5 Nights, Panama
6 Nights, Colombia
This trip explores the cultures of Panama and Colombia. We begin in Panama, to learn about the Embera, Wounaan and Guna people. Arriving in Cartagena, Colombia, we’ll have an overview of the people, crafts and cultures of Colombia with the fine folks at Artesanias de Colombia. Then we’ll begin exploring! Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Riohacha, Cabo de la Vela in the Guajira Peninsula await. The Afro-Caribbean people, the Arahuaco, the Wayuu and Zenu people await us with open arms. Join us on a journey to explore the people, craft and cultures of Panama and Colombia! Join us on a journey to explore people, craft and cultures of Panama and Colombia!
Day One: Arrive Panama, Welcome Dinner, Overnight Panama City (D)
We’ll stay in Panama’s Old Town and enjoy a delicious Panamanian meal tonight! Depending on arrival time, we’ll tour by foot in the “Casco Viejo” neighborhood. We’ll enjoy a fun welcome dinner.
Day Two: Embera/Wounaan Villages, Overnight Panama City (B, L)
Today we’ll immerse in the indigenous Emberá culture, enjoying a 7-hour excursion from Panama City. We’ll journey up the Chagres River in a traditional dugout canoe to the Parara Puru village in Chagres National Park. Meet members of the tribe and learn about their traditions and way of life in the forest, witness ceremonial dances and eat a traditional lunch.
Day Three: Islands, Yandup Island Lodge, Overnight Yandup Island (B, L, D)
The San Blas Islands are located in the Comarca de Kuna Yala and the nearly 400 islands archipelago is home to the Kuna Indians. This trip is a unlike any other. It gives you the chance to mingle with the Kuna on their coconut-covered islands, enjoy the beaches, learn about Kuna culture, and more. This tour is truly authentic and offers you amazing experiences in some of the most remote parts of the San Blas Islands. Our trip starts with an early flight from Panama City to San Blas where we’ll be met by our Kuna guide who will take us to our cabins on one of the islands in time for breakfast on our first day. We’ll enjoy snorkeling and swimming and just relaxing in this beautiful setting.
Day Four: Islands Day Two, Yandup Island Lodge, Overnight Yandup Island (B, L, D)
Today we will take an excursion by boat, to the nearby community. We’ll walk the streets and meet the Kuna people who live in this region. The Kuna have their own social and political organization, semi-autonomous from the Panamanian Federal Government. We’ll see demonstrations on the art of the mola, as well as enjoy the vast array of molas that the women make, both for their own dress, and for selling to tourists (us!)
Day Five: Yandup-Panama, Tour Panama City, Tinajas for Dinner, Overnight Panama City (B, L, D)
We’ll take an early morning flight back from Yandup Island to Panama. Arriving, we’ll visit the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks, enjoy the viewing platforms, four floors of exhibits and a short film about the canal’s history at the Miraflores Visitor Center. We’ll then drive around the famous Cerro Ancon inside the former U.S. Canal Zone and out to the islands down the Amador Causeway for the best view of Panama’s skyline. We’ll stop on Naos Island for lunch. We’ll return to the hotel, before going out to Tinajas to enjoy a fun dinner and show of Panamanian dress and music.
Day Six: Panama to Cartagena, Cartagena City Tour (B, L, D)
We’ll spend the day exploring colonial Cartagena to learn about its history and visit highlights, such as the Gold Museum here, where we’ll learn about the Zenu people. Included today is a special visit to Artesanias de Colombia, where we’ll receive a review of the crafts of Colombia and of course, an expo-venta! We’ll enjoy lunch to experience regional cuisine of Colombia! Our evening is at leisure to possibly dance to the Latin rhythms, so famous in Colombia.
Day Seven: Cartagena – Barranquilla – Santa Marta, Overnight Santa Marta (B, L)
Leaving Cartagena, we make our way along the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. Our first stop is in Barranquilla, famous for its Carnival! Our favorite thing to do here, is to visit the amazing Museo del Caribe, to learn of the natural and cultural diversity of the regions we will be visiting. After our Museum visit, we make our way to Santa Marta, where we’ll enjoy a lovely lunch, by the ocean. After lunch, we’ll stroll and visit the historic center of Santa Marta, and we will also enjoy a specially arranged presentation of the ethnographic landscape and resulting craft of this region, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Here, the ancestral Arhuaco, Kogi, Tayrona people lived and still do today. Evening at leisure.
Day Eight: Santa Marta – Riohacha, Overnight Riohacha (B)
Today we make our way to Riohacha, land of the Wayuu people. Arriving in the afternoon, we’ll spend time getting to know this community on one of their “Rancherias”, communities where they live. We’ll learn about their culture, way of life and how they have become revered as some of Colombia’s finest artisans, creating the famed (and now sadly copied) “mochila” crochet bags.
Day Nine: Riohacha – Uribia – Cabo de la Vela, Overnight Cabo de la Vela (B, L, D)
Today we go deeper into the Wayuu country / region and visit their center in Uribia. We will meet community leaders here, and learn about their cooperative organization to create and promote the craft of the “mochila”. From here, we continue on to the end of the Guajira Peninsula, to a place that can only be described as “other worldly”, where desert meets ocean, where sand dunes rise above the deep blue water, and the Wayuu women wear their colorful dress that blows in the wind. We will enjoy a meal by the ocean, with these Wayuu women. We enjoy our evening at a Rancheria, stargazing and enjoying community, before we retire to our cabins for the night.
Day Ten: Cabo de la Vela – Palomino (B, L, D)
Today we begin our journey back to Cartagena. We stop midway in Palomino, a beautiful seaside destination, to enjoy the evening. This is an unspoiled coastal region, where walking on the beach, swimming in the ocean, watching the sunset in a hammock, are the “activities”!
Day Eleven: Palomino to Cartagena (B, D)
We’ll spend the morning enjoying our pristine coastal environment, before making our way back to Cartagena. Arriving in Cartagena, we’ll have free time to explore, before gathering to enjoy the sunset, view of this walled city, and we’ll enjoy a lovely and fun farewell dinner!
Return Flights or extend in Cartagena
Panama: 5 Nights
Colombia: 6 Nights
11 Nights Total