All arrangements will be made through Fidanque Travels

Phone: 507-265-5534

Daily Itinerary

Panama: Uniquely Panama

EMS Photo Adventures in collaboration with Fidanque Travel, Panama

During our photo adventure, we will explore and photograph Panama’s environmental indigenous cultures, environmental delights and iconic treasures:

  • Explore Panama’s cloud and rainforests and be amazed at the variety of flora and fauna
  • Be welcomed by the Embera indigenous tribe that resides along Panama Canal waterways.
  • Get some practice with your telephoto lens as we spend time with birds, bees and butterflies
  • Watch as enormous container ships pass thorough Panama Canal’s Miraflora Locks
  • Photograph waterfalls, babbling brooks, highland mountains and the amazing countryside
  • Find out how coffee goes from “Cherry to Cup” and make your own bag to bring home
  • Walk around Panama City’s Casco Viejo area where buildings are influenced by French architecture reminiscent to those found in New Orleans.

As we learn about Panama’s culture we will expand our photographic knowledge and practice.

Instruction will cover quality of light, light origination angles and their effects on the resulting images, proper exposure and metering for specific results, and we will discuss and practice the different kind of focusing modes.

While in the field, we will discuss perspective, composition, and techniques such as panning, freezing, motion blurs, and the ways to predict action and how best to capture those moments.

See more of Essdras’ Uniquely Panama Images.


Uniquely Panama: Daily Itinerary 

Day 1:

  • Fly to Panama, Panama City, from your home airport
  • Be met by staff and transported from the Tocumen International Airport to Gamboa Hotel
  • Attend a welcome and orientation get together at the hotel with your mentors Pulitzer Prizewinning Photographer Essdras M Suarez, EMS PA CEO and his team.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Gamboa

Day 2:

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Guided Gondola Ride

Begin your day with a gentle, guided-gondola ride where you’ll be able to appreciate the area’s exuberant fauna and flora from 27 meters above sea level. Traveling no faster than 1 meter per second, the gondola takes you on a journey through 100 hectares of a lush, silent jungle where you can observe a great variety of birds interspersed amidst a thousand shades of green from different tree species.

  • The jungle houses beautiful birds such as toucans, trogons, parrots and motmots.
  • The flora, typical of neotropical forests in Panama, includes species such as trumpet tree, manglillo, mangavé, mountain fig, wild cashew and balsa.
  • This diversity of plants is the food source for all kinds of fauna, including: coatimundi, peccary, howler monkey, squirrel, capybara and sloth.

The cable tram spans 1.2 kilometers of the forest canopy in a trip that lasts 20 minutes to reach the top of Cerro Pelado. From here you walk along a small path that leads to the observation tower that winds up to the 10th floor on a spiral ramp.

Lunch: At Atlantic / Pacific Restaurant

Afternoon: Visit the Panama Canal’s Miraflores Locks:

  • Photograph the:
    • Miraflores Locks
    • Unbelievably gigantic container ships
    • Electric Donkeys that assist the ships process through the locks
  • Spend some time learning about the history of the locks in the Visitor Center and Museum.

Dinner:At the Tinajas Restaurant where one samples typical Panamanian cuisine while being entertained by Panamanian folk dancers.

Lodging: Hotel Gamboa

Day 3:

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Pipeline Road Guided Bird Watching Tour

We will start early this morning with guided bird watching tour in the canopy area around the hotel which is situated near the world renown Pipeline Road where some of the world’s most varied avian populations can be found, including Trogons, Toucans and Flycatchers.

Lunch: At the Embera Indigenous Community

Afternoon: Visit the Embera Indigenous Community

We will take a short bus ride to the Rio Chagres region and board flat boats that will take us to an Embera indigenous community. Here you will:

  • Become entranced with this kind, gentle population in traditional dress
  • See their homes, storage areas, community house and environment
  • Be introduced to wonderful food prepared by our hosts
  • Learn the traditional dance of the Embera and – perhaps – participate
  • Have an opportunity to view their wonderful, hand-made artifacts: carvings, weaving, jewelry, etc.

Early Evening: Take some time before dinner to:

  • Select 3-5 photos to be shared and reviewed Monday. Please put them on a USB drive and give them to Essdras at dinner.
  • Prepare for morning flight to David.

Dinner: At the hotel

Lodging:Gamboa Hotel and Resort

Day 4:

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Fly to David, Capital of Chiriqui Province

  • After breakfast, we will head to the Albrook Airport and take an hour flight to David, Chiriqui.
  • Embark upon a 45 minute drive, to the highland city of Boquete where we will check into the Hacienda Los Molinos (windmills) Boutique Hotel

Late Morning:

Once settled in, we will spend time investigating all that Los Molinos has to offer and photographing the cloud forest landscape and walk to the waterfalls

Lunch: At Hacienda Los Molinos

Late Afternoon:

  • We will spend a couple of hours exploring the Town of Boquete in the fresh mountain air.
  • With a year-round temperature in the low 70s, Boquete is a very cozy mountain village, with a small town atmosphere, surrounded by relatively untouched natural beauty,
    • Known as the “Valley of the Flowers,” Boquete is nestled in the western highlands of Panama, near the border to Costa Rica and shares some of the same mountain ranges, incredible wildlife and rain forests.
    • Photo Session with Essdras: As a group we will share submitted images and Essdras will review and give helpful and educational commentary

Dinner: At the hotel

Lodging:Hacienda Los Molinos Boutique Hotel

Day 5:

Breakfast: At Hacienda Los Molinos

Morning: We will take a unique Boquete Bees Honey and Butterfly Pavilion Tour

  • You will enjoy the typical beautiful gardens and a huge variety of plants grown for use by the owners, the butterflies and the bees. You will leave with a new and different perspective on nature and the importance of bees in the lives of men.
  • The three hour tour includes:
    • Enjoying a cup of coffee as we listen to an introduction to the bee business.
    • Connecting with nature as we walk through the bee apiary
    • Visiting the Ralph Dessau Butterfly House showcasing about 35 species of Chiriqui butterflies.
    • Tasting their honey and honey wines or liquor

Lunch: At Local Restaurant

Afternoon: Coffee Plantation and Tasting Tour – “From Cherry to Cup”

With panoramic views of Volcan Baru, we will visit a local Coffee Plantation in the highlands of Boquete – a coffee-growing region sometimes referred to as the Napa Valley of coffee.

  • Due to its rich volcanic soil and ideal climate the plantations in this area have recently produced some of the highest rated coffees in the world and most flavorful coffee on the planet. Known as a prime coffee growing region, many farms exporting high-end coffee to Europe and Asia
  • We will have in-depth and hands-on experience:
  • As you walk the fields you will learn about growing and processing of the coffee plants.
  • You will also visit the roasting house where you will sample different roasts to determine your preference.
  • Once that is decided, you will begin your hands-on roasting experience making a bag of your custom flavor to take home!

Dinner:Local Restaurant

Lodging: Hacienda Los Molinos Boutique Hotel

Day 6:

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning Adventure: This morning we will take a scenic drive from Boquete to Volcan. On our way will make stops to:

  • Visit a Bird-watching tower on private property
  • Photograph:
  • The natural beauty of large mountains and highland
  • Waterfalls, babbling brooks and landscape
  • Visit Haras Cerro Punto, a 5-Star Horse Farm, Cerro Punta and take a tour of their pristine paddocks. The Farm opened in 1977 and has produced top of the line race and show horses.

Lunch: At local Restaurant in Volcan

Afternoon: Return to Boquete where you will have a choice to:

  • Spend some free time in Boquete or
  • Return to Los Molinos

Dinner: On own

Lodging: Hacienda Los Molinos Boutique Hotel

Day 7:

Breakfast: At hotel

Morning: Return to Panama City

  • Drive the 45 minutes to the Airport and take the one hour flight back to Panama City
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Casco Antiquo – the historic district of the City – built in the style of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
  • Built on a peninsula completely isolated by the sea and a defensive system of walls in 1672, this district preserves the first institutions and buildings of the modern city of Panama.
  • Panama city, founded in 1519, lasted 152 years, until Governor Juan Perez de Guzman had it set on fire in 1671, before the attack and looting by the pirate Henry Morgan.

Lunch: On own


  • Visit the Artisan’s Market Balboa – Stock up on souvenirs at this covered market behind Ancon Hill. Packed stalls sit side-by-side selling all manner of textiles and knick knacks.
  • Most are run by Kuna women from the Kuna Yula Islands (aka San Blas Islands) dressed in traditional costume so you’ll see a lot of colourful molas (embroidered textiles)
  • Also, other indigenous crafts such as woven baskets from the Wounaan and Embera Indians.
  • Walk along the Amador Causeway, a narrow land-bridge, built with rocks excavated during the construction of the Panama Canal. It connects the continent with four islands next to the Pacific Ocean entrance to the Panama Canal and is one of the city’s best-known roads and home to some of Panama’s top activities and attractions.

Late Afternoon: Check into hotel, relax and prepare for flight home

Farewell Dinner: At Maito Restaurant

Lodging: Courtyard Muliplaza

Day 8:

Breakfast: Early morning breakfast at hotel


  • Take shuttle to Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen in Panama City from where you’ll be flying back home.
  • OR continue your experience with one of Fidanque Travel Options

Uniquely Panama: The Details

Note: This Journey is in collaboration with Fidanque Tours

Group Size:

Minimum of 14 – Maximum of 20 (if 20 people we will be joined by wonderful Panamanian Photographer)

Cost Per Person:

  • Double occupancy: $3,190
  • Single occupancy (no additional cost for a single room)

Package includes:

  • Transportation to and from Airports
  • Lodging: All lodging within Panama
  • Meals: 18/20 meals
  • Transportation and domestic fights within Panama
  • Passenger assistance
  • All taxes included
  • Medical insurance

Package does not include:

  • International flight or any other travel related costs
  • All personal purchases, alcoholic or soft drinks, extra water or snacks and laundry
Booking Conditions

Registration – Deadline: January 25, 2019

  • A $800 per person deposit is required to secure a reservation
  • At the time of booking you must provide the full names as they appear on the passport, dates of birth and correct travel dates. (It is essential to provide us with a copy of the passport and the visa to request the destination.)

Final Payment Deadline: March 25, 2019

How to make a Reservation – Fidanque Travel

All reservations must be pre-paid. Payment can be made by check, credit card or bank transfer (Banco General / Fidanque Hermanos e Hijos S.A. / 0301010030664 / Current or Metro Bank / Fidanque Hermanos e Hijos S.A. / 101013822 /

Additional Important Details

Visa: Not required for USA Citizens.

Passport: Your passport must have a minimum validity of 6 months before the trip.

Luggage: Domestic airline regulations permit 20 kilos (44 pounds) per suitcase, maximum two suitcases per person.

Fidanque Travel’s Extension Options:

For those interested, at the conclusion of the EMS Photo Adventure, you can make arrangements with Fidanque Tours (contact information below) to visit one of two locations:

San Blas – Kikirdub Island Package Includes:

  • Transportation in 4×4 cars from Panama City (round trip)
  • Boat transport with roofs and life jackets.
  • Accommodation in private cabin on the sea, wooden floor, private bathroom and fan for two nights and three days.
  • Island tours: Dog Chico (sunken boat) or Big Dog and Natural Pool
  • Departure in the morning: 8:00 a.m.
  • Local tourist guide.
  • Transportation insurance.
Single or Double Cabana Adult: 678.00 per person

Bocas del Toro Package Includes:

  • Flight from Panama City to Bocas del Toro and transportation to Hotel
  • Accommodation for two nights and three days and Breakfast
  • Transportation to the center of the Island
Single room or Double Standard Adult: 633.00 per person

Fidanque Travel Policies and Restrictions

Hotels: The confirmation of the lodging in the hotels is subject to availability at the time of making reservations.

Reservation Policies, Changes and Cancellation:

  • All reservations must be requested in writing by e-mail to one of our sales agents.
  • Advance purchase of minimum 1 week.
  • All changes and cancellations must be received in writing without exception and will incur a handling charge of USD 50.00.
  • Cancellations after making the reservations are subject to the penalty that applies for the requested service.
  • Once the air ticket is issued, the airline will charge an extra charge for changes and per rate increase. Non-refundable non-transferable air ticket.
  • Once the package has started, there will be no refund for any unused portion in the package.

Fidanque Brothers and Sons, Plaza Fidanque, 1st Floor ,Via Porras and Miguel A. Paredes Street

Tel. (507) 265-5534 ….. Fax (507) 215-3567 ….. E-mail ilopez@fidanquetravel.com


  • Take a jungle gondola canopy ride high above sea level
  • Tour the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks
  • Visit the Embera indigenous tribe living along the shores of the Panama Canal
  • Bird watching along the world renown Pipeline Road
  • Spend 3 days in the cloud-forest highlands of Panama, in Chirqui Province, where we will:
    • Tour a Bee and Butterfly Haven
    • Find out how coffee goes from “cherry to cup” and make your own bag to take home
    • Photograph champion, thoroughbred horses
  • Visit special areas in Panama City: Casco Antiquo, Amador Causeway and Balboa Artisan’s Market

Participants: Min 14 / Max 20 (if 16 people we will be joined by wonderful Panamanian Photographer)

Tour Location: Panama City and surrounds

Dates: May 23 – 31, 2019

2018 Price: $3,190 (regardless of double or single occupancy)

Deposit: $800

Registration Deadline: Jan. 25, 2019

Final Payment: Mar. 25, 2019