textiles, jewellery, and other traditional art forms. Visit them on their home island of Achutupo, just off Panama’s northern coast, and see how they’ve maintained and developed their traditional artwork, living apart from modern Panamanian society.See both men and women weaving fantastic straw hats and baskets. Examine the fine craftsmanship of jewellery made from bird- and fish-bone, as well as delicate beadery.And, of course, discover the famous Kuna molas, known around their world for their colorful patterns and intricate designs. Learn the process behind creating these beautiful textiles, and peruse the work of various Kuna artists.
Kuna Culture Tour, San Blas Islands
A chain of over 300 small islands and cays, the San Blas Islands stretch out into the Caribbean. This archipelago is characterized by its warm, gentle weather, and sun-kissed beauty. Among the palm trees, you’ll find the Kuna people.Meet these proud indigenous people who, after fleeing the mainland after the arrival of the Spanish, maintained their rich culture on the islands. Admire their dazzling, colorful molas. Learn how both men and women work together to achieve communal goals, like the construction of the Achutupo Airport. Hear songs relating the sacred history of the Guna people. Discover folklore that paints the islands as a place of spirits and sacred power.