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Discover the Tropical Paradise of Costa Rica and Panama

Starts: San Jose, Costa Rica
Finishes: Panama, Panama

Visit: Santa Catalina

Accommodation: Moderate

Activity: Sightseeing

Overview

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Adventure-lovers rejoice! Here is a trip that delivers pure beach bliss, idyllic islands, curious creatures and small towns packed with charm. First travel to Costa Rica to uncover cultural gems in San Jose and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, then journey on to Panama for an intoxicating mixture of relaxation and adventure. Costa Rica and Panama are the very essence of Central American coastal beauty and this tour certainly catches them at their best.

Trip Highlights
  • Mix with bubbly locals in San Jose
  • Enjoy beachside fun at Bocas del Toro
  • Splash about in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea
  • Soak up the Santa Catalina surf vibe
  • Explore the eclectic streets of Panama City
  • Dial the relaxation up a notch in Boquete
  • Chill out in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Trip Information
  • Start: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Finish: Panama City, Panama
  • Group size: Min 1 , Max 16
  • Ages: Min 15

Highlights

    • Mix with bubbly locals in San Jose
    • Enjoy beachside fun at Bocas del Toro
    • Splash about in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea
    • Soak up the Santa Catalina surf vibe
    • Explore the eclectic streets of Panama City
    • Dial the relaxation up a notch in Boquete
    • Chill out in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Trip Details

The Trip

Product Code: 128265
Accommodation: Moderate
Guide Language: english

Starts: San Jose, Costa Rica
Finishes: Panama, Panama
Duration: 13 days
Departures: Guaranteed
Physical rating: Basic

Includes

  • Accommodation: Hotel (12 nts)
  • Transport: Boat, Bus, Taxi

Excludes

  • Visa
  • Optional activities
  • Emergency funds: US$400.00
  • Meals not Included: US$300.00
  • Travel insurance is compulsory
  • If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate.

Price

Price person (sharing double) $000 ($0/day)

Deposit:

$250 per person for bookings made 57 days or more prior to departure

Full Amount for bookings made less than 57 days prior to departure

Cancellation: Super Strict

Trip Notes

Price does not include airfare (to the Trip start & from the end location)

Trip Price generally includes accommodation, transport/transfer, activities, services of a professional guide & more. (Please refer to the include/excludes section for details)

Tour packages spare you the hassles of trip planning, a la carte booking, organizing and managing the logistics at a foreign location.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Get to know the spirit of modern San Jose by visiting vibrant markets and streets

Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica!

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, a fantastic place to get comfy and do some people watching. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping head to the out door market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.

Optional Activities

  • San Jose - Irazu Volcano, Ososi Valley, Lankester garden full day tour - USD80
  • San Jose - National Museum - USD7
  • San Jose - Poas National Park half day tour - USD46
  • San Jose - Poas Volcano National Park, Doka Coffee Tour & La Paz Waterfalls full day tour - USD96
  • San Jose - Gold Museum - USD11
  • San Jose - Jade Museum - USD10
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 nt)

Days 2-4: Catch a local bus to exotic Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Today we travel by local bus to Puerto Viejo (approx 5 hrs).

A small town on the beautiful Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca has two sides to it. The main street has a party vibe with dancehall and reggaeton bars and modern restaurants. Off the main street you'll find great surf beaches, rainforest fruit farms, and family homes. The culture here is a real mix of Rastafarian, European and indigenous populations.

Cahuita National Park is easily accessible from Puerto Viejo, and there are good opportunities here to spot sloths, monkeys, raccoons, snakes and a great variety of birds. Entrance to the park is free, although you will be asked for a donation.

Optional Activities

  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Bicycle rental (per day) - USD5
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Cahuita National Park - USD2
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Kekoldi Iguana Reserve - USD4
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Jaguar Rescue Center - USD15
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Surf lesson (1hrs) - USD25
Accommodation
  • Hotel (3 nts)

Days 5-7: Travel to the laidback Bocas del Toro - a beachside haven

Today we travel across the border to Panama. We travel by collectivo to the border, then walk across an old railway bridge into Panama. We then continue by collectivo to Almirante where we take the local ferry to Isla Bastimentos in the Bocas del Toro archipelago.

In Bocas del Toro we stay on Isla Bastimentos. This island has a more laidback vibe, with palm-fringed beaches, sea turtle nesting grounds, mangrove islands and coral reefs. There are no roads or cars here - walking or water taxi are your transport options. The main town is called Old Bank, home to a population of a couple of hundred people, and consisting of just a walking path lined with buildings.

Optional Activities

  • Bocas del Toro - Snorkelling tour (full day) - USD45
  • Bocas del Toro - Oreba Cocoa Farm Indigenous tour - USD45
  • Bocas del Toro - Star beach (Transport) - USD15
  • Bocas del Toro - Red Frog Beach (Transport & Entrance) - USD13
  • Bocas del Toro - Sea kayaking - Free
Accommodation
  • Hotel (3 nts)

Days 8-9: Visit Boquete, a picturesque and peaceful mountain area

Today we travel by boat and local buses to Boquete (approx 8-9 hrs).

Boquete is a small, picturesque mountain village, located in a valley in the Panama highlands. The main attractions of the area are the surrounding natural highlights such as mountains, crystal clear creeks and rivers, forest reserves, stunning displays of wildflowers, and fauna such as howler monkeys and the resplendent quetzal. Nearby is Panama's highest point, Volcan Baru, from the top of which it is possible to see both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Activities here include hiking, canopy tours, kayaking, river rafting and zip lining. This is also an area famous for its coffee and while here you can visit a coffee plantation, or kick back in town trying some of the local brew.

Optional Activities

  • Boquete - Calderas hot springs - USD25
  • Boquete - Zipline tour - USD45
  • Boquete - Coffee Plantation tour - USD25
  • Boquete - Guided bicycle tour - USD55
  • Boquete - Rock climbing - USD40
  • Boquete - Guided tour of hidden waterfalls - USD35
  • Boquete - Mini canyons - USD30
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nts)

Days 10-11: Travel to the remote fishing village of Santa Catalina

Today we travel by local bus to Santa Catalina, on the Pacific side of Panama (approx 8 hrs).

The fishing village of Santa Catalina is still a very remote, undeveloped destination and one of the best sites for surfing in Central America. Aside from surfing, the main pastime in Santa Catalina is relaxing, preferably in a hammock. If you'd like to be more active, perhaps take a trip out to Coiba National Marine Park, where you can snorkel with turtles, angel rays, and schools of colourful fish.

Optional Activities

  • Santa Catalina - Surf lesson - USD25
  • Santa Catalina - Coiba Island & Grano de Oro Snorkelling Tour - USD60
  • Santa Catalina - Fishing tour (half day) - USD45
  • Santa Catalina - Surf board rental (per day) - USD15
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nts)

Days 12-13: Ride on a local bus to Panama City

Today we travel by local bus to Panama City (6 hrs. approx).

As there's a great deal to do in Panama City we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist. If you are extending your stay, perhaps explore the historic Casco Viejo,or old town, which dates back to 1673 and is former walled city with an unusual combination of restored buildings, low-income housing, churches, and ruins. You may also like to visit the engineering marvel - the Panama Canal, head up to Cerro Ancon, the best viewpoint in Panama City, with a view of Casco Viejo, the Canal, and the modern city, or take a stroll through the rainforest within the city at the Metropolitan Nature Park. Panama City is also famous for its shopping centres with the biggest being Albrook Mall, or if you are interested in more traditional souvenirs, try the National Artisan's Market.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Optional Activities

  • Panama City - Visit to the Panama Canal - USD10
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 nt)

See
Costa Rica, Panama San Jose, Puerto Viejo De Limon, Bocas Del Toro, Boquete, Santa Catalina, Panama City
Do
Sightseeing

Availability