Authentic Panama

individuelle Reise durch Panama
  • Number of students: ab 1
  • Course Duration: 14 Tage
auf Anfrage

Active travel Authentic PANAMA

Guided trekking tour through Panama

Extra days on the beach or a trip to Costa Rica are possible at any time

Our “ Authentic Panamá ” tour takes you to remote and exciting parts of Panamá without neglecting the classic destinations.

Panama is more than just the canal or the Panama Papers.

Panama has many undiscovered corners through which you can hike beautifully and excitingly: the Camino Real, a narrow path from ocean to ocean that was lost in the rainforest for centuries, rainforests, rural areas where it is easy to talk to the local farmers, and the Chirriquí highlands, with coffee plantations and dark green cloud forests.

In addition, animal watching at Lake Gatun, where you can see monkeys, sloths, caimans and crocodiles, and whales can be observed in the Golfo de Chirriquí Marine National Park. The metropolis of Panama City, with the World Heritage Sites of Panama Viejo and the old town from the 17th century, and another highlight: the new locks of the Panama Canal, a train ride along the Panama Canal in a glass observation car. These are the experiences offered by this unique journey organized and sometimes led by Christian Strassnig, researcher and re-discoverer of the Camino Real.

Trekking on the Camino Real and in the highlands of Chiriquí, animal watching, rainforests and tropical beaches

  • exciting hike on the Camino Real, Gold Route of the Conquistadors (adventure)
  • UNESCO World Heritage Old Town of Panama and ruins of the first city founding
  • The expanded Panama Canal with rail journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific
  • Golfo de Chiriquí National Marine Park
  • Coffee tour in the Chirriquí highlands
  • Secondary forest in La Amistad National Park
  • Unique animal observations

Overview of the trip:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Panama City
  • Day 2: Boat trip to the Camino Real
  • 3rd-5th Day: Trekking on the Camino Real
  • Day 6: Spanish fortresses in Portobelo and San Lorenzo, Gatun locks and train journey to Panama City
  • Day 7: Panama Viejo, Panama City and Panama Canal
  • Day 8: Golfo de Chiriquí National Marine Park
  • Day 9: From Boca Chica to Boquete
  • Day 10: Visit to a coffee plantation in Boquete
  • (Optional: climbing Volcán Barú)
  • Day 11: Hike to the “Lost Waterfalls” in Boquete
  • Day 12: Hike in La Amistad National Park – orchid farm
  • Day 13: Hike on the Quetzaltrail
  • Day 14: Wildlife observation at Lake Gatun and departure from Panama
  • Day 15: Arrival in Europe

Day 1: Arrival

Flight to Panama City (not included in the travel price). Flight with Lufthansa/KLM to Panama City, arriving in the afternoon. German-speaking reception at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight stay at the Hotel Tryp Panama Centro (B/-/-)

Day 2: Panama City – Lake Alajuela – boat trip to the Camino Real

The big adventure begins today - the tour on the Camino Real. The hike follows the original route of the legendary Camino Real, which was rediscovered by the Austrian Christian Strassnig after years of research.

Early start from Panama City to Lake Alajuela. This is an artificial lake where the Río Chagres was dammed to serve the Panama Canal. Here you will be picked up by a traditional campesino canoe. In the morning the hike takes about 2 hours along the Camino Real to the village of Quebrada Ancha.

The village has intensively supported research work on the Camino Real and made part of the Camino Real accessible again. After lunch there is time to get to know the way of life of the campesinos as well as their culture and dances. The hike continues in the afternoon. It goes up a ridge to an idyllic farmhouse, accommodation for the first night. Accommodation is in tents and the sanitary facilities are very basic.
In addition to scenic impressions, the Camino Real also offers deep insights into the diversity of the cultures that reside here. Mestizos live on the shores of Lake Alajuela, and at the end of the trekking tour you can experience the rich cultural heritage of the Afro-Caribbean population.

11 km route, a total of 200 meters up and 100 down, time 4-5 hours - Dinner is with the farmer's family. Overnight stay in tents: (B/L/D)

Day 3: Trekking on the Camino Real

The Camino Real was created after the colonization of Panama by the Spaniards as a connecting route between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts in order to transport the Incas' gold from South America and is characterized by extremely lush flora and fauna. The challenge on this unique trekking tour is not the altitude, but the humid tropical climate. The majority of the Camino Real lies within the two national parks of Chagrés and Portobelo. On the way you hike through numerous types of tropical rainforest: from semi-arid rainforest and mountain rainforest on the Pacific side to ever-humid lowland rainforest on the Caribbean.

The hike begins early in the morning, only the daypack must be carried. The remaining luggage is taken from one campsite to the next by porters. The path follows the ridges, and at times you can see parts of the colonial paving on the Camino. The town of Santa Librada, which also worked on the reopening of the path, is another stop before reaching the Boquerón River in the afternoon. Overnight camp at the Rio Boquerón.

Distance: 15.3 km, 250 meters up and 150 meters down, walking time 5-6 hours, overnight in tents. (F/M/A)

Day 4: Trekking along the Camino Real

After a hearty breakfast we are ready for the next stage. Today we hike almost exclusively through primary rainforest, often hiking in the riverbed of the Río Boquerón and Longue. At 979 m, the witch mountain Cerro Bruja is the highest mountain along the Camino Real. We cross the mountain, which is completely covered with tropical rainforest, on one side. In the afternoon we reach the camp in a clearing in the dense green of the jungle.

11.2 km, height: 250 m, up and 200 m downhill, walking time approx. 7 hours.
Overnight in a tent. (F/M/A)

Day 5: Trekking along the Camino Real – Portobelo

Today the route follows the Cascajal River to Portobelo, the final destination of the Camino Real. You have to walk partly along the river and reach the road shortly after midday. After lunch it is only a few minutes to the center of Portobelo. In the afternoon, relaxation in a paradisiacal bay near Portobelo.

Portobelo was founded by the Spanish in 1597 and is beautifully situated in a natural harbor (Portobelo is Old Spanish for “beautiful harbor”). Even today, the numerous defenses and the royal customs house still bear witness to its former importance. Portobelo has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.

10.8 km route, 75 meters uphill, 175 m down, time 6-7 hours
Overnight stay in Portobelo (B/L/-)

Day 6: Spanish fortresses in Portobelo and San Lorenzo, Gatun locks and train journey to Panama City

In the morning, the aforementioned sights of the place are on the program: the customs house and the Fort San Geronimo from the Spanish colonial period, which was built to protect against pirates and other attackers.

Then we continue to Gatún, to the new locks of the expanded Panama Canal of Aguas Claras. Then continue to the fortress of San Lorenzo, also from the Spanish colonial period, located at the mouth of the Chagres River in the Caribbean. The road leads over the lock gates of the new Panama Canal. After visiting the fortress, the city of Colón is reached, from where the glass observation cars of the Panama Canal Railroad travel back to Panama City. The route, the first transcontinental railway, runs along the Panama Canal, through tropical rainforest and through the Gatun Reservoir.

Overnight stay at the Hotel Tryp Panama Centro (B/-/-).

Day 7: Panama Viejo, Panama City and Panama Canal

In the morning a visit to Panamá Viejo and the old town of Panama City is on the agenda. The capital was founded in 1519 and was located about 10 km east of today's Panama City. Today, some ruins and the well-preserved church tower still bear witness to the former importance of this settlement. In 1671 the city was completely destroyed in an attack by the pirate Henry Morgan. The city was subsequently rebuilt elsewhere for strategic reasons.

You will then visit the area now known as Casco Antiguo. This district is under UNESCO protection and is characterized by magnificent churches, quiet squares and parks and buildings from the colonial period and the 19th century that exude a special charm. From the Plaza de Francia at the very end of the old town you have spectacular views of the skyline of the modern banking and financial center of Panama City on one side and of the canal entrance and the Puente de las Américas on the other side.

In the afternoon we go to the Miraflores Locks, the most famous locks of the Panama Canal. Here you first visit the visitor center with a video presentation and the museum. You can then observe the operation of the Miraflores locks from a platform, then return to the hotel in Panama City.

Overnight stay at the Hotel Tryp Panama Centro (B/-/-)

Day 8: Golfo de Chiriquí National Marine Park

In the morning flight to David, in western Panama. Drive further to Boca Chica, the entrance gate to the Golfo de Chiriquí National Marine Park. This national park protects the extraordinary natural beauty of this region as well as its magnificent underwater world. There are numerous, untouched beaches with turquoise water. Snorkeling in an incredibly diverse underwater world and a boat trip to an uninhabited island with picture-perfect tropical beaches give you that Robinson Crusoe feeling for a few hours. From July to October you can watch the fascinating humpback whales on the boat trip.

Overnight stay at the Hotel Bocas del Mar in Boca Chica (B/-/-)

Day 9: From Boca Chica to Boquete

The morning is available for relaxation at the hotel pool. After Mitteg we continue to Boquete in the Chiriquí highlands. The highlands are home to Volcán Barú, which at 3,475 meters is the highest mountain in Panama. The highlands with their volcanic rock are very fertile; Coffee, oranges, sugar cane and tobacco thrive. In the afternoon, a short walk through the town of Boquete, then drive to the hotel in the cloud forest of the Chiriquí highlands.
Overnight stay at the Boquete Tree Trek Lodge (B/-/-)

Day 10: Visit coffee plantation in Boquete

Today is time to explore the beauties of Boquete and the surrounding area. During a tour of a coffee plantation you will learn a lot of interesting facts about coffee and its cultivation and production. Due to the ideal climatic conditions prevailing, the coffee grown here is among the best in the world. At the end of the tour there is a tasting to see for yourself. The afternoon is at your leisure with optimal tour offers.
Overnight stay at Boquete Tree Trek Lodge (F)
Alternatively: Climbing Volcan Barú (starts at night on day 11):
At 3,475 m, Volcan Barú is the highest mountain in Panama. At midnight you will be taken to the entrance of the national park, located at an altitude of approximately 1,600 m. From here it is “still” about 13.5 km on a wide path, partly steep through mystical mountain cloud forest up to the summit. At dawn you reach the summit and can enjoy a spectacular sunrise. The view from here is indescribable. If the weather is lucky, you will have two oceans at your feet. The climb to the summit is on a narrow path and is sometimes very steep. The descent can be carried out in two variants: variant 1 is the route of the ascent and variant 2 is the route to Volcan on the other side of the mountain. This path is extremely fascinating in terms of landscape, although sometimes energy-sapping. We cross it directly below the summit into the old, no longer active crater. From here you can see almost the entire descent route. The first two hours lead over open, partly steep and slippery terrain due to the lava rock.
After this difficult passage, you will immerse yourself in the fantastic world of the tropical mountain cloud forest. After another 3-5 hours you will reach the national park entrance near Volcán. From here you will be picked up again by our bus, which will take you to the town of Volcán.
[22 km, 1,700 m ↑, 1,800 m ↓, walking time approx. 10-12 hours]

Day 11: Hike to the “Lost Waterfalls” in Boquete

In the morning there is a hike to three waterfalls hidden in the mountain rainforest. The path to the waterfalls goes steeply uphill along a stream - strenuous. There are 3 great waterfalls to explore in the upper reaches.
The next destination is the town of Volcán on the back of Volcán Barú. The hotel offers majestic views of Volcán Barú.

Distance: 5 km, 250 meters up, 250 meters downhill, time 3 hours, overnight at Hotel Dos Rios in Volcán (B/-/-)

Day 12: Hike in La Amistad National Park – orchid farm

Another highlight: the impressive cloud forests of the “La Amistad” (Friendship) biosphere reserve. It is a 400,000 hectare protected area located in both Panama and Costa Rica. Hence the friendship!
This tour takes you through the park's atmospheric mountain cloud forests. The hike leads past an idyllic mountain river. With a bit of luck you can see the Quetzal, the legendary bird of the Aztecs and Mayas. In the afternoon visit to Finca Dracula, an orchid farm with more than 1,600 different species of orchids.

Two km route, 150 meters uphill, 150 m back, time approx. 2 hours. Overnight stay at the Hotel Dos Rios in Volcán (B/-/-)

Day 13: On the Quetzaltrail to Boquete

Early in the morning we drive to the “Volcan Barú” national park, at around 2,200 meters above sea level we start our hike on the Quetzaltrail. It goes uphill briefly and then we hike mostly downhill to the town of Boquete on the east side of the Barú volcano. We hike through often misty mountain rainforest with centuries-old giant trees, lichens, ferns, mosses and lianas. On the way we can observe numerous birds and have wonderful views of the surrounding mountain landscape. After about 5-6 hours of walking we reach the exit of the national park and are driven to the airport in David. In the evening flight to Panama City.

12 km route, 350 meters up, 680 down, time 5-6 hours, overnight at Tryp Panama Centro (B/-/-)

Day 14: Animal observation at Lake Gatún – flight with Lufthansa/KLM back to Europe

In the morning we drive to Gamboa, a small town on the Gatún reservoir from the Panama Canal. Start of the boat trip on the lake, where you get very close to the huge ships that pass through the Panama Canal. Tropical rainforest covers the entire area and on some small islands capuchins, howler monkeys and Geoffroy's wig monkeys live in the wild and can be observed up close. A short hike in the Parque Natural Metropolitano concludes the tour. The park is a rainforest area in the middle of the city of Panama. From one of the park's hills you have a beautiful view of the impressive Panama skyline.
The afternoon is at your leisure, you can stroll through the city or do some last-minute shopping until you return to the international airport and say goodbye to the German-speaking tour guide. (F/-/-)

Additional days are possible at any time: our recommended options are Bocas del Toro, Costa Rica and the San Blas Islands.

-Unterbringung in komfortablen Hotels, Lodges oder Resorts der 3 und 4* Kategorie bzw. den Camps bei der Wanderung -Alle Eintrittskosten, der im Programm erwähnten Ziele -Lokale, deutschsprachige Reiseleitung ab/ bis Panama City -Verpflegung laut Programm
-Internationaler Flug nach Panama -Nicht im Detailprogramm angeführte Mahlzeiten -Getränke -Trinkgelder -persönliche Ausgaben -Reiseversicherung -Optionale Ausflüge
Private deutschsprachige Reiseleitung am Tag 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 und 14 Private englischsprachige Reiseleitung am Tag 11,12 und 13 Englischsprachige Touren am Tag 10
  • Teilnehmeranzahl im Doppelzimmer: Bei 2 Teilnehmern: US$3.230,00 Bei 4 Teilnehmern: US$2.432,00 Bei 8 Teilnehmern oder mehr: US$2.140,00
  • Einzelzimmerzuschlag US$522,00

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