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, a marvel of engineering. Venture into remote wilderness: hike among monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds, and explore far from inhabited places. Swim, kayak, and stand up paddleboard azure waters where the rainforest meets the sea; explore idyllic islands; and snorkel over a vibrant coral reef.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling
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Upon arrival in San Jose, transfer by land to Puerto Caldera and embark the ship.
Anchor off the Osa Peninsula to see some of the most pristine lowland rainforest on the Pacific coast. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, swim in a waterfall pool, take an optional horseback ride on the coast (extra fee applies) or trek through the rain forest for a chance to see four species of monkeys—howler, spider, squirrel, and capuchin.
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 possibly kayak in the peaceful waters of Golfo Dulce.
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, and swimming.
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. Discover rich marine life while snorkeling, go kayaking or try stand up paddleboarding, or simply relax on the beach.
Today, explore the tiny islets of the Gulf of Panama by Zodiac. 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. 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.
By special arrangement, National Geographic Quest will anchor in Gatun Lake near the Barro Colorado Nature Monument overnight. Today, choose hikes and Zodiac cruises at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facility on Barro Colorado Island, or take a boat ride to the mouth of the Chagres River and hike on the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center trails. This evening, continue through the complex lock system of the canal. The timing of the crossing is determined by the Canal Authority.
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)
12/6/2020, 12/20/2020, 1/10/2021, 1/24/2021, 3/12/2021
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be available 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.
Transfers between airport/ship if booked on recommended flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding; video chronicle of your trip; gear on loan (snorkeling gear); all meals onboard ship; soft drinks onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; 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 ©: Alexandra C. Daley-Clark (Panama Canal - Day, Forest); Ralph Lee Hopkins (Monkeys, Bird, Parrot, Frog, Zodiac, Hummingbird); David Vargas (Kayakers, Panama Canal - Night)