Costa Rica and Panama


Discover the cloudforests and creatures of Costa Rica before popping over to Panama where you'll meet the rainforest Embera tribe and cruise on the world-famous canal before a well-earned beach break.

Places Visited

San Jose-Arenal -Monteverde-Panama City-Gamboa-Bocas del Toro

DAY 1: FLY TO SAN JOSE
Fly to San José, Costa Rica’s vibrant, charming capital, arriving the same day. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (D)
DAY 1: FLY TO SAN JOSE
DAY 2: CHOCOLATE TOUR
Embark on a tour all about delicious chocolate! Learn about the role of cacao in Pre- Colombian Central America and its importance to Costa Rica today and the chocolate making process before tucking in to a few samples. Transfer by road to the Arenal area, named for the magnificent Arenal Volcano. Take a relaxed soak in the local hot springs before dinner. (B,L,D)
DAY 2: CHOCOLATE TOUR
DAY 3: MISTICO PARK HANGING BRIDGES
In the shadow of Arenal, the Mistico Park gives a whole new perspective on the rainforest with a series of bridges and suspension bridges at canopy level. As you walk through the trees, you’ll be able to spot all sorts of wildlife, birds, flowers and vegetation. Spend the morning walking the easy trails and taking in your beautiful natural surroundings. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B,L)
DAY 3: MISTICO PARK HANGING BRIDGES
DAY 4: MONTEVERDE BY LAKE
Depart Arenal and voyage across Arenal Lake to the little town of Rio Chiquito. The views of the volcano as you cruise will be fantastic. Transfer the rest of the way to Monteverde by road and enjoy an afternoon tour of the Don Juan coffee estate. Here you’ll learn all about cultivating and processing coffee beans, chocolate and sugarcane before a tasting of the estate’s wares. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: MONTEVERDE BY LAKE
DAY 5: MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE
Spend the day exploring the natural wonders of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. This reserve covers 26,000 acres of virgin forest which a huge amount of Costa Rica’s native flora and fauna call home. The reserve shelters jaguars, pumas and over 450 species of bird, including the quetzal. Also spend some time at Renario, an education centre that is home to native frogs, toads and amphibians. (B,D)
DAY 5: MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE
DAY 6: INTO PANAMA
Return to San Jose and fly to Panama’s capital. Panama City is considered Central America’s most cosmopolitan city thanks to the international importance of the Panama Canal. (B,D)
DAY 6: INTO PANAMA
DAY 7: EXPLORE PANAMA CITY
Discover more about Panama City’s roots at Panama Vieja – founded in 1515, it was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific. Continue on to Casco Vieja, Panama City’s lovely colonial old town. Later, visit Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal and spend some time in the visitor centre where you can learn all about the canal’s construction and its international importance. (B,L)
DAY 7: EXPLORE PANAMA CITY
DAY 8: DISCOVER COLON
Hop on a train and travel to the Caribbean city of Colon, which sits on the opposite end of the Panama Canal to Panama City. The train runs along the canal, past locks, through jungle and across Gatun Lake, giving the perfect overview of this incredible feat of engineering. Visit the colourful fishing village of Portobello. Once Central America’s greatest port, many homes are built amongst the ruins of colonial forts. Next, discover the UNESCO World Heritage Fort San Lorenzo, built in the 16th century, before admiring the Gatun locks on the canal by cruising through them. (B,L)
DAY 8: DISCOVER COLON
DAY 9: ANTON VALLEY
Travel out of the city up to the cooler climes village of El Valle de Anton. Sat in the caldera of the dormant El Valle volcano, the village is surrounded by some beautiful nature and you’ll visit the lovely Chorro del Macho waterfall and learn the folktale of La India Dormida mountain. (B,L)
DAY 9: ANTON VALLEY
DAY 10: EMBERA TRIBE
Travel deep into the Panamanian rainforest to visit a traditional village of the Embera people. Arriving by dugout canoe, you’ll be welcomed to the village with traditional music and spend some time learning about this rainforest community’s way of life, their history and their culture. You’ll also share lunch with the villagers and have the opportunity to purchase handicrafts made by them. (B,L)
DAY 10: EMBERA TRIBE
DAY 11: RAINFOREST TRAM
Cruise the waters of Lake Gatun, a major part of the Panama Canal, admiring the beauty of the surrounding rainforest and the machinery of the canal itself. Later, explore the virgin rainforest at Gamboa, wandering the shady forest floor before flying through the canopy on an aerial tram, within touching distance of the treetops. From up here you may be lucky enough to spot colourful birds and butterflies, sloths and capuchin monkeys. (B,L,D)
DAY 11: RAINFOREST TRAM
DAY 12: BOCAS DEL TORO
Fly from Panama City to the relaxed and friendly Caribbean beach town of Bocas del Toro where the rest of the day will be at leisure. (B,D)
DAY 12: BOCAS DEL TORO
DAY 13: DAY AT LEISURE
Enjoy a full free day at Bocas del Toro to relax on the beach or explore. (B)
DAY 13: DAY AT LEISURE
DAY 14: FLY TO PANAMA CITY
The day is at leisure until your return flight to Panama City. This evening, enjoy a farewell meal. (B,D)
DAY 14: FLY TO PANAMA CITY
DAYS 15-16: FLY PANAMA CITY TO IRELAND
Fly to Ireland, arriving home the following day. (B)
DAYS 15-16: FLY PANAMA CITY TO IRELAND

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On most Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking driver and you will be met by local guides at each site.

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.


Why Book This Tour?

Our Costa Rica and Panama itinerary has been intricately designed for those who wish to see iconic sites and magnificent treasures. You'll travel with the assurance that all your arrangements are taken care of, with international flights, accommodation and all the touring listed below. You will be accompanied by our industry-leading National Escorts whose unparalleled knowledge and talent will turn your tour into an unforgettable experience.

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