Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

8 days
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3.5/5 Great
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Small Ship Cruise
Immerse yourself in the natural wonders along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama on a voyage aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. Venture into the rain forests of Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks; search for monkeys, frogs, sloths, and brightly colored birds; or take an optional horseback ride on pristine beaches. Cap off your voyage wi...
From$6,190
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Overview

Trip type
Small Ship Cruise
Lodging level
Luxury - 5 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Flexible schedule

Highlights

    • Discover hidden pools and waterfalls deep within the jungles of the Osa Peninsula.
    • Explore the tiny islands of the Gulf of Panama and snorkel off Isla de Coiba.
    • Join biologists on a hike through the protected forests of Barro Colorado Island.
    • Examine the fascinating lock system that made the Panama Canal one of the greatest engineering achievements of its era.

What's this trip about?

    Immerse yourself in the natural wonders along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama on a voyage aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion. Venture into the rain forests of Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Parks; search for monkeys, frogs, sloths, and brightly colored birds; or take an optional horseback ride on pristine beaches. Cap off your voyage with a crossing of the legendary Panama Canal.

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Details

Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeStandard Group - 25 + people
Age rangeNo age restrictions
Flights and transportAll internal ground transport included
Start CitySan Jose
End CityPanama

Travel Themes

  • 50 plus
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Small Ship Cruise

Destinations

  • Central America
  • Costa Rica

Attractions

  • Coiba National Park
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Manuel Antonio National Park

Activities

  • Adventure & Adrenaline
  • Bird watching
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding & Equestrian
  • Kayaking
  • Nature
  • Snorkeling
  • Wildlife viewing

Trip includes

    • Accommodations
    • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
    • Educational materials
    • Pre- departure information
    • Entrance fees, excursions, and sightseeing noted as included in the itinerary
    • Ground transportation during the expedition
    • Transfers
    • Services of guides and any other staff
    • Taxes, baggage handling, and service charges.

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Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1: U.S./San José, Costa Rica/Herradura

Meals: Dinner

Upon arrival in San José, transfer to Herradura and embark the National Geographic Sea Lion.

Day 2: Manuel Antonio National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning in Manuel Antonio National Park, where thick forests fringe spectacular white-sand beaches. Venture into this lush wilderness, watching for three-toed sloths lazing among the branches as well as monkeys and vividly colored birds. This afternoon, trace the park's beautiful coastline and stop to take a refreshing swim or a hike.

Day 3: Osa Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Anchor off the Osa Peninsula, unreachable by road, 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...

Day 4: Golfo Dulce

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce, a protected gulf along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica. Visit the Casa Orquídeas, a tropical paradise of ornamental palms, bromeliads, heliconias, orchids, and flowering gingers closed ...

Day 5: Coiba National Park, Panama

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We'll make our first stop in Panama this morning at the remote Isla de 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 on...

Day 6: Gulf of Panama Islets/Panama Canal Transit

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our nimble motorized landing crafts allow us to navigate the tiny islets of the Gulf of Panama today, stopping to explore hidden coves and beaches. Here, we might spot magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans, neotropic cormoran...

Day 7: Gatún Lake/Panama Canal Transit

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Board a expedition landing craft this morning to visit Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatún Lake by special arrangement. Scientists have worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island since 1946...

Day 8: Colón/Panama City/U.S.

Meals: Breakfast

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

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Dates & Availability

Price From $6,190
Price per day$774
Last Updated: 5/15/2023

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with National Geographic Expeditions.

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.

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National Geographic Expeditions

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National Geographic Expeditions span the globe and are designed to reflect our travelers' broad spectrum of interests, from small-ship expeditions and classic train journeys to photography workshops and family adventures. When you travel with us, you'll enjoy boundless opportunities to be surrounded by natural wonders and exotic wildlife, to explore celebrated archaeological sites, to learn about different cultures and share in local traditions. A National Geographic expert or expert team accompanies each expedition, sharing their knowledge and passion for a region and making each experience enriching and unforgettable.

An Extraordinary Legacy of Exploration

National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the National Geographic Society, was founded on the same belief in the importance of exploration that distinguishes the Society's 125-year history. Launched in 1999, National Geographic Expeditions now operates hundreds of trips each year, spanning all seven continents and more than 60 destinations.

Since its founding in 1888, the Society has developed incredible resources—from its network of experts, contacts, and Society-sponsored researchers all over the globe, to the top-tier editorial staff of National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, and the books, maps, and film and television divisions. National Geographic Expeditions taps these resources to create unique and authentic expeditions to fascinating parts of the world.

As part of the National Geographic Travel group, National Geographic Expeditions aims to fulfill the Society's mission to inspire people to care about the planet by providing meaningful opportunities to explore it. Proceeds from all travel programs support the Society’s efforts to increase global understanding through exploration, education and scientific research.

National Geographic Adventures

National Geographic Adventures are unique, active itineraries for intrepid travelers that feature spectacular places, cultural interaction, and physical challenge: the perfect mix for an unforgettable adventure. Trek through some of the world's most legendary mountain ranges and veer far off the beaten path, discovering wild landscapes by foot, kayak, horseback, or camel. Each adventure has a designated activity level—from Easy to Ultimate Challenge, and you'll have the option to take it easy or push your limits on a harder hike throughout most trips. Your group will never be larger than 16 travelers, and you'll explore in the company of top guides, enjoying adventures that are both physically active and culturally rewarding.

National Geographic Student Expeditions

National Geographic Student Expeditions offer active summer travel experiences for high school students in some of the world's most amazing places. With the guidance of dynamic trip leaders and top National Geographic experts, students explore their interests, build new skills, and experience new landscapes and cultures firsthand. Each type of program—expedition, field workshop, community service trip, and photo workshop—is designed to educate and inspire, combining adventure, discovery, and cultural immersion. Photo workshops are led by a National Geographic photographer and include instruction and daily photo shoots. Students in our community service programs live in a village and work with community members on a variety of service projects. On each expedition and field workshop, students get involved in a unique, hands-on project that allows them to delve deeper into a specific topic—such as photography, wildlife and conservation, filmmaking, or archaeology—and further engage with the places they visit.

National Geographic Difference

Travel that’s tailored to your interests: Whether you're a budding photographer, a natural history enthusiast, a parent looking for a great family trip, or a traveler seeking an active adventure, you'll find an array of opportunities that fit your passions and interests.

The beauty of happenstance: Some of the best moments in travel occur when you least expect them. So that you can savor these instances and enjoy each place in a way that’s meaningful to you, we offer options and build free time into our itineraries wherever we can.

Travel in good company: Lasting friendships often begin on National Geographic Expeditions. Your traveling companions are Society members like you: active, engaged, and curious about the world.

Explore the world in comfort and style: Whether you're relaxing in the arcaded courtyard of a 15th-century monastery in Peru or speeding through Siberia on a private luxury train, our accommodations are carefully selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character.

We'll take care of the details: Leave the legwork to us. We take care of the logistics and details so you can relax, enjoy, and immerse yourself in the places you are exploring.

Exceptional resources at your fingertips: To help prepare for your trip, we’ll send you detailed information specific to your trip, including National Geographic books, articles, or maps relating to your destination. You’ll also receive a 20-percent discount on your next purchase* from our gift catalog or online store—shopng.com—as well as a free one-year subscription to a National Geographic magazine of your choice.

We’ve explored the world for 125 years. Now, let us take you with us!

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Logistics

What's excluded

    • International airfare
    • Air transportation and related fees (except as indicated in the itinerary)
    • Activities noted as optional in the itinerary
    • Gratuities (tipping guidelines vary by destination and will be provided in pre-trip materials)
    • Passport and visa expenses
    • Medical expenses and immunizations
    • Baggage/accident/cancellation insurance
    • Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone calls, and alcoholic beverages
    • The “Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner” notations apply to the period during the National Geographic Private Expedition portion of the itinerary only and do not include any meals on flights to/from the Private Expedition.
Ship & cabin information
National Geographic Sea Lion
Accommodating just 62 guests in 31 outside cabins, the National Geographic Sea Lion is large enough to operate in remote environments in comfort, yet small enough to enter ports and inlets inaccessible to bigger ships. The ship carries sea kayaks and a fleet of Zodiacs, providing easy access to coastlines and other places of interest. All cabins have windows and are attractively and comfortably furnished with lower berths, private bathrooms, reading lights, and individual climate control. The Sea Lion is authorized to operate in the Tongass National Forest under a Forest Service Special Use Permit.
Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance alongside your travel package to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances such as medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other contingencies. It offers you peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for unexpected events that may occur before or during your journey
Visa requirements
Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin and your country of destination. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the relevant requirements. For a handy tool that can help you quickly find the requirements, please visit this link .
Meals Included

7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches and 7 Dinners

Age Requirements
No age restrictions
Trip ID
nation-ostricnat

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