A Lens on Panama, 9-17th of Feb. 2023

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Highlights:

  • Photograph the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks
  • Explore Panama’s Casco Antiguo
  • Visit unique marketplaces and walk along the colorful Amador Causeway
  • Take a canoe ride to visit the Embera indigenous tribe living along the shores of the Panama Canal
  • Walk along the world-renowned Pipeline Road as we photograph a myriad of bird species
  • Spend 3 days in the highlands of Panama's cloud-forest
  • Train your lens on Panama's modern skyline

Details:

  • Participants: Min 8 / Max 12
  • Dates: TBA/ February 2023
  • Double occupancy: TBA
  • Single supplement: TBA
  • Registration/ Deposit Deadline: TBA
  • Final Payment Deadline: TBA

Visit two completely, and distinctive areas of this photogenic country.

  1. The City of Panama, located at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, and the Panama Canal watershed area with its luscious rain forest.
  2. The cloud forests of Chiriqui Highlands, the quaint town of Boquete, and experience a temperate rain forest and all it has to offer.

Overview

City of Panama and surrounds

  • Tour the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks and Visitor Center where you’ll learn about the history and engineering of one of the original Eight Marvels of the World. In addition to the locks, you will photograph massive container ships filled sky-high, the electric tug boats that pull these behemoths through the lock, and sleek sailboats crossing this famous waterway.
  • Stay at the world-renowned Gamboa Rainforest Resort Lodge with is warm breezes and tropical birds singing over your room’s private balcony and hammock on the Panama Canal and Chagres River waterways.
  • Ride a jungle gondola over the canopy forest offering a unique perspective of wildlife at a height almost touching the treetops where you might see bird nests, monkeys, and even sloths.
  • From there hike up an observation tower that gives you a bird’s eye view of the Canal’s narrowest point, Gillard’s Cut or Corte de Culebra, where you’ll get a full sense of the amount of traffic crossing this waterway.
  • Go on a guided bird-watching tour on Pipeline Road, known for having one of the highest concentrations of bird species in Central America. According to experts, the number of species that can be seen during a couple of hours of walking down Pipeline Road could be anywhere between 65 and 85 species seen and around 35-40 heard but not seen.
  • Take a dugout canoe ride to visit an Embera Indigenous tribe’s village along the shores of the Panama Canal and step back in time, where you will witness the way this gentle tribe has lived for centuries. And share with them a traditional meal of fish or other protein accompanied by fried plantains, all wrapped in banana leaves.

Chiriqui Highlands and the Town of Boquete

  • Touring the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks, explore Panama’s old town, visit unique marketplaces and walk along the colorful Amador Causeway
  • Taking a canoe ride to visit the member of the Embera indigenous tribe living along the shores of the Panama Canal and enjoy a very special meal
  • Walking along the renowned Pipeline Road area in search of birdlife
  • Spend 3 days in the cloud-forest highlands of Panama, in Chiriqui Province, where we will:
    • Tour a Bee and Butterfly Haven
    • Find out how coffee goes from “cherry to cup”
    • Photograph champion, thoroughbred horses
    • Wander the streets of the picturesque town of Boquete
  • Visit special areas in Panama City: Casco Antiguo, Amador Causeway, and Balboa Artisan’s Market
  • Stay at some of the most highly rated lodgings in Panama and enjoy some of the finest dining
  • Bring your macro lens to fully capture the beauty of local bees in this area of Panama where the average temperature is 75 F year around. Learn about honey, how it is made, and its apparently endless health benefits.
  • Be ready to photograph an explosion of colors on the rainbow-colored wings of dozens of butterfly species as we visit a Butterfly Haven. The background of luscious green forest slick with perennial dew shine. And while being serenaded by calls and sounds of a myriad bird and a variety of tropical fauna.
  • Tour a coffee plantation and photograph the workers of this traditional highland crop as you learn what it means from “cherry to cup.” Taste a variety of different grains and even bag your own coffee to bring home with you.
  • Photograph the archetypal race equine, one bred generation after generation for the sole purpose of speed. The vibrant-colored green mountains in this part of Panama are well known for their thoroughbred racehorses. According to the experts, the high altitude, the area’s natural beauty yields some of the fastest horses in Latin America.

Panama City

  • Finish the adventure by returning to Panama and visiting the Casco Antiguo and doing some more Street Photography in one of Panama’s oldest neighborhoods. One, where the architecture has more similarities with New Orleans French Quarter than with anything else in the country.
  • Photograph the Balboa Artisan’s market, where you might catch a glimpse of the colorful Guna Yala indigenous women dressed in their traditional outfits made out of molas, hand-made textiles with intricate designs depicting daily life. The Guna Yala women’s full costume includes a patterned wrapped skirt; a red and yellow headscarf; beaded bracelets worn on wrists and ankles; gold nose rings, and earrings, along with delicate and subtle tattoo work on their faces.
  • Finish the adventure by photographing the Amador Causeway, which links three islands, which were built from dirt removed during the construction of the canal. From here you will be able to see ships waiting to enter the canal.

As We Tour Panama Together:

You’ll earn about Panama’s culture, expand our photographic knowledge and continuously put to practice what you’ve learned.  Photo instruction will cover not only technical aspects such as the proper camera settings, the quality of light including assessing and best approach to a scene based on sources of light, its origination, its angle of incidence and its effects on the resulting images, proper exposure, and metering for specific results. We will also discuss and practice different kinds of focusing modes, and other technical aspects of photography.

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.

Tour includes:

  • All transportation in Panama, all lodging, and 19 out of 22 meals
  • Instruction and photo mentoring
  • Photo sharing and critique
  • Medical insurance while in Panama
  • Airport passenger assistance and taxes
  • Airfare from Panama City to David, Chiriqui (Highlands)
  • Transfer from airport to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Nestled deep in the heart of the Panama rainforest overlooking the Chagres River and Panama Canal, the Resort boasts one of the most unique settings in the world.
  • Lodging 4 nights at Gamboa Rainforest Resort
  • Breakfasts included
  • Two dinners at Gamboa Rainforest Resort
  • Visit to Miraflores Lock and Visitors’ Center
  • Lunch at the Atlantic Pacific Restaurant with view of the ships crossing the Miraflores Locks
  • Panama Sightseeing 4-hour tour with plenty of stops for photography.
  • Dinner and a show at the Tinajas Restaurant. This is a traditional folkloric dance show with dancers wearing the famous Panama “polleras”
  • Bird watching guided tour and canopy ride.
  • Visit the Embera Indigenous tribe along the Panama Canal waters
  • Transfer from Gamboa to airport to fly to David, Chiriqui.
  • Flight from Panama City to David, Chiriqui (highlands of Panama)
  • Lodging 4 nights, and five days at a local hotel in Boquete.
  • Two dinners at the hotel
  • Honey Bee guided tour
  • Butterfly Haven guided tour
  • Coffee Plantation guided tour
  • Bus and driver for tour of Boquete, Cerro Punta, and Volcan areas, which are famous for their mountainside produce fields and for their thoroughbred horse farms.
  • Transfer back to David airport to fly back to Panama.
  • Visit a Mola market. Molas are hand-made textiles that form part of the traditional women’s clothing of the Guna Yala indigenous people of Panama.
  • A visit to the Panama Causeway where you will see the ships waiting to enter the Canal
  • Street photography in the Casco Antiguo part of Panama City
  • Transfer to Courtyard by Marriott at Multiplaza Mall, one of Panama’s premier shopping destinations.
  • Lodging 2 days, 1 night
  • Farewell dinner
  • Transfer back to Tocumen International Airport

Tour does not include:

  • International flight
  • Personal expenses such as room service, internet, laundry, alcoholic and soft drinks, phone calls, extra water, and snacks
  • Tips to guides, drivers, bellboys, etc. – recommendations:
    • USD $4-6 per person per day to the driver
    • USD $6-10 per person per day to local guides

Note: The full itinerary will be available upon registration.

A Lens on Panama, 9-17th of Feb. 2023

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