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Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Cruise Highlights:

  • Venture into remote wilderness: hike among monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds, and explore far from any inhabited places
  • 2-Day transit the Panama Canal
  • Kayak cool azure waters
  • Explore idyllic islands; snorkel over a vibrant coral reef and Zodiac cruise through mangroves.

At a glance

Duration: 8 Days, 7 Nights

Coverage: Colon, Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica

From: $6,390

Season: January - March, November - December

Activities: Wildlife

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428

Lindblad Expeditions, in partnership with National Geographic

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 while aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion.

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.

You’ll walk the rain forest, kayak through mangroves, search for wildlife by Zodiac, 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.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

DAY 1 — U.S./Panama City, Panama/Colon/ Embark Ship

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

DAY 2 — Barro Colorado/Panama Canal Transit

In the morning, we’ll board Zodiacs for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatun Lake. This island has been the primary Smithsonian center for tropical rain forest study since 1923, and we are very proud to have special permission to visit the facilities at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Meet some of the scientists and learn about their work before we reboard to continue our crossing. Often we have the opportunity to cross part of the Canal during the day, and another when it is dramatically lit at night. (B,L,D)

DAY 3 — Gulf of Panama Islets

Explore a cluster of islands in the Gulf of Panama via Zodiac or kayak. It’s a wonderful introduction to the region’s varied birdlife. Observe large numbers of roosting and nesting seabirds: magnificent frigate birds, brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies of Galápagos fame. (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 Orquideas, 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 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 kayak. 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 Jose/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)

Dates & Rates

Dates Ships 1 2 3 4 5 Single 1 Single 2
Dec 3, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Dec 10, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Dec 17, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Dec 24, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Dec 31, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Jan 7, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Jan 14, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Jan 21, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Jan 28, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Feb 4, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Feb 11, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Feb 18, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Feb 25, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Mar 4, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Mar 11, 2017 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,390 $7,290 $8,290 ---- ---- $9,490 $11,090
Dec 2, 2017 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Dec 9, 2017 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Dec 16, 2017 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Dec 23, 2017 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Jan 6, 2018 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Jan 13, 2018 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Jan 20, 2018 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Jan 27, 2018 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890
Mar 19, 2018 National Geographic Quest $5,990 $6,590 $6,990 $7,790 $8,690 $8,990 $9,890

Map

Monteverde + Costa Rica And Panama

Ships

National Geographic Sea Lion

National Geographic EndeavourNational Geographic Sea Lion can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to its small size, yet each comfortably accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. The feeling, we’re told, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours. View ship details...

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