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Holidays

Wild Costa Rica and Panama

Costa Rica, Panama
1 review
Available Departures: Aug, Oct

14 days from

US$4,075

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
LEISURELY LEISURELY

Discover the hidden natural treasures of Costa Rica and Panama on our coast to coast adventure.

Trip Code: WCP
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Wild Costa Rica and Panama

Highlights
  • Discover Tortuguero's incredible tropical wildlife with expert guides 
  • Explore a unique ecosystem in the cloud forest canopy of Panama's Baru National Park
  • Relax on uninhabited idyllic islands scattered off the Pacific Coast
  • Visit the famous Panama Canal and watch the locks in operation
  • Take a whale-watching cruise and witness turtle-nesting first hand

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 16
  • 5 days of trekking
  • Snorkelling
  • Canopy and zipline tours
  • Remote island exploration
  • Join In San Jose, end Panama City

Accommodation & Meals
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 4 Lunches
  • 4 Dinners
  • 3 nights Hotel
  • 3 nights Ecolodge
  • 2 nights Bungalow
  • 3 nights Chalet
  • 2 nights Hotel with swimming pool
Overview

Costa Rica and Panama are two diminutive countries that pack a punch when it comes to adventure and unparalleled immersion into wild, untamed jungle; mist-shrouded cloud-forest and untouched coastline. Costa Rica is rightly renowned for its incredible biodiversity; but for many Panama remains an enigma, far off the beaten track. This is a region rich in nature and steeped in a fascinating history of conquistadors, marauding British pirates and the tragic human story behind the construction of the Panama Canal. Our adventure starts in San Jose; walking the trails of some of its premier national parks and reserves including the trails of Tirimbina Biological Reserve,  the world-famous turtle-nesting beaches of Tortuguero National Park and the protected coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. Crossing the land border into Panama, we explore pristine cloud-forests dominated by the towering Volcan Baru from a range of hanging bridges suspended high in the canopy. There is also a zip-line tour which enables us to safely fly across the valleys and tree-tops, affording us a unique perspective of the landscape. We continue to the Chiriqui National Marine Park off the Pacific Coast, and by boat explore remote untouched islands and coral reefs. During the whale-watching season we will head to the area renowned for observing these majestic mammals. Flying internally to Panama City, our action-packed adventure nears it end. Before we leave, however, we will walk the atmospheric streets Casco Viejo and visit the impressive Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal, where we can observe ships passing through the gigantic locks. We stay in a range of comfortable hotels, chalets and eco-lodges, all picked for their character or convenient location.

Is this holiday for you?

We have designed this itinerary for those wanting an adventure featuring the very best that natural Costa Rica and Panama have to offer. This active holiday is packed with easy walking along trails that discover protected wildlife reserves and unique experiences including plantation tours, island-hopping by boat and exploring the Panama Canal. There are a two opportunities to explore coral reefs b …

We have designed this itinerary for those wanting an adventure featuring the very best that natural Costa Rica and Panama have to offer. This active holiday is packed with easy walking along trails that discover protected wildlife reserves and unique experiences including plantation tours, island-hopping by boat and exploring the Panama Canal. There are a two opportunities to explore coral reefs by snorkel, so confidence in the water and an ability to swim would be beneficial. None of the walks are more than a few hours in duration, meaning this is a holiday that unfolds at a relaxed and enjoyable pace.

Why KE?

Costa Rica and Panama combine to create a fabulous adventure holiday! Our unique itinerary takes in our favourite easy trails and protected nature reserves. Whether it's wildlife spotting on the turtle-nesting beaches of the Caribbean, traversing through cloudforest treetops on hanging bridges or witnessing one of humankind's most impressive feats of engineering in the Panama Canal; this adventure is packed with unforgettable experiences!

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Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel, where KE Land Only service begin. Transfers for all arrivals on Day 1 of the itinerary, from the international airport to the group hotel, are provided. Meet the group and the leader for a briefing in the evening.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

D

This morning, we depart from San Jose to Sarapiqui. On the way, we stop off to explore Poas Volcano National Park. The active volcano here is easily accessible by a short walk, and features one of the largest active craters in the world. The green, sulphuric waters are shrouded in mist making for an atmospheric visit. We can stretch our legs with a scenic walk to the nearby Botos Lagoon. After our brief visit, we continue north to the Tirimbina Biological Reserve where we cross a series of hanging bridges through the rainforest to enjoy a fascinating cacao plantation tour, which takes us through the whole chocolate production process from bean to bar. We check into our rainforest lodge and have the rest of the afternoon to explore the trails of the reserve surrounding the lodge at our leisure. As a reserve dedicated to the conservation of Costa Rica's incredible wildlife, there will be plentiful opportunities for spotting and observing a bewildering array of flora and fauna.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B

Time

2hrs

Distance

4 KM

We will awake early and transfer eastwards towards the Caribbean coast. After a drive of around 2.5hrs, we arrive at La Pavona Dock where we board shared boats and enjoy a 2hr cruise along the Rio Suerte to our destination, Tortuguero National Park. The reserve here is a network of backwaters featuring canals, lagoons and islands. The area is extraordinarily rich in biodiversity and these natural waterways are perfect for wildlife spotting by canoe. Tortuguero is best known as an important nesting site for turtles; including green sea, leatherback and hawksbill varieties. Depending on the season, it may be possible to observe this incredible spectacle at night. Along the way, we may well spot a range of wildlife from our boat. After arrival into Tortuguero, we check into our eco-lodge and take a walking tour of the village; visiting the church and centre to learn about its Caribbean culture.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Time

1hr

Distance

1 KM

After breakfast, we take a 2hr wildlife-spotting boat tour of the natural canals and backwaters of the National Park, undoubtedly one of the highlights of this itinerary. The small motorised canoes are by far the best way to observe wildlife in their natural habitat. We will hope to spot turtles, caiman, otters, monkeys (including spider, howler and capuchin) and hundreds of birds (such as toucans, macaws, Amazon kingfishers and egrets). In the afternoon, we take a short boat ride to the foot of Cerro Tortuguero, the remains of an ancient volcano and the reason behind the black volcanic sands. Cerro Tortuguero is a steep and strenuous climb, rewarding us with views across the national park. We return by boat, back to our accommodation at Tortuguero Village.

Accommodation

Ecolodge

Meals

B L D

Ascent

150 M

Descent

150 M

Time

3hrs

Distance

4 KM

We leave Tortuguero early in the morning, departing by boat back to La Pavona Dock. We will be met by our private vehicle and transferred further along the beautiful Caribbean coastline to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. This seaside village has a distinctly laid-back vibe, and the centre offers fun and relaxation at its dancehalls and bars. Further out, we will find surf beaches, trpoical fruit farms and traditional family homes. We will explore the town on a leader-led orientation walk and there is the option of hiring bicycles to explore the town and surrounding area.

Accommodation

Bungalow

Meals

B L

Time

1hr

Distance

1 KM

Today we will board a boat and set off across the Cahuita National Park, a protected marine area covering beaches, lowlands and sea. From our boat, we will be able to explore the reef system by snorkelling with a guide. There are many species of coral, shellfish and fish to observe and it may even be possible to spot a turtle swimming by. Returning to Punta Cahuita, we will walk along some of the local nature trails, watching out for monkeys, butterflies, snakes and spiders.

Accommodation

Bungalow

Meals

B

Time

2hrs

Distance

3 KM

The journey to Boquete will involve crossing the land border into Panama and a long, scenic drive. Transiting through the border can sometimes take an hour for the formalities, but we will soon be on our way, leaving the tropical humidity of the Caribbean Coast as we slowly gain altitude into the Chiriqui Highlands of Eastern Panama. Here, the mountains are cloaked in cloud-forest and scattered coffee plantations. Boquete is a particularly picturesque highland town, surrounded by beautiful scenery and forests that are home to howler monkeys and the resplendent quetzal. In the evening, we will be treated to dinner before staying the night in Boquete.

Accommodation

Chalet

Meals

B D

Today we will explore the crystal-clear creeks, waterfalls and forest reserves surrounding Volcan Baru. We will ascend onto a circuit of 6 hanging bridges that allow us to explore the forest canopy, led by a local guide. This unforgettable experience will afford us a unique perspective on the Panama's flora and fauna. There are many trails on the ground that we will take to explore the area's natural beauty. In the afternoon we will enjoy a plantation tour at one of the coffee farms where we learn all about how the coffee 'cherry' is grown, developed into a coffee bean. We will follow the process through the roasting to discover how this can affect the final taste. An all-important coffee tasting will follow this! This area's most sought-after export is the floral Geisha coffee bean, said to be one of the most expensive in the world. We return to our Boquete hotel to overnight.

Accommodation

Chalet

Meals

B L

Ascent

100 M

Descent

100 M

Time

4hrs

Distance

5 KM

A zip-line canopy tour enables us to fly through ancient mist-shrouded forests, soaring over rivers, waterfalls and valleys. The tour is over 4km in length, along 12 separate zip-lines. Those feeling a little nervous can be reassured by the progressive nature of the zip-lines and the highly experienced guides that will accompany us. There is the option of exploring the forest trails further, should you choose not to undertake the zip-line tour.

Accommodation

Chalet

Meals

B

We set off on a picturesque drive from the Chiriqui Highlands and descend towards the Pacific Coast. Our destination is the idyllic village of Boca Chica. Here, we settle into our comfortable hotel and relax for the rest of the afternoon, perhaps by the pool with a good book. This evening, we have an introduction to the stunning coastline by way of a very special experience. We will set off on a motorboat and explore the waterways that lay between the islands and mangroves of the National Marine Park. Our guide will help us spot a wide variety of birds, including pelicans, storks and the rare reddish egret and in the mangroves we may spot a range of monkeys. We will return as the sun sets, turning the sky an astonishing hue. If we are lucky, we may be joined by playful dolphins as we speed our way back to our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

We once again depart by boat and this morning set off to explore a string of tiny picture-postcard perfect uninhabited and remote islands. Our boat will gently set us down for a 'wet landing' on the soft, sun-bleached sand and we will have some time to wander in the shade of palms or cool off with a swim. Snorkelling equipment is available for those who would like to undertake some exploration underwater to try to spot tropical fish or the odd sea turtle passing by the Gulf of Chiriqui. During the whale-watching season (between late July and October), we will head to an area where humpback whales can be observed basking and breaching, often with their young calves. This area boasts a high success rate for being able to witness these majestic mammals in their natural habitat. After a fabulous morning of island exploration, we return to our hotel to spend the rest of the day relaxing in our lovely surroundings. Sat outside on the terrace in the evening, you may be able to enjoy the spectacle of the distant islands and mangroves being lit up by lightning, accompanied by the roar of howler monkeys- an unforgettable sensory experience!

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

From Boca Chica, we set off early to transfer to the airport at David for our domestic flight to the vibrant capital, Panama City. Located on the Pacific Ocean, Panama City is like no other Central American city. Soaring glass skyscrapers stand shoulder-to-shoulder over the waterfront whilst the colonial facades of Casco Viejo hints at Panama's rich history. An incredibly strategic position on the natural isthmus led to the city founded in 1519, by the Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Davila. Being the narrowest point of the Americas meant that gold and precious jewels seized by the Spanish along the Pacific Coast was transported overland from Panama City to the stronghold of Colon on the Caribbean coast to be whisked away back to Spain. This concentration of wealth flowing through Panama soon drew attention of marauding British seafarers including Sir Francis Drake (who was buried at sea in Panamanian waters!) and the privateer Henry Morgan. We take a walking tour of Casco Viejo (the historic colonial quarter of Panama City) to witness the contrast between the modern gleaming towers and the old churches, crumbling facades and cobbled streets. In the afternoon, we visit the Bio Musea, a museum exhibition focused on the natural history of the isthmus of Panama. Here we learn how this natural rock bridge formed, linking two continents together creating a massive impact on the planet's biodiversity. The architectural wonder of the museum itself is worthy of a visit, designed by Frank Gehry who also created the Guggenheim in Spain.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Time

2hrs

Distance

3 KM

Sometimes known as the 8th wonder of the world, the Panama Canal is one of humankind's greatest engineering feats. The installation of locks at both Panama City and Colon resulted in the deliberate flooding of a wide cross-section of the isthmus with waters that flow from the rainforest. A canal across the Panama was first discussed by the King of Spain in 1534 and it wasn't until the late 19th century that an attempt to construct a canal was made by the French. Stricken by tropical illnesses and accidents, the project was abandoned, ending in scandal after the deaths of an estimated 22,000 men and the loss of countless dollars. The United States took the project up in 1904, completing it in 1914. The first year saw 1,000 ships passed through, having been raised 26 metres above sea-level, avoiding the treacherous 8,000 mile voyage sailing around South America. The number has now increased to around 15,000 ships per year. We will visit the Miraflores Locks, where a fascinating exhibition recounts the inconceivable and tragic human cost of this engineering endeavour. The visitor centre also has a viewing terrace where we can get a bird's eye view of the extraordinary sight of container ships and cruise ships passing through the locks with mere inches to spare. After lunch, we have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to relax and reflect on a unique and diverse adventure.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

After breakfast, we transfer to the international airport in time for our flight home. A transfer from the group hotel to the airport is included.

Meals

B
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The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Direction Direction
Internal Flight
Transfer
Boat

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • A professional and qualified tour leader
  • Single timed transfers on arrival and departure
  • All land transport required by the itinerary
  • The internal flight from David to Panama City
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • All activities/excursions/entrance fees mentioned unless specified as ‘optional’

  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport transfers other than group transfers
  • Tips
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Transfers from San Jose International Airport to the group hotel are provided for all passengers arriving on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. On the last day of the Land Only itinerary, transfers are provided for all passengers to Panama City Airport.

If you wish to arrive or depart on different days we can provide private transfers at an additional cost. Taxis are also readily available.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

Included in your holiday price are all breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners. On the days where we are in locations with a variety of options, the choice is yours. This means you will pay directly for a total of 10 lunches and 9 dinners. We recommend you budget £8-£20 per meal.

The cuisine in Costa Rica and Panama makes the most of the fresh fruits and vegetables that grow in abundance here. Influences stem from a mix of indigenous, Caribbean and Spanish dishes. Breakfasts will nearly always include delicious local fruits such as pineapple, watermelon and papaya; along with eggs and ‘gallo pinto’ which is the local dish of black beans and rice. Lunch can often be a sandwich for those on the move, but also meat or seafood dishes served with salad. Tamales are an Aztec dish consisting of little morsels of meat and vegetables wrapped up in a cornmeal dough and steamed in plantain leaves. Carnivores will be delighted to discover chicharrones: crispy, fried pork; very much in the style of pork scratchings! Dinners are usually meat- or fish-based with rice and beans and vegetables. More familiar dishes are available too. Dessert is usually a selection of fruits or a small, sweet pudding known as ‘tres leches’ (a dessert made of milk prepared three ways). Both Costa Rica and Panama are famed for their coffee, and you can also find refreshment with cane-sugar water or fresh tropical fruit-juice. The craft-ale scene is booming in both countries, and there are many micro-breweries producing some lovely beers, and you can find some exquisite sipping rum too. 

We will stay in a range of comfortable tourist class hotels across Costa Rica and Panama, which have been selected for their convenient location and/or charm.

In San Jose and Panama City, we will stay in centrally located hotels, whilst in Sarapiqui and Tortuguero the group will stay in rustic eco-lodges that allow us to truly feel immersed in the stunning rainforest.

In Puerto Viejo, we stay in bungalows situated close to the beautiful Caribbean beach.

In the Boquete accommodation will be a collection of chalets, nestled in the cloud forest.

A highlight of the holiday will be our hotel in Boca Chica, which offers stunning views across the Chiriqui Gulf, dotted with mangroves and remote, uninhabited, islands that can be accessed by speedboat.

Accommodation is based on twin share. If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. If you are planning to extend your holiday, additional nights at the group hotel are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

Approximately £500 per person (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for tips, soft drinks, snacks, non-included meals and miscellaneous expenses. Alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and optional activities are additional so you may wish to budget for these.

You can choose to take your money in pounds sterling, dollars or euros. There will be the opportunity to change money into local currency on arrival at the airport and your local leader will advise the best places to change money en-route and at borders. Additionally, you will be able to get currency from bank ATMs in many of the towns that we will visit. Credit cards are useful and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We recommend that you decide levels of tipping and give any tips as a group rather than from individual group members.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline. For the internal flight, you are restricted to one piece of checked-in luggage with a limit of 23kg and one piece of carry-on luggage with a limit of 10kg.

Visa Panama

UK passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. You should carry proof of onward or return travel.

The unit of currency in Panama is the Balboa, however the US dollar is also a legal currency and this is the easiest currency to use.

Costa Rica and Panama both have a hot and humid climate. The days are warm and generally sunny with temperatures between 20 - 28°C. However, these are tropical countries and it can rain anywhere at anytime. Rainfall is typically tropical in nature, which means heavy downpours for perhaps an hour, giving way to blue skies and sunshine.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Costa Rica Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide To Familiar Species - James Kavanagh (2001)

The Path Between The Seas - David McCullough (1999)

Empire Of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army... - Stephan Talty (2007)

Hell's Gorge - Matthew Parker (2008)

The Cloud Garden - Tom Hart Dyke and Paul Winder (2004)

Theodore Rex - Edmund Morris (2002)

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

YOU SHOULD BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:

  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals (such as waterproof Tevas)
  • Rash-vest or T-shirt to wear under a buoyancy aid during snorkelling
  • Socks & underwear
  • Trekking trousers
  • Shorts (useful for boat landings)
  • Baselayer shirts
  • Shirts / T-shirts / Tops
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Daypack 20-30 litres (with rain cover)
  • Dry bags
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (2 pint) x2 (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Insect repellent (DEET)
  • Small travel towel
  • Small padlock 
  • Basic First Aid Kit, including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE OPTIONAL:

  • Trekking poles
  • Mosquito net (in most establishments the windows have netting, however it is prudent to bring one as well)
  • Travel clothes
  • Flipflops for casual wear and evenings
  • Swimwear
  • Binoculars
  • Umbrella & poncho
  • Gaiters
  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera
  • Snorkel & Mask – these will be provided but you may have your own you wish to use
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

Galapagos Islands Cruise

7 Days
Situated over 600 miles from the mainland of South America, the remote archipelago of the Galapagos Islands needs little introduction. The Galapagos Islands are considered to the crown jewels of the natural world, achieving near mythological status following visits by Charles Darwin. It was on his second visit aboard HMS Beagle in 1835 that Darwin's scientific studies introduced the world to the theory of evolution. The islands teem with life, much of which seem totally unphased and perhaps curious of visitors. Of the thirteen major islands, on five have any form of human habitation. The environmental footprint is kept to an absolute minimum, allowing you, the visitor, a chance to explore the incredible biodiversity of these famous islands untouched by human development.Expect close encounters with blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, albatross, giant tortoises, seals, turtles and dinasaur-like lizards amongst many, many other examples.
Extension Code: GALP
Sharing Price from
US$5,105
Deposit Per Person from
US$2,400

Extension Itinerary

Arrive in Quito any time.

We take an early flight to San Cristobal Island, stopping off for refuelling at Guayaquil. In the afternoon, we board our boat, the Monserrat, and visit Isla Lobos, to be greeted by sea lions frolicking in the waves. We will explore this island on foot and perhaps by panga to view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. There will be an opportunity to snorkel in the waters of Isla Lobos too.

Meals

B L D

We visit Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island. Here we can observe sea lions, marine iguanas and seabirds. In the afternoon we visit the giant tortoise breeding area in the highlands. Later we set sail for Bahia Gardner, a sheltered cove off Espanola Island.

Meals

B L D

Today we visit the magnificent, white sandy beach of Gardner Bay, home to colonies of sea lions and birds. There will be a chance to snorkel the turquoise waters and spot large schools of tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish and bump-headed parrot fish. We may even be lucky enough to spot white-tipped reef sharks, napping on the bottom! We then visit Punta Suarez, one of the most wildlife-rich landing spots in the Galapagos. Here we can observe many nesting birds including the waved albatross.

Meals

B L D

Upon landing at Punta Cormorant and Floreana Island, we visit the amazing multi-coloured beaches. We observe flamingoes and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Penguins and marine iguanas can also be spotted on the water's edge. We then move on to Champion Islet where we have another chance to snorkel with sea lions and, if we're lucky, turtles and rays. Afterwards, we visit Post Office Bay where we learn all about its unique history. English whaling vessels placed a barrel here in the 18th centuary where it functioned as a rather unusual post office!

Meals

B L D

We disembark at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we can observe many species of tortoise and land iguanas at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre. We learn about the conservation work and scientific research that is undertaken on this remote archipelago. We than catch our flight back to the mainland, and Quito.

Meals

B

Depart anytime.

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • Return Internal flights from Quito to Baltra and associated airport transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Double or twin berth cabin on full board basis (according to itinerary)
  • Cruise on a Tourist Class boat (according to itinerary)
  • Galapagos guide
What's Not Included
  • Galapagos National Park entrance $100 per person ($200 from 1 Aug 2024) payable locally in cash

  • Transit control card $20 per person (must be paid locally in cash)

  • Tips of local staff

  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

Reviews

5 out of 5 from 1 review

An exciting wildlife experience in fantastic scenery ★★★★★

The trip certainly exceeded expectations. It is a full itinerary but the travel orgainsation was well managed it went like clockwork, which really added to the enjoyment. We saw so much wildlife on the tours through the national parks either on foot or by boat. On the water in the boats we saw crocodiles (relatively small thank goodness), monkeys, all manner of birds (Osprey, hawks, vultures, herons, toucans, to name just a small selection), as well as hump back whales and dolphins, which swan u nder the boat. There were a couple of snorkeling trips, which again provided a good chance to see a huge variety of species including rays and a nurse shark. The land based walks took us through both jungle and rain forest with such fantastic plants and trees, plus a few thing that you would need to keep your hands away from! There is a range of accommodation which is just right for the trip - small hotels / lodges / bungalows - with everything you needed. Our guide Gabriel was an absolute star. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the animals, birds and plants and oozed enthusiasm for them all. He was able to spot things high up in the trees that we would have all missed. As such he was able to pick out so many creatures and provide a good explanation about each of them. For the meals out, he always had a good recommendation and took us to some great local restaurants serving local foods. Overall it was a very interesting tour with the contrast between the wildlife and then the Panama Canal and Panama City at the end. We certainly enjoyed the zip lines through the rain forest and the photos taken by the zip line staff certainly showed a range of expressions on people's faces!
By Ian from Leeds | 31 August 2022

Traveller Reviews
5 out of 5 from 1 review

An exciting wildlife experience in fantastic scenery
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The trip certainly exceeded expectations. It is a full itinerary but the travel orgainsation was well managed it went like clockwork, which really added to the enjoyment. We saw so much wildlife on the tours through the national parks either on foot or by boat. On the water in the boats we saw crocodiles (relatively small thank goodness), monkeys, all manner of birds (Osprey, hawks, vultures, herons, toucans, to name just a small selection), as well as hump back whales and dolphins, which swan u nder the boat. There were a couple of snorkeling trips, which again provided a good chance to see a huge variety of species including rays and a nurse shark. The land based walks took us through both jungle and rain forest with such fantastic plants and trees, plus a few thing that you would need to keep your hands away from! There is a range of accommodation which is just right for the trip - small hotels / lodges / bungalows - with everything you needed. Our guide Gabriel was an absolute star. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the animals, birds and plants and oozed enthusiasm for them all. He was able to spot things high up in the trees that we would have all missed. As such he was able to pick out so many creatures and provide a good explanation about each of them. For the meals out, he always had a good recommendation and took us to some great local restaurants serving local foods. Overall it was a very interesting tour with the contrast between the wildlife and then the Panama Canal and Panama City at the end. We certainly enjoyed the zip lines through the rain forest and the photos taken by the zip line staff certainly showed a range of expressions on people's faces!
By Ian from Leeds | 31 August 2022

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

Status

More Information

  • Wild Costa Rica and Panama
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCP /01/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 10 Aug and ends on Fri 23 Aug
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,030
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Wild Costa Rica and Panama
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: WCP /03/24/
  • This trip begins on Sat 12 Oct and ends on Fri 25 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$550
  • Single Supplement Price: US$1,030
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in San Jose, Costa Rica and ending in Panama City, Panama. For clients making their own flight arrangements, San Jose Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' for further details. This tour finishes in Panama City.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the departure is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE

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