Costa Rica & the Panama Canal (Panama City to San Jose)
8 days with Natural Habitat Adventures Rating:
Day 1: Panama City / Colon / Embark Ship / Canal Transit
Our Panama and Costa Rica cruise begins in Panama's capital city. From here, we drive across the Isthmus of Panama to Colon where we board
Day 2: Panama Canal Transit—Barro Colorado Nature Monument
Board expedition landing craft this morning for an excursion into Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatun Lake. This large island in Gatun Lake that encompasses nearly 14,000 acres of wild jungle terrain is inaccessible to most travelers. By special arrangement, guides from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute accompany us through the dense tropical forest that so challenged the builders of the canal. We then re-board the ship to continue our transit through this engineering marvel that embodies both the history and future of global shipping. We'll see the gargantuan Panamax and Neopanamax vessels—the biggest ships on Earth—as well as all the landmarks: the Amador Causeway, Bridge of the Americas, and the Centennial Bridge that frames the Gaillard Cut, which we pass through to enter the Miraflores Locks. A daylight journey through the canal cannot be
Day 3: Gulf of Panama Islets
Our ship is equipped with expedition landing craft and kayaks, enabling us to explore the sea and wild shores at eye level. Today, we utilize both to access a cluster of small islands in the Gulf of Panama for a delightful introduction to the region’s prolific and varied birdlife. Observe large numbers of roosting and nesting seabirds including brown pelicans, magnificent
Day 4: Coiba National Park
We'll have options for easy hikes on a network of trails through the lush tropical forest that blankets Isla Coiba, as well as numerous water activities: go kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming or snorkeling among schools of colorful tropical fish. The ship's staff will assist both novice and experienced snorkelers alike. If you'd prefer to remain on the white sand beach, the ship's naturalist diver will take underwater footage, which is shared during our evening gathering in the lounge.
Day 5: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Today we make our first landfall in Costa Rica. At Casa Orquideas, a privately owned botanical garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, we'll see a profusion of orchids while looking for butterflies, tanagers,
Day 6: Golfo Dulce / Osa Peninsula
We go ashore at Playa Blanca, a pristine sand and coral beach on the eastern shore of the Osa Peninsula. This promontory of land flanked by the Pacific Ocean on one side and Golfo Dulce on the other is one of Costa Rica's most remote destinations, a primitive paradise of primary rain forest, empty beaches and tiny settlements. We travel inland to meet some of the inspiring local residents who live in this far-flung corner of Costa Rica, sustaining a life on the land through cultivating cocoa,
Day 7: Osa Peninsula—Corcovado National Park
We anchor off the Osa Peninsula today, with access to Corcovado National Park. This remote region on Costa Rica's southern Pacific coast lies off the standard tourist itinerary, and we'll enjoy an immersion in
Day 8: Herradura / Disembark / San Jose / Depart
Our ship makes its way north to Herradura on Costa Rica's Pacific coast where we disembark this morning. A transfer
All This Included
There are few places in the world where nature is as exuberant, colorful and diverse as in the tropics of Costa Rica, home to an amazing array of flora and fauna. From white-faced capuchins to scarlet macaws and blue morpho butterflies, Costa Rica's wildlife will wow you. But this adventure cruise takes our Central American nature immersion a step beyond, to the neighboring land of Panama as well. To many, the country of Panama is synonymous with its famous canal, one of the most celebrated human achievements on the planet. What many people don’t know, however, is that Panama offers natural beauty and biological diversity that’s equal to Costa Rica’s. That means you'll get double the rewards on this special itinerary that includes both of these spectacular nature destinations!
Cruising: Cabin onboard National Geographic Quest
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.