“To show you the canal as it’s meant to be seen, we’ll join a pilot on the bridge of a supertanker as it squeezes through the 48-mile link. But no drinks until he ties up.”
We have a friend who claims that the only two things you need know about Panama is that it has a large canal and it used to have General Noriega. Actually, he’s not so much a friend as a snide acquaintance – or perhaps an operative for the Costa Rican tourist authority. Because the fact is, while nearby Costa Rica draws far more travellers, it’s only a matter of time before people start to realize that there’s another place in Central America where you can hike rainforest trails, spot exotic wildlife, meet indigenous tribes and explore a rich colonial heritage – not to mention swim, snorkel, surf, sail and play along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. That’s why we suggest you discover Panama’s well-kept secrets on a private adventure holiday…before the others find out.
A third of Panama is either national park or protected reserve. We can arrange transport by helicopter and light aircraft to maximize your time in less-accessible areas. But if you enjoy a challenge, we’ll bring together the best guides (how about ex-marines?) to accompany you on a trek deep into the Darien Gap in search of rare orchids and lost petroglyphs possibly dating back to 5,000 B.C. This region of swamp and dense jungle – the only break in the 30,000-mile Pan-American Highway – was previously off-limits because of the activities of Colombian rebels on the other side of the border. But it’s secure once more and offers intriguing opportunities to meet Embera Indians, whose way of life has remained unaltered for generations. They’re happy to share hunting tips and track jaguars and caiman through the nearly impenetrable forest. Birdwatchers will love it here, too: Panama has some 950 species of birds – more than Europe and North America combined.
For more hiking, we can organize an exploration of the Parque Internacional la Amistad, which borders Costa Rica and is home to the country’s only volcano, the dormant Volcán Barú. Here you might spot the Mayan bird of paradise, the quetzal, as well as pumas and tapirs. We’ll set up exclusive tented camps along the way, so you stay truly off the beaten path.
Of course you can’t visit Panama and not see the canal – we’ll arrange a private helicopter flight to give you a quetzal’s-eye view. And your trip won’t be complete without some exploring among the 1,500 islands along Panama’s 1,000 miles of coast (choose your side). Enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving or simply enjoying life on a private beach of soft, white sand – in either a luxury private camp or an elegant villa. Just don’t tell the others.
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To discuss what interests you about this or any other destination, call us: +44 203 358 0110