Another World Adventures

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Take a sailing sabbatical in Panama

Original post: Another World Adventures

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This blog is part of the Another World Adventures Signature Sabbaticals series, which focuses on unusual and inspired tailormade sabbatical trips whether you’re planning solo, en famille or just the two of you. These trips have been meticulously planned with serious attention to detail, so you can enjoy the ultimate luxury of time to do something uniquely different. 

Here at Another World Adventures, we love trips that allow you to experience the world from the ocean – it is how our founders met after all! When choosing your dream sabbatical, we think a trip that is based around sailing should definitely be high on your list. Sailing in Panama is an opportunity to experience old cultures and new, natural landscapes and an amazing range of biodiversity. If you’re a nature lover, water baby, surfer, twitcher, historian or beach fanatic, choosing Panama as your sabbatical destination will not disappoint.

Connecting the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea and South America with Central America, Panama forms a kind of crossroads for anyone travelling within the region, and from coast to coast via the infamous Panama Canal, an incredible feat of engineering. But there is so much more to Panama when you delve beneath its surface. Pacific surf and wild, idyllic islands dominate its coastline, while the centre boasts a rich rainforest ecosystem, home to an incredible array of animal and bird species. Add its diverse mix of cultures and rich history and you have a truly fascinating destination which is little explored compared to some of its neighbours. 

Accommodation options include eco nature lodges and fincas, beach hideaways and upscale boutique hotels when in Panama City. You can even choose to stay at El Otro Lado Private Retreat in Portobelo and get involved with the Portobelo Foundation, which is committed to improving the quality of life of the community through music, dance, art and craftmanship. 

Panama has a warm tropical climate and temperatures remain constant all year round. The Dry Season falls between December and March; the Green Season is between April to November, but the rainfall is normally concentrated into heavy but short afternoon downpours. Humidity can be high in the rainy season. Temperatures range between 24°C (75°F) and 32°C (90°F). . 

Off The Beaten Path 

Hike through cloud forest and past Baru Volcano in Amistad National Park. There’s thrilling white-water rafting here too. Guna Yala (also called San Blas) is an archipelago of 400-odd tiny coral atolls, territory of the indigenous Guna people. Many are uninhabited, idyllic palm-strewn sandbanks. Don’t miss Isla de las Estrellas, where starfish line the shallows. There’s pounding surf in Santa Catalina while nearby Isla Coiba is dubbed ‘the Galapagos of Panama’ thanks to its incredible marine life. 


Humpback whales arrive in the Gulf of Chiriqui between July and October to give birth, having travelled up the Pacific from Antarctica. You’ll see Bryde’s, minke and pilot whales, and large numbers of dolphins. Sea turtles nest on Isla Bastimentos’ Playa Larga between April and September. This region is also home to sloths, howler monkeys and crocodiles. Birders can look out for the resplendent quetzal in the highlands, and harpy eagles in the Darien. Almost 1,000 different bird species span this tiny country. 

Panama Experiences you shouldn’t miss 

Wander through Casco Antiguo in Panama City’s old town. Kayak in the Panama Canal. Visit a coffee farm near Boquete to learn the bean-to-cup process Island hop around Bocas del Toro; we particularly love the empty Isla Solarte.


Draft Itinerary

Day 1 

Arrive in Panama City & check in for a 4-night stay American Trade Hotel 

Day 2 

Climb Ancon Hill for views over Panama City & the famous canal. Explore the highlights of the Old Quarter. American Trade Hotel 

Day 3 

Behind-the scenes visit of the Panama Canal American Trade Hotel 

Day 4 

Kayak across Gatun Lake and spot wildlife in Soberania National Park American Trade Hotel 

Day 5 

Transfer to Darien Province & check in for a 4-night stay in this natural paradise Canopy Camp Darien 

Day 6 

Wildlife spotting from the river & visit to an indigenous Embera village Canopy Camp Darien 

Day 7 

Explore the forest on foot by day and night, searching for wildlife Canopy Camp Darien 

Day 8 

Horseback ride through Darien’s rural farmland & hike to a hidden waterfall Canopy Camp Darien 

Day 9 

Drive to San Blas & board your private catamaran for a 5-night sailing adventure Private Catamaran 

Day 10 – 13 

Sail the San Blas Archipelago, visit remote islands & snorkel amongst tropical marine life. Private Catamaran 

Day 14 

Disembark and fly to Panama City. Logistical 1-night stay. Evening at leisure American Trade Hotel 

Day 15 

Fly to David & check in for a 5-night stay in the adventure capital of Boquete Hotel Panamonte 

Day 16 

E-Biking adventure through Boquete & visit to a coffee plantation Hotel Panamonte 

Day 17 

Hike in the cloud-forests of Volcan Baru National Park Hotel Panamonte 

Day 18 

Follow a trail of hanging bridges through the cloudforest to observe wildlife Hotel Panamonte 

Day 19 

Chiriquí white-water rafting Hotel Panamonte 

Day 20 

Boat transfer to the wild Pacific archipelago of Islas Secas. Check in for 5 nights in this secluded retreat. Islas Secas Private Island Resort 

Day 21 – 24 

Days at leisure. Relax or enjoy the included experiences on land and in the ocean Islas Secas Private Island Resort 

Day 25 

Fly to Panama City & Departure Flight 

Contact us to start designing your own bespoke Signature Sabbatical or you can choose one of our many adventures as part of your sabbatical journey.

Another World Adventures logo Larissa-Clark-sailing-across-the-Atlantic-Ocean

Hi I’m Larissa, Founder of Another World Adventures. Welcome! If you’re planning an adventure you’re in the right place. Get ready to discover epic travel inspo and a collection of hand-picked trips from my trusted network of experienced adventure experts. Think unusual destinations, expeditions, slow, solo and sustainable travel and epic journeys on land and at sea! Ever got a question? Just get in touch, I answer every enquiry myself. Enjoy!

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