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Monteverde, Costa Rica and Panama

Costa Rica and Panama Tour

  • National Geographic
    Sea Lion/Sea Bird
  • Expedition Ship
  • 62 Capacity
  • 11 Days
  • 2016, 2017 View Departure>
    • 2016
    • Nov 23 Wed
    • Dec 7 Wed
    • Dec 21 Wed
    • 2017
    • Jan 4 Wed
    • Jan 18 Wed Offer
    • Feb 1 Wed Offer
    • Feb 15 Wed Offer
    • Mar 1 Wed Offer
  • Price from
  • $8,140

Summary : A wild exploration by sea from the beaches and rain forests of Costa Rica, including time on land at the incredible Monteverde Cloud Forest where you can experience Skywalking! Transit the legendary Panama Canal, making a stop at Lake Gatun for a visit with Smithsonian scientists. Explore by Zodiac, kayak, snorkeling forays and hikes along remote forest trails. Join rain forest hikes amid monkeys, sloths and tropical birds. Naturalists accompany every activity and your Undersea Specialist uses state-of-the-art equipment to open up the vibrant undersea world. All departures will have a certified photo instructor onboard.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling


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NEW for 2016 - Stand up paddleboarding!

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Prices from
$8,140 to $10,040

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Day 1
U.S. / San Jose, Costa Rica

Depart Miami mid-morning on a non-stop flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. Flying time is approximately three hours. Upon arrival, a short drive brings you to your hotel.

Day 2 – 3
Monteverde Cloud Forest

A scenic drive, approximately five hours over some bumpy roads for the last half, up the mountain takes you to Monteverde Cloud Forest, an acclaimed private reserve. Bathed in cool, year-round moisture, the forest is covered with mosses and 300 species of orchids. Walk trails rich with butterflies, insects and birds and watch for the rare resplendent quetzal. You ascend the Skywalk, a series of suspension bridges, for a bird's-eye view of the rain forest canopy. Later, learn about life in the early Monteverde community, which was established by the Quakers in the 1970s. Eleven families left Alabama and came to Costa Rica in search of peaceful living. Among the original homesteaders is Marvin Rockwell who documented the emigration. He will give you a talk on the trials and triumphs of rural life in the tropics. Spend the night at a charming, family-owned lodge.

Day 4
Monteverde / Herradura / Embark

Continue your exploration of Monteverde and travel to Herradura to embark the ship.

Day 5
Manuel Antonio National Park

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 hike or swim.

Day 6
Osa Peninsula

Anchor 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 on the beach or join a an expedition landing craft cruise. Trek through the rain forest for a chance to see three species of monkeys in one day: howler, spider and squirrel!

Day 7
Gulfo Dulce

Visit Casa Orquideas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, where you see a profusion of orchids, and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, expedition landing craft cruises and swimming.

Day 8
Isla Coiba, Panama

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, and trying stand up paddle boarding. Staff will assist both novice and expert snorkelers alike. For those preferring a drier clime, your naturalists take underwater footage, which animates your evening gathering in the lounge.

Day 9
Gulf of Panama Islets / Gatun Lake

Explore a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Panama via Zodiac or kayak. It’s a wonderful introduction to the region’s varied bird life. Observe large numbers of roosting and nesting seabirds: magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans and Blue-footed Boobies of Galápagos fame.

Day 10
Panama Canal Transit

After breakfast, board Zodiacs for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Lake Gatun. The island is inaccessible to most travelers 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. Reboard National Geographic Sea Lion 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.

Day 11
Colón / Disembark / Panama City / Home

Disembark after breakfast in Colón. Proceed to the airport in Panama City for flights home.


This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

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.

Accommodations aboard ship; three hotel nights as indicated; meals aboard ship; non-alcoholic beverages aboard ship; 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, local guides and a ship physician. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Air transportation; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; passport and visa fees; horseback riding; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages and laundry; optional extensions; gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.

PHOTOS: © Ralph Lee Hopkins (Monkeys, Bird, Parrot, Frog); © David Vargas (Kayakers, Canal)