The 80km Panama Canal, transporting 12,000 ships a year between the two great oceans, is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest engineering feats. While the canal put the country on the map, there is another Panama few know about: sandy-beached islands on both coasts, steamy jungle rainforest cut by pristine waterfalls, and cool, misty mountain valleys spread with coffee plantations and framed by volcanoes. The narrowest point of a land bridge between North and South America, Panama shares the biodiversity of both, making for world-class birding and wildlife viewing. Steep, rugged mountains mean the white water is wild. And when you come up for air, Panama City may surprise you. Both the canal and a thriving international banking industry brought prosperity, and the formerly US-controlled Canal Zone can feel more like Miami than Central America.
Cycle Central America (CNGP)
Stretching almost 50,000km from Alaska to Patagonia, the Pan-American Highway is a triumph of international cooperation. To hardy cyclists, it presents both a challenge and an opportunity to take the ultimate, seemingly endless ride. This trip gives you a piece of that magic; aboard your bike, you’ll pedal through the lush countryside of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, past gleaming lakes, enormous volcanoes, colonial towns and sunny beachfronts across the Caribbean. The ride of your life is waiting to begin. All that’s missing is you.
Highlights: Cycling from Nicaragua to Panama, enjoying downhill cycling on Volcano Irazu, rafting through the lands of the Cabecar indigenous tribe, chilling on Caribbean isles, cycling through mountain tracks
Panama Experience (CRSP)
From San José, hit the beach and mountain retreats on your way to the locks of the world-famous Panama Canal at the centre of the Americas. Visit gorgeous islands and chill to reggae beats on Caribbean beaches. Search for the quetzal bird in cloud forests and shake your tailfeather in the clubs of Panama City. With your hotel and transport arranged by our CEOs, you can concentrate on choosing your own adventure.
Highlights: Listening to the reggae rhythms wafting through the Caribbean air, staring out at the crystal blue ocean, walking through lush greenery of the highlands, kicking back in a hammock on the Pacific, opportunity to watch ships pass through the Panama Canal.