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Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Panama Canal Cruise Information

  • National Geographic Quest
  • Expedition Ship
  • 100 Capacity
  • 8 Days
  • 2018, 2019 View Departure>
    • 2018
    • Dec 8 Sat Offer
    • Dec 15 Sat Offer
    • Dec 22 Sat
    • Dec 29 Sat
    • 2019
    • Jan 5 Sat Offer
    • Jan 12 Sat Offer
    • Jan 19 Sat Offer
    • Jan 26 Sat Offer
    • Feb 2 Sat Offer
    • Mar 15 Fri
    • Mar 22 Fri
    • Mar 29 Fri Offer
  • Price from
  • $5,990
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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.

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


Just-Released Offer

  • Free International Air
  • Panama City Extension
  • Offers may not be combinable; conditions may apply

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Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!

Prices from
$5,990 to $8,690

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Day 1
U.S. / San Jose, Costa Rica / Puerto Caldera / Embark

Upon arrival in San Jose, transfer by land to Puerto Caldera and embark the ship.

Day 2
Corcovado National Park

Anchor off the Osa Peninsula to see some of the most pristine lowland rain forest on the Pacific coast. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, swim in waterfall pools, take an optional horseback ride on the coast, or trek through the rain forest for a chance to see four species of monkeys—howler, spider, capuchin, and squirrel.

Day 3
Golfo Dulce / Osa Peninsula

Go ashore in the pristine waters of Playa Blanca. Head inland to meet and share with inspiring local families living in remote communities and working with cocoa, heart of palm, and sugar cane. Hike mature rain forest or kayak in peaceful waters in Golfo Dulce, the only tropical fiord in the continent. In the evening, enjoy drinks ashore and, hopefully, a beautiful sunset.

Day 4
Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica. Visit Casa Orquídeas, a tropical paradise of ornamental palms, bromeliads, heliconias, and orchids, closed to the general public and reached by boat only. Keep your eye out for tanagers, parrots, and toucans. Later, explore the placid bay, ideal for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac rides, and swimming.

Day 5
Isla Coiba National Park

The first stop in Panama this morning is at the remote Isla Coiba, one of the many islands of Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once a penal colony, the island has long been protected and accessible by special permit only. Among its many endemic species are the Coiba Island agouti and the mantled howler monkey, as well as four varieties of sea turtle. Discover rich marine life while snorkeling, go kayaking or hiking, try stand up paddleboarding, or simply relax on the beach.

Day 6
Gulf of Panama Islets / Panama Canal Transit

Today, explore the tiny islets of the Gulf of Panama by Zodiac or kayak. Here you might spot frigatebirds, brown pelicans, neotropical cormorants, and brown boobies. Set sail for the Panama Canal this afternoon. Stretching more than 50 miles, the canal was a colossal engineering feat completed in 1914. It is still traversed by some 14,000 ships every year. As cargo ships tend to pass through the canal during the day, you’ll most likely begin your crossing at night, when the canal is dramatically lit.

Day 7
Gatun Lake / Panama Canal Transit

Board a Zodiac to visit Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatun Lake by special arrangement. Scientists have worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island since 1923, researching its 120 mammals and diverse tree species. It is also the site of a National Geographic supported project that tracks tagged animals using automated radio signals and wireless technology. Join local guides for a walk through the forests. This evening, continue through the complex lock system of the canal.

Day 8
Colon / Panama City, Panama / Disembark / U.S.

After breakfast, disembark in Colon and transfer to the airport in Panama City for your flight home.


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

Reverse Itinerary:
(Panama City/San Jose)
12/15/2018, 12/29/2018, 1/12/2019, 1/26/2019, 3/15/2019, 3/29/2019

Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.

Optional Pre- or Post-Trip Extension: Panama City
Venture to the Agua Clara Visitor Center at the Panama Canal’s new, larger Pacific lock to see the intricacies of its workings up close. Plus, visit the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo (Museum of Biodiversity), the architect's only work in Latin America. (1 Day from $450 per person) Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Accommodations aboard ship; 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, stand up paddleboards, and snorkeling gear; 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. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
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, Zodiac, Hummingbird); © C. Daley-Clark (Forest); © David Vargas (Canal); © Sven-Olof Lindblad (Kayaker, Flower)

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