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PANAMA

Grit and Glory: Exposing the Panama Canal

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Road Scholar
Program #9901RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Mar 9 — Mar 14, 2015

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located at Fort Amador, on the boardwalk overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas.

Contact info:
Amador Avenue & Pelicano Avenue
Panama City, 00000 Panama
phone: +5072114500
web: www.countryinns.com/panamacanalpan

Room amenities: Air conditioning, balcony, cable TV, coffee maker, microwave oven, and data ports for Internet/fax.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, pool, jacuzzi, laundry services, health club, spa services, tennis courts, meeting rooms, and tour desk.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to change.
Additional nights subject to hotel availability.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Monday, March 09 - Arrive to Panama City.
Arrive To: Arrive at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).

Transfer to the hotel and check-in, followed by time at leisure.

Please note that this is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day. Hotel check-in usually begins at 3PM.

Lodging: Hotel Amador
Country Inn & Suites


Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located at Fort Amador, on the boardwalk overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas.

Contact info:
Amador Avenue & Pelicano Avenue
Panama City, 00000 Panama
phone: +5072114500
web: www.countryinns.com/panamacanalpan

Room amenities: Air conditioning, balcony, cable TV, coffee maker, microwave oven, and data ports for Internet/fax.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, pool, jacuzzi, laundry services, health club, spa services, tennis courts, meeting rooms, and tour desk.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to change.
Additional nights subject to hotel availability.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Tuesday, March 10 - Panama City - The History of Panama City/Ca...
Panama City -
The History of Panama City/Casco Viejo/Panama Canal Museum.


Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: Program orientation.

Meet your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Field trip to Casco Viejo, the historic colonial center of the city of Panama, and the Pacific Canal Commission Compound.

Panama City's old historic quarter (a.k.a. Casco Viejo or Casco Antiguo) dates back to the 1670s, when the destruction of Panama Viejo made relocation a necessity. Casco Viejo’s parks and narrow streets are lined with colorful buildings representative of Spanish, French and early American architectural styles. This eclectic collection of architectural styles reflects the city's role as an international trade center and cultural melting pot that began well before the building of the Canal. Some of Casco Viejo's must-see sites include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal Palace, the National Theater, the Panama Canal Museum (originally the Grand Hotel), the French Embassy, and France Plaza.

Before lunch, pay a visit to the Panama Canal Museum, showcasing the American era of the Panama Canal.


Lunch: At a local restaurant.


Afternoon: Return to the hotel.

Lecture: The Panama Canal: Past, Present and Future.


Dinner: At the hotel.


Evening: Time at leisure.

Lodging: Hotel Amador
Country Inn & Suites


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located at Fort Amador, on the boardwalk overlooking the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas.

Contact info:
Amador Avenue & Pelicano Avenue
Panama City, 00000 Panama
phone: +5072114500
web: www.countryinns.com/panamacanalpan

Room amenities: Air conditioning, balcony, cable TV, coffee maker, microwave oven, and data ports for Internet/fax.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, pool, jacuzzi, laundry services, health club, spa services, tennis courts, meeting rooms, and tour desk.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Subject to change.
Additional nights subject to hotel availability.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Wednesday, March 11 - Panama City – Las Cruces Trail/Maddem Dam/F...
Panama City –
Las Cruces Trail/Maddem Dam/French Monument/Miraflores Locks.


Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: View Lake Alajuela/Madden Dam and learn about its impact on the lives of people in the region and in the daily operation of the Panama Canal.

Lake Alajuela was "created" in 1924 with the construction of the Madden Dam. The dam's reservoir maintains the water levels in Lake Gatun and provides primary supply of drinking water along the canal. Lake Alajuela is surrounded by a 129,000 hectare national park of primary rainforest.

Field trip to Las Cruces Trail, used by early travelers to California lured by the Gold Rush.

In the past, Las Cruces Trail served as the primary artery for sending most, if not all, of the gold brought from the Incan Empire to port for shipment back to Spain. In many ways, the Las Cruces Trail of the colonial era was the wealthiest road on earth. At the same time, because so much gold traveled the same route, just about every enterprising pirate sought access to this trail.

During our explorations along the Panama Canal we will also make a couple of stops to observe and discuss some of the work being done to expand the Canal. The estimated $5.25 billion project is set to add a third lane with larger locks, thus making it possible for bigger container and cargo ships to make use of the shortcut.


Lunch: At a local restaurant.


Afternoon: After lunch, make a stop at the French Cemetery Monument and review the role of immigrant workers in making the Panama Canal a reality.

Transfer to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to view the locks at work and enjoy the museum's interactive displays.


Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant with views of the ships passing through the canal.
Return to the hotel.


Evening: Return to the hotel.
Time at leisure to relax and get a good night's sleep in preparation for the full day tomorrow.

Lodging: Hotel Amador
Country Inn & Suites


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located on Gatun Lake, just 10 minutes from the city of Colón.

Contact info:
Espinar Colón
Former Las Americas Military School
Lago Gatun, 000000 Panama
phone: +5074701100
web: www.meliapanamacanal.solmelia.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, hair dryer, safe, direct dial phone, and mini refrigerator.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, bar, pool, meeting rooms, spa services, laundry services, gym, and tennis courts.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Four: Thursday, March 12 - Transiting the Panama Canal – Full Transit f...
Transiting the Panama Canal –
Full Transit from Panama City to Colon.


Note: The full canal transit takes approximately 10 hours to complete.

Breakfast: Early morning transfer to port to board boat.

Breakfast on board the boat.


Morning: Full day transit through the Panama Canal.

This transit leaves at 7:30 am and heads out the Pacific entrance of the Canal, just outside Flamenco Island. Here you will wait for the Panama Canal Commission Pilot who will guide you through the transit. Follow your companion vessel for the transit of the Miraflores locks (by Canal standards, we are a small vessel, so we rarely transit the locks alone).

The transit will take you through Miraflores Lake, Pedro Miguel Locks, Gailard Cut, Gamboa, and Gatun Lake. You will exit the canal at the Atlantic Ocean and dock at Cristobal.

Throughout the transit there are numerous opportunities to see dolphins, birds, monkeys and crocodiles. The whole experience will take about 10 hours.


Lunch: On board the boat.


Afternoon: Continue with canal transit.
Disembark in Colon.

Colon Province was once known for its wealth and its seemingly endless supply of gold and silver. This is where the stolen Inca gold was stored and sorted before being shipped back to Spain. The gold is gone and swashbuckling pirates no longer visit the province these days but Colon, the provincial capital, maintains a reputation as a place to make money.

Until 1852, Colon was an island, but was linked to the mainland when the United States started building the railroad. Contemporary Colon is known for its status as a Zona Libre, a free trade zone. Next to Hong Kong, Colon is the largest free-trade zone and marks the northern terminus of the Panama Canal.

Transfer to the hotel.


Dinner: At the hotel.


Evening: Time at leisure.

Lodging: Sol Melia Panama Canal

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Modern hotel located approximately 2 miles from downtown Panama City.

Contact info:
Ave Manuel Espinosa Batista
Panama City, 000000 Panama
phone: +507-2065500
web: www.crowneplaza.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable/satellite TV, coffee maker, hair dryer, mini refrigerator, iron/ironing board, and Internet access.

Facility amenities: Pool, restaurant, tour desk, Internet cafe, business center, fitness center, laundry/dry cleaning services, and gift shop.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Price subject to availability.
Type of accommodations and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance in booking additional nights.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Five: Friday, March 13 - Colon to Panama - New Locks Visitor Center/T...
Colon to Panama -
New Locks Visitor Center/Train Ride Via the Isthmus/Panama Canal Railway.


Breakfast: At the hotel.


Morning: After breakfast depart to New Locks Visitor Center to learn about the new canal expansion, including a video on the expansion program and new locks construction in addition to pictures of development at various stages. After a nature hike, the visit will end at the view point to observe the work being done at the new lock from afar.

Return to the hotel.


Lunch: At the hotel.


Afternoon: Free time to rest, do some packing or enjoy the hotel's amenities. The rooms will be available until the transfer time to the train station.

Train ride excursion to Panama City via the isthmus.

Arrive in Panama City and check-in at hotel.


Dinner: Farewell dinner with Panamanian music.


Evening: Free time. Spend your last evening in Panama with your new Road Scholar friends, finish your packing, or get a good night's sleep in preparation for international departures tomorrow.

Lodging: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Saturday, March 14 - Depart Panama/Flights to the U.S.
Depart From: Transfer to the Tocumen International Airport for flight to the U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.


Breakfast: At the hotel (depending on flight time).


Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
13 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
1 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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