Exploring Panama by jolinmilioncherie


									The Northern Illinois University Alumni Association
        & The Office of Alumni Relations

               Exploring Panama
               The Land Between the Seas
                 December 27, 2011 – January 3, 2012
    $3,479 per person, double occupancy from Chicago

This is an exclusive travel program presented by the Northern Illinois University
             Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations.
                                           Day by Day Itinerary
Tues., Dec. 27 – CHICAGO/PANAMA CITY                    (I)    Americas. A tour of Portobelo will include a visit to the
We depart Chicago’s O’Hare Airport this afternoon by           Forts of San Geronimo and Santiago de le Gloria with their
scheduled service of American Airlines to begin our            rusting cannons pointing towards the ghosts of pirates past,
journey south to Panama City, Panama. On arrival at            and the Church of San Felipe with its two-tier campanile
Tocumen International Airport we’ll meet our Tour Escort       rising over the town. Afterward, we’ll return to Colon and
who will travel with us throughout our vacation, and then      board the Trans-Isthmian Train. Sit back, relax and take in
a short drive takes us to our hotel where the evening is at    the view as we rail along magnificent waterways flanked
leisure.                                                       by the rainforest of Soberania National Park on our return
                                                               to Panama City.
Cosmopolitan and compact, Panama’s capital city spreads
along the shores of a broad Pacific bay at the southern        Fri., Dec. 30 – PANAMA CITY (Panama Canal) (B,L)
entrance to the Panama Canal. At a crossroads between          One of the great engineering feats of the 20th century, the
two continents and two oceans, Panama City has served          Panama Canal accomplished what nature forgot to do,
for centuries as a commercial route between the Old and        it connected the Atlantic to the Pacific, and reduced the
New Worlds.                                                    12,000 mile sailing distance between New York and San
Wed., Dec. 28 – PANAMA CITY                         (B,L)      Francisco by more than 7,000 miles. Without question, the
                                                               best way to experience this magnificent wonder is from the
Today we will explore Panama City, beginning our day
                                                               deck of a transiting ship.
with a visit to Panama Viejo where Pedro Arias de Avila
founded the first Spanish City on August 15, 1519. Then        This morning we travel to the Port of Balboa and board
we’ll travel to the Old Quarter of Casco Viejo, the most       the Pacific Queen for our journey through the Panama
colorful and intriguing part of the city, full of historic     Canal. Leaving Balboa, we’ll sail under the Bridge of the
buildings, quaint plazas, charming sidewalk cafes and          Americas, which raises over 300 feet above sea level and
museums. We’ll climb the steps inside the Cathedral            reunites the land divided during construction of the canal
Metropolitana tower for a sweeping panoramic view, visit       forming another link in the Pan-American Highway. After
the Old Panama Museum tracing the nation’s history from        that we’ll see the Third Cut, an unfinished canal dug in the
the arrival of Balboa until 1977, and end with a visit to      1940’s to permit the passage of U.S. battleships. The first
the Panama Canal Museum, housing exhibits detailing            locks that we’ll pass through are the Miraflores Locks, the
the monumental canal-building efforts, mementos of             tallest in the locks system due to the extreme tidal variation
the California forty-niners, an informative section on         of the Pacific Ocean. In two steps, the boat will be raised
the building of the Panama Railroad, and model ships           56 feet above sea level in the almost 1¼ mile long lock
including the S.S. Ancon, the steamer that made the first      set, where the transition takes place from salt water to
official Panama Canal transit.                                 fresh water. From here we’ll enter Lake Miraflores before
                                                               passing through the Pedro Miguel Locks, our third and
After lunch, we’ll travel to nearby Balboa, named for
                                                               final lock passage where the boat is raised another 30 feet
Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the first Spaniard to see the Pacific
                                                               above sea level. Next, we’ll cruise through an 8.5 mile
Ocean. Here, we’ll visit the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center
                                                               long portion of waterway named the Gaillard Cut. The
to enjoy a presentation by the Panama Canal Authority on
                                                               narrowest section of the Panama Canal is flanked by the
the history of the Panama Canal.
                                                               backbone of the Continental Divide and with luck, we may
Thurs., Dec. 29 – PANAMA CITY                                  see toucans and parrots bursting from the green forests that
(Trans-Isthmian Route)                              (B,L)      line the waterway. Our journey will come to an end as
Today we will travel across the Isthmus of Panama to the       we enter mighty Lake Gatun, a 166-square mile freshwater
Caribbean province of Colon. Here we’ll visit the Castle       lake that provides the 52 million gallons of water necessary
of San Lorenzo, built at the mouth of the Chagres River to     to operate the locks every time a ship passes through the
protect the entrance to the Las Cruces Trail, the 400 year     Panama Canal, before arriving at Amador Causeway in the
old colonial trail used by the Spaniards to transport gold     town of Gamboa.
across the isthmus that led to Panama City and the Pacific
Ocean. Next, we’ll visit the historic town of Portobelo        Sat., Dec. 31 – PANAMA CITY/BAMBITO              (B,L,D)
whose fortress ruins echo the footsteps of its Spanish         Early this morning we depart Panama City and take to
defenders. Although Portobelo remained un-walled,              the skies for the city of David in the Chiriqui province,
it became one of the most heavily fortified towns in the       the most varied of Panama’s provinces. On arrival, we’ll
leave the lowlands behind and travel to the highland             Barriles, an archeological site of the extinct Barril culture
destination of Boquete on the eastern slope of Volcan            that once lived on the slopes of the dormant Volcano. As
Baru. Here we’ll visit Finca Lerida, one of the oldest and       we’ll soon see, Sitio Barriles offers an open window to the
most traditional Coffee Estates in Panama. This beautiful        past, with a mix of artifacts that show influences of Indian,
110-acre Estate has been producing and processing one            Oriental and African cultures that fascinate archeologists
of the best highland coffees of Panama since 1922. After         and visitors alike.
learning about the process coffee beans go through from
plant to cup, we’ll have the pleasure of savoring a fresh-       Mon., Jan. 2 – BAMBITO/PANAMA CITY                 (B,L,D)
roasted brew in the coffeehouse overlooking the original         Today we depart Bambito and travel towards the town
“beneficio”, now a museum with exhibits relating to coffee       of Dolega for an agritour of a traditional sugar cane farm
production. Afterward, our day will come to an end as            and processing plant. Here we’ll explore the past, present
we travel to the mountain resort of Bambito enjoying a           and future of the sugar cane industry in Panama and learn
glorious scenic setting on the west flank of Volcan Baru.        each step in the growing and processing of sugar cane.
The nearby villages and surrounding fields are undeniably        Afterward, we’ll enjoy lunch along with the pageantry of
beautiful, filled with abundant flowers and buzzing with         “polleras.” The women of Panama are never more graceful
hummingbirds. The spectacular scenery, together with the         than when dressed in their polleras for festive occasions.
cool, crisp mountain air makes Bambito a perfect base for        Evolving from humble origins, Panama’s beautiful national
exploring the highlands.                                         costume is today worn with pride by the daughters of the
                                                                 peasantry and the aristocracy alike.
Sun., Jan. 1 – BAMBITO
(La Amistad & Sitio Barriles)                         (B,L,D)    This afternoon we’ll return to the lowlands and the city of
Happy New Year! This morning we will enjoy a morning             David where we once again take to the skies for our return
hike in La Amistad International Park. Shared with               to Panama City. Tonight we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner in El
neighboring Costa Rica and recognized in 1982 as a World         Cangrejo, a colorful part of Panama City located between
Biosphere Reserve, La Amistad is located at a point on           the prestigious Obarrio and La Cresta neighborhoods.
the Central American natural land bridge where flora and         Tues., Jan. 3 – PANAMA CITY/CHICAGO                  (B,I)
fauna from North and South America reach their maximum
                                                                 This morning we travel to Tocumen International Airport
species mix. With great ranges in altitude, precipitation,
                                                                 in preparation for our return journey home. No better time
soil and temperature, bio-diversity here is at its best. We’ll
                                                                 to reflect on memories of our Panama Vacation to last a
explore the area of El Retono in search of the Silvery-
                                                                 lifetime and new friendships made along the way!
fronted Tapaculo, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Barred Becard,
and Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher among many
other western highland birds. After lunch, we’ll visit Sitio                     * * * Welcome Home * * *

                       Visit myniu.com to make your reservation.
   The Tour Price Includes:

   • Economy-class air transportation by scheduled service of American Airlines and Aeroperlas.
   • Panama Tourist Card.
   • Transportation by deluxe private motor coach with accompanying Tour Escort.
   • Accommodations in a first-class hotel in twin-bedded rooms with private bath or shower.
   • Breakfast daily, six lunches and three evening dinners as detailed in the Day by Day Itinerary.
   • Sightseeing as detailed in the Day by Day Itinerary including applicable entrance fees.
   • Luggage handling and porterage charges for one suitcase per person at the hotels.
   • Taxes for included ground services, and airline taxes, fees and fuel surcharges of $415 per person (subject to
   The Tour Price Does Not Include: Items of a personal nature such as passport fees; optional tours and excursions;
   gratuities to the motor coach drivers, Tour Escort and local guide(s); luggage handling at airports; personal and baggage
   insurance; and meals other than those stated above.
                                                 TOUR CONDITIONS
Tour Deposit and Payment: Reservations may be made by check or credit card (Visa, MC, or Discover). Tour prices
do increase every year and it is possible that increases could occur after the printing of this brochure in advance of your tour’s

Tour Pricing: This is a package tour in which land tour costs and special group airfares have been combined in the most
advantageous way. Should you wish to make any deviation from the package tour by changing your departure and/or return
dates, the advantages of the package tour price may be eliminated and additional charges will be assessed.

Travel Insurance: Please review the enclosed USI Travel Insurance Services brochure and letter. This insurance is designed
to protect you from trip cancellation/interruption penalties and provide medical expense, medical evacuation, baggage and
accidental death coverage, as well as emergency assistance. There is an advantage to early enrollment in this travel insurance
program. Purchasing coverage within 15 days (Plus Option) or 21 days (Elite Option) of your initial trip deposit can make you
eligible for 1) Waiver of the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion, to cover certain injuries and illnesses that would not otherwise
be covered by the policy 2) Protection for Certain Terrorist Acts if you cancel your trip due to a terrorist incident occurring in
any city on your trip itinerary, within 30 days before or after our scheduled departure date, 3) Cancel for Any Reason Coverage,
if the Elite Option is purchased, and 4) Protection for Financial Default of an airline, cruise line, or tour operator. If you wish
to take advantage of the special above provision, you must enroll within 15 days (21 days for the Elite Option) of the date your
initial trip deposit is received. Please Note: Although purchasing the Travel Insurance is not mandatory for you to travel with
our group, if you purchase insurance, it must be through USI Travel Insurance Services.

supplier of services pursuant to or in connection with this itinerary shall not be responsible or become liable for any delay
incurred by any person in connection with any means of transportation; nor for any loss, damage or injury to person or property
by reason of any event beyond the control of any agency or supplier, or occurring without the fault or negligence of such agency
or supplier. The right is reserved to substitute the airline to be used; the type of aircraft; and to alter the dates of the tour; the
tour routing; or to cancel the trip if a minimum number of bookings is not reached for either the air or land portion of this
itinerary. The right is also reserved to substitute hotels for other hotels in available categories. Further, the right is reserved to
decline to accept or to retain at any time any person as a participant on any tour or to cancel any tour. No refund will be made
for voluntary absence from the tour unless arrangements are made at the time of booking. The schedules contained herein are
subject to change without notice. All rates are based on current Tariff and Exchange rates in effect at the time of the printing of
this itinerary and are subject to adjustment without prior notification in the event of changes therein or in changes in the number
of participants on which the rates are based. The carriers concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event
during the time passengers are not on board their plane or conveyance. The passage contract in use by carrier concerned, when
issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the carrier and the purchaser of this tour.

         For more information contact the NIU Alumni Association at 815/753-1512.
                To make your reservation visit myniu.com and click on travel.
                           $100 of the trip cost is tax-deductible as a charitable donation.

                                          Alumni Association
                                    Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center
                                       Northern Illinois University
                                           DeKalb, IL 60115

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