Panama Canal and Costa Rica

Combine the wildlife and beaches of Costa Rica with the Panama Canal.

Visit both Panama and Costa Rica on this two week Central American adventure. Start your trip in high rise Panama City where you will venture to the old part of the city before admiring the Panama canal from the Miraflores lock.You then take a short flight to Costa Rica and onto Arenal and Monteverde. In Arenal visit the Cano Negro wildlife refuge, while you hunt for the resplendent Quetzal in the Monteverde cloud forest reserve. Your holiday finishes at a stunning eco-lodge on the Nicoya Peninsula in northern Costa Rica. The Largarta lodge is within walking distance of 4 great beaches, including one of the world's best for surfing. 

Tour highlights

    • Visit the Miraflores lock where you will get a chance to see some of the huge container ships that pass through the Panama Canal. 
    • Full day excursion to the Cano Negro wildlife reserve where you can spy howler monkeys screeching in the canopy and caimans resting on the river banks. 
    • Enjoy a half day guided tour through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, one of the most biodiverse regions in all of Costa Rica, and home to the elusive Quetzal. 
    • Finish your holiday at the Lagarta eco lodge on the Nicoya Peninsula. The lodge has its own private reserve and is within walking distance of several tropical beaches.
    • International flights from London Heathrow with Iberia via Madrid (regional departures are also available)
    • Itinerary can be tailor-made to your requirements

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive into Panama City

Arrive into Panama City where you will be collected from the airport and taken by private transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight at The Bristol. Deluxe room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 2

Panama canal & city tour

During the morning you will visit the ruins of Old Panama, climb up the Cathedral tower, visit the Old Panama Museum and then continue to Casco Antiguo (the old city compound), which dates from the late 1600's. A bilingual guide will describe the events in history leading up to the eventual movement of the capital city to its present location. Casco Antiguo is home to monuments to Ferdinand de Lesseps and other Frenchmen instrumental in the ill-fated attempt of the French to construct a canal through Panama. The tour continues with a visit to the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal where large ships can be seen transiting the canal. Enjoy a presentation by the Panama Canal Authority on the history of the Panama Canal and marvel at the workings of this feat of human engineering. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.

Overnight at The Bristol. Deluxe room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Panama City

Free day in Panama City. Be sure to try the excellent fresh ceviche which can be found at the fish market on the outskirts of the old town. 

Overnight at The Bristol. Deluxe room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 4

Panama City - Arenal

Private transfer to Panama City airport for your flight to San Jose. On arrival into San Jose you are met and taken by private transfer to Arenal which is around 3 hours away. 

Overnight at Arenal Kioro. Suite room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 5

Cano Negro excursion

Ideal for nature lovers of all ages! The Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge and the Río Frío are considered to be one of the best sites for bird watching and wildlife observation. Here you can find a great variety of resident and migratory birds including the endangered Jaribu, the largest bird in Central America. Caño Negro is also home to many other exciting animals. Three out of four species of monkeys, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and white-face monkeys, can also be seen on the banks of the river, as well as three-toed sloths and some reptiles like turtles, caimans and basilisks, also known as Jesus Christ lizards. The tour starts with a bus transfer from Arenal to Los Chiles, a small village only 4 Km away from the Nicaraguan border. During this three hour floating safari, a bilingual guide will be showing and pointing out the rich and varied avifauna present in this protected wetland, declared Ramsar Site in 1991. A typical Costa Rican lunch will be served in a restaurant after the safari.

Overnight at Arenal Kioro. Suite room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Arenal

Free day in Arenal. There are plenty of optional excursions you can arrange in the area including a volcano hike and visit to hot springs, hike to nearby waterfall or a ATV tour. 

Overnight at Arenal Kioro. Suite room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 7

Arenal - Monteverde

After breakfast, depart the hotel and drive to the Lake Arenal Dam for a 30 minute scenic cruise across tranquil Lake Arenal (further views of the commanding volcano and a mountain range, with bird spotting opportunities as well as the area is popular with wetland birds including kingfishers. Following the boat trip sit back and enjoy an impressive drive up the mountainside on a steep road admiring stunning views of the lush valley and varied landscape to reach the town of Monteverde, located at the south end of the cloud forest. Here the climate is cooler, with an average of 17ºC (60ºF).

Overnight at Belmar. Peninsula room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 8

Monteverde Cloud Forest excursion

Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, having 4% of all the known species of plants and animals in only 0.04% the earth's surface. Due to its altitudinal variation and climatic factors that vary between the Pacific and Caribbean slopes, Monteverde is perhaps one of the richest regions in the country where there are 3,021 known species including a total of 755 species of trees. One of the main attractions of Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve is its 13-kilometer network of trails. While walking the trails, visitors are presented with a number of options. One alternative is to walk to "La Ventana" scenic overlook, where they may witness the contrasting panorama exhibited naturally by the Continental Divide, a geographical feature that traces the principal mountain ranges of Costa Rica. 

Overnight at Belmar. Peninsula room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 9

Monteverde

Free day in Monteverde. Monteverde is renowned for its canopy zip wire tours where you can safely fly through the treetops. 

Overnight at Belmar. Peninsula room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 10

Monteverde - Nosara

Private transfer from Monteverde to Playa Nosara and your final hotel.

Largarta Lodge has breathtaking views across the Pacific Ocean. The lodge is within walking distance of the beach and is nestled next to its own private reserve.  

Overnight at Lagarta Lodge. Panorama room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 11

Nosara

Free day to relax at the beach. As the main beach of Nosara, Playa Guiones is a six-kilometer stretch of sparkling white sand. It runs southbound from Punta Pelada to Punta Guiones. This shore is considered a hotspot for surfers, packed with long left and right breakers and consistent swells. At low tide, beginners can try out their luck, but during strong swells and higher tides, this spot is best left for intermediate to experienced surfers. Between January and March, the crowds can grow pretty intense, but the length of the beach offers more isolated niches to relax and hit the waves in.

Overnight at Lagarta Lodge. Panorama room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 12

Nosara

The Rio Nosara borders the hotel-owned nature reserve Reserva biológica that covers nearly ninety acres. As guests of the hotel you may join a guided tour or have free access to the well-marked paths. You will also be provided with a chart containing information on plants and trees. The mornings offer especially good opportunities to make exciting sightings on this roughly two-hour walk: there are numerous birds, howler monkeys, anteaters, coatis, raccoons, iguanas, butterflies, and insects..

Overnight at Lagarta Lodge. Panorama room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 13

Nosara

Free day to relax at the end of your trip. Relax on the beach or if the season is right visit Ostional beach which is the worlds 2nd largest nesting ground for the olive ridley sea turtle (they nest between July - December). 

Overnight at Lagarta Lodge. Panorama room. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Day 14

Departure for the UK

Private transfer back to San Jose for your flight to the UK. 

INCLUDES : Breakfast

Hotels

Pricing

18th November 2016 - 30th November 2017

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