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An old fort of Panama

Portobelo Extension

Example 4 Day Tour
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Choose our Portobelo Extension to add to your captivating Panama adventure and explore its best kept secrets. From the contrasting views of Gatun Lake to the historic San Lorenzo Fort and a coastal snorkeling experience near Portobelo's bay, this extension rounds up your journey. Immerse yourself in the colonial charm of Portobelo's UNESCO-designated port, where five forts stand sentinel, cannons pointing to the bay. The Aguas Clara Visitor Center offers panoramic beauty, blending natural wonders and man-made marvels. This extension promises a seamless blend of adventure and history, crafting lasting memories of Panama's cultural and natural heritage.
Snorkeling over coral reefs in the CaribbeanSnorkeling off the coast of PanamaPanama City's Bridge of the AmericasPanama's turquoise watersPanama adventureClear blue water of the CaribbeanAn old fort of Panama
Highlights
  • Snorkel near the bay of Portobelo
  • Visit the Aguas Clara Visitor Center
  • Explore Gatun Lake where cargo ships and vessels transit daily.
  • Marvel colonial architecture at UNESCO-recognized Portobelo forts
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Panama City

Arrive in Panama City on the flight of your choice today. You will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in the city upon arrival. Enjoy a free afternoon exploring your new surroundings and stretching your legs before your adventure begins in the morning. 

Day 2: Aguas Clara Visitor Center and San Lorenzo

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Today, you will be picked up in the morning and head out to visit the Aguas Clara Visitor Center. The center offers a breathtaking panoramic view contrasting two scenarios that generate mixed feelings. On one side, one will find the famous Gatun Lake, where cargo ships or other vessels transit every day, while on the other side, but from a different perspective, the view of the expansion works will amaze. The new locks are larger, use less water than the original locks, and can accommodate bigger ships that carry more cargo.

Next, the group will visit San Lorenzo Fort, a colonial fortress that was built by the Spanish to protect the entrance of the Chagres River, which was an important route for transporting gold and silver from Peru to Spain. It was through this river that the notorious pirate Henry Morgan arrived at the Old Panama, to attack the fort and burn and loot the city. Take your time exploring  the ruins of the fort, which include a moat, cannons, and vaulted chambers, and enjoy the views of the river and the Caribbean Sea. You can also see wildlife and vegetation of the San Lorenzo Protected Area, which surrounds the fort.

Day 3: Snorkel Tour & Portobelo Forts

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Today, get ready to experience the Caribbean coast from a different perspective, by snorkeling near the bay of Portobelo. Portobelo is a historic port that was once a vital trade center for the Spanish empire.  Enjoy a transfer by boat to the beach where you will prepare for your snorkeling experience. This snorkeling tour will take you to some of the best spots for snorkeling near Portobelo, where you can see colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine life. Please note, this activity involves swimming from the beach to the snorkeling site.

The tour will continue to the port of Portobelo, which is full of colonial history, giving visitors a sense of being transported in time. In this location, five colonial fortresses stand, their cannons still pointing towards the bay. The colonial beauty of the fortresses remains preserved, and Portobelo and its fortresses has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Day 4: Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Make your way to the airport for your international flight home.

Accommodations

Le Meridien Panama

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Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$821

Notes

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Included
  • 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches
  • 3 Nights Accommodations
  • 1 Day Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider
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