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Costa Rica & the Panama Canal

Rates & Dates:

Trip Length: 8 Days/ 7 Nights

Prices from: $6,190 pp/do*

Single Price: $9,290 pp

2016 Dates: Nov 26; Dec 3, 17, 24, 31

2017 Dates: Jan 7, 14, 21, 28; Feb 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11; Dec 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

Ships: National Geographic Quest
MV Sea Bird & Sea Lion

Notes: Cruise also operates in reverse.
*Per Person/Double Occupancy. Special Single Rates apply where listed.

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Or call us: 1-800-578-1479

Inspiring, fun & insightful
Joining an expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal is a singular experience of diverse nature and jungle wildlife coupled with an in-depth crossing of the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering. A knowledgeable, engaging staff caters to your daily interests and provides insight, all while traveling in comfort. The 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion enables you to:

  • Venture into remote wilderness: hike among monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds, and explore far from any inhabited places
  • Transit the Panama Canal—a historical marvel of engineering
  • Kayak cool azure waters where the rain forest meets the sea
  • Explore idyllic islands; snorkel over a vibrant coral reef and take an expedition landing craft cruise through mangroves.

Costa Rica and Panama Canal Itinerary Map

Escape into wildness
The perfect winter escape. Dense, lush rain forest. Pristine deserted beaches. Monkeys galore. Coatimundis and dozing sloths, plus toucans, macaws, and hummingbirds. Walk deep into the rain forest; the only sounds are the birds and monkeys in the trees and your own footfalls. And slowly, everyday life dissipates as revitalization takes over. Each day reveals distinct facets of the region: forest trails for hiking, a cool swim in a waterfall pool, or a coral reef to snorkel. Opportunities abound to see creatures in their natural environs—both on land and in the sea.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Exhilarating adventures daily
You’ll walk the rain forest, kayak through mangroves, search for wildlife by expedition landing craft, and transit the Panama Canal—a modern wonder of the world. Snorkel at Isla Coiba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the best reefs in the Eastern Pacific. Our expert naturalists and photo instructors are with you every step of the way, always giving you choices and expanding your knowledge. And aboard, you can always savor panoramic views from the National Geographic Sea Lion.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: U.S./Panama City, Panama/Colón/Embark Ship

Depart U.S. late morning via American Airlines on a non-stop flight to Panama City. On arrival, drive to Colón to board National Geographic Sea Lion and set sail for the first part of our Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatún Lake for the night. (D)

DAY 2: Gatún Lake/Panama Canal Transit

Panama CanalBoard an 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, researching the 120 mammals and diverse tree species that can be found here. It is also the site of a pioneering project supported by National Geographic that tracks tagged animals using automated radio signals and wireless technology. Join local guides for a walk through the forests that so challenged the builders of the canal. This evening, continue through the complex lock system of the canal. (B,L,D)

DAY 3: Gulf of Panama Islets

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 cormorants, and brown boobies. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Isla Coiba National Park

Isla Coiba is one of Panama’s most remote national parks, where you may hike the tropical, moist forest trails. The area is also perfect for swimming and snorkeling amid tropical fish. Our staff will assist both novice and expert snorkelers alike. For those preferring a drier clime, our naturalists take underwater footage, which animates our evening gathering in the lounge. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Today we make our first landfall in Costa Rica. At Casa Orquídeas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, see a profusion of orchids; and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking, expedition landing craft cruises or swimming. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Osa Peninsula

The National Geographic Sea Lion anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula and the environs of Corcovado National Park. Our exact landing spot for the day will depend on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride or join a expedition landing craft cruise. Trek through the rain forest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider and squirrel! (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Manuel Antonio National Park

The abundant wildlife here is most active in the early morning, so we are sure to get an early start. Lethargic three-toed sloths can be easy to spot, but it often takes the expert eye of a naturalist to point out monkeys or vividly colored birds as they zip through the forest. In the afternoon, explore Costa Rica’s beautiful coast where we’ll find a great spot for a final hike or swim. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Herradura/Disembark/San José/U.S.
Disembark National Geographic Sea Lion this morning in Herradura and drive to the airport for flights home, or on to other adventures. The U.S. bound flight departs in late morning, arriving in the late afternoon. (B)

 

Photo Credit: Lindblad Expeditions