Important Information for Panama

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Whale watching tour

The Pearl Islands in Panama are located on the Pacific Coast, 35 nautical miles off the modern city of Panama. The Pearl Islands archipelago is composed of 90 islands and about 130 islets or keys. Isla Contadora is the main island, but not the largest island, with hotels, restaurants and an airstrip served by a regional airline.

A great and rich paradise for nature lovers can be found all around the Pearl Islands. There are over 30 species of cetaceans found in the waters of Panama, including, humpback whales, sperm whales, pilot whales, spotted, spinner and bottle-nose dolphins and occasionally Orca whales. It is also home to manta rays, 13 species of sea turtles and gentle whale sharks. Hundreds of species of birds have found shelter in the archipelago. The Pearl Islands offer hundreds of deserted beaches, paradise for shell collectors, and idyllic for sunbathers.

The Pearl Islands were featured in three seasons of the reality TV program Survivor, namely; Survivor: Pearl Islands, Survivor: All-Stars, and Survivor: Panama.

What’s Included:


  • 1 night hotel at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort
  • International airport transfers to and from hotels
  • Transportation to and from the Pearl islands and Panama city
  • 5 nights hotel at The Point Hotel or equivalent in the Pearl islands (VERY RUSTIC!)
  • 5 full days of boat charter on either a catamaran sailboat or a glass bottom boat
  • All meals on the island, except 1 night out at a local restaurant
  • 1 night hotel at the Balboa Inn
  • Breakfast at the Gamboa resort and Balboa Inn
  • Boat tour on Lake Gatun to view wildlife, visit to the Panama canal
  • Expert Naturalist guide and group facilitator
  • Snorkel equipment
  • Yoga classes during our Sept 14-19th journey

What’s Not-Included:


  • Your airfare to Panama City, Panama
  • Lunches and dinners in Panama city or the Gamboa Rainforest Resort
  • Any extra snacks or personal food and drinks
  • Gratuities for your boat captains, guides, maids, food servers, etc.
  • Optional golf cart rental on the island
  • Insurance against theft or loss, and/or accident
  • Other non-included items would include souvenir shopping, personal phone calls, laundry, alcoholic and bottled beverages.


How To Get to Panama:


You should plan on arriving the day before the first day of the trip so you will be fresh and ready to begin your adventure right after breakfast.  You will fly into Panama City, Panama (not Florida!), airport code PTY.  You should schedule your departure flight home for the day after the trip as you will be arriving from the Pearl islands to Panama city around 5:30 pm on the last day.

Feel free to make your own flights, but please confirm them with us before booking. If you need help – no worries, Ales in Custom Travel is our travel guru – feel free to ring him at: 604-204-0444, 866-866-5566 or email him and it will be his pleasure to assist you!

Keep in Mind:

You’ll have a magical experience with the whales and dolphins in Panama. We’re connecting with and observing wild animals so even though we have a 99% whale sightings record, we can never guarantee whale or dolphin sightings and/or the quality of the sightings. We’ll do our best to find the whales and dolphins and provide amazing encounters based on our years of knowledge and experience. It’s important to keep an open mind, let go of any expectations, and allow for your connection with the whales and dolphins to happen and flow naturally – while letting go of all control and preconceived ideas.


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