THE ADVENTURE

We know this place primarily for its connection. More than 100 years ago, as World War was simmering in Europe, faraway jungles were being cut through and deep digging done, so that we might make the world a faster place for trade, transport, and connection. The truth is, however, there is so much more to connect to in Panama than what a canal can do for you. Sure, it’s a thing to see. But have you ever seen 365 pieces of paradise scattered out like marbles into the Caribbean: the, largely uninhabited, coated in coconut palms, San Blas Islands. Have you ever met The Guna, a tribe indigenous to Panama, who still protect these islands as their land, their culture, and their independence. Have you ever stayed in place that had no hotels, no chain restaurants, no foreign-owned anything, no WIFI! We hadn’t either, until we had.

Screen Shot 2018-04-29 at 11.12.25 AMJoin us on this classic GlobeKick adventure to experience the atmospheric labyrinth of churches, plazas and palaces of Old Town Panama; 4X4 exploring to the coast, and the timeless calm of pristine white sandy beaches with crystal clear water.

Rad, took this boat journey through the San Blas in 2013 and calls it one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring adventures of his life. He’s been on countless adventures in over 54 countries, so you can understand why we’re eager to get down to Panama.

Activities

  • Exploring Old Town Panama City
  • 4X4 Adventure
  • Boating San Blas Islands
  • Snorkeling beautiful waters of Cayo Holandeses
  • Optional Excursions in & beyond Panama City

Accommodations

  • Three nights in Panama City Hostel (shared rooms)
  • Two nights in Beach Huts in the San Blas Islands (shared)

Itinerary

Day 1: Connection in Panama City

  • We’ll meet on Day 1 at our community house in the Marbella neighborhood of Panama City. After gathering, we’ll stroll through the El Cangrejo to select a spot (or two) for our evening meal and welcome drinks. For the ambitious among the crew, a sight of the Panama Canal is a short taxi (or long walk) away from this charming neighborhood of The Crab.
  • Before you gamble the night away at some glitzy casino, the 4X4s arrive at our doorstep tomorrow at 530am to begin our adventure out to The San Blas. You’ve been warned! Sleeping not mandatory, but highly encouraged.

Day 2 - Day 4: The San Blas Islands

  • Departing early from Marbella, we’re roused and reassured by the beauty of the landscape surrounding us en route to El Carti (our port for the San Blas). Stunning vistas with grassy mountains are illuminated by the sunrise, topped with low-hanging clouds.
  • After passing through a Guna Yala checkpoint (the native Guna still steward this land), we arrive at our destination port to depart for the San Blas.
  • Our first day in the San Blas is spent exploring Diablo Island. We’ll also cruise: Perro Chico Island, Barco Hundido, Piscina Natural, and Chichime Island.
  • Sitting around over dinner with new friends in front of our beach huts, a moment of reflection: I’m actually in paradise.
  • Morning brings our departure for a tour of the Cayos Holandeses. There we’ll spend the day island-exploring and donning snorkeling gear for colorful underwater views, all while basking in this natural paradise. With the evening light, we’ll return back for another night filled with good food, laughter, and stories around our beach huts.
  • After a last morning spent in the soft surf of the San Blas, we return back to Panama City for afternoon siesta in Marbella. Marbella translates to “beautiful sea” in English … somehow you knew this before, but understand it differently now.

Day 5 - Day 6: Where Do We Go From Here?

  • Back in Panama City, we’ll enjoy our last two days together in unstructured reflection and celebration. This city has varied activities for different types of travelers; ranging from hiking for the outdoors-nature lover, to exploring for the  historically-minded, to boutique shopping for the chic-sort.
  • We suggest spending your day hiking Metropolitan Park (after-all, finding a protected jungle in the heart of a big city to hike through is a very rare opportunity in the world today)
  • For those who can’t miss it, there are optional full day tours of the Panama Canal to experience.
  • Panama City is one of the world’s major intersections of global retail transport and trade. Colón’s Free Trade Zone, just an hour from Panama City, is the second largest duty free area in the world. This area features 2,500+ companies in operation; retailing perfumes, jewelry, name-brand clothing, leather goods, and more in high supply for discount prices.
  • Whether you’ve hiked, canal’d, or shopped, on our final day we’ll celebrate what we’re all heading onward with … memories of Guna smiles, 4X4 vistas, and the brilliant colors of beachside paradise. These are the things we’ll all carry. That’s The Panama connection that lasts…

Provisions

What's Included

Five Nights of Accommodations (Two in Panama City, Three in San Blas)

Breakfasts in Panama City, Panama

Transport in 4×4 to/from San Blas Islands

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner while in San Blas

All requisite boating trips (Boat from San Blas port to the Diablo Island (beach huts))

Snorkeling Adventure (guide and equipment) in San Blas Islands

What's Not Included

Transportation from your hometown to Panama City, Panama on Day 1

Insurance of any kind

Lunches and Dinners in Panama City, Panama

Transfers beyond those otherwise included

Metropolitan Park, Panama Canal, and/or Colon Free Trade Zone Excursion

Alcoholic beverages and/or Soft Drinks throughout the trip

Visas, Associated Travel Fees (Guna Port Tax ($22 USD))

Items of a Personal Nature

Dates

August 2018 ; March 2019

Group Size

20-25 GlobeKickers

Suggested Airport

Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, Panama

Weather

The temperatures in Panama City, Panama in August reach an average high of 86°F and low of 76°F. Expect the passing shower in the morning or afternoon, but rain is very rarely an all-day occurrence in August. That said, the month of August in Panama experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 95% throughout the month.

Gear

Recommended

  • Passport
  • Color Copy of Passport Identification Page
  • Driver’s license (if you’re planning to a rent a car)
  • Credit cards & ATM card (don’t forget to set the travel notifications on your bank accounts so that your bank knows your traveling)
  • 3 bathing suit or swim trunks
  • 1 pair of water resistant sandals 
  • Rash-guard (snorkeling)
  • Brimmed Hat
  • Sunglasses (polarized preferred) 
  • Towel
  • Ear plugs
  • Eye mask
  • Snacks or energy bars
  • Hydro Flask water bottle
  • Small backpack or day pack
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Hair brush & hair product
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Face wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Hand sanitizer or handy wipes
  • Razor
  • Eye-glasses and/or contacts
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip-balm (with SPF)
  • Nail clippers & tweezers
  • Body lotion
  • Prescription medicine (make a note of active ingredients in addition to brand in case of loss)
  • Motion sickness remedy (bumpy 4×4 rides, etc)
  • Pain relievers
  • Calamine lotion
  • Diarrhea remedy
  • Hydration tablets
  • Allergy medicine (& EpipPen if serious)
  • Standard first-aid-kit with bandages
  • Sleeping aid for travel
  • 1 pair of long pants (desert night)
  • 1 light long sleeve shirt (desert night)
  • 1 pair of close-toed shoes for walking or hiking (comfortable for camel riding)
  • 1 outfit for going out (dress or nice shirt)
  • No more than 7 t-shirts or tank tops
  • No more than 5 shorts/pants
  • P.J.’s
  • No more than 7 sets of underwear and socks. (Quick drying are best)

Optional

  • Headphones
  • Cell phone
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Light Jacket or lightweight sweater
  • Tablet or E-reader
  • Journal
  • Camera and Accessories
  • Compass
  • GoPro (waterproof for snorkeling!)
  • Maps
  • Small Multitool

Travel Documents

Passport
Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
Visa
Photo Identification
Color Copy of Passport Identification Page

The GlobeKicker Gauges

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1 = lowest and 10 = highest