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Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

At a glance

Duration: 8 Days, 7 Nights

Coverage: Colon, Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica

From: $5,990

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.

Highlights

  • 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.

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.

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.

Travel with an exceptional team

Explore with the largest, most knowledgeable expedition team in the region. With one naturalist for every 12 guests, you’re ensured more access and varied points of view. With no assigned groups, you are free to experience the different personalities and specialties of our staff. They know these trails and coastlines well, adding insight, depth, and clarity to each landing. Our naturalists are adept at spotting wildlife and our photo instructors will help you with camera settings in the rain forest and aboard ship. Their enthusiasm for the region and its biodiversity is contagious.

Day-to-Day 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 Quest and set sail for the first part of our Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatún Lake for the night. (D)

Day 2 — Barro Colorado Nature Monument/Gatún Lake/Panama Canal Transit

Board 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 Nature Monument since 1923, 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, snorkeling amid tropical fish and stand up paddle boarding. 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 a unique opportunity to see a profusion of orchids; and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, zodiacs cruises and swimming. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Osa Peninsula

The National Geographic Quest 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 try horseback riding or swim in waterfall pools after a hike. Trek through the rain forest for a chance to see four species of monkeys in one day: howler, spider, capuchin 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, three-toes sloths, 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 — Puerto Caldera /Disembark/San José/U.S.

Disembark National Geographic Quest this morning in Puerto Caldera 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 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

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Ships

National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest

Lindblad's newest ship is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built expedition vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves, and fast-moving channels where wildlife congregate while sailing with the luxury of supreme comfort. Spacious cabins, open decks for wildlife viewing, and specialty tools for exploration make it the ideal platform for sailing in the remote areas of Costa Rica. View ship details...

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