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Grit and Glory: Exposing the Panama Canal

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Road Scholar
Program #9901RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
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.
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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.
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Discussion Board

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Mark Krosse Jan 19, 2015 at 12:57 PM

We did the Jan 12 2015 trip - most excellent! There is nothing more to know about the Canal after this trip!

A suggestion for early arrivers to Hotel Amador which is directly on the Canal: the hotel backs onto a nice walking causeway that continues for 3 miles out onto Flamenco Island along the Panama Canal - Pacific Entrance Channel. You get to see the transiting boat traffic.

About 1 mile (~24 minute walk) is the BioMuseo designed by Frank Gehry. We skipped the $22 (for gringo's) entrance fee and enjoyed the free ground floor information and history display and the free second level pavilion views of the Gehry building and views of Panama City.

We then continued walking the causeway path 2 more miles (45 min) to its end at Flamenco Island. We stopped for a wonderful meal at Leños & Carbón, a parillada, South American-style grilling restaurant. It has lovely veranda overlooking the Isla Flamenco Harbor and a distant vista of Panama City. Steak was perfect with grilled root vegetables. Fish, salads, chicken, & kebabs also on the menu.

Plenty of taxi's & public buses are available for a quick ride back to Hotel Amador, if you want to skip the walk back.
Sam and Carolyn Kochel Jan 19, 2015 at 02:12 PM

Mark, Thanks for the helpful info. How did you get from the airport to the Hotel? Our plane lands at 9:59pm. Thanks again, Sam

Marilyn Kruse Jan 16, 2015 at 11:19 AM

Has anyone taken this trip in November, during the rainy season? If so, what was it like? Thanks!

Kathryn Freese Dec 26, 2014 at 09:00 PM

My former husband and I are also enrolled for the "Grit and Glory", Feb. 23 departure. Looking forward to meeting other participants and to seeing and learning more about the canal.

Sam and Carolyn Kochel Nov 21, 2014 at 05:33 PM

Enrolled in the "Grit and Glory", Panama Canal, Feb 23-28, Looking forward to meeting new friends.
Deborah Lazarus Dec 20, 2014 at 05:04 PM

Hi. My name is Maya and I just registered for this trip also. Same dates as yours. I look forward to meeting you. I'll be traveling from Cartagena, Colombia, where I'm spending the winter.
Sam and Carolyn Kochel Dec 22, 2014 at 07:02 PM

Maya. Looking forward to meeting you. We are coming from cold-snowy Wisconsin. Any suggestions on clothing for Panama?
Deborah Lazarus Dec 23, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Hi there, The weather should be similar to what I'm experiencing in Cartagena. It's the dry season now and the weather is hot and sunny every day with breezes most afternoon. Clothing that will help you feel cool (sleeveless tops, shorts, skirts) would be best. Maybe one sweater or hoodie for evenings, sun screen, and an insect repellent (just in case). We might experience some rain while going through the rain forest. It will be a pleasant change for you from snowy Wisconsin. Have a wonderful holiday. Maya (my preferred nickname)
Sam and Carolyn Kochel Dec 23, 2014 at 01:53 PM

Maya, Thanks for your response! Best to you this season. Sam

Ed Speegle Oct 15, 2014 at 01:58 PM

I'm on the Feb. 2-7 trip. Interested in meeting others on this trip. I'm flying Sacramento to Houston to Panama City on United. Arrive at 7:15 P.M.

Janiece Nolan Sep 30, 2014 at 12:41 PM

My husband and I are on the Nov.10 Panama trip. Because of the mosquito borne diseases in Colon, our travel doctor recommended antimalarial drug and Yellow Fever shot. Anyone else doing that? Also, we are arriving a day early in Panama City. Any suggestions of what to do that is not covered on the tour?
Edward Gazzano Sep 30, 2014 at 03:13 PM

I went on this trip last March. We had absolutely no problems with mosquitos nor did anyone warn about malaria or Yellow Fever. The only caution mentioned was to stay hydrated due to the heat and humidity.
Christine Harris Sep 30, 2014 at 03:54 PM

We were there last February and saw nary a mosquito. I agree with Edward. The heat and humidity are greater concerns.
Gene Pease Nov 01, 2014 at 08:57 PM

We're also going on 11/10. We're thre on the 9th and leave 3 days after the trip. We did not get yellow fever we did get some others. We're doing one of the Embera vilage tours and want to go to the national park. Sorry can't think of the name at the moment.
Mark Krosse Jan 19, 2015 at 01:02 PM

Only health risk is the sun - bring plenty of sunblock & coverings

Susan Thibado Sep 10, 2014 at 04:09 PM

Looking at January 2015 trip. From Minneapolis we have to fly through one should fly through Denver in the winter...for a cushion we thought of leaving Minneapolis three days early...can we still do airfare through Road Scholar? And if we are lucky and not delayed in Denver are there activities in Panama City to entertain us for a couple of extra days?
Teresa Wilkin Sep 10, 2014 at 04:40 PM

Absolutely! I stayed behind a extra day specifically to see Panama Viejo, the archaeological site on the outskirts of modern day Panama City. And wished I had another day to explore some of the islands off the coast or an indiginous community. Next time!

Premium Email Subscriber Jun 21, 2014 at 02:54 PM

Several friends of mine are comparing this trip with one offered by an escorted tour company and I am looking for "ammunition" to win them over to RoadScholar 9901 RJ in February 2015 (2 options). The other tour has start dates on EVERY SINGLE DAY in February making me suspicious that it might be like a tourist assembly line. Rather than criticize the competitor, I want to be able to make a presentation to my group of friends that will help sell them on RoadScholar. I find no videos on our website. I wish I could do a power point "dog and pony" show. Any ideas from those who have been on this trip? Thanks.
Teresa Wilkin Jun 21, 2014 at 09:11 PM

Focus on the boat. I did the trip last year and was feeling like part of the herd since it was by far the largest group I've ever encountered in my 30+ RS programs. But I came to realize that by having such a large number, RS was able to charter an entire boat just for our group. We had it all to ourselves, as we did the domed sightseeing car on the train back. Our group loved our vessel because one could reach right out from the deck and touch the walls of the locks. Just like Goldlilocks said, it was "just right", not to big and not too small. Plus Road Scholar provided a lecturer who had worked for the Canal Zone for his entire career. And we got access to the Administration Building as well as the Museum of the Canal, as well as both visitor's centers at the two sets of locks. We had dinner overlooking the locks one evening. Very special!
Christine Harris Jun 23, 2014 at 04:47 PM

Our group was 52 and it may have been larger than some RS "small groups", we had a wonderful time. Hotel rooms all facing the Canal entrance, excursion through the Canal on our own small boat,dome car back to Panama City... The group leaders were outstanding; so knowledgeable but also entertaining and took wonderful care of us. I would also add that a focus on the "typical " Road Scholar traveler is worth a mention. RS folks are all about learning. They appreciate the learning experiences that a RS trip offers. We have never traveled with a more delightful group of people!

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

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


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