fbpx

Costa Rica & Panama Discovery

Sale!

Costa Rica & Panama Discovery

Was From $ 1,875 AUD
Now From $ 1,688 AUD
Sale!

Description

Get under the surface of Costa Rica and Panama with this 12-day Caribbean adventure. See it all, from jungles and beaches to local villages. From San Jose to Panama City, this laidback discovery will introduce you to some of the most beautiful spots in two Central American cultures, and then it’ll give you the freedom to explore however you want, at your own pace. You can’t go wrong with your local leader to steer you in the right direction (to the best bars and surf breaks), plus a small group of adventurers to enjoy them with. Make a traditional dinner in a local’s home, look out for wildlife on a night jungle walk and soak in the local hotspots in areas seldom travelled.

Trip Name
Costa Rica & Panama Discovery
Last Updated
2024-06-16
Days
12
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Put your chef’s hat on and help prepare a traditional Caribbean dinner with a local family in their home in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
  • Swim in clear ocean waters, stop in at shacks serving cold cerveza and kick back on sandy shores covered in starfish in the Bocas del Toro, where you spend three nights on Isla Colon.
  • Head to the coffee plantations, waterfalls and caldera hot springs of Boquete – a highland town so beautiful you’ll hardly miss the beach at all!
  • Go on a jungle walk at night with your expert trip leader in the rainforest district of Sarapiqui – look out for various snakes, sloths, and frogs.
  • Get to know Panama City during a guided stroll along the Cinta Costera, right to the city’s salty belly – the Mercado de Mariscos (seafood market).
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - San Jose
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins in San Jose with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight at your hotel. As this trip spends very little time here, it’s recommended that you arrive a day or two early and see the sights. If you do, maybe take an Urban Adventure with an expert local guide. Maybe visit The Gold Museum and it's amazing collection of Indigenous gold art. If you're in the mood for a bit of shopping, head to the Mercado Municipal de Artesanias or the city's Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.
Day 2 - Sarapiqui
This morning, hop on a public bus and make your way to Sarapiqui – a town known for its rich biodiversity and lush rainforest. When you arrive, enjoy some free time here to go birdwatching, spot some local wildlife or hike to one of the nearby waterfalls. Then head out on a leader-led jungle walk. This is a great opportunity to see some Costa Rican wildlife, look out for elusive creatures like sloths, snakes and frogs.
Day 3 - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Today, take a private transfer to Puerto Viejo. When you arrive, get to know this laid-back jungle town during an orientation walk with your local leader, then enjoy the rest of the day to explore at your leisure. A small and coastal city, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca has a lively main street featuring dance halls, reggaeton bars and modern restaurants. If you’re looking for a little bit of relaxation, you'll also find great surf beaches and rainforest fruit farms to kick back on.
Day 4 - Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Today is free, so you can ease into the vibes of the Caribbean coast. You might like to take your time exploring Cahuita National Park, which is easily accessible from Puerto Viejo and home to sloths, monkeys, raccoons, snakes and a great variety of birds. If the waves are calling (but your footing isn’t so sure), surf lessons are also on offer in town. Of course, you could also simply find a cool spot and relax with a beer in hand. To top today off, you'll prepare a traditional Caribbean dinner with a local family in their home. Enjoy a mixture of fruits, seafood, tubers and vegetables combined with coconut flavours, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, curry Panamian pepper and thyme.
Day 5 - Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon
Today, take a local bus to the border, then walk across an old railway bridge into Panama. Continue by taxi or collective minivan to Almirante, where you'll take a short boat ride to Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro archipelago – rapidly becoming a Caribbean favourite, this place has it all. Hit the palm-shaded beaches with crystal-clear waters, enjoy some spectacular snorkelling opportunities and look out for lots of wildlife. Culturally, Bocas is home to West Indians, Latinos and expats, resulting in diverse music, nightlife and food scenes. For the next three nights, you'll stay in Isla Colon – the main town of Bocas del Toro. It's a great spot to start your exploration of the archipelago, with most bars, restaurants and local activity operators just metres from your hotel.
Day 6 - Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon
Today is the first of two free days to explore this tropical archipelago. Several beaches are within reach of town, between 8 and 14 km from your hotel. With azure waters, pristine coral reefs and a rollicking nightlife, it’s easy to see why these islands are a favourite for so many travellers. The safest beaches are Starfish, Sandfly and Big Creek – be aware that others may have strong riptides. When the sun goes down, why not head into town and check out the local bar and restaurant scene? Ask your leader about the best place to grab a drink.
Day 7 - Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon
Enjoy another free day in the Caribbean sun. Maybe take the opportunity to do some surfing or snorkelling, rent a bike and explore the main island, or simply soak in the chilled-out vibe while enjoying a cold one on the beach.
Day 8 - Boquete
Travel by boat and local bus to Boquete – this is a bit of a lengthy journey, so be sure to have a book, podcast or daydream to keep you occupied. Boquete is a picturesque town located in the highlands of Panama, surrounded by mountains, crystal-clear creeks and rivers, forest reserves and colourful wildflowers, as well as coffee plantations and orange groves. Head out on an orientation walk with your leader and enjoy an informal Spanish lesson to get to grips with the local language. Tomorrow will be a free day, wide open for exploring – most optional activities can be organised directly from the hotel, though it’s a good idea to book them when you arrive tonight if you know what you want to do.
Day 9 - Boquete
There are plenty of ways to experience Boquete today, so be sure to chat to your leader and the hotel front desk to get the best insider tips. You could discover the secret waterfalls only locals know about on a walking tour in the jungle. Or maybe you’d prefer to soak it up in the Caldera hot springs. If you’re a coffee lover, consider visiting a plantation or simply kicking back in town with a cup of the local brew – some of the best coffee in the world is grown and processed right here in Boquete!
Day 10 - Panama City
Trade in the beach for the city and travel to Panama City – Central America's glitziest capital. This is another long drive, so grab a window seat if you can. Along the way, you’ll visit Penonome – a small town well-known for its artisans specialising in the Sombrero Pintao (the iconic and original Panama hat). Maybe grab some lunch here and take a quick visit to one of the many vendors that specialise in this traditional hat and learn a bit about their trade. Arrive in Panama City in the late afternoon and head into the city for a leader-led orientation walk. Take in the great views of the historic Casco Viejo (Old Town) and the Panama City skyline as you stroll past crowded waterfront soccer fields, running paths and food carts.
Day 11 - Panama City
Today, head to the city’s gorgeous waterfront promenade – the Cinta Costera (causeway) – for a walk with your leader. Stop at the nearby Fish Market and maybe grab some fresh ceviche. This afternoon is yours to explore, so if you like, maybe visit the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal or take a stroll through the rainforest in the Metropolitan Nature Park. Panama City is also famous for its shopping centres – the biggest being Albrook Mall. For more traditional souvenirs to bring home, head to the National Artisan's Market.
Day 12 - Panama City
With no planned activities today, you can depart at any time. If you would like to spend some more time in Panama City, just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
26-06-202407-07-2024AUD $ 1,719-
06-07-202417-07-2024AUD $ 1,688-
17-07-202428-07-2024AUD $ 2,040-
31-07-202411-08-2024AUD $ 2,100-
14-08-202425-08-2024AUD $ 1,875-
04-09-202415-09-2024AUD $ 2,065-
25-09-202406-10-2024AUD $ 2,150-
02-10-202413-10-2024AUD $ 1,950-
23-10-202403-11-2024AUD $ 1,852-
06-11-202417-11-2024AUD $ 2,025-
09-11-202420-11-2024AUD $ 2,025-
13-11-202424-11-2024AUD $ 2,085-
20-11-202401-12-2024AUD $ 2,085-
27-11-202408-12-2024AUD $ 2,065-
04-12-202415-12-2024AUD $ 1,924-
11-12-202422-12-2024AUD $ 2,025-
14-12-202425-12-2024AUD $ 2,025-
21-12-202401-01-2025AUD $ 2,065-
04-01-202515-01-2025AUD $ 2,180-
11-01-202522-01-2025AUD $ 1,975-
22-01-202502-02-2025AUD $ 1,975-
25-01-202505-02-2025AUD $ 1,975-
29-01-202509-02-2025AUD $ 1,975-
05-02-202516-02-2025AUD $ 1,975-
12-02-202523-02-2025AUD $ 1,975-
19-02-202502-03-2025AUD $ 1,975-
22-02-202505-03-2025AUD $ 1,975-
26-02-202509-03-2025AUD $ 1,975-
05-03-202516-03-2025AUD $ 2,085-
12-03-202523-03-2025AUD $ 2,085-
15-03-202526-03-2025AUD $ 2,085-
19-03-202530-03-2025AUD $ 2,085-
26-03-202506-04-2025AUD $ 2,085-
02-04-202513-04-2025AUD $ 2,085-
09-04-202520-04-2025AUD $ 2,085-
23-04-202504-05-2025AUD $ 2,085-
30-04-202511-05-2025AUD $ 2,085-
07-05-202518-05-2025AUD $ 2,125-
21-05-202501-06-2025AUD $ 2,125-
28-05-202508-06-2025AUD $ 2,125-
04-06-202515-06-2025AUD $ 2,125-
18-06-202529-06-2025AUD $ 2,125-
25-06-202506-07-2025AUD $ 2,125-
02-07-202513-07-2025AUD $ 2,125-
09-07-202520-07-2025AUD $ 2,125-
16-07-202527-07-2025AUD $ 2,125-
23-07-202503-08-2025AUD $ 2,125-
06-08-202517-08-2025AUD $ 2,125-
13-08-202524-08-2025AUD $ 2,125-
27-08-202507-09-2025AUD $ 2,125-
10-09-202521-09-2025AUD $ 2,125-
24-09-202505-10-2025AUD $ 2,125-
08-10-202519-10-2025AUD $ 2,085-
15-10-202526-10-2025AUD $ 2,085-
29-10-202509-11-2025AUD $ 2,085-
05-11-202516-11-2025AUD $ 2,165-
12-11-202523-11-2025AUD $ 2,165-
15-11-202526-11-2025AUD $ 2,165-
19-11-202530-11-2025AUD $ 2,165-
26-11-202507-12-2025AUD $ 2,165-
03-12-202514-12-2025AUD $ 2,165-
10-12-202521-12-2025AUD $ 2,165-
17-12-202528-12-2025AUD $ 2,165-
20-12-202531-12-2025AUD $ 2,165-
27-12-202507-01-2026AUD $ 2,165-
03-01-202614-01-2026AUD $ 2,165-
10-01-202621-01-2026AUD $ 2,165-
21-01-202601-02-2026AUD $ 2,165-
24-01-202604-02-2026AUD $ 2,165-
28-01-202608-02-2026AUD $ 2,165-
04-02-202615-02-2026AUD $ 2,165-
11-02-202622-02-2026AUD $ 2,165-
18-02-202601-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
21-02-202604-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
25-02-202608-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
04-03-202615-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
11-03-202622-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
14-03-202625-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
18-03-202629-03-2026AUD $ 2,165-
25-03-202605-04-2026AUD $ 2,165-
01-04-202612-04-2026AUD $ 2,165-
08-04-202619-04-2026AUD $ 2,165-
22-04-202603-05-2026AUD $ 2,165-
29-04-202610-05-2026AUD $ 2,165-
06-05-202617-05-2026AUD $ 2,165-
20-05-202631-05-2026AUD $ 2,165-
27-05-202607-06-2026AUD $ 2,165-
03-06-202614-06-2026AUD $ 2,165-
17-06-202628-06-2026AUD $ 2,165-
24-06-202605-07-2026AUD $ 2,165-
01-07-202612-07-2026AUD $ 2,165-
08-07-202619-07-2026AUD $ 2,165-
15-07-202626-07-2026AUD $ 2,165-
22-07-202602-08-2026AUD $ 2,165-
05-08-202616-08-2026AUD $ 2,165-
12-08-202623-08-2026AUD $ 2,165-
26-08-202606-09-2026AUD $ 2,165-
09-09-202620-09-2026AUD $ 2,165-
23-09-202604-10-2026AUD $ 2,165-
07-10-202618-10-2026AUD $ 2,165-
14-10-202625-10-2026AUD $ 2,165-
28-10-202608-11-2026AUD $ 2,165-
04-11-202615-11-2026AUD $ 2,165-
11-11-202622-11-2026AUD $ 2,165-
14-11-202625-11-2026AUD $ 2,165-
18-11-202629-11-2026AUD $ 2,165-
25-11-202606-12-2026AUD $ 2,165-
02-12-202613-12-2026AUD $ 2,165-
09-12-202620-12-2026AUD $ 2,165-
16-12-202627-12-2026AUD $ 2,165-
19-12-202630-12-2026AUD $ 2,165-
26-12-202606-01-2027AUD $ 2,165-

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights),Lodge (1 night)

Transport

Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi,Shared boat

Map