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Costa Rica & Panama Canal

Caribbean Cruise

Summary : Visit to two superb Costa Rican national parks: the Carara National Park and the Manuel Antonio National Park. Deep inside the tropical rainforest, keep an eye out for multicolored birds, monkeys, crocodiles and iguanas. Le Champlain will sail on to the magnificent Darien National Park in Panama. This little corner of paradise is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to remarkable plants and wildlife. Sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, mangroves, swamps and tropical rainforests vie with each other for beauty and offer a feast for photographers. This will also be the occasion for meeting the semi-nomadic Emberas community. After sailing through the world-famous Panama Canal (night-time crossing), which connects the Atlantic to the Pacific, you will be able to enjoy the golden sand and translucent water of Holandes Cayes, one of the coral islets of the San Blas islands.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

The port of Puerto Caldera lies on the Pacific coast in the Gulf of Nicoya. Embark the vessel in the late afternoon.

Day 2
Herradura

Herradura takes its name in Spanish from the horseshoe form of its bay, covered in lush tropical vegetation, its beauty enhanced by the hills that surround it. This small town is a gateway to national parks that are remarkable for the rich variety of fauna and flora they protect. When your ship calls here, it will be the moment to take a journey in small covered boats along the Tarcoles River, whose banks are home to crocodiles and iguanas. This mangrove also hosts the loyal and flamboyant Scarlet Macaw, with its red, blue and yellow plumage, known for mating with the same partner for life.

Day 3
Quepos

Quepos makes for a charming stop-off on the Pacific coast, just next-door to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park, an untouched tropical natural reserve lined with white sandy beaches. The town's seafront is an opportunity to stroll through market stalls touting pineapples and bananas in the shade of the manchineel trees. In this coastal town criss-crossed with tree-lined streets in bloom, admire the houses and their incredible sculpted balconies. Enjoy a spot of shopping in the many traditional boutiques: pick up some handmade cotton clothing, ceramics embellished with Costa Rican designs and home décor pieces in hand-painted wood.

Day 4
Day 5
Punta Alegre, Darien

The most remote and least developed region of Panama, the province of Darien is an unspoilt land with an extremely rich variety of flora and fauna. You will love its extraordinary scenery of rocky coastlines, mountain ranges, mangroves, rivers and creeks. If you head for the Afro-Darienite village of Punta Alegre, you will gain a deeper insight into this unexplored area. This tiny coastal village is home to the Emberas Amerindian community. From Punta Alegre, you can head to Darien National Park, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage and considered one of the most diversified parks in the whole of Central America.

Day 6
Crossing the Panama Canal

Arrival 2/22/2019 at approximately Midnight for a night-time crossing.

Day 7
Holandes Cayes

Holandes Cayes is among the islands of the San Blas archipelago, a string of coral islands that graces the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Some 378 islands and cayes offer visitors a multitude of natural and cultural treasures. Holandes Cayes, which is nicknamed 'the swimming pool', is popular with the cruise-yachting community for its white sand beaches and snorkeling opportunities.

Day 8
Colón, Panama

Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Disembark the vessel after breakfast.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.

Included:

Meals on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; luggage transfer between pier and ship; mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals, afternoon tea; open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands - list available upon request); port and safety taxes; use of snorkeling gear; crew gratuities; 24-hour room service; butler service for guests staying in Suites. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Airfare; passport and visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned; spa charges; beverages other than those mentioned; laundry services, hair salon; personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos © Joy Martinello, and Allan Gold

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