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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 Nov 12 — Nov 17, 2012

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, November 12 - 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, November 13 - Panama City – The History of Panama City.
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Program orientation.
Field trip to the Pacific Canal Commission Compound.
Excursion to Casco Viejo, the historic colonial center of the city of Panama with site lecture.

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.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip to the Panama Canal Museum, showcasing the American era of the Panama Canal.

Excursion to the French Square, a monument to the French builders who began the Panama Canal.

Lecture: The Panama Canal in the New Millennium.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

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, November 14 - Panama City – The History of the Panama Can...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to Miraflores Locks to view ships passing through the first series of locks in the canal.

Visit the interpretive museum.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: 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.

Excursion to the Chagres River, where early travelers would sail, then cross the isthmus before the canal was built.
Visit the Lake Alajuela/Madden Dam.

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.

Enjoy a visit to the French Cemetery that honors the many lives that where lost during the construction of the Panama Canal.

Dinner: Dinner at a Miraflores restaurant with views of the ships passing through the canal.

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, November 15 - Colon – Transiting the Panama Canal: Panama...
Breakfast: Early morning transfer to port to board boat.

Breakfast onboard the boat.

Morning: Full day transit through the Panama Canal.

This transit leaves at 7:30 a.m. through the Pacific entrance of the Canal, just outside Flamenco Island. Here you will wait for the Panama Canal Commission pilot who will guide the boat 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 on the Atlantic side and dock at Cristobal.

Throughout the transit there are numerous opportunities to see dolphins, birds, monkeys and crocodiles. The whole experience will take about between 8 to 10 hours.

Lunch: 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.

Colon was originally an island, separated from the mainland until 1852 when the U.S. began building a railroad across the isthmus. 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 and check-in.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel.

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, November 16 - Panama City - Fort San Lorenzo/Gatun Locks/...
Panama City -
Fort San Lorenzo/Gatun Locks/Train Ride Across the Isthmus.


Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to Fort San Lorenzo, constructed in the 1500s during the reign of the Spanish King, Phillip the II.

Site lecture: The importance of Fort San Lorenzo during the early years of the canal.

Located on the mouth of the Chagres River, this Spanish fort was once a primary defense against English pirates. While the fort successfully thwarted some (look for a captured British cannon on the fort's grounds), it is perhaps best known for its failure to stop the infamous pirate, Henry Morgan. In 1672 Morgan defeated the forces at San Lorenzo, sailed up the Chagres River and led his men to Panama where they sacked, looted, and burned the city. By the time they completed their raid, Morgan safely escaped with massive quantities of gold and treasure.

Return to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Visit to the Gatun Locks, dam, power-generating plant and spillway.

Train ride excursion to Panama City via the isthmus.

Dinner: Farewell dinner with Panamanian music.

Lodging: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Saturday, November 17 - Depart from Panama City.
Depart From: Transfer to Tocumen International Airport for flight to U.S.

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: Breakfast at the hotel (dependent on flight times).

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
11 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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