Jetty Pier of an beautiful Island, Caribbean

Discover Costa Rica & Panama

15 days
from
£3,399
View Trips
Loading...
Leisurely
Learn more
Trip code: 
AUUA1
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Highlights of Central America from Costa Rica to Panama

This busy itinerary takes us through some of the highlights of Central America. Costa Rica's tropical climate supports a range of ecosystems including dense jungle, cloud forest, coastline and a handful of active volcanoes. The result is a paradise bursting with wildlife and tropical verdant scenery. From the Bocas del Toro Islands, a stunning archipelago with a lively Caribbean culture, to the Panama Canal, one of the world’s most impressive feats of engineering, and the vibrant capital Panama City, our last stop is Panama, under-visited but a jewel of the region.

Highlights

  • Navigate the waterway's of Costa Rica's Tortuguero N.P.
  • Pacific beaches and the idyllic Caribbean islands of Bocas del Toro
  • Discover the Panama Canal, see the colossal Miraflores Locks in action

Key information

  • Travel by private minibus, boat, ferry and internal flight
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus local leader and guides 
  • 13 nights comfortable hotels

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 2 dinners included
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Specialist local guides
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (available on request - see dates & prices)
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    San Jose

    The group flight usually arrives into San Jose this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients. You’ll meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Presidente Hotel (or similar)

    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    To Los Angeles Cloud Forest; nature walk and cultural discovery tour of San Ramon and Sarchi.

    This morning we transfer (1.5hrs) to the beautiful Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve. This region near San Ramon is one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets. Located on land once owned by a former president, Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve is a mostly private park adjacent to Monteverde and offers the chance to visit a serene and peaceful cloud forest with low visitor numbers – it’s common to spot more wild animals than other tourists! Howler monkeys, coatimundi and an impressive bird list of 258 species are just some of the wildlife found here amongst the mist. On today’s nature walk we hope to discover some of the inhabitants of the cloud forest. Later this afternoon we discover San Ramon and Sarchi, small towns famous for their poets and artisans which wonderfully represent Costa Rican culture.

    Accommodation: Villa Blanca Cloud Forest Resort (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    To La Anita Rainforest Ranch close to the region of Rincon de la Vieja.

    After breakfast we transfer to La Anita Rainforest Ranch. Nestled in a small valley between the Miravalles, Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Maria Volcanoes, the ranch is surrounded by an incredible explosion of biodiversity; hidden amidst the dense rainforest live a vast number of species to delight any nature lover. A wide variety of produce is also grown on the property, including cocoa, heart of palm and cardamom as well as tropical fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants and flowers. 

    It takes around 4 hours to reach La Anita Rainforest Ranch, so the rest of the day will be free to learn about the history of the region, relax and enjoy the new surroundings.

    Accommodation: La Anita Rainforest Ranch (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Organic Chocolate tour at La Anita Cacao Farm

    La Anita is the only farm in Costa Rica owned by a Costa Rican family who produce their own organic cacao. Today we have an organic chocolate tour, starting with the cacao pods that grow here, guiding you through the chocolate making process and ending with a tasting session of the famous dark chocolate. In this region the climate supports several varieties of cacao growing in the midst of rainforest and volcanoes, it is a wonderful setting to learn about one of Costa Rica’s tastiest traditions made by a producer committed to using sustainable practices. Save some room as lunch will be provided at the ranch following this chocolate tour! The rest of the day is free to explore the farm, take a walk to discover the local village or other optional activities.

    Accommodation: La Anita Rainforest Ranch (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    To La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano; optional visit Ecotermales Hot Springs.

    Today we travel to the small town of La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano. Arenal was Costa Rica's most active volcano until fairly recently, when it entered a resting phase and can no longer be seen spitting ash, smoke or lava. However there is still a lot of geothermal activity in the area and you'll have the opportunity to visit one of the excellent hot springs this evening. In clear weather there are great views of the volcano from our overnight base in La Fortuna.

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Arenal Volcano N.P., La Fortuna Waterfall and Don Juan Farm; afternoon for optional activities

    There is a guided hike this morning through Arenal Volcano National Park. The park has a great system of trails passing through secondary forest and near lava fields created by previous eruptions. The high vantage points on this walk allow great views overlooking Lake Arenal, and the birdlife is plentiful. We include a visit to La Fortuna Waterfall and Don Juan Farm today, where lunch is provided along with a tour of the organic farm. The rest of the afternoon is free to sign up for an optional activity, such as the Sky Walk (canopy walk) or Sky Trek (zip wire) excursions.  

    Accommodation: Arenal Montechiari Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    To Tortuguero N.P.

    This morning we set off to the north-east of Costa Rica to Tortuguero National Park. Accessible only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero's vast network of waterways, canals and swamps is remarkably tranquil, unspoilt and devoid of noise pollution. On reaching the pier we board a small motorboat for the one hour fifteen minute journey to our lodge, which is nestled on a small strip of land between the Caribbean Sea and the main lagoon. Our afternoon is spent in Tortuguero village, where it’s possible to visit the Sea Turtle Museum (a donation will be requested at the entrance). Tortuguero is probably most famous as a nesting site for the endangered Green turtle, which can be seen arriving onto the beach to lay eggs from late July to October (as part of an optional excursion). Hawksbill, Loggerhead and Giant Leatherback turtles also nest in this region, and during November to January baby turtles start to hatch and make their way towards the ocean.

    Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Boat tour around Tortuguero waterways.

    An early morning boat trip enables us to discover the extraordinary flora and fauna of Tortuguero, passing serenely along the waterways. At this time of day wildlife is usually at its most active and with the help of our expert guide we are likely to encounter monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300+ bird species recorded here. We return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast by the river. The lodge is a tranquil spot to relax this afternoon if you want to take some time out to enjoy the facilities, or alternatively you can join a second boat trip (included), visit the beach or follow a short walking trail through the forest.

    Accommodation: Laguna Lodge (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    To the Caribbean coast.

    We leave Tortuguero by taking a small boat to the pier. Our bus will be at the pier waiting to drive us to the Caribbean coast, where we check into our hotel located either in Cahuita (Atlantida Lodge) or Puerto Viejo (Namuwoki). Caribbean culture pervades this part of Costa Rica and is reflected in the music, food and laid-back lifestyle. Cahuita’s famous white-sand beach is fringed by tall palms, behind which the dense, wet tropical forest of Cahuita National Park is located.

    Accommodation: Atlántida Lodge or Namuwoki (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    Cross into Panama; to Bocas del Toro islands.

    Our journey continues alongside vast banana plantations, crossing the border on the banks of the Sixaola River and entering into Panama. We transfer through the frontier town of Changuinola and then through steep rainforest hills which are inhabited by indigenous people. Once we arrive at the coast we board a shuttle boat taxi to cross the Caribbean to the wonderful Bocas del Toro Islands, our home for the next two nights.

    Accommodation: Playa Tortuga (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Free day in Bocas del Toro for optional activities.

    Today has been left free to explore the beautiful Bocas del Toro Islands, which are rapidly becoming a popular destination in the Caribbean. Today you will get a chance to see why: spectacular palm-shaded white sand beaches, crystal clear water, wonderful snorkeling and lots of wildlife and kayaking. It's possible to take boat trips to discover the surrounding islands too. All of these activities can be arranged locally.

    Accommodation: Playa Tortuga (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Morning to Boquete; afternoon coffee plantation tour.

    After taking a shuttle boat taxi back to the mainland, we drive into the mountains that separate Panama's two coastlines. The change in temperature, humidity and eco-systems is significant as we gain altitude. Our destination is the small village of Boquete, nestled in the highlands and well known for its beautiful scenery, nice weather and high quality coffee. We should arrive at our hotel just before lunch. Afterwards, we have a coffee tour to discover this regions most famous crop: Arabica coffee beans. From gathering beans in the plantation by the expert hands of Ngobe Indians to roasting, you will learn everything about the best coffee in the world!

    Accommodation: Boquete Tree Trek Mountain Resort (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Fly to Panama City; visit Casco Viejo and the Panama Canal.

    From Boquete we take a short transfer to David, where we take a domestic flight with Air Panama to Panama City. This flight takes around 45 minutes and has been included to avoid an otherwise long bus transfer. On arrival into Panama City we have a guided tour of the old town, known as Casco Viejo, with its numerous colonial monuments and churches. This interesting area of the city is gradually being restored and is lovely to wander around, with the modern city skyline as a contrasting backdrop. This afternoon we visit the Panama Canal to see the spectacular 'Miraflores Locks' in action - marvel at this incredible feat of modern engineering as you watch huge cargo ships navigate the locks.

    Accommodation: Tryp by Wyndham Panama Centro (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Depart Panama City.

    The trip comes to an end today after breakfast and it's time to bid the rest of the group goodbye. Transfers to the airport are included for those on the group flights today.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Costa Rica

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Costa Rica for a stay of 90 days without a visa. Proof of onward travel may be required when entering Costa Rica - we suggest you take a print out of your flight details in case officials ask to see them.
All passengers flying via the USA will have to clear immigration during transit. Prior to travel you must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) under the Visa Waiver Programme. Please see www.exodus.co.uk/USVisa for more information. If you are not a UK citizen please check with your local U.S. Embassy.

Panama

Most nationalities, including Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Panama for 90 days without a visa.

Vaccinations

Costa Rica

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Panama

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip. Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria on this trip is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 2 dinners included

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet style. Rice and Beans tends to dominate the cusine of Costa Rica, and can be found for breakfast as the local speciality called “Gallo Pinto”, lunch and dinner – accompanied by a portion of meat and salad. Soups and stews are also common, and fresh fruits are abundant and will no doubt be one of the highlights of your time in the tropics. In Panamá, most dishes have a mixture of Caribbean, African and Spanish flavours. Fish, lentils, shrimps, stews and plantains make up a big part of the local diet. Tropical fruits are also easily available.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Weather

Costa Rica and Panama lie between 5º and 15º north of the equator, and have an almost perfect tropical climate. The average temperature is 10 - 13ºC in the highlands, and 22 - 28ºC in the lowlands. There is a rainy season from May to October when there may be daily downpours, though these are usually quite short and there is still plenty of bright sunshine. November to April is the driest time of the year but you should still expect some rain - particularly in the cloud forests. August offers moderate temperatures.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)

Most of the driving distances are short, but some of the roads can be of poor quality which may occasionally result in slower driving times than expected. There are several included and optional walks on the itinerary which occasionally involve walking on rough paths. These are suitable for most levels of fitness and usually last from two to three hours. During times of heavy rain, trails can be muddy and slippery and extra care should be taken. Many of the areas visited on the trip are hot and humid and there is the chance of heavy rain year-round.

Please note that we require some details from you at least two months prior to departure in order to organise the internal flight with Air Panama. You will be required to provide us with your passport details including your full name, nationality and date of birth. This information will be given to the airline at the point of the tickets being booked and must match the passport that you are using to travel with. Please contact our Customer Operations team to provide these details.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

We have 13 nights in a variety of colonial, rustic and modern–contemporary properties, all with en suite facilities.

Most of the accommodations that we use are small establishments offering a warm welcome and relaxing surroundings.

Optional single supplement available, please see dates & prices.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

Fields with * are mandatory.

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Call us on 020 8772 3936