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Home > Panama and Colombia: colonial towns and tropical islands

                     Panama and Colombia: colonial towns and tropical islands                      

A combined Panama-Colombia holiday discovering the riches of each country: Panama city, the canal and the wonderful San Blas islands... And then Colombia with the beautiful city of Cartagena de Indias, the coffee region, Bogota and the Andes.



  • Day 1: Tocumen Airport - Panama city - Casco Antiguo
  • Day 2: Panama city - Miraflores water locks - Casco Antiguo
  • Day 3: Panama city - Transisthmic train - Colon - Transisthmic train - Colon - Portobelo - Gatun - Portobelo
  • Day 4: Portobelo
  • Day 5: Portobelo - Tocumen Airport - Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 6: Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 7: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota - Cartagena de Indias - Bogota
  • Day 8: Bogota
  • Day 9: Bogota


Day 1: Tocumen Airport - Panama city - Casco Antiguo

Arrival at Tocumen international airport in Panama City. First contact with the country. You will have a private transfer to your hotel. Please hand your travel documents.
Your English speaking guide will greet you in person and escort you to your hotel.

Night at hotel American Trade *****.
Room Cuarto.
Included : private transport, english speaking guide, room & breakfast

Day 2: Panama city - Miraflores water locks - Casco Antiguo

Your driver will pick you up at your hotel for a city tour of Panama City.

Our first stop of the day will be in Panama La Vieja, first capital of the country before it was destroyed by the famous pirate Henry Morgan.

Then, we will head to the must-see Panama Canal and the Miraflores Locks. The visitor center offers a view on transiting vessels of all sorts (container ships, cruise ships, or tiny yachts). It explains the history of the Canal and how the locks work.

We will end our day with a tour in the Casco Antiguo. This bohemian center of Panama City will make you travel in time and immerge into the the historical past of the country. Take a walk in the narrow streets bordered with colorful buildings leading to the Plaza de Francia. Discover the Art-Deco architecture, the cathedral and visit the Panama Canal Museum.

Note 1: the Canal Museum and Panama La Vieja are closed on Mondays.
Note 2: The order of the visits depends on the Canal schedule.

Night at hotel American Trade *****.
Room Cuarto.
Included : private transport, english speaking guide, guide expenses, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 3: Panama city - Transisthmic train - Colon - Portobelo - Gatun - Portobelo

Early in the morning, private transfer from your hotel to the train station of Corozal.

Embark for a one-hour journey to Colón, on the Atlantic coast, aboard the Panama Canal Railway.

Note: Departure from Panama at 7:15, except on weekends.
Arrival in Colón where your driver will meet you at the exit of the train, then you will could go towards the visitor center of the new Gatun water gates where you will enjoy an impressive view of the boats and other container ships in transit.
You then make a short panoramic tour of the second largest city and see its baroque style buildings. After that you will be heading to Portobelo, a small quiet village discovered by Columbus in 1502.

You will can the remains of the city thar were name as world heritage by UNESCO: Forts de Santiago, San Jeronimo, San Felipe Church that houses the Cristo Nazareno and finally the building of the Royal Customs. If weather allows it, there is a visit of Sand Lorenzo's Castle, a former pirate hideout (that also has the world heritage status by the UNESCO), at the mouth of the Chagres River.

Note: about 3-4 hour drive

Visit the Gatun gates.

Night at the hotel El Otro Lado ****
Suite Room.
Included : private transport, train ticket, entrance fees, english speaking guide, guide expenses, room & breakfast

Day 4: Portobelo

Enjoy the surroundings of your hotel in a quiet jungle.
The hotel Otro Lado puts at your disposal kayaks, paddle boards and pedal boats.
Also included is a 45 minute walk in the jungle and on the beach.

You can also enjoy at your own pace all the accessible beaches from the small port of Puerto Lindo (like Isla Grande or Mamei for example), the historic sites of Portobelo or take a walk in the national park of the same name.

Today Portobelo is a quiet village with ruins of World Heritage status by UNESCO. You can visit the remains of the forts of Santiago, San Jeronimo, San Felipe church that hosts the Cristo Nazareno and the Royal Customs building.

Night at the hotel El Otro Lado ****
Suite Room.
Included : room & breakfast, private transport

Day 5: Portobelo - Tocumen Airport

A boat will take you to the Portobelo pier, before joining the heliport of the village.
Helicopter (type Eurocopter AS350B3) above the Panama Canal.

Note: 30 min flight, 5 min drive, 10 min boat.

Boarding three hours before your international flight.

IMPORTANT: depending on the time of your international flight, plan to sleep the night before in Panama.
Included : domestic flight


Day 5: Cartagena de Indias - Port de Carthagène - Cartagena de Indias

English-speaking assistance for the airport transfer.
Arrival at Cartagena de Indias, the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast, a fairy-tale city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's old town is a Unesco World Heritage site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across plazas.
Transfer to your hotel in the historic center. Free time to enjoy the end of the day.
Transfer between your hotel and the port of Cartagena.
Your tour in Colombia wouldn't be complete without a cruise aboard a sailboat.
You will head south of the bay, around "Virgen del Carmen" island, then you will reach Tierra Bomba to watch the sunset.
The boat will moor at the feet of the city walls, straight to the Club de Pesca restaurant, a gourmet institution in Colombia.
A table will be reserved.

Note: drinks on board (cocktails or wine).
Transfer between the port and your hotel in Cartagena.
Overnight at Casa Pestagua in Superior room.
Included : local english-speaking guide , transfer arrival, private transport, boat ticket, dinner (no drinks), excursion (private), room & breakfast

Day 6: Cartagena de Indias

In the morning, you will go for a guided walking tour through the Walled City, including the visit of the most beautiful areas such as San Diego, Plaza Santo Domingo, Getsemani and other landmarks with very rich history.
Afternoon dedicated to your wellbeing in one of the most famous spas of Cartagena. A 1-hour massage will be offered during your stay.
Overnight at Casa Pestagua in Superior room.
Included : entrance fees, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , spa treatment, room & breakfast

Day 7: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota

Half day dedicated to the visit of the main historic and cultural sites of Cartagena:

- The Convent of the Popa: perched on a hill that embraces the whole bay, this monastery houses a beautiful patio, a colonial museum and a chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Candelaria.
- Panoramic View from the Castle of San Felipe Barajas: at the doors of the colonial city, it is one of the greatest strongholds ever built by the Spanish Army. The view of the city is impressive.
- Direction Fuerte San Sebastian del Pastelillo now listed Historical and Cultural Humanity Heritage by UNESCO. This is the first fort built in Cartagena, in 1741. It was there that took place the famous attack of British Pirate Sir Francis Drake. The fort was restored in the 1970s and is home to the famous restaurant Club de Pesca.

Note 1: the entrance to the San Felipe castle is not included .
Note 2: possibility to do this excursion in the morning in order to lunch at Club de Pesca: contact us .
Transfer to Cartagena airport for your domestic flight.
Domestic flight to Bogota.
Arrival at Bogota El Dorado International airport.
Transfer to your hotel in Zona Norte district.
Free time to enjoy at your own Colombia´s capital city where modern districts and historic center, urban architecture and green parks stand alongside.
Overnight at Four Seasons Casa Medina Hotel in Deluxe room.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , transfer departure, domestic flight, transfer arrival, room & breakfast

Day 8: Bogota

Full day to explore Colombia´s capital city of Bogota, known for its colonial and authentic atmosphere. Walking through its cobblestoned streets, you will discover colorful restored colonial mansions, splendid carved wooden balconies as well as churches built in baroque style.
- Cerro de Monserrate is the 3152m peak flanking the city´s east. Over there, you will envoy a stunning view over the city and abouts. On its top, there is a white church (accessible by cable car or by funicular railway) is a major mecca for pilgrims, particularly crowded on religious days.
- La Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, is a real messy Colombian market where you will be able to get exostic tastes and buy everything you need to cook a real "Bogotano" receipe.
- The Gold museum displays one of the most dazzling collection in South America. It brings together around 34.000 pieces of goldsmith work, considered as the world´s largest pre-Colombian collection of its kind. Those artifacts come from different civilizations : Quimbayas, Taironas, Muiscas or Tolimas.
- Botero Museum is dedicated to the most famous colombian artist, Fernando Botero. The Museum contains both his works (around a hundred of drawings, paintings and sculptures) as well as his private collection with no less than 85 masterpieces of well known artists, such as Dali, Renoir, Chagall, Picasso, Miro ...
- Bolivar Square (la Plaza Bolivar) surrounded by Bogota´s grandest buildings, including the Town Hall, the Palace of Justice, Primatial Cathedral, Congress Building...

Note 1: walking tour in the Candelaria colonial center (3 to 4 hours walking in the city). A vehicle is included for the visit of Montserrate.
Note 2: the order of visits may be modified depending on the weekday. (The Gold Museum is closed on Mondays. Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays).
Just before visiting the Gold Museum, you will take the time to discover the different flavors of Colombian Coffee with a "coffee flight", a coffee-tasting in one of the most prestigious brands of Colombian coffee.

Overnight at Four Seasons Casa Medina Hotel in Deluxe room.
Included : private transport, entrance fees, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast

Day 9: Bogota

Half-day excursion devoted to the discovery of Colombia's wealth. You will walk in the esmerald universe accompanied by an "expert" guide, walk into the streets of the Candelaria, to meet dealers and artisans. By visiting processing plants and shops, you will learn to recognize in particular the most beautiful stones.

Transfer to the airport and connection to your international flight.
Included : private transport, entrance fees, local english-speaking guide , transfer departure

American Trade Hotel   Casco Antiguo

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

American Trade Hotel and Hall opened its doors in Fall 2013 in Panama City, occupying a lovingly restored landmark building in Casco Viejo. The property stands at the ecological and cultural crossroads of the Americas, deeply connected to both the historic Old Quarter and the nascent new Panama City

Hotel El Otro Lado   Portobelo

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast, private transport

El Otro Lado is a private retreat situated in an exceptional enclave of Portobelo Bay, mixing design, culture, nature and luxury in a unique manner in order to offer its guests authentic, exclusive and custom-made experiences. Situated just over an hour from Panama City and within Portobelo National Park,

Casa Pestagua   Cartagena de Indias

Level : 5*
Included : room & breakfast

Known as "the most beautiful house in Cartagena" Casa Pestagua belonged in the seventeenth century to Count Pestagua, a rich and powerful aristocrat who gave his name to this small luxurious colonial-style palace. This Boutique Hotel offers 11 luxurious rooms, a totally personalized service in an oasis of peace and tranquility protected by its ancient walls. Each room features a refined decor and a very generous size.

Casa Medina Four Seasons Hotel   Bogota

Level : 5*
Included : room & breakfast

Recognized as one of the finest hotels in Bogota, the Casa Medina, a jewel in the capital city, is now a Four Seasons signature. Perfectly situated for a business or leisure trip, this hotel is near the Zona G (G for Gourmet), where are the best restaurants of Bogota. With its stone columns and its beautiful brick facade, the hotel was declared “Monument of Cultural Interest” by the Colombian Ministry of Culture. Step through the doors and you will be surprised by the beauty of the building, where the Spanish colonial accents blend with the contemporary. The place is intimate and invites to comfort. The Spa is as the expectations of the prestigious Four Seasons brand.

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