After arriving at Panama City City Airport, you'll be met by your English-speaking driver/guide who will transfer you to your hotel of choice. The remainder of the day is free for relaxing or exploring on your own.
(Accommodations, Panama City)
After breakfast, meet your guide for an informative Private City Tour. Walk through the historic Old Town with your bilingual guide who will describe the events in history leading to the movement of the capital city founded by Pedrarias to its present location. Colorful Casco Antiguo is home to monuments of Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French diplomat who first attempted the construction (unsuccessfully) of a canal through Panama. You'll visit the Panama Canal Museum and the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal where large ships can be seen transiting the canal. While there, enjoy a presentation by the Panama Canal Authority about the history of the Panama Canal and marvel at the workings of this feat of human engineering. Afterwards lunch will be served at a local restaurant. The tour then continues to the Panama Canal area, including the town of Balboa, a former part of the Panama Canal Zone. This port has an extensive harbor but particularly noted for its orchid gardens, with more than 400 varieties. In the late afternoon you will return to your hotel in Panama City.
(Breakfast, Lunch & Accommodations, Panama City)
After breakfast and checking out of your hotel, you'll pick up your rental car. Your road trip begins traveling west, crossing the Panama Canal over the Americas Bridge towards the Pacific Coast. Here you'll make a gradual ascent leading you into the mountains and ultimately to the inactive volcano crater of El Valle. Afterwards you'll check into your hotel in the nearby town of Valle de Anton. It's famous for its waterfalls, rejuvenating climate and hot springs. Additionally it offers an extensive network of trails for hiking and bird watching. (Approximate driving time: 2 hours)
(Breakfast, Panama City; Accommodations, Valle de Anton)
After breakfast, make your way down the scenic mountain, continuing through the Azuero Peninsula with its typical landscapes and cultural charm. You'll pass through towns with ornate Spanish-colonial houses, central plazas lined with shady trees and several 18th century cathedrals. You'll continue south on winding roads towards the beach town of Playa Venao. Set on a small curving bay, this town has become a favored spot for surfers with its steady waves, as well as a popular locale for beach-loving tourists. Although Playa Venao is a compact town, you'll find many options for dining including freshly caught seafood, international cuisine, as well as fast food. (Approximate drive time: 4 hours).
(Breakfast, Valle de Anton; Accommodations, Playa Venao)
Enjoy a day at leisure in Playa Venao. Relax on the beach or rent a surfboard and catch some waves. In addition to surfing, Playa Venao offers a variety of other recreational activities such as; kite surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, diving, snorkeling, hiking and seasonal whale watching. Take advantage of your rental car and drive to the town of Pedasi (22 miles), then a short shuttle boat ride to Laguana Island National Park. Here you'll discover sparkling azure green waters and white-sand beaches to hang out on, snorkel, or just watch the dozens of brightly colored iguanas, completely oblivious to you.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Playa Venao)
After breakfast, you'll circle back to the north to the town of Chitré, the capital of the Herrera province and the largest city on the Azuero Peninsula. On your drive, you'll pass through traditional villages and scenic mountain panoramas. Upon arrival in Chitré, check into the Cubita Boutique Resort & Spa. (Approximate drive time: 2 hours)
(Breakfast, Playa Venao; Accommodations, Chitré)
Continue your Panama journey on the Pan-American Highway to the small fishing village of Boca Chica. This relatively hidden gem rests along Panama's central Pacific coast and acts primarily as the gateway to both the Gulf of Chiriquí National Park (Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí) and the neighboring island of Boca Brava. Enjoy a relaxing stay in one of their charming, intimate boutique hotels and maybe unwind with a massage or spa treatment before dinner. (Approximate drive time: 3 hours)
(Breakfast, Chitré; Accommodations, Boca Chica)
Today is at your leisure. Enjoy some of the many activities this tropical paradise has to offer, including whale watching (July-October), kayaking, yoga, and offshore fishing. Or maybe something more sedate by relaxing at the pool or the beach along with your favorite book and beverage.
(Breakfast & Accommodations, Boca Chica)
Make the one hour drive to the town of David and their airport, where you will return your car, followed by a short domestic flight back to Panama City*. Upon arrival, meet your driver for a transfer to your chosen hotel in Panama City. The remainder of the day is free for exploring or just relaxing at your hotel.
*You are allowed 30 kilos of checked luggage free of charge.
(Breakfast, Boca Chica; Accommodations, Panama City)
After a leisurely breakfast, you'll have a private transfer to Panama City Airport and on to your next Avanti Destination!
(Breakfast, Panama City)