Lens on Panama – 2021



EMS Photo Adventures is partnering with Fidanque Tours


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 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.


  • 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 renown Pipeline Road area in search of bird life
  • 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” 
    • Photograph champion, thoroughbred horses
    • Wander the streets of the picturesque Town of Boquete
  • Visit special areas in Panama City: Casco Antiquo, 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


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 Five Star 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.
  • 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 to 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 Embera meal of fish or other protein accompanied by fried plantains, all wrapped in a banana leave.

Chiriqui Highlands and Town of Boquete

  • 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 sound of myriad of birds 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 equine, one bred generation after generation for the sole purpose of speed. The vibrant-colored green mountains in this part of Panama are world renown for their thoroughbred racehorses. And, raw beauty and power seem to be a pleasant side effect of this environment.

Panama City

  • Finish the adventure by returning to Panama and visiting the Casco Antiguo and doing some Street Photography in one of Panama’s oldest neighborhood. 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, and that was 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:

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.


  • Participants: Min 8 / Max 12
  • Tour Location: Panama City and Chiriqui Highlands
  • Dates: TBA, 2021
  • Double occupancy: TBA
  • Single supplement: TBA
  • Registration/deposit Deadline: TBA
  • Final Payment Deadline: TBA
Tour includes:
  • All transportation in Panama, all lodging and 16 out of 20 meals
  • Instruction and photo mentoring
  • Photo sharing and critique
  • Medical insurance while in Panama
  • Airport passenger assistance and taxes


  • Transfer from airport to five-star 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 3 nights, 4 days 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 world renown “polleras”
  • Bird watching guided tour and canopy ride.
  • Visit to 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, five days at the Hacienda Los Molinos Boutique Hotel
  • Two dinners at Hacienda Los Molinos Boutique 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 its mountainside produce fields and for its thoroughbred horse farms.
  • Transfer back to David airport to fly back to Panama.
  • Visit to 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 airport to Courtyard by Marriott at Multiplaza Mall, one of Panama’s premier shopping destinations.
  • Lodging 2 days, 1 night
  • Farewell dinner at the Maito Restaurant praised for native and natural ingredients 
  • Transfer to 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.

See Essdras M Suarez Uniquely Panama Portfolio