Walking up to 2 miles, approximately 1 hour, with stops at several sites.
At the hotel with coffee, tea, water.
8:30 a.m. Orientation: There will be a Road Scholar notice board in the hotel lobby with daily schedule information, including the location of our Orientation session. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Meals on our program feature local cuisine. In many cases, they will be plated and served set meals; in others, we will have buffets with multiple options. Beverages include coffee, tea, water; other beverages are usually available for purchase. Unless otherwise specified, transportation during your program will be provided by air conditioned bus. We will have a snorkeling field trip one afternoon. Equipment will be available but participants may prefer to bring their own for the best fit and comfort. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. At the hotel, we’ll be joined by a local expert for an introductory presentation and overview of Panama. We’ll then depart by bus for an expert led field trip to Biomuseo — Panama City’s Biodiversity Museum. The strikingly colorful building was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. It represents the saga of the Isthmus of Panama that united two continents and changed the world’s biodiversity when the Atlantic and Pacific oceans were connected. Inside, eight permanent exhibits tell the story in graphic detail.
At a local restaurant featuring authentic Panamanian cuisine.
Next, we will enjoy a walking exploration of Casco Viejo, the historic colonial center of the city of Panama. This activity will introduce us to Panama’s fascinating history, architecture, and vibrant culture. We will also visit the Panama Canal Administration building, with its historic murals adorning the inner rotunda, and Balboa High School, the former public high school of the Canal Zone located nearby. The 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.
At a local restaurant. Coffee and water included, other beverages available for purchase.
At leisure. Take some time to stroll the hotel grounds along the canal.