Jetty Pier of an beautiful Island, Caribbean

Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama

14 days
from
£2,769
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Traveller ratings
4.9 / 5 from 9 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AUUA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–16

Highlights of Central America from Pacific to Caribbean coastlines

This busy itinerary takes us through three countries and to both Caribbean and Pacific coasts covering the highlights of the region. Nicaragua’s enchanting landscape is vast and relatively untouched by tourism; from the colonial city of Granada to the rising twin peaks of Ometepe Island, it’s a country waiting to welcome the world. 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

  • The rustic charm of colonial Granada
  • The rising peaks of Ometepe Island from Lake Nicaragua, Central America's largest lake
  • Navigate the waterways 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.

Jetty Pier of an beautiful Island, Caribbean

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

Granada
to
Panama City
  • Day 1

    Start Granada.

    Those on group flights will arrive in the evening and be transferred (40 minutes) from the airport to the beautiful colonial city of Granada. Located on the shore of Lake Nicaragua, Granada is Nicaragua's fourth largest city, with a rich heritage and culture. Land only clients should make their own way to the hotel today.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Almirante (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Morning visit Masaya Volcano and market; afternoon walking tour of Granada and visit Las Isletas.

    After breakfast we visit Masaya Volcano National Park where we can witness the most active volcanoes in the country, with their smoking and steaming craters. From here there is a remarkable view over the Masaya Lagoon and towards the town. After a stop at Masaya market to look at some of the local handicrafts and souvenirs on offer, we return to Granada for lunch. This afternoon we discover Granada by foot on a walking tour around the cobbled streets and striking colonial buildings. Our city tour will take in the main cathedral and markets as well as the beautiful La Merced Church, with great views of the city. Granada is highly regarded for its traditional craftsmanship and manufacturing of local products.

    Later this afternoon we take a peaceful boat tour around Las Isletas, a cluster of islands within Lake Nicaragua. These volcanic islands were created when Mombacho Volcano erupted more than twenty thousand years ago. They are now a haven for wildlife and some of them are now permanently inhabited with people living in private residences alongside restaurants and small hotels.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Almirante (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Visit San Juan de Oriente; to Ometepe Island.

    This morning we visit San Juan de Oriente and Catarina, known as the famous 'pueblos blancos' or white towns, for their striking colonial churches. From a viewpoint at Catarina there are wonderful views of the Apoyo Lagoon, the Mombacho Volcano, Lake Nicaragua and Lake Granada. After this morning's visit we transfer to San Jorge, where we board a ferry for the one-hour journey across Lake Nicaragua to Ometepe Island. The volcanoes of Concepion and Maderas characterise Ometepe, their majestic peaks connected by a small strip of land to make an hourglass shaped island. Ometepe means 'two peaks' in the traditional náhuatl language spoken by indigenous ancestors. At 276 square kilometres, it is home to a vibrant population, many who survive principally by agriculture, livestock and fishing. Ometepe has a rich archaeological background due to the mix of tribes and cultures that inhabited the island, with petroglphys found in some parts.

    Accommodation: Charco Verde (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    From Ometepe Island to San Juan del Sur.

    Early this morning we enjoy a short stroll through the Charco Verde area, looking at the wildlife and beautiful landscape of the area. There are several species of butterflies found in the gardens here that we hope to have a chance to see. Following this we take a mid-morning ferry back to the port of San Jorge and transfer to the town of San Juan del Sur, on Nicaragua's Pacific coastline. The charming town of San Juan del Sur hosts a small fishing community nestled within a tranquil bay overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

    Accommodation: Villa Palermo (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

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

    Today is a travel day as we depart Nicaragua and arrive into Costa Rica, changing vehicles as we cross the border. We hope to arrive into the small town of La Fortuna, near Arenal Volcano, by the middle of the afternoon. 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

    End 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
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

Nicaragua

Holders of British, US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and most EU passports can enter Nicaragua without a visa - there is a charge of USD10 on entry for a tourist card.

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

Nicaragua

No vaccinations are compulsory, but vaccination against typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A are recommended.

The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your doctor or travel health clinic.

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. 

Proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination is required if arriving from a Yellow Fever country which includes a number of Latin American and African countries. 

Please note it is now compulsory to produce a Yellow Fever certificate if you clear customs in Panama before flying into Nicaragua. 

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 both Nicaragua and 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

Nicaragua, 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

  • Reviewed April 2018
    Linda Gray

    Discover Nicaragua Costa Rica and Panama

    Three amazing countries in 14 days. Some early mornings and a few long drives. Lots of boat trips and wild life spotting. The Pacific coast and the Caribbean coasts were explored. The Lodges and hotels were all very different, some Rustic , some with amazing views, all very true to the local areas. Buses were comfortable with air con which was so welcoming as the countries were hot and very humid. Food consisted of mainly rice and beans which was the local "delicacy" but our guide gave us a good choice of eating places. It was a non stop full on 2 weeks so be prepared for little or no time to do your own thing. Having said that as long as you are enthusiastic about seeing as much as possible it is an amazing adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several inspirational moments, In Nicaragua there was the active volcanoes and Ometepe Island. In Costa Rica the wildlife and Tortuguero National park where we saw Sloths, monkeys, and many birds. Then in Panama we visited some wonderful Bocas del Toro Islands , mountains in Boquete and the Panama Canal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex our group leader was with us 24/7 throughout the trip and so knowledgeable about the history of the countries and about the flora and fauna and the wildlife. Nothing was too much trouble and his experience was second to none. He was assisted in Nicaragua by Elvis who was also brilliant. What great fun they were the holiday would not have been so memorable if they had not been part of the whole adventure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Very hot and humid, difficult to dry swimming costumes or wet shoes . Take lots of deet, binoculars , comfortable trainers or walking sandals ( NOT FLIP FLOPS) although useful for the swimming pools. No malaria medication required, maybe travel /motion sickness pills for coach rides on bendy mountain roads and rough ferry crossings. A full itinerary with very little down time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    What an absolutely amazing trip, 16 in the group who got on very well . The guides and drivers were all brilliant in all 3 countries. No need to take the local currency, dollars are used in all 3 countries without any problem.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Linda Baker

    Excellent tour

    This was a well organized tour that maximized our time to fullest in three countries. We saw and learned so much! Alex was an exceptional tour guide. We’ve gone on many tours and he certainly ranks at the top. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. With his educational background in Biology and History no question was beyond his range of knowledge. The tour included a nice variety of locations, hotels, and activities. We will be recommending this tour to friends and family.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I enjoyed the beautiful Bocas del Toro islands the most.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was excellent. He was very patient, very organized, and very determined to make our trip exceptional. He was the main factor in making our trip an enjoyable one.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to be busy. There’s lots on the agenda. You’ll see a lot and learn a lot!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mallory Hansford

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama

    Three quite different countries, such amazing wildlife and a busy itinerary which maximised on time available. Nothing about this trip disappointed and it was made all the more enjoyable by our extremely knowledgeable guide, Alex. Great food, fab hotels, marvellous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sloth watching!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A very good organiser.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get a good camera with a zoom.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was cheaper than the trip notes advised, average cost of an evening meal for two was $35. Lunches were large so a full evening meal wasn't always needed.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Mary Ellen Ferguson

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama

    I selected this trip because of the variety it offered: three countries, different modes of transportation, city and rural stays, and different types of accommodation. It delivered on all fronts in non-stop activity from morning til night, thanks to the efforts of Alex, our guide for the entire trip. The trip was very informative and featured breathtaking scenery during our drives and boat rides.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Close sightings of a variety of birds and animals was definitely a highlight and what I expected from Costa Rica. The boat tours out of Laguna Lodge in Tortuguero NP were stunning. The most picturesque drive was in northern Panama heading up across the Continental Divide to Boquete.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex is passionate about his job and went above and beyond -for example, arranging meals when they weren't included- to ensure that we had the best experience possible. He is extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and has a wealth of experience in guiding. He took the welfare of the group members very seriously and was interested in getting to know us. Every night he provided vital information about what we would need to have in our day pack the next day, which was very helpful.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are well rested going into this trip! We had many early starts. The packing list was very helpful but you do not need a sweater at this time of year. I took a summer weight hoodie and only wore it on the plane and one evening in Boquete, when we were up in the hills. You are fine with US dollars, but take small denominations. I had a big stack of ones which was useful for tipping drivers and short term guides, and you don't want to be breaking fifties in places where they will give you change in local currency.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    One of the biggest recommendations I can offer is that almost everyone in our group of fourteen was a repeat with Exodus. Adventure travel, but not TOO rustic. I will definitely be considering Exodus for future trips.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Mike & Sandie Giles

    A three in one Gem

    As seasoned travellers in our 70’s we tend towards more leisurely trips these days but would have to say this one seemed pretty full on. However, we fully engaged with it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Despite a systems breakdown at the Panamanian border, delaying our arrival at the superb resort of Bocas del Toro, our chosen water-borne options there were the highlight of our trip, eclipsed only perhaps by the sight of turtle hatchlings scurrying to the water’s edge on Tortuguero’s Caribbean coast a few days earlier. We also found transport by speedboat in both these locations very exhilarating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    With couples from Australia and Canada and solos from Ireland and the UK the party of 15 gelled well but expectations were diverse. All were pretty much satisfied under the direction of experienced Leader Alex with organisational skills, wildlife and local knowledge more than equal to the task.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The itinerary encompassed a wealth of historic architecture, ecosystems and wildlife to suit all tastes but we would also recommend participating in as many of the other options as possible during free time. We chose not to Zip-Line the cloud forest but shared the Sky Tram to the launch pad and then took the Sky Walk which we found sufficiently exhilarating. The climate throughout the trip was hot and humid but buses and hotels were air-conditioned and decent showers always available after active days. Being in rain forests we expected to get wet but more than we actually did. We always carried a light rainjacket (or a poncho in pocket) which we think could have doubled for an outer garment in the mountain region. We do not have massive appetites and limit alcohol when travelling and were pleasantly surprised that our expenditure was far less than expected based on Exodus costings. This may not be the case if a choice is made to make fuller use of bar and restaurant facilities.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The flight out via Houston was tiresome and we were glad that we had tagged two days on the front of the tour to acclimatise before meeting the group. As it was we found Granada a charming city worthy of extra exploration and the service/amenities at Hotel Almirante very much to our liking. The visit to Boquete, in the cooler highlands, seemed all too brief (the one time we wore fleeces and then only on the early morning trip to the airport). Although this internal flight to Panama City spares a long bus transfer it did rather feel like the beginning of a long journey home. Our Canal visit was great being timed to the passing of several large ships but other sightseeing was only fleeting as the City is huge and highly congested.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    William Johnston

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

    A whirlwind tour of 3 amazing countries. Nicaragua is still in its infancy as far as tourism goes. Lake Nicaragua, volcanoes, wild life are all mind blowing, particularly the visit to the Masaya crater (where visits are limited to 10 minutes owing to the effects of sulphur in the air). The scenery, landscape and rain forests of Costa Rica are not to be missed, especially walking around Arenal. The Caribbean coast of Panama is superb for dolphin watching and visiting indigenous villagers on their own island.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The wildlife and walking in the Costa Roca rainforest

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex is, quite simply, the BEST tour guide we have had the pleasure of meeting. His knowledge of flaura, fauna, wild life, geology is unsurpassed. He always went the extra mile to ensure that our holiday remains one to last in our memories for the rest of our lives.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Many people mistakenly think malaria pills are required. We (as did the most of the party) used Deet50 spray and were absolutely fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Many of the hotels were on the edge of towns, requiring taxis to visit the town centre. It would be better to get some (if not all) hotels to be within walking distance of amenities.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Sally Baker

    Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama

    It was an amazing trip - I was attracted by the variety it offered and it didn't disappoint: wildlife/National Parks, colonial cities, Caribbean Islands, mountains and of course the Panama Canal. We got a great sense of Central America including its history which is fascinating. So many different boat rides too which were great. It was the first time this trip had been run and they just need to sort a couple of the hotels out which they said they will do - the majority were lovely.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one moment but 3 or 4 favourites: Granada, the slow boat trips early morning and evening in Tortuguero NP; the overnight stay in Cahuita/ Puerto Viejo (very lively coastal town, felt like being in Jamaica!); the day out on the boat from Bocas del Toro (take tour 2) - exceptionally good and very much worth the money; the Panama Canal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was absolutely excellent - the best Exodus guide I've had. He stayed with us throughout the trip and we had local guides also in Nicaragua (Elvis who was great fun and very knowledgeable and helpful) and Cesar and Philippe in Panama. Alex has this amazing telescope which allows you to take your own photos of the wild life through it - felt a bit like cheating but very good!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You go on 10 different boats over the 15 days - they were all amazing even if a couple were a bit "edgy"! You definitely don't need anti- malarial tablets though you should take care to cover up/use insect repellent. Although the trip is "Leisurely" be prepared for early starts (5.30 -7am) about 50% of the time. It was hotter than the temperature chart indicated - mostly about mid 30s - though the mini-buses are all air-conditioned and almost all of the hotels were too. The internal flight to Panama City is great but watch your luggage weight. Nicaragua is quite cheap but Costa Rica is about as expensive as the UK.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    About the food - a lot of rice and beans and rice and chicken as you would expect AND a lot of Italian Pizzas and Pasta almost everywhere which we did not expect!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    David Jones

    Nicaragua,Costa Rica,Panama

    Very busy and fascinating insight into three beautiful countries, led by excellent guides and accompanied by an enthusiastic group of fellow travellers.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The experience of visiting two new countries,Nicaragua and Panama and the knowledge and communication of our excellent guides,Elvis and Alex.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex stayed with us throughout the trip and worked tirelessly to ensure everything ran smoothly.Could not have asked for more, first class. In Nicaragua Elvis was the main guide and his knowledge and passion were shared at every opportunity, his zest was infectious and for me he was an outstanding guide and personality, hope to meet both again!!!!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It is a very full and busy itinerary but worth every moment-book now! Currency wise all three countries seem to favour US dollars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Having already visited Costa Rica previously for the wildlife, the culture and history of Nicaragua and Panama were mesmerising,a real surprise as I thought this wasn't for me-how wrong I was!!!
  • Travellers not tourist .....

    Just back from a wonderful adventure travelling the length of Nicaragua , Costa Rica and Panama . Rid yourselves of preconceptions about war torn Nicaragua , over populated Caribbean beaches and that Panama is only about hats and canals and you will have a great experience .Travel from Volcano to jungle and experience the wildlife, geography and culture of this little travelled path through Central America . Be prepared for early starts and busy days along with the excitement of some rustic boat rides into the interior and you will not be disappointed - ..

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Looking into the lava lake at Massaya and ALL of our wildlife encounters - too many other wonderful experiences to select from ....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    If the Gods are on your side then you will be accompanied by the best guide we have ever encountered - Alex- and for Nicaragua, superb local guide and side kick Elvis . Well done Exodus for engaging Alex - his encyclopaedic knowledge , sense of dedication and all round great attitude made this trip near perfect .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Reality check - this isn't a foody trip - The food wasn't bad and matched the trip note budgets but not the highlight of the trip . The good news is that the local beers were excellent and not too expensive - water was freely available as part of the tour and don't forget to take your water container .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Malaria tablets aren't required but bring your insect repellent , plenty of sun cream and a hat as the temps and the sun high Dollars throughout were easier than credit card . Swimming opportunities at many places - if you have two swimming costumes take them - humidity is high and they don't always dry overnight before you travel to your next venue If you don't have a complex camera / lens for those distant shots , iPhones are excellent for quick pictures and take great pics through a spotters scope - our lovely guide Alex took time to help us get great pictures through his excellent lens and then we air dropped the pic to each of the group !

Dates & Prices

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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]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936