Arrive at San Jose, our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel, overnight at San Jose.
Today, we will take a city tour of San Jose, the tour immerses you in the rich Costa Rican culture and history by experiencing the beautiful museums and historical sites of San José. It begins with an orientation and drive through the beautiful Sabana Park. Next, we will take a walking tour through the historic National Theater. Completed in 1897, the theater is a masterpiece in art and architecture. Afterwards we will visit one of the many unique museums of Costa Rica. We will continue heading to the University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court and various sites of interest. A brief stop will be made in a beautiful art craft shopping store allowing you to browse through it before returning to your hotel, overnight at San Jose.
Today, we will be driven to La Fortuna area, arriving around noon, in the afternoon we will take an informative, beautiful walk, you’ll learn about the behemoth Arenal Volcano, the secondary and primary tropical forest surrounding it and the interesting wildlife of the area. Once we finish the walk, we’ll head to a view point to see more of this famous volcano (note that the volcano has not been very active in the last few months but you can hear the volcano and often see flumes of gases), return to the hotel late afternoon, overnight at La Fortuna.
Today we will hike Monteverde National Park, we will take the sky tram / sky walk, spectacular combination of suspension bridges with easy and well maintained walking trails built in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and above the tropical forest canopy, in the afternoon, we will drive to the town of La Fortuna in northern Costa Rica, near Arenal Vocano National Park, overnight at La Fortuna.
Morning drive through the cattle ranches of Guanacaste, then, enjoy a bird and crocodile spotting cruise on the Tarcoles River, adjacent to the Carara Biological Reserve. Cruise through a mangrove reserve. This tropical bird and wildlife sanctuary is a nesting site for the scarlet macaw. Return to San José.
At 9:30 AM, you will be transferred to the airport to catch 11:41 AM flight to Panama City, arriving at 1:58 PM, upon arrival, transfer to your hotel, overnight at Panama City.
In the morning, we will visit the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute Tupper Centre and the Panama Canal’s Administration Building to admire its beautiful murals depicting the monumental labor involved in the building of the waterway, we also visit the Miraflores Locks, the first set of locks on the Pacific Ocean side of the canal and Casco Viejo, the colonial city. Afternoon free, overnight at Panama City.
Travel to Madden Lake and board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) to travel up the Chagres River to the Embera indigenous village of Embera Drua. The boat journey takes us through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park and along the Chagres River, we may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas and kingfishers among other species. At the Embera village we learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature, and have the chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a picnic lunch we visit the waterfall where we can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Chagres River before heading to Panama City.
At 8:30am we depart to Portobelo. Portobelo was founded in 1597 and declared a Global Patrimony by UNESCO in 1980. It is located on a bay and is considered the most important and rich fortification of the colonial times. The canons, showing the importance of this defensive structure, can still be seen at the fort. The church 'San Felipe de Portobelo' is home to the Black Christ, patron saint of the region. The museum holds the general information of the colonial time. Today Portobelo has more than 3.000 inhabitants descendent from Afro-Caribbean slaves, which allows the visitor to experience the colorful lifestyle and, in the summer, the congo music in the central square at the old customs house. After lunch we take a 45 min. ride into the city of Colón, founded in 1853, with its many preserved historic features of Afro-Antillean culture, and take a brief tour of the Washington Walkway and the Central Ave., which in the Guinness Book of Records is considered the longest park in Latin America. At 4:30pm we head to the train station of Colón, from where we travel for about 1 hour alongside the canal through the heart of 'Soberania National Park', arriving in Panama City late afternoon.
At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your international departure flight.
Accommodations in double occupancy, all breakfasts, regional flight San Jose - Panama City, private ground transportation in A/C vehicle, english speaking guide, sightseeing tours listed with admissions, local guides, airport transfers and hotel taxes.