Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm Est

Panama Cruise & Eco Lodge | VIP Journeys
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Panama Cruise & Eco Lodge

Panama Cruise & Eco Lodge


per person

Explore the old and new sides of Panama City, Cruise on a Two–Ocean Yacht Tour in Panama, ending with an amazing experience at a luxury eco-lodge in Isla Palenque in the Gulf of Chiriquí

Our Panama Cruise and Eco Lodge Tour begins with 3 nights and 4 days exploring both the Historical and Modern faces of Panama City. We will include a Daytime transit of the Panama Canal and overnight in its waters. An amazing Visit to a traditional indigenous Embera Indian Village in the Darien jungle. A Kayak and snorkel around a sunken submarine near the Pearl Islands and Overnight on the Chagres River and wake up to sound of howler monkeys. The  7-Day Discovery Catamaran cruise takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime journey, showing its guests the best of Panama. Witness the unique flora and fauna of the region and learn from the traditional Emera and Kunda natives in the Darien Jungle. We sail to paradise to discover the white sandy beaches of the Pearl Islands and get up-close and personal with the Panama Canal, a world-famous engineering marvel. Your crew of ten, will ensure your adventure on the 24-passenger Discovery is the best one yet.  Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on canal regulations, sea and weather conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change. The itinerary below is the ‘Northbound’ itinerary, but may be done in reverse as a ‘Southbound’ itinerary. For the final three days we explore the Ilha Palenque lodge in the Gulf of Chiriquí. The Island bursts with the wildlife from its dense jungles, volcanic bluffs, mangroves, lagoons and coastline. The Amenities are first-rate, but the island is largely undeveloped, suiting the sophisticated but adventurous traveler.

Summary of the Panama Luxury Cruise & Eco Lodge Tour:

Day 1: Panama City / Welcome to Panama!

Upon, your arrival a VIP Journeys representative awaits you at the Tocumen International Airport, where they will transfer you to the Central Hotel in Panama City, for check-in.

Day 2: Historical City Tour and visit the Biodiversity Museum

In the morning, you’ll go on a half-day tour to visit the ruins of Old Panama, climb the Cathedral tower, Old Panama Museum, and Casco Viejo. Later in the day, you continue to tour the Biodiversity Museum.

Day 3: The Pirate Trail: Agua Clara Locks & Fort San Lorenzo

You’ll be transferred to the train station to take a train to the Colon province, where you can visit the Agua Clara Visitors Center.

Day 4: Panama City – Flamenco Marina – Discovery Catamaran Northbound Journey

After a morning for leisure, you’ll be transferred to Flamenco Marina, where you board the M/V Discovery to sail towards Contadora.

Day 5: Darien Jungle – Embera India Tribe

Today, you will be able to witness the daily lives of the Embera Indians.

Day 6: Pearl Islands: San Telmo & Mogo Mogo

On day six, you snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearls Islands, and you view the remains of the Civil War-era submarine Explorer.

Day 7: Panama Canal Transit / Gatun Lake

We begin our northbound canal passage traveling to Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks.

Day 8: Panama Canal / Gatun Lake

You have the opportunity to explore the Gatun Lake and kayak in the Panama Canal waters.

Day 9: Charges River / Fort San Lorenzo

After touring the Fort, we then continue to Colon.

Day 10: Disembark / Portobelo / Panama City

Our last stop is Portobelo, where we will visit the Church of San Felipe. Later, we take the Panama Canal railway train back to Panama City.

Day 11: Panama / David / Isla Palenque

Today, you’ll take a flight to David located in the Chiriquí Province. In the afternoon, we take paddleboards and head out to the ocean to explore nearby islands.

 Day 12: Isla Palenque

On day twelve, take the opportunity to hike to Isla Palenque to learn all about its history.

Day 13: Isla Palenque

You have the choice of choosing between from the “Islands Tour to Isla Secas” or the “Island Hopping Tour”.

Day 14: David / Boquete / Panama City / Home

After departing from Isla Palenque, you head to visit a coffee plantation. Once the tour has ended, you’ll be transferred to David airport for your flight back to Panama City.

Day 15: Departure

You’ll be transferred to the Tocumen International Airport for your safe return flight home.

Panama Luxury Cruise & Eco Lodge Tour Highlights

– Daylight canal transit guaranteed

– Snorkel and kayak in pristine beaches

– A day with the Embera Indians in Darien

– Bathe in history and nature at the same time in the Chagres River

– Isla Palenque discussions about indigenous groups of Panama

– Rum tastings

– Cooking classes

– Tours on the island’s trails

– Isla Palenque Island Tours

– Optional Tour – Secrets of the Island Tour

– Optional Tour – Kayaking or SUP tours

– Optional Tour – Island Tour to Isla Secas (longer) or Island Hopping Tour (shorter) visits two stunning islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui National Park with gorgeous white sand beaches and picture perfect palm trees.



  • Departure
    Panama City
  • Dress Code
  • Include
    Entry Fees
    5 Star Accommodation
    Personal Guide
    Airport Transfers
  • Not Included
    Departure Taxes

Day 1 – Panama City / Welcome to Panama!

Today at the appropriate time a VIP Journeys representative will meet you at the Tocumen International Airport to assist and transfer you to your hotel in Panama City. Upon your arrival to your hotel please check in. Once you arrive to Tocumen International Airport you will first go through immigration, then you will proceed to pick up your luggage.  After you have your luggage you will need to clear customs and agriculture, you will pass all your luggage through an x-ray machine.  Then you will proceed to exit the area, once you pass through the exit door you can go either to the right or the left. VIP Journeys recommends that you go to the right to better locate our staff who will be receiving you with a sign bearing your name with the company’s logo. In case you do not locate our staff please approach the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) tourist information stand, our staff will be close to this area. Overnight: Central Hotel.

Day 2 – Historical City Tour and visit the Biodiversity Museum

During the half-day morning tour, you will visit the ruins of Old Panama, climb up the Cathedral tower, visit the Old Panama Museum and then continue to Casco Viejo (the old city compound), which dates to the late 1600’s. A bilingual guide will describe the events in history leading up to the eventual movement of the capital city to its present location. Casco Viejo is home of monuments of Ferdinand de Lesseps and other Frenchmen instrumental in the ill-fated attempt of the French to construct a canal through Panama. The full-day tour continues to visit the Biodiversity Museum designed by Canadian-American Architect Frank Gehry, the Biomuseo is his only work in Latin America and the tropics. The building was designed to tell the story about how the Isthmus of Panama rose from the sea, uniting two continents, separating a vast ocean in two, and changing the planet’s biodiversity forever. The Biomuseo’s 4,000 square meters contain 8 permanent exhibition galleries designed by Bruce Mau Design. An expert from the Museum will conduct the visit. In addition to the main spaces, the museum includes a public atrium, a space for temporary exhibitions, a shop, a cafe, and multiple outdoor exhibits displayed in the botanical park. The permanent exhibition is a combination of art and science that leads the visitor to experience a marvelous phenomenon. **Please note museums are closed on Mondays** Overnight: Central Hotel (B, L).

Day 3 – The Pirate Trail: Agua Clara Locks & Fort San Lorenzo

Today at the appropriate time you will be transferred to the train station in Panama City for your journey to Colon province by train. The Panama Canal Railway offers a scenic experience on the first railroad to join the two oceans. Recreate the experience of the California Gold Rush age and enjoy the spectacular scenery of the rainforest around the heart of the canal from the comfort of your train cabin. Once you arrive to Colon province you will have the opportunity to visit the Agua Clara Visitors Center and be amazed by the panoramic view of the Agua Clara Locks. It has the same concept of the Gatun Locks, but was reinvented to handle bigger cargo, re-using water and locking the chambers with rolling gates. After enjoying the panoramic view, continue onto the screening room where you will learn more about the construction and effort of several Panamanians of this modern engineering masterpiece. After having lunch, you will head back to Panama City. Includes: Private transportation, historical guide, lunch in a local restaurant, water and snacks. **Please note that the train only operated from Monday to Friday** Overnight: Central Hotel (B, L).

Day 4 - Panama City - Flamenco Marina – Discovery Catamaran Northbound Journey

After a morning at leisure to explore, transfer to Flamenco Marina where you embark the 24-guest M/V Discovery. Sail the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean towards Contadora. Over a delicious meal of local cuisine, meet your Expedition leaders, crew and fellow guests. Overnight: M/V Discovery (B, D).

Day 5 - Darien Jungle - Embera Indian Tribe

Step aboard a time machine and travel back more than 600 years to a place that not many have had the privilege of experiencing. Delve into the lives of the Embera Indians, proud people who have been able to maintain most their traditions and lifestyle as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region. These natives are master crafters of cocobolo woodcarvings and basketry. After motoring up the river you will see the village emerging from the jungle. Keep your eyes peeled along the way as the region is also rich in abundant wildlife. Overnight: M/V Discovery (B, L, D).

Day 6 - Pearl Islands: San Telmo & Mogo Mogo

Snorkel and swim in the waters of the Pearl Islands, named for the archipelago's abundance of pearl oysters. San Telmo and Mogo Mogo Islands are home to pristine beaches and fertile fishing grounds. View the remains of the Civil War-era submarine Explorer, which was built in 1865 and sunk off the coast of San Telmo during the oyster fishery boom of the late 1800s. Overnight: M/V Discovery (B, L, D).

Day 7 - Panama Canal Transit / Gatun Lake

Begin our day at the Panama Canal's Pacific entrance, where we join the morning’s ship convoy for our northbound canal passage traversing Miraflores Locks and Pedro Miguel Locks. The Discovery will be raised 85 feet above sea level to Gatun Lake. Enjoy the opportunity to experience the history and operation of this engineering marvel. Navigate the Gaillard Cut, the narrowest section of the Panama Canal, bisecting the Continental Divide. This section of the canal is full of history and geological value and you will be able to appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires. Spend the night in Gatun Lake. Overnight: M/V Discovery (B, L, D).

Day 8 - Panama Canal / Gatun Lake

Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal, the vast jungle area that is now the Gatun Lake was teeming with an overwhelming abundance of wildlife. As the region was flooded to create the lake, animals took refuge in the mountain peaks, which are now the many islands that dot the renowned lake. Explore Gatun Lake and kayak in Panama Canal waters. Your expedition leader will take you on board small crafts past lush rainforests to secluded areas of the lake to witness first-hand the splendor and excitement of the jungle. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you could see in their native surroundings. The sights, sounds and scents that make up this beautiful, tropical jungle will engulf you. Cameras are a must as this is considered the world’s premier location for viewing monkeys and other animals in the wild. The Discovery will exit the Panama Canal in the afternoon on its way to the mouth of the Chagres River. Overnight: M/V Discovery (B, L, D).

Day 9 -Chagres River / Fort San Lorenzo

The Chagres River is the largest river within the Panama Canal and it is the canal's principal source of water. Dense tropical forest covers the river’s upper basin and to protect this ecosystem, the Panamanian government created the Chagres National Park. The Chagres River was originally founded in 1502 by Christopher Columbus on his fourth and final voyage to the Americas. By 1534, the Spanish monarchy began to use the Chagres River as a route to transfer the gold they had been collecting in Peru and transport it back to Spain. Attracted to these treasures, pirates began to attack the Panama coast in the 1560’s and this lead to the creation of Fort San Lorenzo by the Spanish navy. Some 100 years later in 1670, Henry Morgan, a Welsh pirate attacked Fort San Lorenzo leaving it in ruins. He then went on to invade Panama City using the site as his base. During the 1680’s, however, the Spanish created a new fort on a cliff overlooking the entrance to the Chagres River. This fort was even more protected with a moat and drawbridge constructed on its landside to prevent another invasion. The Spanish abandoned the fort in 1821 when Panama became independent. When touring the Fort, we will see that it is an exceptional sample of Spanish colonial military architecture and the reasons as to why UNESCO has named it a World Heritage Site. The tour leader will expand on Spanish colonization and inform us on the vast amounts of history that the site has to offer. We will then travel to Colon in the evening and spend our last night together before disembarkation the next day. Overnight: M/V Discovery (B, L, D).

Day 10 - Disembark / Portobelo / Panama City

Our final stop is to Portobelo on the Caribbean Sea. After a farewell breakfast, we will disembark the boat one last time and travel by motor coach to Portobelo. Christopher Columbus invaded Portobelo, now a port city in the Colon district of Panama, on his fourth voyage to the Americas. The legend states that Columbus originally named the town ‘puerto bello’ meaning beautiful port and it is also rumored that the famous explorer, Francis Drake, was buried in Portobelo Bay after dying of dysentery out at sea in 1596. In 1726, British naval forces attacked the port and successfully defeated the Spanish leading to an outburst of popular acclamation from the British Empire. It was this victory that that lead to the naming of the famous Portobello Road in London, Portobello area in Edinburgh and Portobello barracks in Dublin. Today, Portobelo is a very quiet city with a population of fewer than 3,000 people. Nevertheless, it is currently experiencing somewhat of a cultural revival with a growing interest in the local customs of Congo art and dance. We will visit the Church of San Felipe, the sanctuary of black Christ as well as more fortifications built by the Spanish colonizers to protect her treasures from the pirates. Later in the afternoon, board the Panama Canal railway train. This one-hour scenic ‘interoceanic’ trip runs parallel to the Canal passing through lush rainforests and the historic Gaillard Cut and will take us back to Panama City where we part ways and our excursion comes to an end. Overnight: Central Hotel (B, L).

Day 11 – Panama City / David / Isla Palenque

At the appropriate time you will be picked up by an VIP Journeys driver for your 45-minute flight to David located in the Chiriquí Province. You are allowed to check in 30kg of luggage free of charge, every additional kilo will have the approximate cost of 2USD. Please note that the amount of extra luggage depends on the flight capacity. Upon arrival you will be transferred by land and sea to your hotel in Gulf of Chiriqui. *Domestic flights are not included. Domestic flights to and from David Isla Palenque truly does make a perfect location to experience most of what Panama has to offer: tropical forest filled with wildlife, pristine beaches and warm waters, and a location in the Golf of Chiriqui with easy access to world-class sport fishing.  There’s also plenty of culture to experience nearby such as a visit to the indigenous Ngobe-Bugle tribe. Upon arrival, we relax and spend our late afternoon on the paddleboards from Playa Palenque and head out on the open ocean with our guide who will take you to any number of locations on the nearby islands, depending on the swells and experience level of the group. If you are new to stand-up paddle boarding, we recommend arriving half an hour in advance to get some practice balancing, paddling and turning. Overnight: Isla Palenque (B, D).

Day 12 – Isla Palenque

Hike a maze of multiple jungle trails leading to historic landmarks most visitors never see while we shed light on a few of the island’s most enduring natural mysteries and hidden wonders. How did Isla Palenque form? How did ancient cultures use the island – and what did they leave behind? What is Palenque’s role in the history of the area, and how is her significance reflected in the folklore of the locals? Isla Palenque’s stories go back centuries – take this tour to delve deeper into her encompassing wonders. Overnight: Isla Palenque (B, L, D).

Day 13 – Isla Palenque

Today we will choose from the “Island Tour to Isla Secas” (longer) or “Island-Hopping Tour” (shorter) - The trip to Isla Secas takes most of one day and offers the best visibility for snorkeling. The Island-Hopping tour is a half day option and visits two stunning islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui National Park with gorgeous white sand beaches and picture-perfect palm trees. Snorkeling is available at one location where you can see turtles, rays, lots of colorful fish, the water clarity/visibility is moderate compared to the Isla Secas site. Overnight: Isla Palenque (B, L, D).

Day 14 – David / Boquete / Panama City / Home

Depart Isla Palenque early after breakfast and head to the highlands of Boquete for the unique opportunity to visit a coffee plantation and learn about the process of coffee. Your guide will explain the whole coffee process from the picking of the coffee cherries by the Ngöbe-Buglé Indians to its journey to your cup while you walk through the coffee fields. You will learn about the coffee plants and how the coffee beans are harvested and processed. We will tour one of the local farms in Boquete where you will be able to admire a clean and modern environmental processing plant or an organic coffee farm. The tour ends in the coffee cupping room in the old mill, where we will taste and cup the product of all the work and craftsmanship.   Afterwards, you will be transferred to David airport for your flight back to Panama City. You can check in 30kg of luggage free of charge, every kg. Afterwards will have the approximate cost of 2USD. Please note that the amount of extra luggage you can take also depends on flight capacity. Once arrived in Panama City you will be transferred to your hotel. *Domestic flights are not included. Domestic flights to and from David Overnight: Central Hotel (B, snacks).

Day 15 – Departure

At the appropriate time you will be transferred to the Tocumen International Airport for your outbound flight. You will arrive to the airport approximately 2 hours before your departure time. Note: Customers will be picked up 3 hours before flight time. (B)

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