SAN BLAS & EMBERA TRIBE
You’ll arrive in Panama City and transfer to your waiting yacht in Colon, across the country. Your first day will involve you discovering the secrets of the San Blas Archipelago—a group of 378 most uninhabited islands spread over 100 square miles.
Employing your yacht’s toys and tenders, and alongside expert guides, see the tropical fish and starfish in the turquoise shallows; dine on a beach barbecue of freshly caught lobster and fish cooked to perfection by your chef; and, if you’re feeling adventurous, sleep on a deserted island under the stars.
The next day, you’ll return to the mainland and switch from superyacht to dugout canoe for a foray up the untamed Gatun River. As you drift into the river’s verdant heart, you’ll arrive at the Embera Quera, home of the indigenous Embera tribe. You’ll receive a welcome at the pier from the tribe before immersion in their way of life, with a history and cultural picture of the tribe provided by the village chiefs.
Your cultural exploration also includes a traditional lunch of fish and plantains while with the Embera, as well as participating in a traditional dance. You’ll be painted in fruit-based ink with a traditional tattoo and you might consider contributing to their future by purchasing some of their handicrafts.
SOBERENIA & PANAMA CITY
With a naturalist guide, head next to Gamboa and walk the renowned pipeline road into Soberenia National Park. This 55,000-acre sanctuary is home to an astounding 525 species of bird. While following winding trails through the verdant bush, watch the canopy for toucans, snail kites, grebes, and much more. Meanwhile, you’ll also see crocodiles, anteaters, sloths, and a gorgeous array of butterflies. Above the lake, you’ll reach a viewing platform that you will deliver sweeping views over the surrounding jungle, a superb place from which to spot aquatic birds.
Get closer to these by taking a dugout or boat onto the lake before arriving at Barro Colorado Island—a protected island since 1923 and home to monkeys, sloths, and iguanas.
Return to your yacht and follow the famed Panama Canal until you drop anchor by Panama City. Explore the city’s melting pot of cultures and discover its gorgeous coastline. Or delve into the traditions and history of Casco, the charming, carefully restored old Spanish quarter. Discover how piracy and colonialism have etched themselves into the city’s history, and wander the ruins learning how privateer Henry Morgan sacked Panama Viejo.
Come evening, and jazz wafts from every bar in the old quarter. You’ll find the best of it at Danilo’s Jazz Club where you’ll drink, eat, and dance late into the night before returning to your vessel for the night.