Ultimate Costa Rica & Panama

15-night exploration of Costa Rica and Panama, including the Panama Canal

From $8,545

Rates & Dates
  • Itinerary
  • Rates and Dates
  • Ports and Places
  • Land Packages
  • Vessels
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Itinerary

The Darien Jungle, colonial forts, tropical islands, jungles, whales, wildlife, and a Panama Canal transit! Kayak, hike, snorkel, and explore—nestled along shore from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • One-night hotel stay in embarkation city
  • Panama Canal night transit; visit Agua Clara Locks Visitor Center
  • A national park, two wildlife refuges, and a conservation area
  • Jungle hikes among untamed wildlife
  • Stroll a private butterfly- and flower-rich tropical preserve
  • Gatun Lake small boat exploration
  • Snorkel, kayak, and paddle board among Las Perlas and Guna Yala islands, and Granito de Oro
  • Marine life search in the Gulf of Panama
  • Indigenous cultures: meet Guna people and visit an Embera village
  • Darien Jungle’s Mogue River by motorized dugout canoe
  • Chagres River bird watching
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites Portobelo, Darien Jungle, Coiba National Park

Departure Dates & Rates

Select year and month

2018
Nov
2018
Costa Rica & Panama
Adventure Savings!

Book between August 14th and September 30th for travel between November 2, 2018-April 12, 2019 and save $200/couple ($100/person)!

Must mention promo code CRP200-18.
Restrictions may apply. Inquire when booking.

Your day-by-day details

San Jose to Panama City

|

Panama City to San Jose

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DAY 1

San Jose, Costa Rica
Welcome to the land of pura vida! On arrival in the capital city of San Jose, you’ll be warmly greeted at the airport and transferred to the Intercontinental Hotel (through April, 2018) or the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Cariari (November 2018 and beyond) for your overnight stay. Relax and unwind, enjoying the hotel’s amenities or nearby attractions.
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DAY 2

San Jose, Costa Rica – Embarkation
The morning is yours to enjoy at leisure or set out to explore nearby sites and cafes. This afternoon, join your fellow adventurers at our hospitality area in the Intercontinental Hotel. After everyone has gathered, travel to the Pacific Coast, where you’ll board the Safari Voyager and meet your enthusiastic crew.
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DAY 3

Curu National Wildlife Refuge
At the southeastern tip of Nicoya Peninsula—in the tangled mangroves of Curu—the cycle of life is everywhere. Local “residents” include everything from exotic birds and deer to leafcutter ants, snake-eating frogs, and hungry crocodiles. Step carefully as you cross the swinging bridge, you don’t want to land on the menu! Land crabs shift in and out of their burrows with such force it’s enough to make the earth move. A hike on the Finca de Monos trail is prime monkey viewing. They are everywhere. Off shore, the vibrant, turquoise waters near Isla Tortuga offer inviting opportunities to snorkel, kayak, and paddle board.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_Day-5-Corcovado_National_Park.png

DAY 4

Osa Conservation Area
Adventure lies around every bend in the isolated, wild Osa Conservation Area, home to the country’s largest national park, Corcovado. The area is known for its diverse plant and animal species—a whopping 2.5% of the entire planet’s biodiversity is found here—including all four of Costa Rica’s monkeys, tree frogs, caimans, anteaters, scarlet macaws, coatis, and 16 different species of hummingbird. Explore this vast area putting feet to trail on an invigorating hike through the jungle. At the end of the day, enjoy the sunset with a tropical beverage in-hand during cocktail hour and retell stories of the day with your travel-mates.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_Day-4-Golfo_Dulce.png

DAY 5

Golfo Dulce
A birder’s paradise, explore a tropical preserve exploding with vibrant color. From bromeliads, ginger plants, and heliconias, to toucans, hummingbirds, mischievous monkeys, and fluttering butterflies—there’s a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and tastes in every tree and bush you pass on your walking tour. In Golfo Dulce, which separates Oso Peninsula from the mainland, explore the rare flora and fauna of mangroves by kayak and skiff.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_Day-3-Granito_de_Oro.png

DAY 6

Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park, Panama
Sail through the islands of Coiba National Park, making a stop at the postcard-perfect Granito de Oro islet. Offering a little bit of everything despite its small size, volcanic outcroppings at either end of this tiny landmass and a dense, mini-jungle in the center are connected by gorgeous white sand beach. Named one of the world’s top 10 diving sites, your day of play features snorkeling among abundant marine life, kayaking around rocky outcroppings, and lounging on the warm sand. Hop to the park’s main island for a stretch of the legs on a trail through untouched tropical jungle. Mantled howler monkeys, crested eagles, and four turtle species call Isla Coiba home.
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DAY 7

Coiba National Park
Ah, another day in paradise. Start with fresh-brewed coffee and a little limbering up with guided stretches. As always, the hardest part is picking the “what.” Your guides know the trails and help you spot monkeys, hummingbirds, and towering balsa trees. Or, slip into the drink for a kayak or snorkel. The water is crystal-clear, and the fish and turtles are swimming! Find balance to your invigorating morning—then it's cruising time. Settle into a comfy lounge chair and take in the views.
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DAY 8

Marine Life Search / Panama Canal
The diverse islands and islets in the Gulf of Panama are all unique, and on your last day, its captain’s choice as you cruise among them. Hosting hundreds of avian species, you may enjoy superb bird watching on a skiff exploration. And watch for mobula rays flying across the water. Later, transit from ocean to ocean along the 48-mile Panama Canal (time varies depending on when the lock authority gives the final go ahead for your evening transit). Join your shipmates on deck for a toast as the canal lights up and the temperature subsides. A story of engineering and human tenacity, it took over 75,000 workers to build it. At a special captain’s dinner, toast to your absolutely unforgettable voyage and the adventures you’ve experienced so far.
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DAY 9

Colon / Gatun Lake
With an early start, you’re off to Gamboa for an exploration of Gatun Lake, once the largest man-made lakes in the world. Watch for toucans, osprey, Geoffroy’s tamarins, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, and, passing cargo ships—a striking contrast to the surrounding jungle. After lunching at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, stop at the Agua Clara Visitor Center—the new Panama Canal expansion was built to accommodate massive Neopanamax cargo ships. See the locks in action before returning to the ship in time for happy hour. Laundry service is provided today.
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DAY 10

Guna Yala
Home to one of the best preserved Native cultures in the Americas, the indigenous province of Guna Yala (formerly the San Blas Islands) encompasses over 360 islands of white sand beaches backed by palm trees and dotted with thatched-roofs. Discover the remarkable heritage of the Guna (or Kuna)—don’t pass on a chance to buy their colorful handcrafted “molas.” Enjoy the natural wonders of these islands with a snorkel in the crystalline Caribbean waters.
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DAY 11

Guna Yala
Another beautiful day awaits in Guna Yala. Slow the pace lazily lounging on a beach or taking an easy stroll in the sand with views of the brilliant sea. Snorkel, paddle board, or kayak among these picture-perfect islands.
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DAY 12

Portobelo / Panama Canal
A UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 1500s, Portobelo has a rich history including notable characters like Henry Morgan, Francis Drake, and Christopher Columbus. Stroll the passageways of this quaint colorful, village surrounded by jungle. You can sense the past of pirates and explorers before you. Imagine their approach while you take in the views of Portobelo from a kayak or skiff in the bay. Later, prepare for one of the most memorable travel experiences—transiting along the 48-mile marvel, the Panama Canal. (Time varies depending on when the lock authority gives the final go ahead for your evening transit).
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DAY 13

Pearl Islands Archipelago
Golden sand meets topaz-colored water, and beaches make way for lush vegetation and rocky volcanic outcroppings on the 90 islands and nearly 130 islets of Las Perlas—the Pearl Islands. Almost entirely uninhabited, the islands are host to a plethora of tropical flora and fauna. Mid-summer through early-fall, the archipelago is frequented by dolphins and humpbacks—so keep your eyes peeled for acrobatic spinning and telltale blow spouts. Select your modus operandi—kayak, paddle board, skiff, or snorkel—and set out in a nature lovers’ dreamscape.
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DAY 14

Darien Jungle
Untouched and untamed, the Darien Jungle is nearly as wild and magnificent today as it was for early conquistadors 500 years ago. Traveling the Mogue River by motorized dugout canoe, your expedition guide will help you spot wildlife—astonishingly-colored roseate spoonbills, ibises, osprey, and raccoons can be seen fishing for breakfast from the water’s edge. After welcoming formalities at a local Embera village, they’ll share their customs and stories, and you’ll have an opportunity to buy handicrafts from the villagers, including their highly-prized and intricately woven rainforest baskets.
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DAY 15

Darien Jungle / Marine Life Search
Explore the vast Punta Patino Nature Reserve on foot, part of Darien Province and the largest natural protected area in Central America. Then set sail in search of wildlife, keeping watch for bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, smaller shark species, and depending on the migration season, whales. This festive evening includes a special farewell dinner and celebratory slideshow from your expedition team.
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DAY 16

Panama City, Panama – Disembarkation
After an early breakfast, bid adiós to your crew. You’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight home or to begin you UnCruise hotel stay.

Passport required. Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

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DAY 1

Panama City, Panama
You’ll be warmly greeted at the airport upon your arrival and transferred to the Bristol Hotel for your overnight stay. Unwind from your day of travel enjoying the hotel’s amenities, or stretch your legs on a walk to nearby city sites and attractions.
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DAY 2

Panama City, Panama – Embarkation
Enjoy a morning of leisure or explore nearby city markets and cafe’s. This afternoon, rendezvous with your shipmates in our Bristol Hotel hospitality area, then board the Safari Voyager for a hearty welcome from your captain and crew. At sunset, watch the city’s glittering lights as you sail into the Pacific.
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DAY 3

Darien Jungle
Untouched and untamed, the Darien Jungle is nearly as wild and magnificent today as it was for early conquistadors 500 years ago. Traveling the Mogue River by motorized dugout canoe, your expedition guide will help you spot wildlife—astonishingly-colored roseate spoonbills, ibises, osprey, and raccoons can be seen fishing for breakfast from the water’s edge. After welcoming formalities at a local Embera village, they’ll share their customs and stories, and you’ll have an opportunity to buy handicrafts from the villagers, including their highly-prized and intricately woven rainforest baskets.
400x300_CAM_Pure_Day-3-Guna-Yala.png

DAY 4

Darien Jungle / Marine Life Search
Explore the vast Punta Patino Nature Reserve on foot. Part of Darien Province and the largest natural protected area in Central America, your exploration of this mythical jungle reveals the lush forest and exotic wildlife. Back on board, relax and enjoy the changing scenery with the cocktail du jour in hand. Motor toward Las Perlas—the Pearl Islands—where golden sand meets topaz-colored water, and beaches make way for lush vegetation and rocky volcanic outcroppings. Keep watch along the way for bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, smaller shark species, and depending on the migration season, whales.
400x300_CAM_Pure_Day-4-Panama-Canal.png

DAY 5

Pearl Islands Archipelago / Panama Canal
The 90 islands and nearly 130 islets of the Pearl Islands are almost entirely uninhabited by humans but play host to a plethora of tropical flora and fauna. Mid-summer through early-fall, the archipelago is frequented by dolphins and humpbacks—so keep your eyes peeled for acrobatic spinning and telltale blow spouts. Select your modus operandi—kayak, paddle board, skiff, or snorkel—and set out in a nature lovers’ dreamscape. Take in the whole of it, as you prepare for one of the most memorable travel experiences—transiting between two seas along the 48-mile marvel, the Panama Canal. Join your shipmates on deck for a toast as the canal lights up and the temperature subsides. (Time varies depending on when the lock authority gives the final go ahead for your evening transit).
400x300_CAM_Chagres-River.png

DAY 6

Portobelo
A UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 1500s, Portobelo has a rich history including notable characters like Henry Morgan, Francis Drake, and Christopher Columbus. Stroll the passageways of this quaint colorful, village surrounded by jungle. You can sense the past of pirates and explorers before you. Imagine their approach while you take in the views of Portobelo from a kayak or skiff in the bay.
400x300-Guna-Yala-molas.jpg

DAY 7

Guna Yala
Home to one of the best preserved Native cultures in the Americas, the indigenous province of Guna Yala (formerly the San Blas Islands) encompasses over 360 islands of white sand beaches backed by palm trees and dotted with thatched-roofs. Discover the remarkable heritage of the Guna (or Kuna)—don’t pass on a chance to buy their colorful handcrafted “molas.” Enjoy the natural wonders of these islands with a snorkel in the crystalline Caribbean waters.
400x300_CAM_GunaYala.png

DAY 8

Guna Yala
Another beautiful day awaits in Guna Yala. Slow the pace lazily lounging on a beach or taking an easy stroll in the sand with views of the brilliant sea. Relish one last snorkel, paddle board, or kayak in these beautiful islands. This festive evening includes a special captain’s dinner—toast to your absolutely unforgettable voyage and the adventures you’ve experienced so far.
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DAY 9

Colon / Gatun Lake / Panama Canal
With an early start, you’re off to Gamboa for an exploration of Gatun Lake, once the largest man-made lake in the world. Watch for toucans, osprey, Geoffroy’s tamarins, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, and, passing cargo ships—a striking contrast to the surrounding jungle. After lunching at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, stop at the Agua Clara Locks—built to accommodate massive neopanamax cargo ships. See the locks in action before returning to the ship in time for happy hour and your reverse canal transit back to the Gulf of Panama. Laundry service is provided today.
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DAY 10

Marine Life Search
Cruise through the diverse islands and islets in the Gulf of Panama. Hosting hundreds of avian species have your binoculars handy for superb bird watching. And look for a silvery glint streaking across the water—it could be mobula rays taking flight. This evening, as you sail further away from civilization, you can almost chart your course by the stars.
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DAY 11

Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park, Panama
Sail through the islands of Coiba National Park, making a stop at the postcard-perfect Granito de Oro islet. Offering a little bit of everything despite its small size, volcanic outcroppings at either end of this tiny landmass and a dense, mini-jungle in the center connect with a dreamy white sand beach. Named one of the world’s top 10 diving sites, your day of play features snorkeling among abundant marine life, kayaking around rocky outcroppings, and lounging on the warm sand. Hop to the park’s main island for a stretch of the legs on a trail through untouched tropical jungle. Mantled howler monkeys, crested eagles, and four turtle species call Isla Coiba home.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_Day-4-Golfo_Dulce.png

DAY 12

Coiba National Park, Panama
Ah, another day in paradise. Start with fresh-brewed coffee and a little limbering up with guided stretches. As always, the hardest part is picking the “what.” Your guides know the trails and help you spot monkeys, hummingbirds, and towering balsa trees. Or, slip into the drink for a kayak or snorkel. The water is crystal-clear, and the fish and turtles are swimming! Find balance to your invigorating morning—then it's cruising time. Settle into a comfy lounge chair and take in the views.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_Day-5-Corcovado_National_Park.png

DAY 13

Golfo Dulce
A birder’s paradise, explore a tropical botanical reserve exploding with vibrant color. From bromeliads, ginger plants, and heliconias, to toucans, hummingbirds, mischievous monkeys, and fluttering butterflies—there’s a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and tastes in every tree and bush you pass on your walking tour. In Golfo Dulce, which separates Osa Peninsula from the mainland, explore the rare flora and fauna of mangroves by kayak and skiff.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_Day-6-ManuelAntonioNationalPark.png

DAY 14

Osa Conservation Area
Adventure lies around every bend in the isolated, wild Osa Conservation Area, home to the country’s largest national park, Corcovado. The area is known for its diverse plant and animal species—a whopping 2.5% of the entire planet’s biodiversity is found here—including all four of Costa Rica’s monkeys, tree frogs, caimans, anteaters, scarlet macaws, coatis, and 16 different species of hummingbird. Explore this vast area putting feet to trail on an invigorating hike through the jungle. At the end of the day, enjoy the sunset with a tropical beverage in-hand during cocktail hour and retell stories of the day with your travel-mates.
400x300_CAM_Ithmus_BlackWhiteMonkey.png

DAY 15

Curu National Wildlife Refuge
It’s your last day, and it’s a big one. At the southeastern tip of Nicoya Peninsula—in the tangled mangroves of Curu—the cycle of life is everywhere. Local “residents” include everything from exotic birds and deer to army ants, snake-eating frogs, and hungry crocodiles. Step carefully as you cross the swinging bridge, you don’t want to land on the menu! Land crabs shift in and out of their burrows with such force it’s enough to make the earth move. Although you might not make it on the Killer Trail, a hike on the Finca de Monos trail is prime monkey viewing. They are everywhere. Off shore, the vibrant, turquoise waters near Isla Tortuga offer inviting opportunities to snorkel, kayak, and paddle board. Cap off your week with a celebratory farewell dinner, and then join your expedition team for slideshow highlighting the week’s adventures.
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DAY 16

San Jose, Costa Rica – Disembarkation
Enjoy an early breakfast aboard and say adios to your crew. Upon arrival at the port, you’ll be transferred to San Jose to connect with your flight home or begin your UnCruise hotel stay or land tour.

Passport required. Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

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Rates and Dates

Fares are per person double occupancy, in USD. Single fares are "from prices" reflecting the lowest fare available in select cabins. Charter up to 62 guests.

View fare details


Departure Dates

Select year and month to view rates

2018
Nov
2018

Download ALL 2018-20 Costa Rica & Panamá Rates & Dates (.pdf)

Nov 02

2018

Panama City to San Jose
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Safari Voyager

Refurbished in 2016, the 62-guest Safari Voyager offers personal comforts, full uncompromising amenities, and upscale accommodations. Sights are revealed from the window-lined lounge with sweeping 270-degree views. Enjoy the vessel’s cozy library and elegant dining room, all outfitted with nautical décor. Ideally designed to spotlight the magnificent natural surroundings, the Safari Voyager features four public decks including a spacious upper sun deck.

Specs:

  • 62 guests
  • 32 cabins
  • 29-31 crew members
  • 174 feet in length
  • 36 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 9 knots
  • Built in 1982 by Chesapeake Shipbuilding, renovated in 2016
  • Registered in Saint Kitts
  • 2.2:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Master
$8,545
Commander
$9,695
Captain
$10,445
Admiral
$11,795
Jr Commodore Suite
$13,095
Owner's Suite
$15,395
Single
$12,645
Charter
N/A
Port taxes/fees
$770

Port taxes/fees are in addition to your cruise fare; if included in fare, the amount is indicated by $0

Important Notice: If you're traveling with minors, take note of special entry requirements. Click here for more details.

FARES INCLUDE: Onboard meals; premium spirits, wine, beer; non-alcoholic beverages; transfers and baggage handling between airport/vessel on embark/disembark days; entry fees to national parks/preserves; all from-the-boat adventure activities and equipment; wellness amenities: fitness equipment and yoga mats.

Additional amenities and inclusions vary by vessel. View our comparison chart for details.

Ports & Places

The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn’t exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you’ll explore along the way, we’ve included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.

Departure Dates

Select Year and Month to View Rates

2018
Nov
2018
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Caldera Port

Located on the Nicoya Gulf, Puerto Caldera is one of Costa Rica’s most important port cities and is the main port for the province of Puntarenas. Centrally located and near many recreational hot spots, the city sees many travelers pass through, not just for commercial purposes, but for adventurous vacations as well.

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Chagres River

The Chagres River is the largest in Panama’s watershed and drains in two oceans—it drains naturally into the Caribbean Sea, and as a result of the Panama Canal, into the Gulf of Panama as well. The Chagres has been nicknamed the “world’s most valuable river” serving as the route by which the Spanish transported incredible amounts of Incan gold in Colonial times. Today, the river is an essential artery of the Panama Canal with two dams—Gatun and Madden and their respective man-made lakes—Gatun Lake and Lake Alajuela, that provide essential water flow to transport ships from ocean to ocean.

Despite the activity of the Canal Zone and creation of man-made lakes, the surrounding wilderness has remained untouched and wild along much of the Chagres. Many native plant and animal species have been left to flourish in their natural state. It is also a hot-spot for avian migrations throughout the seasons. The Audubon Society conducts an annual bird census and has consistently set new World Records on observed numbers of species. Due to its incredible bio-diversity, the watershed is an important location for research programs and includes one of Panama’s largest national parks.

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Pearl Islands Archipelago

The 250+ islands and islets that make up this archipelago in the Gulf of Panama have a long history dating back several million years to the geologic creation of the isthmus. Inhabited by Native people for several thousand years, the Spanish encountered the islands in the early 1500s and took a strong interest in the archipelago for the abundance of the pearls found there. Within two years after the arrival of the conquistadors, the entire indigenous population was wiped out. The islands remained an important location to the Spanish and slaves from Africa were brought to the islands to harvest more of the valuable gems. With so many islands, most of which were not inhabited, the archipelago also became an important spot for pirates looking for safe hideouts.

Today, the minimally inhabited islands attract adventurers who are lured to this tropical playground by its crystal blue waters and pristine white sand beaches. While pearls can still be found, swimming and snorkeling among colorful fish, hiking, fishing, paddling, and observing unique flora and fauna are the bigger draw for visitors.

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Colon

On Panama’s Caribbean coastline, the city of Colon is just south of the entrance to the canal. In 1850, the city was founded by Americans on the marshy end of Manzanillo Island at the Atlantic terminus of the Panamá railroad. Later, during the canal-building years, the island was connected to the mainland by a causeway and today includes former Canal Zone towns within the city limits. The second largest city in the country, over 200,000 people reside in Colon, including large expat communities from all around the globe. Part of the city’s commercial center was made a free-trade zone in the 1950s and is one of the world’s largest duty free ports.

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Darien Jungle

A lush, mountainous rainforest, the Darien Jungle climbs from sea level to several hundred feet in lowland valleys to over 6,000’ at the top of the tallest peak. Rarely visited, the region is characterized by unspoiled sandy beaches, jagged rocky coasts, mangrove swamps, and tropical forests bursting with endemic and rare species of plants, birds, and wildlife. It is also at the northernmost range for many migratory South American species and the southern range of numerous Northern and Central American species. In an effort to save the Darien Jungle from being poached by loggers and developers, UNESCO declared the Darien National Park—the largest national park in Central America—one of its World Heritage Sites in 1981. The region is home to the Embera and Kuna native peoples who regularly travel through the jungle by dugout canoe. Darien offers a rich cultural history, from the migration of First Peoples between the Americas to its role as the main Spanish transportation route for gold and silver from Peru to Panama.

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Guna Yala

Formerly called the San Blas, Guna Yala is an autonomous province encompassing approximately 365 islands, almost 40 of which are inhabited. The Guna Yala successfully revolted against the Panamanian government in 1925, resulting in their sovereignty being written into the country’s constitution.

The Guna—or Kuna—have maintained their own customs, culture, and economic systems having never been conquered by another culture—including conquistadors and colonists—and also fiercely rejecting pressures to adopt Spanish traditions by the government prior to the revolt. Guna culture is both patriarchal and matrilineal. For example, property and land is owned and inherited by women; government issues are handled by the men.

The Guna Yala are known for their colorful “molas”, the traditional blouse worn by women. A mola panel consists of brightly colored layered pieces of cloth, intricately appliqued and embroidered. This elaborate design process can take two or more months to create. Traditional designs depict mythology, religion, and nature in abstract forms.

Although they are aware of the modern lifestyle of nearby Panama City, Gunas still live in thatched huts. While they choose to live a traditional lifestyle, the Guna are also savvy businesspeople and have nurtured the tourist economy in their territory.

The archipelago is postcard-perfect—tiny islands with white sand beaches backed by lush jungle dot the crystal-clear turquoise Caribbean water. The islands offer fantastic paddling, diving, snorkeling, and fishing, hikes and walks to waterfalls, and beachcombing in a quintessential tropical paradise.

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Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Located on the southern end of the remote and isolated Oso Peninsula, 164-square-mile Corcovado National Park is Costa Rica’s largest national park. From cloud forest to mangrove swamp, the park’s astounding biodiversity includes an estimated 500 species of trees, approximately 140 species of mammal, over 360 species of bird, nearly 120 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 6,000 species of insects.

The park’s long stretches of pristine beach are backed by the lush, dense canopy of forests that teem with life. Four monkey species (spider, whiteface, squirrel, and howler) share this revered place with two- and three-toed sloths, anteaters, tapirs, jaguars, margays, and ocelots, along with winged brethren including scarlet macaws, tovi parakeets, king vultures, and Harpy eagles. The more slippery creatures include poison-dart frogs, speckled caimen, dolphins, killer whales, hammerhead sharks, and a few crocodiles. The gulf provides water-entry to the remote, isolated national park.

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Curu National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica

Over 3,600 acres in size, Curu National Wildlife Refuge and Hacienda was once a private home of Federico Schutt de la Croix and Dona Julietta Schutt de Valle. Raising their three children there, the two began to focus their efforts on preservation of habitat for threatened and endangered species in the 1970s. By 1983, their property was officially granted status as a “wildlife refuge.” Today, Curu is an example of successful and sustainable ecotourism not only providing protection for the local environment, but essential jobs for the local Ticos as well.

Dona Julietta still runs the Refuge with the help of her adult children. Of the 3,600 acres, most is protected forest. Within the forest and the 84-acre refuge live incredibly diverse animal, reptile, avian, and insect species. Among its wild residents are white-faced, howler, and spider monkeys, anteaters, armadillos, and coatis, margays and puma, yellow-naped parrots, trogons, caracara, frigate birds and hummingbirds, and army ants, giant toads, and butterflies. Hiking trails of varying degrees of challenge cross the reserve and offer opportunities to spot wildlife in the canopy above and along the forest floor.

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Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Tucked between the Osa Peninsula and the mainland of Costa Rica, Golfo Dulce—or “sweet gulf"—is a large, sheltered bay ringed by secluded beaches and tropical rainforest, including Piedres Blancas National Park at the north end and its amazing “sister park,” Corcovado National Park. The gulf harbors an important estuarine habitat from the drainage of the Llorona, Corcovado, and Sirena Rivers. In its protected waters, kayaking, snorkeling, and skiff rides provide a view into the rich marine world below the surface. Golfo Dulce also boasts one of the world’s longest left-hand breaks when the conditions are right, making this a popular destination for surfers.

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Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park, Panama

The features of this small islet within Coiba National Park have made it a natural “fishbowl” for marine life. Two rocky volcanic outcroppings on either end of the islet act a bit like a reef protecting its white-sand beaches and sheltering its surrounding water. A relaxing playground for adventure on the lighter side, a casual snorkel reveals a bounty of colorful marine life along the rocks. The picture-perfect beaches are ideal for a meandering stroll or for an afternoon snooze on warm sand. The cluster for trees and palms at the center of the island are very fitting with the lush jungle of the country, and offer a fascinating place for a nature walk beneath the shaded, dense canopy.

Granito de Oro is part of Coiba National Park which was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

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Gulf of Panama Islands

Discovered by Spanish explorers, the volcanic islands in the Gulf of Panama are remnants of ancient activity along the Pacific Ocean’s ring of fire. One island in this cluster, Isla Tobago, or the flower island, was discovered by Vasco Balboa in the 1500s. The colonial church on the island is a reminder of a centuries-long history and is said to be Panama’s oldest.

Today, a quaint fishing village bustles on the eastern side, a number of hiking trails offer fantastic views across the gulf, and pretty white-sand beaches stretch along its shores. The tiny bulb of an island, El Murro, can be reached by a sand bar at low tide. Isla Uraba, just at the southern end of Tobago, is part of the Tobago Wildlife reserve and offers great birding on shore and snorkeling along coral-covered, volcanic rock. Each of the many islands in the Gulf of Panama are unique including rocky Isla Flamenco—also known as Dead Man’s Island, Isla Bona that buzzes with the activity of hundreds of birds, and little Isla Otoque that barely encompasses 2.6 square kilometers and is home to fewer than 150 people.

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Herradura, Costa Rica

Known as the Fishing Capitol of Costa Rica, Playa Herradura boasts a 5-star marina and the Los Sueños resort area. Located southwest of Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, Herradura—meaning “horseshoe”—neighbors Jaco Beach and is backed by a dense rainforest including the Carara Biological Reserve. In this region, dry forest and humid tropical forest ecosystems meet and provide a home to rare scarlet macaws.

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Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s largest peninsula, 75-mile long Nicoya Peninsula is divided into two provinces; Guanacaste in the north and Puntarenas in the south. Historically important, the peninsula includes one of the oldest native settlements in the country and was first explored by Davila in 1523. Today, the peninsula is known for its many reserves, refuges, and national parks including Curú National Wildlife Refuge, magnificent white-sand beaches, and lush tropical forests.

The interior of the southern end of the peninsula, Puntarenas, is mountainous with lushly forested slopes that drop steeply down to the coast. Beautiful beaches backed by these mountains—many with waterfalls—create a dramatic scene with something to see everywhere the eye can look. Living in the verdant forests are a bountiful number of animal species including tapirs, howler monkeys, white-faced capuchins, sloths, kinkajous, and coatis. The peninsula is also home to healthy populations of birds, reptiles, and insects, including frigate birds, hummingbirds, brightly colored macaws, tanagers, and trogons, army ants, leaf ants, and blue morpho butterflies, and leatherback and Olive Ridley turtles.

From beachcombing and beach napping, to hiking jungle trails and playing in crystal-clear water, the Nicoya Peninsula is a perfect playground for the active adventure seeker.

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Panama Canal

Panama Canal is one of the most important waterways of the world. Connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, this engineering marvel provides passage to vessels through Central America, allowing them to avoid traveling several thousand extra miles around the dangerous southern tip of South America’s Cape Horn. The construction of the canal began in 1881 by the French, but the search for such a route of passage began long before. Early explorers to Central America believed the possibility of finding a passageway was high and, with both truly helpful information and misleading reports disguised as helpful from natives of the area, they searched for a way across.

After the successful construction of the Suez Canal, the French and in particular, the man behind the Suez Canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps, believed construction of a sea-level Panama Canal would be swift and inexpensive. But due to challenging terrain that cut through the mountainous spine of Central America, dense forest, and across two large rivers, and the propensity for workers to die of malaria and yellow fever, the French project plagued with financial struggles and was sold to the United States in the early 1900s.

Then-president Theodore Roosevelt was a forceful advocate for the building of the canal. His belief in its importance was so strong that the US went so far as to support a rebel uprising that gave Panamanians their independence from Columbia.

Construction began again in earnest in 1905 after John Frank Stevens, the engineering mastermind behind the Great Northern Railway, was hired as Chief Engineer. Building better housing and sanitation for workers and hiring a massive labor force, he got the ball rolling and convinced Roosevelt and Congress that the canal should be a lock system, not sea level.

Major George Geothals, who succeeded Stevens, saw the project to completion. During the course of construction, over 268 million cubic yards of earth was dug and moved; two artificial lakes—Lake Gatun and Miraflores Lake—were constructed along with four dams; and the continental divide, which originally rose 360 feet above sea level was brought down to just 40 feet above sea level at the Culebra Cut. The canal has three sets of locks—the Miraflores, the Pedro Miguel, and the Gatun Locks—that raise vessels 85 feet above sea level during passage through. Over 56,000 people were employed and nearly 5,600 died during the US-phase of construction. The canal remained under US administration until 1999 when control was returned to Panama and the Panama Canal Authority took over.

The Panama Canal was opened on October 10, 1913 when the dike that separated Lake Gatun from the Calebra Cut was demolished. The first vessel to pass through was a French crane boat, Alexandre de Valley. The canal officially opened to traffic in the summer of 1914 and since its opening, over 1 million vessels have passed through.

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Panama City

The capital city of the Republic of Panama, Panama City is a thriving metropolitan center with a terrific blend of old and new. Home to over 800,000 people, it is an advanced center of communications, banking, commerce, and tourism, in part due to the wealth it has accrued since the country took control of the Panama Canal at the end of 1999. Panama City is located on a 6-mile stretch of the southern Pacific coast from the Panama Canal to the ruins of Panama Viejo in the east.

Founded in 1519 at the site of Panama Viejo, it was the first European settlement on the American Pacific coast. Sacked and burned to the ground by pirates led by the infamous Henry Morgan in the late 1600s, the new city was built further down that small peninsula. Rich history can be discovered in the city’s many archeological sites and historic districts, including archeological ruins of Panama Viejo, a Spanish sea wall built 400 years ago, and the 17th-century Metropolitan Church.

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San Jose, Costa Rica

The capital of Costa Rica was originally founded in 1738 by the Cabildo de Leon—a Spanish Colonial council—that built a chapel. The chapel's patron saint was San Jose—Saint Joseph. But it wasn’t officially made a city until the early 1800s when the first local government was created. San Jose became Costa Rica’s capitol in the early 1820s.

Located in the geographic heart of the country, the city’s population is approximately 290,000 and it’s the most populous city in the country. The perfect launching arena and transportation hub for adventures into the more wild and natural wonders of Costa Rica, the city includes the country's major international airport, and also offers a variety of restaurants, markets, and museums. The climate is described as “eternal spring,” perfect for visiting public parks, markets, and squares.

The city’s architecture is an odd mixture of styles from different eras. San Jose’s famous landmark, the Teatro Nacional, was built by wealth generated from the coffee industry in the 1890s as an exact copy of a Paris opera house and hosts operas, ballets, plays, and performances by the National Symphony Orchestra. Museums offer much to see including pre-Columbian artifacts at the Museo del Oro, gold, religious art, and colonial and archeological artifacts at Museo Nacional, and one of the America’s largest jade collections at the Museo de Jade.

Extend Your Experience

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HOTEL STAY

PANAMA CITY, PANAMA – BRISTOL HOTEL
2018 RATES: From $175

Intimate and upscale, the Bristol Hotel is a reflection of Panama’s unique history, architecture, and dynamic art scene. A short walk away, explore craft markets in Old Panama or Frank Gehry’s unmistakable Biodiversity Museum.

Summary

This hotel stopover package includes airport meet & greet; airport/hotel/vessel transfers, deluxe room accommodations; breakfast; and taxes & service fees.

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HOTEL STAY

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – DOUBLETREE BY HILTON HOTEL CARIARI
2018 RATES: From $130

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cariari is just five miles from the airport and within walking distance to golf, shopping, and restaurants. Colonial architecture and tropical gardens welcome you with their pura vida vibe.

Summary

This hotel stopover package includes airport meet & greet; airport/hotel/vessel transfers, deluxe room accommodations; breakfast; and taxes & service fees. Children under 12 stay free sharing with adults.

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LAND PACKAGE

Arenal Volcano & Monteverde Rainforest Adventure
2018-2019 RATES: From $2,625

For cruises beginning in Costa Rica, explore Costa Rica's exotic interior by hike, canopy tour, and river raft—Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Selvatura Park—on this 5-night pre-cruise land extension.

5 nights

Summary

ITINERARY INCLUDES:

  • Meet & greet
  • Airport/hotel/vessel transfers
  • Baggage handling
  • Listed accommodations and meals
  • Tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary
  • Taxes

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights to/from home city
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Services and meals not listed in itinerary
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LAND PACKAGE

Arenal Volcano & Monteverde Rainforest Adventure
2018-2019 RATES: From $2,625

For cruises ending in Costa Rica, explore Costa Rica's exotic interior by hike, canopy tour, and river raft—Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna, Monteverde, Selvatura Park—on this 5-night post-cruise land extension.

5 nights

Summary

ITINERARY INCLUDES:

  • Meet & greet
  • Airport/hotel/vessel transfers
  • Baggage handling
  • Listed accommodations and meals
  • Tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary
  • Taxes

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Flights to/from home city
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Services and meals not listed in itinerary

Vessels for this Itinerary

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Safari Voyager

Discreet, classy, and stealth, the Safari Voyager is comfortable in warm water regions and built to handle humidity and heat. Tropical adventure, wilderness access, and the natural landscape are always at the forefront. A seamless extension of the places she sails, the ship and her mostly-local crew exude pura vida (pure life). Handcrafted artwork throughout the vessel and in each cabin pays homage to the regions of Costa Rica and Panamá. Casual in nature, the Safari Voyager is a bit of a show-off, too—take in 270-degrees of view from the top deck or window-to-window in the air-conditioned lounge.

Onboard Features: EZ Dock kayak launch platform; bow-mounted underwater camera; kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles, snorkel gear; fitness equipment and yoga mats; DVD and book library

Cabin Features: TV/DVD player; hair dryer, bathrobes, conditioning shampoo, body wash; binoculars; reusable water bottles

Destination: Costa Rica & Panamá

Deck plan below reflects all departures through April 2019.
To view deck plan for May 2019 and beyond, please click here.

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  • 62 guests
  • 32 cabins
  • 29-31 crew members
  • 174 feet in length
  • 36 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 9 knots
  • Built in 1982 by Chesapeake Shipbuilding, renovated in 2016
  • Registered in Saint Kitts
  • 2.2:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
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103-108
Queen or twin beds; desk and chair; view window; private bath with shower

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205-206, 209-212, 215-222
Queen or twin beds; desk and chair; view window; private bath with shower

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308, 310, 312
Fixed twin beds; desk and chair; view windows; private bath with rain shower

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307, 309
Queen or twin beds; desk and chair; view windows; private bath with shower; (youth-sized sofa bed for triple)

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201-204
Queen or twin beds; refrigerator; desk and chair; flat screen TV/DVD player; view window; private bath with large shower; (sofa bed for triple)

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Fixed queen bed; sitting area with wet bar; refrigerator; media center; large bow-facing view windows; jetted whirlpool tub; private bath with shower; (sofa bed for triple—suitable for child/teen)

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207-208
Twin bed; desk and chair; view windows; private bath with shower