SPECIALIST TOUR operator Journey Latin America has introduced a new Panama itinerary which highlights its main attractions

Old town, Panama CityOld Town, Panama City

Your first thoughts about Panama may envisage hats (actually from Ecuador); a large, strategic canal; a fallen dictator and maybe some refugees from justice. But that would be underestimating the unexpected charms and variety of this hilly Central American republic. The new Signature Panama: Canal, wildlife and beach addressed that.

In addition to introducing you to the extraordinary history of a country linking oceans, spanning cultures and hosting pathways for smuggled gold, Journey Latin America take you to visit some of nature’s most fecund forests, laden with ebullient wildlife and luscious plants. The itinerary visits Panama City, Boquete, in the Chiriquí Highlands, the archipelago of Bocas del Toro for some beach time, and ends in Gamboa, on the edge of Gatun Lake, best known for its surrounding rainforest scenery and magnificent bird-watching.


Playa Contadora, Azuero Peninsula

To make this holiday even more comprehensive, you can take one of the latest extensions. Panama’s Azuero Peninsula is known as the country’s cultural heartland. A heady mix of indigenous heritage, contemporary Spanish-inspired culture and cattle-raising, this region certainly sits slap bang in the centre of the country, on the Pacific side. The peninsula has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian indigenous groups, with many artefacts and ceremonial sites uncovered by archaeologists. The Indians did not survive the Spanish invasion though, and nowadays there is a distinctly Hispanic tradition, best observed in the region’s festivals and colonial architecture.

Playa Cacique, Azuero Peninsula, PanamaPlaya Cacique, Azuero Peninsula

The 10-day basic Panama itinerary costs from £1,565pp, including B&B accommodation, excursions, transfers and domestic flights, and the 4-day extension to Azuero Peninsula starts from £676pp.

  • For more information on Journey Latin America and to see the full range of holidays, visit www.journeylatinamerica.co.uk or telephone 020 8600 1881