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Isla Grande Panama – Caribbean Island Hopping
Join us on our one-day Caribbean Coast adventure, visiting three pristine islands (Isla Grande, Isla Linton and Isla Mamey) and the old world town of Portobelo. Experience the other side of Panama, with its Caribbean charm, vivid history and afro-latin rhythms. Only 2.5 hours away from Panama City, you will be immersed in a different world of pristine beaches, turquoise waters and colorful culture.
The tour starts at 7am, with our bi-lingual driver and guide picking you up from your lodging in Panama City. Enjoy our comfortable, air-conditioned car as we cross the country from the Pacific side to the Atlantic side.
At 9:30am we arrive at the port, where a lancha boat will take you to the monkey island Isla Linton, which is famous for its Howler monkeys inhabiting the dense forest canopies. You will hear their barking howls when disembarking the boat and may also spot a few curious faces looking at you from atop the trees.
Isla Linton also has a natural pool, surrounded by mangroves, inviting you to soak in the balmy, shallow waters. The experience will almost feel surreal, as realize your heightened senses, listening to the multitude of birds chirping all around you and the occasional monkey bellowing at his companions, all while sitting waist deep in a natural bathtub.
We continue our tour to Isla Mamey though the “Love Tunnel”, a small passage for our boat through the mangroves.
Isla Mamey will welcome you from afar with its large white sand beach. With a huge, shallow reef right in front, this will be the perfect opportunity for you to unpack your snorkel and dive into the iridescent ocean. Various palm trees will afford plenty of shade, inviting you to lay down and enjoy the gentle Caribbean breeze.
At noon we head to Isla Grande, a short 10 minute boat ride from Isla Mamey.
As you step off the boat you will be welcomed by palm trees and white-sand beaches. A popular getaway for folk escaping the urban grind of Panama City, Isla Grande is an ideal setting for snorkeling, scuba diving or simply soaking up the island’s relaxed vibe. There are no roads here, just a small footpath along the island's southern coast, backed by pastel-colored cottages. Many of the people living here are of African descent and are eking out a living from fishing and growing coconuts – you’ll get a taste of both when you sample the local cuisine.
We will take you to an oceanfront restaurant, where seafood is served fresh from the ocean to your plate and where you can spend the rest of the day lounging on the private beach, sipping on a cold Balboa beer or snacking on delicious Patacones (fried plantains).
At 3pm we will return to the port, making our way back to Portobelo, giving us the opportunity to explore the rich historical buildings around town.
‘Puerto Bello, ’the Beautiful Port, was named by Christopher Columbus in 1502, when he landed here on his fourth New World voyage. Since it was common during that time to abbreviate Spanish names, the beautiful port quickly became known as simply ‘Portobelo.’
During the 16th to the 18th centuries Portobelo was an important silver-exporting town and one of the two Atlantic ports on the route of the Spanish treasure fleets.
The city of San Felipe de Portobelo was officially founded in 1597 and its ensuing 200-year history was riddled with various invasions by English privateers and the Royal Navy. The first attack on Portobelo happened in 1602 by the English pirate William Parker, but it was the infamous Sir Henry Morgan who managed to sack the city in 1671.
Attacks on Portobelo continued unabated until the city was ultimately destroyed in 1739 by an attack led by Admiral Edward Vernon. Although Portobelo was rebuilt in 1751, it never attained its former glory and over time became a virtual ruin. Later, much of the outermost fortress was dismantled to help building the Panama Canal. Many of the larger stones were used in the construction of the Gatún Locks. There are, however, still considerable parts of the town and fortresses left to explore and take pictures of. Portobelo is now protected as a national park and as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Today Portobelo’s residents make a living by fishing, growing crops or raising livestock. Though economically depressed, Portobelo is experiencing somewhat of a cultural revival, with renewed interest in Congo art, music (especially punta, better known abroad as reggaetón) and dancing. Each year the town bursts to life on October 21 for the Festival del Cristo Negro, one of the country’s most vibrant and spiritual celebrations.
- Shared Tour (minimum 2 guests)
- Price - $134 per person
- Duration - 11 hours
- Start time - 7:00am - daily
- Pick-up and drop off at your Panama City lodging
- Well-maintained, air-conditioned car
- Tri-lingual guides (English/Spanish/Portuguese)
- Shared Tour of Caribbean 3 islands and Portobelo
- Island entrance fees
- Water Bottles
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Pick up from Playa Bonita ($10 per person)
- Pick up from Costa del Este ($10 per person)
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable and adequate clothing to protect yourself from the sun and thus avoid the use of sunscreen. Creams (even biodegradable ones) are polluting and for that reason we do not promote their use
- Comfortable and safe footwear (sandals or water shoes)
- Sun glasses
- Cap or hat
- A reusable bottle to fill with water during the day
- Cash for tips and souvenirs
- ATTENTION LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS: Bookings made after 6:00pm for the following day are NOT guaranteed until we respond and explicitly confirm your tour itinerary. If your booking is not confirmed by one of our booking specialists, your tour will be scheduled for the subsequent day.
Please read our Tour Cancelation Policy before booking.
TOUR CANCELATION POLICY
Tao Travel 365 strives to deliver the best possible customer experience. If at any point you have a question or concern about our service, please call us at +1 (805) 826-3657, by WhatsApp at +507-6172-8682.
Due to the nature of our business, the high reservation demand and the logistics involved in organizing your tour a 100% refund less credit card processing fees will only be granted if booked via our website www.taotravel365.tours AND if canceled more than 7 days before the tour date. No refunds apply if canceled less than 7 days before the tour start date. All sales are final. If you are unable to attend the tour, contact us as soon as possible and we will try to arrange and reschedule the same or different tour for you. If you are not at the designated meeting point by the time of your tour start time, Tao Travel 365 reserves the right not to provide a refund. However, we will always try our best to locate you at the meeting point and call your WhatsApp number, if one was provided. After all, we want you to come on the tour and to have fun. That is our goal!
CANCELED OR POSTPONED TOURS
Occasionally, tours are canceled or postponed due to weather or ocean conditions, mechanical failure, or other unforeseen events. Should this occur, we will attempt to contact you about the cancellations and to inform you of refund or exchange procedures for that tour. For exact instructions on any canceled or postponed tour, please contact us. In the case of a cancellation of your tour by Tao Travel 365, we will refund your tour or schedule you for another tour, as detailed below.
All sales are final. No refunds are available unless a tour is canceled or postponed, or we are given 48 hours advance noticed whereby a 50 percent refund will be awarded. We will offer refunds of the full face value of the tour(s) that are canceled or postponed (or, if a discounted tour, then instead the discounted tour price paid). No refunds are offered on any service, payment processing or convenience fees. To receive a refund for a canceled or postponed tour, contact us at email@example.com within 3 days of the tour cancellation and write "refund" in the subject line. Instructions will be provided in order to obtain your refund.
No tour exchanges are offered by Tao Travel 365. While in some extreme cases we may offer this service (such as a cancellation by Tao Travel 365), it is not guaranteed and often impossible. Contact us directly by phone at +1 (805) 826-3657, by WhatsApp at +507-6172-8682 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about tour exchanges. Fees may apply.