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Natural Wonders of Costa RicaCosta Rica and the Panama Canal, Costa Rica

A tangled jungle of eco-wonderland swathed in palm-fringed beaches and enchanting cloud forests - Costa Rica is perfect for those with an appreciation for the natural world.

Hotel Details

  • Natural Wonders of Costa Rica
    Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Costa Rica

Escorted Tour
VIP door to airport transfers
Free connecting flights to London

Departs From Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen. Depart between 4th October 2021 and 8th November 2021 for 15 Days . Prices From £3,249 per person

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A tangled jungle of eco-wonderland swathed in palm-fringed beaches and enchanting cloud forests - Costa Rica is perfect for those with an appreciation for the natural world. This tour combines unforgettable wildlife-watching opportunities, typical coffee culture in San Jose, the colonial splendour of Panama City and the astonishing engineering marvel of the Panama Canal. This magical land certainly dances to the beat of its own drum - but you’ll pick up the rhythm in no time.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

12 nights in hotels and 2 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)

International and regional flights as detailed. Prices are based on return flights with Avianca from London Heathrow via Bogota. Supplements may apply from other airports.

19 meals: 12 breakfasts (days 3-14) 5 lunches (days 4-7 and 13) 2 dinners (days 4-5)

VIP door-to-door travel service

Services of a tour manager

Travel in destination by coach

Porterage

10 included excursions & visits

Tours of San Jose and Panama City

Visits to Braulio Carrillo National Park; Tortuguero National Park; Arenal Volcano; Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge; Monteverde Butterly Gardens and Cloud Forest private reserve

Tortuguero Canals wildlife cruise

Stop at Sarchi

Partial transit of the Panama Canal

ITINERARY

Day 1 UK - In flight

VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to San Jose.

Day 2 San Jose

On arrival your coach will transfer you to the Park Inn by Radisson (4-star), where you’ll stay for two nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 3 San Jose

Following breakfast, which is included throughout your holiday, you will take a tour of this cosmopolitan capital city. Travelling through both business and residential areas of the city you’ll experience the beautiful diversity of Costa Rican architecture, which include many European influences. During the tour you’ll visit the Bellavista fortress, now home to the fascinating National Museum, which showcases many artefacts from Costa Rica’s history and culture. Later you’ll take a brief tour of the exquisite National Theatre, modelled after the Paris Opera House.

Day 4 San Jose - Tortuguero

You begin your journey this morning by driving through the stunning Braulio Carrillo National Park with its dramatic landscape of cloud-enshrouded primary tropical rainforest and volcanic mountains. You’ll pass through banana plantations before travelling by boat along the sinuous waterways of the Tortuguero Canals, where you are captivated by the abundance of exotic flora and fauna. Your hotel for the next two nights is the Laguna Lodge (3-star), an eco-lodge in an area of amazing rivers, lakes, wetlands and lush, exotic jungle. In the afternoon, you’ll head out to explore Tortuguero village and visit the Turtle Preservation Centre.

Day 5 Tortuguero National Park

After breakfast, you’ll explore the breathtaking paradise of the Tortuguero Canals. With its unique system of natural and man-made waterways this is a haven for a wide variety of birds, monkeys, sloths and toucans along with a dazzling array of orchids. After lunch the rest of the day is free for relaxation or exploration, with the option of a guided walk.

Day 6 Tortuguero - Arenal

This morning you’ll leave your lodge by boat, before continuing by coach through the plains of the San Carlos region, the heart of Costa Rica, thriving with agricultural and livestock smallholdings, to Arenal and its famous volcano. You’ll stay for two nights at the Volcano Lodge (3-star) or The Tilajari Resort Hotel (4-star).

Day 7 Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge

View local communities as you travel to the village of Los Chiles on your full-day tour with lunch included. Here your boat takes you on a floating safari through tropical rainforest and pastures. The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is considered to be one of the richest in biological diversity in Costa Rica, attracting a great variety of resident and migratory birds plus three different species of monkey and much more.

Day 8 Arenal - Monteverde - Cloud Forest

This morning you’ll depart Arenal for Monteverde, located along the continental divide at 5,000 feet above sea level. You’ll experience the Butterfly Gardens, to observe and learn about these beautiful winged insects. Then venture through the Cloud Forest private reserve to witness the wide array of flora and fauna. This is one of the few places you may be able to glimpse a Quetzal. Your base for the next two nights is the Hotel Montana Monteverde (3-star) or Monteverde Country Lodge (3-star).

Day 9 Monteverde

Today is free to relax and explore this tropical haven or take an optional excursion for an adventure into the cloud forest canopy. A Sky Walk of hanging bridges, trails and platforms above the forest floor, taking you to all the different layers of the forest for a great opportunity to see how the forest works.

Day 10 Monteverde - San Jose

Leaving the magnificent cloud forest behind, you’ll travel back to San Jose via the picturesque town of Sarchi, famous for its elaborately painted oxcarts. You’ll stay overnight at the Radisson Hotel (4-star).

Day 11 San Jose - Panama City

You’ll travel to the airport this morning for your flight (which may be indirect) to Panama and Panama City. On arrival you’ll check in at the Global Panama Hotel (4-star), where you’ll stay for three nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 12 Panama City

This morning you’ll take a tour of this fascinating city, first established in 1519. Your first stop is at the UNESCO World Heritage listed Panama Viejo Historic Monument Complex, where the remains of the oldest European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas are preserved. You’ll continue to the Historic District, with some delightful colonial architecture. You’ll take a walking tour to view the Palace of the President and the Cathedral. Your final stop on the tour is at the Causeway, which provides wonderful views of the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal.

Day 13 Panama Canal

It was the Spanish who first explored the idea of a canal in 1534; but at that time the task seemed impossible and it was over 300 years later before the efforts of the French commenced, brimming with confidence from the previous completion of the Suez Canal. Unfortunately, a combination of mismanagement and tropical disease forced the company into financial ruin, with the project far from completion and the deaths of thousands of men. This task was taken up by the American Government in 1904; and over the course of ten years the canal was finally completed and stands today as both an engineering and economic marvel, offering travellers a unique and highly-sought-after experience, cruising through the huge system of locks. Your day begins as you board your small but comfortable vessel for your partial navigation along the Panama Canal. Massive ocean-going vessels will share the journey with us today and you will have the opportunity to view them up close as you progress through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel lock systems, which hold back the vast Gatun Lake, and as you pass through the Gaillard Cut, one of the most spectacular parts of the entire length of the canal. The canal is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest and you will be able to see the native wildlife as you cruise by. Upon reaching Gatun Lake your vehicle takes you back to Panama City by road. Lunch is included on this truly memorable day.

Day 14 Panama City - In flight

Today you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Day 15 UK

Upon arrival, your vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.

Important information about your destination

Please note: • This tour includes areas of rough terrain and clients are advised that a significant amount of walking is involved.

Natural Wonders of Costa Rica is located in Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, Costa Rica. Accommodation rating is the operators own rating and may not be the official rating. Hotel details correct at 04/04/2020

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