Discovery Tours - Panama and Costa Rica

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Discovery Tours - Panama and Costa Rica

Central America • 15 Days • Solos Board • NEW

From the Panama Canal to active volcanoes, misty cloud forests and an amazing array of wildlife, we combine the Spanish colonial roots of Panama with the unique nature lover’s paradise of Costa Rica. Rich with geological wonders, this Central American tour is a truly mesmerising experience.

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About this holiday

Canals, Cities & Indians

Shaped like an ‘S’, Panama forms the corridor between South and Central America with Nicaragua and Costa Rica to the south and Colombia to the north. We spend 3 nights here giving us the chance to experience the feat of engineering on the famous canal as it raises ships 26 metres as they travel between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and visiting Old Panama City, one of the oldest Spanish settlements in the Pacific. On our second day we take an enchanting journey in dugout canoes into another world and the dense jungles of Chagres and the Emberá Indians. Immerse in ancient culture, music and dancing to an era that has not much changed since Columbus arrived in the 1500’s. These welcoming people help us explore the variety of birds and wildlife on a walk through untouched jungle and we discover their mystic rituals and wonderful knowledge of medicinal plants and other remedies. Day 3 affords some free time to chill out before we fly on to Costa Rica.

Saucy San José & smoky volcanoes

For such a small country, it’s only two-thirds the size of Scotland, Costa Rica certainly packs a punch. Over 20% of the country lies in a protected national park, making it a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Get a taste of the modern life of an everyday Costa Rican on a city tour of San José before we head out to the Poas Volcano National Park. Considered the largest active crater in the world we can see stunted and twisted vegetation from the volcanic emissions. Weather permitting we have the chance to visit Lake Botos and its astounding array of cloud forest birds such as tanagers, hummingbirds and the dazzling quetzal.

Awesome Arenal

Our journey heads north to the lowlands and one of the country’s major attractions, Arenal Volcano. We climb up the central volcanic Arenal area to the famous artisan town of Sarchí admiring plantations and cattle ranches. Get the cameras ready as we head into Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve on a floating safari through the rainforest. Look out for the common species of Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbills and Woodstorks while the river banks teem with wildlife. Spot Howler, Spider and White-faced Monkeys, Three-Toed sloths and turtles. Head up into the trees along the hanging bridges trail as we follow our guide along a series of 15 bridges for a 360º view of this tropical paradise. Walking through the trees we can appreciate the variety of ecosystems which live in some unimaginable places.

Rincon de la Vieja

An area famous for cattle ranching and cowboys; the protected forests of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park are perfect for exploring by foot and we will see amazing steamy sulphur water ponds, bubbling mud pools as well as extensive flora and fauna on the trail.

Manuel Antonio National Park

White sandy beaches, fringed thickly forested green hills, mangroves and islands off shore, this lush fertile region is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Take a walk into Carara National Park and watch for wild populations of scarlet macaws. Have your swimwear at the ready to sample some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Surrounded by wildlife what better way to finish our tour with a guided walk in one of the most beautiful national parks in Costa Rica.

Why go?

2 central American countries in 1 go

Old & new Panama

A nature lover’s paradise

Spend time with indigenous Indians

Watch native wildlife on a boat tour

Wildlife refuge & National Park visits

Head up into the tree tops on the Arenal Bridges

Take a dip in the sea off a pristine beach

Your trip at a glance

Day 1 London – Panama City (day flight)

Day 2 Panama City & Canal

Day 3 Emberá Indian Village

Day 4 Panama City to San José

Day 5 San José

Days 6 - 8 Arenal

Days 9 & 10 Rincon de la Vieja

Days 11 – 13 Manuel Antonio National Park

Day 14 San José - London (overnight flight)

Day 15 Arrive London

Our accommodation

Panama and Costa Rica


We stay in comfortable hotels throughout as detailed below (or similar).

Gamboa Rainforest Resort **** (Emberá)

Studio Hotel ***** (San José)

Arenal Manoa Hotel **** (Arenal)

Hacienda Guachipelín Lodge (Rincon de La Vieja National Park)

Parador Resort & Spa **** (Manuel Antonio National Park)


Grading System

Departure information

Date Duration Holiday Notes Depart Age group Price

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