CAMINO REAL TREK


Day 1 Arrive to Panama

On arrival to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City you will be greeted by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama representative and transferred to your hotel. Tonight you will meet with the Expedition Leader and the rest of the trip participants.

Night at METRO HOTEL

Day 2 Historic Panama City - Embera Village

Your morning begins with a thorough inspection of your equipment for the hike on the Camino Real. Afterwards, visit the ruins of Old Panama City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which holds historical relevance to the area that you will explore in the upcoming days. Early afternoon drive to Madden Lake, where you board your motorized dug out canoes in route to an Embera village where you will spend the night. You are greeted by the Embera people, who are proud to share their culture and heritage with you.

Night at Embera Village in screened tents (BLD)

Day 3 - 5 Chagres National Park

You bid farewell to your Embera friends and continue your adventure in the Chagres National Park. This protected area was created in 1985 to preserve 130,000 hectares (320,000 acres) of rainforests as part of Panama’s conservation strategy and to help preserve the watershed which provides all of the fresh water needed for the operation of the Panama Canal, as well as the drinking water for the two largest cities in the country. The park is home to endangered species such as jaguars, Central American Spider Monkeys, and anteaters. It is also a bird sanctuary for more than 400 species, including the harpy eagle -- the largest eagle in the world and Panama's national bird. As you skirt along the park’s boundaries you will come across peasant farms and hamlets and gradually enter the thicker and more pristine rainforest, where you run into vestiges of late 1800s manganese mines, including railroad tracks and locomotives encroached in the tropical vegetation that has taken over these relics. You cross the watershed divide of the Boqueron River over a low mountain pass into the Nombre de Dios River basin as you head north toward the Caribbean Sea.

3 nights in FIELD CAMPS (BLD)

Day 6 Portobelo

After four days of trekking, you finally reach reach the road which where an Ancon Expeditions’ vehicle will transfer you to Portobelo, the final destination of the Camino Real on the Caribbean Sea. Set on a deepwater bay deemed easier to defend from the ravages of pirates, Portobelo was heavily fortified and for 150 years was home to the famous trade fairs, when the Spanish treasure fleet came to collect the riches that traveled across the isthmus on mule trains from Panama City and to leave merchandise brought from Seville for distribution throughout the Americas. Unsurprisingly, the wealth concentrated in the royal warehouses here was an irresistible target for the pirates who scoured the Spanish Main.

Night in waterfront lodge in Portobelo (BLD)

Day 7 Bay of Portobelo - Panama City

This morning enjoy swimming in the Caribbean Sea. In the afternoon you will drive to Colon City to catch the train back to Panama City. The Panama Railway was inaugurated in 1856 and was the first train to cross the continent from one ocean to the other. The completion of the trans-isthmian railroad was inspired by the Gold Rush when pioneers were in need of a fast and safe way to get to California. The train ride is 1 hour long from coast to coast and skirts the Panama Canal. A farewell dinner is prepared for this evening.

Night at METRO HOTEL (BLD)

Day 8 Depart Panama

Today you are picked up at the lobby of the hotel 2.5 hours prior to your scheduled departure flight and transferred to Tocumen International Airport. Fly home (B)


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