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BNB Travel Club Going to Panama Canal

By Randy Alderman  

The Bradford Travel Club is heading to Panama at the request of clients.  Dates are Feb. 11-19, 2016. 

They fly to Panama and begin their tour at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.  After meeting fellow travelers at breakfast, they board the Pacific Queen for a partial transit cruise through the Panama Canal.  Enjoy lunch on the boat and pass through two locks.  On-board staff will explain the construction and operation of the canal. 

They will disembark at Flaminco Marina in Panama City and visit a seafood market and Casco Antiguo, the Old Quarter.  This is a UNESCO World Heritage site which was settled in 1673.

The next morning a guided nature walk takes the group through the resort’s jungle forest and gardens.  Then they set off for an excursion to an Embera indigenous village for a scenic ride up the Chagres River.  They will join in their dances and enjoy a simple lunch cooked traditionally.  The tribe strives to preserve their heritage in home building techniques and crafts such as basket weaving and tagua nut carving.  After this, they will enjoy free time back at the resort.

Day four will include a visit to the Miraflores Locks Visitors Center to view the Panama Canal and learn about its rich past, present and future.  Watch ships traverse the lock system.  They continue on to the Anton Valley, a community nestled  inside the second largest volcano crater in the world.  Club members will visit a local handicraft market and see mola embroidery.  The  hotel is at the base of the mountain.

The next day starts with  visits to the Museum El Valle, an orchid nursery, and the El Nispero Zoo and they will have a free afternoon to explore.

A unique hat style is native to Panama and we will visit a Panama Hat workroom to see how these hats are created. 

Next, they visit an orange grove and learn about the cultivation of this important crop.  A picnic lunch in the grove will be a special treat.  Lodging is a beachfront hotel on the Pacific Coast at Playa Blanca.

Enjoy the beach the following day.  There are three optional tours offered on this trip.  None are expensive.  Two are $45 and one $55 which may be enjoyed in some of the leisure time, or just chill out and enjoy the sunshine. 

The Club then will return to Panama City for a tour of historic sites, including the ruins of the oldest Spanish settlement on the Pacific.

The group will fly home on Feb. 19.

Cost is $3149 per person, double occupancy.    Contact Judy Schneck with the Bradford Travel Club at 618-567-7392 for more information.

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