- National Geographic
Sea Lion/Sea Bird
- Expedition Ship
- 62 Capacity
- 8 Days
- Price from
Summary : There are few places in the world where nature is as exuberant or where the color and variety of the tropics can be experienced so keenly as Costa Rica. Explore the intriguing blend of flora and fauna, plus, transit the legendary Panama Canal, one of the most celebrated human achievements on the planet. Experience Panama's natural beauty, biological diversity and amazing history. The wildlife of the region includes: howler, capuchin and spider monkeys, coatimundis, sloths and over 300 species of birds, as well as toucans and scarlet macaws. All departures will have a certified photo instructor onboard.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling
Free Chronicle: Receive a free video chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$6,190 to $7,920
Depart the U.S. in late morning via a non-stop flight to Panama City, with a flying time of about three hours. On arrival, drive to Colon to board National Geographic Sea Lion and set sail for the first part of your Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatun Lake for the night.
In the morning, board Zodiacs for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatun Lake. This island has been the primary Smithsonian center for tropical rain forest study since 1923, and by special arrangement, guides from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute accompany you through the tropical forest that so challenged the builders of the Canal. Meet some of the scientists and learn about their work before reboarding to continue your crossing. A daylight transit cannot be guaranteed since cargo ships have priority over passenger ships. The Canal, however, is dramatically lit at night.
Explore a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Panama via Zodiac or kayak. It’s a wonderful introduction to the region’s varied birdlife. Observe large numbers of roosting and nesting seabirds: magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies on an otherwise empty stretch of white sand.
Isla Coiba is one of Panama’s most remote national parks, where you may hike the tropical, moist forest trails. The area is also perfect for swimming and snorkeling amid tropical fish. The staff will assist both novice and expert snorkelers alike. For those preferring a drier clime, your Naturalists take underwater footage, which animates the evening gathering in the lounge.
Today you make your first landfall in Costa Rica. At Casa Orquideas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, see a profusion of orchids; and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking or swimming.
The National Geographic Sea Lion anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula and the environs of Corcovado National Park. Your exact landing spot for the day will depend on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride or kayak. Trek through the rain forest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider and squirrel!
The abundant wildlife here is most active in the early morning, so you are sure to get an early start. Lethargic three-toed sloths can be easy to spot, but it often takes the expert eye of a Naturalist to point out monkeys or vividly colored birds as they zip through the forest. In the afternoon, explore Costa Rica’s beautiful coast where you’ll find a great spot for a final hike or swim.
Disembark National Geographic Sea Lion this morning in Herradura and drive to the airport for flights home, or on to other adventures. The U.S. bound flight departs in late morning, arriving in the late afternoon.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary: (San Jose to Panama City)
1/9/2016, 1/23/2016, 2/6/2016, 2/20/2016, 3/5/2016
Certified Photo Instructor:
Every expedition aboard the Sea Lion/Sea Bird will offer a certified photo instructor. Guests of any interest or skill level can rely on assistance with their camera model, instruction on elements of composition and more, plus useful shooting tips—in the field, where it counts! On select departures, a National Geographic Photographer will join you.
Optional Extension: Extend your stay in Panama City with a pre- or post-trip extension. Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Accommodations aboard ship; all meals; all non-alcoholic beverages aboard ship; all shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees; transfers from airport/ship if traveling on group flights; use of kayaks and snorkeling gear; all port taxes and service taxes during the voyage; gratuities to local guides/drivers; services of the ship's natural history staff and a ship physician.
Air transportation; extensions; horseback riding; luggage, accident, cancellation insurance; passport and visa fees; Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages and laundry; gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion; optional extensions; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Ralph Lee Hopkins (Monkeys, Bird, Parrot, Frog); © David Vargas (Kayakers, Canal)