Treasures of Costa Rica and Panama City

Treasures of Costa Rica and Panama City

From $ 11,570 AUD

Description

Visit the world’s largest nature reserve, traverse hanging bridges for spectacular rainforest canopy views and listen to the sounds of local wildlife through some of the most impressive regions in Costa Rica, before heading south to discover Panama and the fabled Panama Canal.

$11,570* per person twin share departing Adelaide (Includes flights, excursions and tipping)

18 days departing Adelaide

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*Terms and conditions apply

Trip Name
Treasures of Costa Rica and Panama City
Days
18
Overview
Experience the wildlife, cultures, history and landscapes of Central America. Hike through lush jungle, watching for colourful macaws and hummingbirds, slow moving sloths, screeching howler monkeys, expressive white-faced capuchins and squirrel monkeys in the canopy above.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Sunday 4 March
Adelaide to San Jose

This morning depart Adelaide on your flights to San Jose.    You will arrive in the evening and be transferred to your hotel on the outskirts of San Jose with magnificent views over the Sun Valley.
Accommodation: Hotel Alta Las Palomas (or similar)

Day 2 – Monday 5 March
San Jose

This morning discover the charms of Costa Rica’s capital city with a morning guided tour. Be immersed in the culture and history of Costa Rica’s capital city. Visit some of its historic residential areas, La Sabana Metropolitan Park, and the National Theater, an icon of San José of the late 19th century. You will also visit the Gold Museum, where you can see original pre-Columbian gold pieces of art craft and jewellery.

The afternoon is free for you to continue to soak up the buzz and atmosphere of the city before you sit down for dinner at your hotel (one of the best restaurants in San Jose).
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Alta Las Palomas (or similar)

Day 3 – Tuesday 6 March
Jaguar Rescue Centre

Leaving the capital, you head to Cahuita which lies on the Caribbean coast. After checking in to your hotel, meet some  locals at the Jaguar Rescue Centre. The centre is a temporary or permanent home for ill or hurt animals with a focus on birds, reptiles and small primates. They provide veterinary services and comfort to animals that are unable to survive on their own in the rainforest. Unfortunately for some reintroduction is not possible due to the nature of their illness or injuries, and these animals find a permanent, loving home at the centre. During your visit, you will have direct contact with monkeys, wild cats, sloths, racoons, anteaters, marsupials, reptiles, amphibians and more.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Le Chameleon (or similar)

Day 4 – Wednesday 7 March
Tortuguero National Park

This morning venture up along the coast bound for Tortuguero National Park. Upon arrival in La Pavona you will board a ferry to take you out to the National Park. This is a 19,000-hectare park that protects the nesting beach of the green and leatherback turtle, the offshore waters and the wetland forest. This is one of the most biologically diverse places in Costa Rica with 11 ecological habitats, from high rainforest to herbaceous marsh communities.

After lunch at your lodge, visit the Sea Turtle Conservatory Museum to learn about the different species of sea turtles that nest and hatch their eggs on the local beaches.

Spend the evening in the tranquil surroundings of your lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tortuga Lodge (or similar)

Day 5 – Thursday 8 March
Tortuguero

This morning, join your guide for a walk throughout the property for wildlife viewing.

After lunch at your lodge, weave through the inland canals and natural rivers on a wildlife boat tour.  The park consists of an endless expanse of beach, serpentine channels and a 35km length narrow lagoon, connected to the sea at one end and fed by a river at the other. The park shelters a fabulous array of wildlife, including more than 300 bird species, three species of marine turtles, 60 species of mammals, 57 species of amphibians and 111 of reptiles.

Among the mammals, there are 13 endangered species like the jaguar, tapir, ocelot, cougar and manatee. Commonly seen birds include toucans, aricaris, oropendolas, parrots, swallow-tailed hawks, several species of herons, kingfishers, anhinga and jacanas.

After a busy day, return to your lodge for dinner and another peaceful evening amongst the wilderness.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tortuga Lodge and Gardens (or similar)

Day 6 – Friday 9 March
Sarapiqui

Rise early this morning for your boat transfer back to La Pavona then head by road to Sarapiqui, located in the heart of Costa Rica’s banana growing region. Sarapiqui is known for its amazing and rich biodiversity and is home to a number of nature reserves and national parks. This afternoon you will have a tour of La Selva Biological Station. Operated by the Organisation for Tropical Studies, it is one of the world’s most important sites for tropical ecosystem research.  More than 250 researchers from 25 countries and thousands of international students visit La Selva every year to study tropical ecology. During your tour, you will see a variety of bird species. La Selva is home to more than the half of the 886 species of birds in Costa Rica.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge (or similar)

Day 7 – Saturday 10 March
Sarapiqui

Grab your binoculars and join your naturalist guide for an early morning bird walk on the grounds of Selva Verde. Costa Rica has the privilege of having one of the highest concentrations of birds in the world.

In the afternoon, replenish your energy at La Trimbina Biological Reserve with a guided tour of one of the world’s most tantalizing foods — chocolate!  Follow your guide across the suspension bridge through part of the Tirimbina forest to a former cacao-tree plantation. During the hike, the natural and cultural history of the cacao tree will be explained.  Upon reaching the plantation, your guide will reveal the secrets of transforming cacao fruit into chocolate. You will see the chocolate-making process first-hand and even have the opportunity to treat your taste buds to organic rainforest chocolate!

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Sarapiquis Rainforest Lodge (or similar)

Day 8 – Sunday 11 March
La Fortuna/ Arenal Volcano Area

Today head west towards the charming and quiet town of La Fortuna, which lies close to the spectacular Arenal Volcano. Rising above the rainforest that surrounds its base, Arenal Volcano frames the skyline with near perfect symmetry.

During your stay at the Tabacon Grand Spa Resort you will have access to the resorts’ very own hot springs.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Tabacon Grand Spa Resort (or similar)

Day 9 – Monday 12 March
Tenorio National Park

Today enjoy a full day tour to Rio Celeste and Tenorio National Park. The tour begins with a gentle 7km hike (approximately 4 hours) through the tropical rain forest. You will arrive at “Los Teñíderos” of the Rio Celeste, the site where two streams of crystalline water come together and form the heavenly colour blue that gives the river its name.

You will continue through the jungle to see the spectacular Rio Celeste waterfall, its colour making it one of a kind.

The final reward of this experience is an exquisite Costa Rican lunch at the end of the hike.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Accommodation: Tabacon Grand Spa Resort (or similar)

Day 10 – Tuesday 13 March
Cano Negro / La Fortuna

This morning enjoy a full day tour to the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge—this trip is ideal for nature lovers of all ages! Caño Negro is the most important wetland in the country.   This magnificent refuge is about 9,960 hectares and incorporates large lagoons, rivers, a rainforest, open and semi-open environments, and the tiny village of the same name.

Along the river it is possible to observe great quantities of birds like the snake-bird, herons, cormorants and animals such as howler, spider or even white face monkeys, three-toed sloth’s and some reptiles like caimans, Jesus Christ lizards and turtles.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Tabacon Grand Spa Resort (or similar)

Day 11 – Wednesday 14 March
Monteverde

Today you will take the scenic and picturesque route to Monteverde. Your trip will start by road to Lake Arenal.

After crossing the lake you will be met on the other side at Rio Chiquito to continue your road transfer to Monteverde. Monteverde is an ecotourism hot spot and hosts some of the most beautiful cloud forests. In the 1950’s a Quaker community from the US emigrated here and established dairy farming and cheese making businesses.

Being believers in conservation, they also established what is now known as the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Once you arrive in Monteverde, check in to your hotel before having time to wander around the town of Santa Elena.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Fonda Vela (or similar)

Day 12 – Thursday 15 March
Monteverde

This morning enjoy exploring the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve – considered as the most well-known cloud forest in the world for its wide variety of biodiversity, important conservation contributions and scientific research.

This reserve was chosen as one of Costa Rica’s Seven Wonders and one of the most important private reserves in the country. The cloud forest gives you the chance to explore a different type of forest, allowing you to make your very own comparison between the biodiversity found in a rainforest and a cloud forest, proving that Costa Rica is full of natural treasures.

In the afternoon visit the Monteverde Sky Adventures Park for a guided hike on the Sky Walk. The hike combines trails and suspension bridges criss-crossed through the canopy of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.

You will also have time to visit the local Monteverde Butterfly Garden to learn about metamorphosis and other interesting facts about butterflies in the country before heading to a local restaurant for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Fonda Vela (or similar)

Day 13 – Friday 16 March
Monteverde

This morning, get an insight into the wonderful world of coffee. Monteverde is one of the best areas to learn about the cultivation and processes of how an authentic coffee, that was used as far back as our grandparent’s generation, is made.

In the evening, return to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a different perspective of the forest on your night walk. Your walk begins in the Hummingbird Gallery where you will be able to observe bats. The tour continues along a 1 mile long trail where you can observe insects, birds and nocturnal mammals.

What you will observe with your flashlight is incredible, but when you turn it off for a few minutes and walk a few meters you will be able to see fireflies light up around you or a phosphorescent mushroom on the ground.

Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
Accommodation: Fonda Vela (or similar)

Day 14 – Saturday 17 March
San Jose/Panama City

This morning you will be transferred back to San Jose to catch your afternoon flight to Panama City.

Upon arrival in Panama City you will be transferred to your hotel before embarking on an evening food tour. Get to know Panama’s rich history while following your tastebuds along brick streets of the Old Quarter, lose yourself in a cup of the world’s finest and most expensive coffee, the Geisha, experience the intense flavours of organic Panamanian chocolate produced by local Ngöbe indigenous peoples, sample Panamanian craft beer directly from the microbrewery where it’s brewed, indulge in Panama’s national dish, ceviche, at the local Seafood Market before taking in the sunset with an exquisite rum cocktail and a view to write home about.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation:  Grace Panama (or similar)

Day 15 – Sunday 18 March
Panama City

Your full-day tour is the perfect fun-packed choice for seeing Panama City’s most famous attractions and historical sites in first-class style and tranquillity.

Your first stop is at the top of Ancon Hill where you will experience a birds’ eye view in every direction overlooking Panama City. See the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, the Cinta Costera, and the famous Las Americas bridge. Then, proceed to the famous Mira Flores locks of the Panama Canal where you will tour the visitor center, museum, gift shop and view an excellent movie presentation of Panama Canal history and construction.

Continue to the Artisan market on Avenida Balboa with local artisan souvenirs as you further diverse into the local culture and atmosphere. Next, you will head to the Amador Causeway; a 6-kilometer man-made peninsula made from the excavated material of the Panama Canal. Originally built as the breakwater for the Panama Canal, today it is a very popular destination for locals, tourists and exercise enthusiasts. It is one of the best views of the Panama City skyline. Walk the Casco Viejo district (Old Town) for an amazing experience through Casco Viejo´s landmark attractions such as the Flat Arch, Golden Altar, and Plaza Francia. There are also many newly renovated and restored hotels, restaurants, and nightlife hot spots.  End your day with a visit to the Panama Viejo Ruins. Begun as a settlement in 1519. Panama Viejo, along with the historical district of Panama, were classified as a “World Heritage Site” in 1997.

Reflecting centuries of history, Panama Viejo was a main hub for Spanish gold and silver shipments and numerous pirate and Indigenous Indian attacks.

Your tour will finish in the late afternoon to give you a chance to rest before heading out for your last night.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation:  Grace Panama (or similar)

Days 16 & 17 – Monday 19 & Tuesday 20 March
Panama City

This morning you will be transferred back to the airport for your flights home. Due to the time difference, it will take two days to get home.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 18 – Wednesday 21 March
Adelaide

This morning clear customs and immigration in Sydney before boarding your flight back to Adelaide. Welcome Home!



Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
04-03-201821-03-2018AUD $ 11,570-

Inclusions

    What’s included in the price?

    • Escorted by Cathy Elliott from Adelaide
    • Return Economy Class flights Adelaide to Central America
    • Private airport transfers
    • Tour guide throughout Costa Rica
    • Local guides at some sites
    • Luxury air-conditioned coach throughout Costa Rica
    • All other transport as specified in the itinerary
    • All entrance fees and excursions in Costa Rica as specified on the itinerary
    • 13 nights hotel accommodation in Costa Rica
    • Breakfast daily in Costa Rica
    • 4 lunches and 10 dinners in Costa Rica
    • 2 nights accommodation in Panama City including breakfast daily
    • Evening Food tour of Panama City
    • Panama City and Canal tour
    • Tipping throughout

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