Costa Rica & Panama Discovery

12 days
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Small Group Tour
Get under the surface of Costa Rica and Panama with this 12-day Caribbean adventure. See it all, from jungles and beaches to local villages. From San Jose to Panama City, this laidback discovery will introduce you to some of the most beautiful spots in two Central American cultures, and then it’ll give you the freedom to explore however you want, at your own ...
23%
$1,834
From$1,413
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Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Put your chef’s hat on and help prepare a traditional Caribbean dinner with a local family in their home in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
    • Swim in clear ocean waters, stop in at shacks serving cold cerveza and kick back on sandy shores covered in starfish in the Bocas del Toro, where you spend three nights on Isla Colon.
    • Head to the coffee plantations, waterfalls and caldera hot springs of Boquete – a highland town so beautiful you’ll hardly miss the beach at all!
    • Go on a jungle walk at night with your expert trip leader in the rainforest district of Sarapiqui – look out for various snakes, sloths, and frogs.
    • Get to know Panama City during a guided stroll along the Cinta Costera, right to the city’s salty belly – the Mercado de Mariscos (seafood market).
    • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

What's this trip about?

    Get under the surface of Costa Rica and Panama with this 12-day Caribbean adventure. See it all, from jungles and beaches to local villages. From San Jose to Panama City, this laidback discovery will introduce you to some of the most beautiful spots in two Central American cultures, and then it’ll give you the freedom to explore however you want, at your own pace. You can't go wrong with your local leader to steer you in the right direction (to the best bars and surf breaks), plus a small group of adventurers to enjoy them with. Make a traditional dinner in a local’s home, look out for wildlife on a night jungle walk and soak in the local hotspots in areas seldom travelled.

Details

Itinerary focusOff the Beaten Path
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 16 people
Age range15 years and up
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CitySan Jose
End CityPanama City

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • High Adventure
  • Local Immersion & Homestays

Destinations

  • Central America
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama

Attractions

  • Boquete
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Colon
  • Panama City

Trip includes

    • Sarapiqui – Jungle Walk
    • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Leader-led orientation walk
    • Puerto Viejo - Hands-on dinner in local home
    • Boquete - Leader-led orientation walk
    • Leader - led Informal Spanish Lesson
    • Panama City - Leader-led walk in Casco Viejo
    • Panama City - Leader-led walk along part of the Cinta Costera (Causeway) including a visit to the Fish Market

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 San Jose

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Costa Rica. Your adventure begins in San Jose with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight at your hotel. As this trip spends very little time here, it’s recommended that you arrive a day or two early and see the sights. If you do, maybe take an Urba...

Day 2 Sarapiqui

This morning, hop on a public bus and make your way to Sarapiqui – a town known for its rich biodiversity and lush rainforest. When you arrive, enjoy some free time here to go birdwatching, spot some local wildlife or hike to one of the nearby waterfalls. Then head ou...

Day 3 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Today, take a private transfer to Puerto Viejo. When you arrive, get to know this laid-back jungle town during an orientation walk with your local leader, then enjoy the rest of the day to explore at your leisure. A small and coastal city, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ha...

Day 4 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Today is free, so you can ease into the vibes of the Caribbean coast. You might like to take your time exploring Cahuita National Park, which is easily accessible from Puerto Viejo and home to sloths, monkeys, raccoons, snakes and a great variety of birds. If the wave...

Day 5 Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon

Today, take a local bus to the border, then walk across an old railway bridge into Panama. Continue by taxi or collective minivan to Almirante, where you'll take a short boat ride to Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro archipelago – rapidly becoming a Caribbean favourite...

Day 6 Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon

Today is the first of two free days to explore this tropical archipelago. Several beaches are within reach of town, between 8 and 14 km from your hotel. With azure waters, pristine coral reefs and a rollicking nightlife, it’s easy to see why these islands are a favour...

Day 7 Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon

Enjoy another free day in the Caribbean sun. Maybe take the opportunity to do some surfing or snorkelling, rent a bike and explore the main island, or simply soak in the chilled-out vibe while enjoying a cold one on the beach.

Day 8 Boquete

Travel by boat and local bus to Boquete – this is a bit of a lengthy journey, so be sure to have a book, podcast or daydream to keep you occupied. Boquete is a picturesque town located in the highlands of Panama, surrounded by mountains, crystal-clear creeks and river...

Day 9 Boquete

There are plenty of ways to experience Boquete today, so be sure to chat to your leader and the hotel front desk to get the best insider tips. You could discover the secret waterfalls only locals know about on a walking tour in the jungle. Or maybe you’d prefer to soa...

Day 10 Panama City

Trade in the beach for the city and travel to Panama City – Central America's glitziest capital. This is another long drive, so grab a window seat if you can. Along the way, you’ll visit Penonome – a small town well-known for its artisans specialising in the Sombrero ...

Day 11 Panama City

Today, head to the city’s gorgeous waterfront promenade – the Cinta Costera (causeway) – for a walk with your leader. Stop at the nearby Fish Market and maybe grab some fresh ceviche. This afternoon is yours to explore, so if you like, maybe visit the engineering marv...

Day 12 Panama City

With no planned activities today, you can depart at any time. If you would like to spend some more time in Panama City, just speak to your booking agent.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $1,413
Price per day$118
Last Updated: 4/9/2024
Start Date
Finish Date
Base Price
Availability
17 Apr 2024
28 Apr 2024
$1,510
3 spots left
08 May 2024
19 May 2024
$1,413
7 spots left
22 May 2024
02 Jun 2024
$1,570
4 spots left
05 Jun 2024
16 Jun 2024
$1,455
9 spots left
26 Jun 2024
07 Jul 2024
$1,455
9 spots left
06 Jul 2024
17 Jul 2024
$1,425
10 spots left
17 Jul 2024
28 Jul 2024
$1,485
9 spots left
31 Jul 2024
11 Aug 2024
$1,570
3 spots left
14 Aug 2024
25 Aug 2024
$1,425
12 spots left
04 Sep 2024
15 Sep 2024
$1,480
10 spots left

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Intrepid Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.5/5  Excellent
Excellent
3,237
Great
659
Average
144
Disappointing
80
Terrible
194
L

Lisa

Sep 2015

Written on

I had a great time on the

I had a great time on the trip. I got to see alot of Panama and our guide was fantastic! However, I was one of 4 people not travelling as a couple. I also didn't rea...

j

jocelyn

Sep 2015

Written on

Excellent organisation of all activities with a

Excellent organisation of all activities with a good balance of travel and free time.

S

Sophie

Sep 2015

Written on

I would have given a higher score

I would have given a higher score but the guide was not an asset to the trip.

A

Ajay

Sep 2015

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I have travelled using Intrepid for a

I have travelled using Intrepid for a while now and whils...

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Nov 2023

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Feb 2024

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Do not book a tour with Intrepid. Their “policy” on deposits is unreasonable, inflexible and downright thieving. I booked a tour in India with them over seven month...

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Tour Operator

Intrepid Travel

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The Intrepid Travel Experience

If you’re looking for adventure, you’ve come to the right place. For the past 25 years, we’ve been taking small groups of travelers on unforgettable trips around the world. What makes them unforgettable? Take a look for yourself and discover the Intrepid experience.

Our travelers have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original and Comfort. Each has a different level of inclusions and accommodation, but all have unforgettable real life experiences as part of the package. Travellers can also choose themed trips, such as Family, Sailing or Food, to suit their interests.

Our group size has an average of just ten travellers, which allows us to get off the beaten track, use local accommodation and transport, and really get to know the culture. It also ensures we are contributing to the local economy; by choosing local suppliers we were able to keep AUD 60 million in local economies in 2012. We’re also working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and were the first in our sector to introduce carbon offset trips. This, along with our many corporate sustainability activities, has meant we’re one of the travel industry’s leaders in responsible travel.

Why Intrepid?

  •   Small groups - average of 10 people per trip
  •   Sustainability - pioneers for the industry
  •   Local leaders - authentic perspectives
  •   Local transport - get close and personal
  •   Local accommodation - experience real living
  •   Intrepid travelers - like-minded companions 

History

Intrepid Travel has come a long way since its beginnings in 1989. From two university friends, a typewriter and a kitchen desk, it is now a proud member of The Intrepid Group, taking over 100,000 travelers every year.

Intrepid Travel is part of The Intrepid Group of companies, alongside leading small group adventure companies Peregrine, Urban Adventures and PEAK DMC.

Despite growing into a global business with over 1,000 staff based all over the world and over 800 different trips across every continent, we’ve remained devoted to the same grassroots values and responsible travel philosophies that we had at the very beginning.

 

Values

On every trip we operate and in every interaction we have with a client, supplier or local, we live our core values everyday:

  • Integrity – Doing the right thing
  • Responsible – Think global, act local
  • Growth – Stakeholders in our own success
  • Innovation – Thriving on new ideas and embracing change
  • Fun – It’s engrained into who we are and what we do
  • Passion – We are inspired by the work we do and the trips we offer

 

Why we love this operator
They’re very committed to sustainable and responsible tourism and contribute to important initiatives like climate action.
What they’re known for
Small group tours for active and adventurous travelers at a range of different price points and service levels.

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Logistics

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights),Lodge (1 night),

Transportation & Flights

Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi,Shared boat,

Transportation & flights

Private vehicle,Public bus,Taxi,Shared boat
Guides
All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leader or local representative. The aim of the group leader or local representative is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced group leader or local representative however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your group leader or local representative is new to a particular region or training other group leader or local representative. Your group leader or local representative will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your group leader or local representative can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative. If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services
Visa requirements
PASSPORT You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date. We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends. VISAS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:  www.intrepidtravel.com/visa-entry-requirements If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document.  COSTA RICA VISA Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Some nationalities will require a visa but be aware that you cannot get it at the border. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for the most up to date information. To enter the country visitors are required to have a return or onward travel ticket. Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Costa Rica. Panama - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Some Nationalities are required to purchase a Tourist Card upon arrival. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Panama for the most up to date information. To enter the country visitors are required to have the equivalent of USD500 or a credit card, as well as a return or onward travel ticket. Visitors generally get a 90-day stamp in their passport upon entering Panama. IF TRAVELLING VIA USA TO YOUR DESTINATION: Many countries now operate under a visa waiver program, meaning a visa isn't required, however you still need to obtain an authorisation which confirms that you have been approved to travel. This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html All travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to their flight from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov All ESTA registration applications or renewals require a US$21 fee to paid by card. Apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours (we recommend 1 week prior to travel) before departing for the USA. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. If there are any discrepancies between the name on your ESTA, your passport, your tickets or even your frequent flyer membership, you may be detained at Immigration and subject to a secondary inspection which could take a few hours. If you have recently changed your name, please check that your details have been updated everywhere. If you are from a country eligible for the visa waiver program but are a dual citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, or if you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 01 March 2011, you will not longer be eligible for the visa waiver program and will instead need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State website for more information: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html There have been issues reported about transitting through the USA to/from Cuba under ESTA program, including being denied boarding. Please check your government travel advisories, with embassy and your airline directly to be clear on the requirements if you plan transit through USA under ESTA program. Please note that in order to enter Costa Rica travellers must show proof of intent to exit the country upon arrival. Since this trip exits Costa Rica via a land border crossing as part of your itinerary, Intrepid can prepare and send you an Intent to Exit Letter with your trip's details. Please speak to your booking agent to request this letter.
Health & Safety
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your group leader or local representative will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your group leader or local representative will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader or local representative has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only. LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state. FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
Age Requirements
15 years and up
Additional Information
Finish point Grand International Hotel Panama City Via Argentina y Jose Marti, 17, PANAMA CITY, 587, Panamá Panama City PANAMA Phone: +507 3960100
Trip ID
intrepid-QVRC

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