This is a globetotting partner post
Panama Travel Agent: Ancon Expeditions
As many of our readers will know, we work with a handful of select partner travel agents to offer bespoke family holidays in some of our favourite destinations. Our idea with globetotting has always been to give families as much information (and inspiration!) to head off on their own anywhere from Mongolia to Mexico. But we also want to give families the option of having all the planning taken care of for them. Sometimes it is just easier to let someone else do all the work for you! What’s more, when things go wrong on holiday (as they sometimes do) it’s reassuring to have a reliable agent who can fix things, like sorting out a cancelled flight for example. Travelling with the support of an agent is a lot more hassle-free.
That’s why we are carefully curating a hand-picked directory of tried-and-tested tour operators that specialise in family travel and we are delighted to be working with Ancon Expeditions. During my three-and-a-half years living in Panama, I’ve been on the look out for a top Panama travel agent to recommend to friends and families looking to book a family holiday or vacation in Panama. Ancon Expeditions has a very strong presence in Panama and an excellent reputation; many of my friends use them regularly and / or refer their visiting guests to them. A Dutch friend of mine also worked for them and has only good things to say about them (the only reason she stopped working with them was to look after her children full-time).
We have chosen to partner with Ancon because:
- They have a well-earned reputation for being the best in the business
- Their focus is purely on Panama and they know everything about travel here.
- They are passionate about the country and know how to create a family holiday in Panama that both parents and kids will love
- Their guides are all fluent in English and experts in their field
- They are very experienced at working with international clients and meeting their demands
- They offer competitive pricing; sometimes more than other local agents but they offer the best and most reliable service.
Our first globetotting family to use Ancon Expeditions had this to say about them:
“Thank you for recommending Ancon Expeditions to us, our trip with them worked a treat. The initial 3 days bird watching and wildlife observation, as well as spending some of the time on the Panama Canal were memorable and then the visit to the Miniflores Lock was very special. The 3 days at Tranquilo Bay were tremendous – I managed to go snorkelling twice one of which was for over 2 hours seeing a variety of colourful fish and coral.”
Family Travel in Panama
Here, we’d like to introduce to Melanie Endres, the Sales & Marketing Director of Ancon Expeditions, to tell us a bit more about why families will love Panama.
1. Please tell us a little bit about Ancon Expeditions and your experience as a tour operator / agent.
Ancon Expeditions is one of the first tour operators in Panama and celebrates its 20 years’ anniversary in 2017! The origins of the company’s operation come from a mostly ecological and nature conversation background and nowadays we have a far broader spectrum of travelers ranging from the regular nature lovers and avid birders up to very high-end clients, incentive groups and scientific groups and small expedition cruise ships.
2. Why do you think Panama is such a great destination for families?
The diversity! There is SO much to do in Panama from history, culture, indigenous people, nature, wildlife, museums, adventurous activities such as rafting, ziplining, rappelling, kayaking, to a beautiful ocean and marine life offering snorkeling, diving, swimming, SUPs provides a GREAT variety for families!
3. What is your favourite destination in Panama and why?
I love the Chiriqui Highlands due to its vast outdoor adventure and nature treasures. Also very nice for a change is the fresh climate, beautiful lush cloud forest with impressively tall trees and dense forests, it’s just an amazing environment to escape from the city life and the people from the countryside are very heartwarming and hardworking, down to earth and very humble!
4. List three must-see or must-do experiences for families visiting Panama?
- The Panama Canal – either on our small expedition boat to observe wildlife, or from the locks’ expedition centre.
- The Embera Indians
- The Azuero region with its folkloric heritage and very hands-on, unique and off-the-beaten track experiences with locals!
- If I’d pick one more, then it’d be the Bocas del Toro islands as the Caribbean food, the fun laid-back people and of course the beaches, snorkeling and islands which are just terrific! Caribbean style!
5. Share your perfect family itinerary for a two-week holiday in Panama
A combination of Panama City and the Gamboa area (4-5 nights), the Azuero region for folkloric and cultural experiences (3 nights), the Chiriqui Highlands for outdoors (3 nights) and Bocas del Toro for a nice Caribbean ocean in the end (2-3 nights)
6. What kind of hotels do you work with?
We mostly work with boutique and luxury hotels but also with mid-range accommodation depending on the guest’s budget and expectations. We do not preferably work with large resorts or budget accommodations.
7. How do you accommodate large families (e.g. families with 3+ children) in hotels?
Usually two connecting or adjacent rooms or Suites, and at hotels if there is a family room/ loft or a villa then that would be the perfect choice to have them all together or nearby at least.
8. Do you accept enquiries for:
We usually handle full packages but can on an individual basis also just take care of day tours if clients live in Panama or stay for a longer time and only need day tour arrangements. Our most popular day tours are the Panama Canal Rainforest Boat Adventure for wildlife observation on Gatun Lake and the cultural visit at the Embera Indigenous Village are very popular among families with children.
We work with packages including tours, hotel and transportation. Individual reservations for transfers can be arranged on an exceptional basis but we aim at full packages.
9. What makes you stand out from other tour operators and agents working in Panama?
We count with the country’s best top-notch guides and the repeat positive and impressive feedback of our clients, especially very well-travelled and high-demanding clients prove the exceptionality of our Naturalist Guides.
Also our team in the office is bilingual, very efficient and very accommodating to any tailor-made necessities and wishes of clients. We love our work and have a great passion not only for the country but also for making our guests’ life the most comfortable and enjoyable, may it be during the planning phase, while they are in Panama or following up after their trip.
10. Other: Please include anything else you would like readers to know about Ancon Expeditions.
We assure you will have a unique and memorable time in Panama if you choose to travel with us and we look forward to share this amazing and beautiful country with everybody who is ready for it!
To make an enquiry for a family holiday to Panama, please visit the Ancon Expedition website.
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The travel agents/operators profiled on globetotting.com are chosen and curated by us. We feature agents on an invitation-only basis based on a number of criteria. We consider, among other things, their experience in family travel, fluency in English, itineraries offered and the level of customer service pre, during and post-travel.
Ancon Expedition pays us a fixed annual subscription. We do not take commissions from Ancon Expeditions for any bookings made through globetotting.