Panama is a country in rapid transition, where elements of the traditional exist alongside the burgeoning development that is taking place. Our one-day pre-extension shows you all these elements: Panama’s folklore; Panama City’s historic neighborhood, called the “Casco Viejo”; the remarkable new Gehry-designed BioMuseo; and the history and workings of the Panama Canal. This will be a superb opportunity to see a great deal more in a short span of time.
After a mid-afternoon arrival at Panama’s Tocumen airport, transfer to the Marriott-Panama Hotel. This evening we have dinner at one of Panama's finest restaurants, Madrigal. (D)
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and head for the Casco Viejo, Panama City’s old quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The superbly preserved buildings represent the origins of modern Panama City. We’ll walk its cobblestone streets, seeing the Central Plaza, with the Metropolitan Cathedral and City Hall. The long-term survival of the renowned “flat arch” of the Santo Domingo Church and Convent convinced planners of the canal of the feasibility of building it through Panama instead of Nicaragua. We’ll continue to the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo, Gehry’s first and only design in Central America, with over 30,000 feet of gallery space and exhibits dedicated to the history of the isthmus and its myriad species (many of which we will search for once our main expedition embarks). We will be among the first to experience the museum. By special arrangement, we tour Miraflores Lock to observe the action of the Canal and dine in the overlooking restaurant. In the late afternoon, we continue to Colón to embark National Geographic Quest. (B,L)
Extension Cost Per Person
Accommodations, meals indicated, transfers, sightseeing, transfer and entrance fees.
All airfare, personal items and immigration fees.
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