Costa Rica:

Poas Volcano, Arenal Volcano, Ecotermales Hotsprings, Caño Negro Boat tour, Monteverde, Punta Leona, Carara National Park and Jacó & Herradura beaches.

Panama:

Panama Canal, Gatun Lake, San Lorenzo, Soberania National Park, Emberas and Playa Blanca

Great for:

Birdwatchers. Photographers. Nature Lovers.

Min. Age

10 Years old

Activity Level

Moderate

Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival in San José International Airport.

Meet and greet at the airport or the hotel depending the clients arrival time, including an information package, and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in San José

Day 2: (B,D)

The Costa Rica and Panama Wonders starts by traveling to the Arenal Volcano Area passing by Poas Volcano National Park. Hot Springs Visit. Overnight in Arenal

Day 3: (B, L)

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge boat tour. Return to La Fortuna late in the afternoon. Overnight in Arenal

Day 4: (B)

Travel day to Monteverde. Visit to the Arenal Volcano National Park on the way, stop on the way for lunch (not included). Afternoon at leisure in Monteverde.  Overnight in Monteverde

Day 5: (B)

Guided walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Overnight in Monteverde

Day 6: (B)

Travel day to the Central Pacific coast

Tour to the Sky Way Hanging Bridges and trails. Overnight in Central Pacific Area.

Day 7: (B)

Visit to Carara National Park

Hike on rainforest trails of the Carara National Park  Visit to the nearby beach of Jacó.

Overnight in Central Pacific Area

Day 8: (B)

Departure to the International Airport (1.5 hours drive) for the flight to Panama. Flight to Panama and visit to Miraflores Locks. Overnight in Panama City

Day 9: (B,L)

Partial Canal Transit until we disembark on Flamenco Island. Overnight in Panama City

Day 10: (B)

Panama City Tour. Afternoon visit to the Panama Canal Museum. Overnight in Panama City

Day 11: (B,L)

Jungle Boat on the Gatun Lake viewing the immense flora, fauna, and ships transiting the canal. Overnight in hotel near the Canal Zone

Day 12: (B)

Fort of San Lorenzo & Rainforest Canopy Zipline TourVisit to San Lorenzo National Park (San Lorenzo colonial fort). Overnight in hotel near the Canal Zone

Day 13: (B, L)

Embera Community on the Chagres River and rainforest.  Overnight in hotel near the Canal Zone

Day 14: (B,L)

Day at the beach

Playa Blanca for a leisurely day at the Beach. Overnight in Panama City

Day 14: (B)  

Transfer to International Airport and departure from Panama.

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Highlights of the program

Costa Rica: Poas Volcano, Arenal Volcano, Ecotermales Hotsprings, Caño Negro Boat tour, Monteverde, Punta Leona, Carara National Park and Jacó & Herradura beaches.

Panama: Panama Canal, Gatun Lake, San Lorenzo, Soberania National Park, Emberas and Playa Blanca

This program includes:

1 night at San Jose hotel

2 night at the Arenal Volcano area hotel

2 nights at a Monteverde hotel

2 nights at ta Central Pacific hotel

4 nights at a hotel nearby the Panama Canal

3 nights at Panama

English speaking guide throughout the tour

Private transportation with a/c throughout the tour

Entrance fees to national parks, reserves and attractions as specified

Meals as per description (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrival into Costa Rica

Arrival in San José International Airport.

Meet and greet at the airport or the hotel depending the clients arrival time, including an information package, and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in San José

Day 2: (B,D)

Departure to Arenal

Departure towards the country’s northern region visiting Poás Volcano National Park on the way. Póas, located about 2 hrs away from San José, is an active volcano featuring one of the largest craters in the world with a diameter of 1.5 Km. Short hike through the nearby evergreen tropical cloud forest. After the visit, head to La Fortuna, the closest town to Arenal Volcano. Later in the afternoon, visit the Hot Springs, with natural hot swimming pools surrounded by lush gardens. The Arenal has dormant already for a while, however it is still one of the most impressive views in Costa Rica. Overnight in Arenal

Day 3: (B, L)

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge boat tour

Boat Excursion on the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge (Río Frío river area), adjacent to Los Chiles, near the Nicaraguan border, about 1hr away from La Fortuna. The centerpiece of the refuge is the lake, which covers 1,977 acres and receives up to 10 ft of water during the rainy season. The refuge hosts both resident and migrating birds, as well as a number of endangered mammal and reptile species. Its natural waterways and damp areas provide the key ecosystem for its wildlife. Lunch at a typical restaurant. Return to La Fortuna late in the afternoon.

Overnight in Arenal

Day 4: (B)

Departure to Monteverde

Departure towards Monteverde visiting Arenal Volcano National Park on the way, where we will take a short hike in the forest on the skirts of the Arenal Volcano until we arrive to the old lava flows from 1992. After the visit to Arenal National Park continue on the way to Tilarán and then to Monteverde, stop on the way for lunch (not include). Afternoon at leisure in Monteverde.  Overnight in Monteverde

Day 5: (B)

Visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Guided walk in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This private reserve host one of the richest ecological systems and one of the most important virgin cloud forests in the country. The nearby community was founded in the early 1950s by North American Quakers – dairy farmers who established cattle ranches that can be seen along the road in Monteverde.

Overnight in Monteverde

Day 6: (B)

Departure to the Central Pacific coast

Departure after breakfast to Esterillos Beach, located 20 minutes away from Jacó Beach, and about 3 hrs away from Monteverde. By the afternoon we will have a tour to the Sky Way in the private reserve belonging to the Villa Lapas Hotel. This tour combines hanging bridges with walks along nature trails running through tropical forest typical of the area.

Overnight in Central Pacific Area

Day 7: (B)

Visit to Carara National Park

(B) Leave after breakfast for the visit to Carara National Park, located about 5 minutes drive from the hotel. Carara is a low mountainous area spread over 4,700 Ha of unique rainforest, forming a transition between the dry northern zone and the lush rainforests of the south. It is relatively easy to observe wildlife at the reserve, such as macaws, parrots and toucans, iguanas, monkeys and sloths. We will also have time to visit the nearby beach of Jacó, where we will take an optional lunch at a local restaurant (not included). Return to the hotel afterwards and enjoy of Playa Blanca beach, one of the more clean and safe beach of the country.

Overnight in Central Pacific Area

Day 8: (B)

Flight to Panama and visit to Miraflores Locks

Departure to the International Airport (1.5 hours drive) for the flight to Panama.

Guide will meet up with group at the airport.

Overnight in Panama City

Day 9: (B,L)

Partial Canal Transit

No better way to admire this engineering marvel than by traversing through its historic locks. Transfer by bus to the port of Gamboa where the boat trip will start. First, we navigate southeast on the ”Corte Culebra’’, which is the narrowest part of the canal… After more or less 14 km we start down locking a total of 32 meters through the Pedro Miguel and the Miraflores Locks until we meet sea level we shall eventually pass under the Bridge of the Americas to navigate in the Pacific Ocean, until we disembark on Flamenco Island. Overnight in Panama City

Day 10: (B)

City Tour

Panoramic drive through Panama la Vieja, first Spanish settlement of the city, destroyed in 1671 by the infamous pirate Henry Morgan. Drive to Ancon hill for a short hike through tropical vegetation to discover a superb point of view over the city.

During this tour you will also stroll through one of the most interesting places of the city, the Casco Viejo, founded in 1673. This beautiful little area has several attractions that you shouldn’t miss and can. A monument to the French entrepreneurs who began the Panama Canal stands at the bayside end of the Casco Viejo.

Other points of interest are the famed flat arch or Santo Domingo Church, the beautiful gold- plated altar of the San Jose Church, the Panama Canal Museum, the National Theater, the Cathedral Square, the Presidential Palace and other numerous colonial churches and monuments.  Afternoon visit to the Panama Canal Museum.

Overnight in Panama City

Day 11: (B)

Jungle Boat on the Gatun Lake

(B,L) To start we tour the Gatun Lake via fast launch viewing the immense flora, fauna, and ships transiting the canal. You can witness history in the making as we pass close by work being carried out to expand the canal.

Our journey takes us off the beaten path to a secluded area of the Pamama Canal. Here we will enjoy a delicious native style lunch with refreshments. After lunch you may take part in a variety of other activities like swimming, fishing, hiking, and kayaking.  This is a great day for wildlife observation!!

Overnight in hotel near the Canal Zone

Day 12: (B)

Fort of San Lorenzo & Ziplne

This is the best way to explore the rainforest from another perspective.  The zip line offers you a safe and fun possibility to observe the Rainforest canopy as you move through 10 Platforms in the forested areas of the Panama Canal. After this exciting morning you will then travel through the national park of San Lorenzo where we will do a small hike to arrive to the Spanish Fort of San Lorenzo. This fort from 1668 is pretty much the same way the Spaniards left it hundreds of years ago and it guards the entrance to the mighty Chagres River. Transfer back to the hotel.

Overnight in hotel near the Canal Zone

Day 13: (B, L)

Embera Community on the Chagres River

After a road transfer of about an hour heading north from Panama City we shall reach the shores of the lake Alajuela (also called Madden Lake). The rest of the trip to the Embera village will be done in local dugout canoes, on the lake then on the Chagres or Pequeñi River.

The Emberas, proudly adorned with their best body paintings will show us some of the elements of their graceful culture, the beauty of their dances and their remarkable handicrafts. They will also invite you to share their traditional dish of fish with plantain in a banana leaf. Optional hikes into the nearby rainforest will help you discover some of the plants used by the Emberas for their traditional medicine. Drive to Panama City.

Overnight in hotel near the Canal Zone

Day 14: (B,L)

Day at the beach

Bus transfer to the beautiful beach of Playa Blanca for a leisurely day at the Beach. Some of the nicest beaches in the country are only 90 minutes away. At the Playa Blanca Resort we will have access to all the amenities, pools, lunch buffet and the beach.

Overnight in Panama City

Day 14: (B)

Departure Panama

Bus transfer to International Airport.

*Private Transfers Alternative: A private driver will pick up the clients directly at the hotel and will take them to the next destination. The schedules can be flexible (unless they have to connect with other transfers or be in a certain place at a specific moment) and they do not have to wait for other clients, since this is a private service.

**Rental Car Alternative:  Renting a car is a convenient way to move around the country as it gives you the freedom to explore at will.  Our preferred car rental companies offer a complete list of services, including a modern fleet of vehicles and pick-up and drop-off services in San José as well as in the main tourist destinations. We would recommend a 4WD whenever possible and depending on the places you wish to visit, as they are more robust vehicles and a more reliable option for difficult roads. The rate provided does not include the Mandatory Insurance (USD 19.00 per day of rent). Clients will pick up the vehicle a SUV Intermediate on Day 05 and return it on Day 11.