Costa Rica & Panama tour
Description of Costa Rica & Panama tour
Adventure-lovers rejoice! This trip through Costa Rica and Panama delivers pure beach bliss, idyllic islands, curious creatures and small towns packed with charm. First travel to Costa Rica to uncover cultural gems in San Jose and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, then journey on to Panama for an intoxicating mixture of relaxation and adventure. Costa Rica and Panama are the very essence of Central American beauty and this tour catches them at their best.
Who hasn’t dreamt of snorkelling, sun-bathing and cocktail-sipping in the Caribbean? Enjoy plenty of time to do just this in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, as well as seeing sloths, racoons and monkeys in nearby Cahulta National Park. Dial the relaxation up a notch in Bocas del Toro, across the border in Panama, spending several nights on nearby Isla Bastimentos. There may be no roads or cars here, but there are plenty of mangroves, turtles and white sandy beaches.
Waterfalls, wildflowers, hot springs and mountains – Panama’s beautiful Boquete has it all. Tour a coffee plantation, ride a bike along a river or take a relaxing walk through the forest, keeping an eye out for tricksy monkeys and tropical birds. Surfer dudes won’t be disappointed either on this trip. Get off the beaten track and ride the waves in surfy Santa Catalina on the south coast of Panama. If you’d prefer to stay dry, there’s a beachside hammock with your name on it here, too. End your trip by exploring the eclectic streets of Panama City, taking time to admire the engineering masterpiece of the Panama Canal.
This is a 13-day trip, staying in hotels and travelling by local bus, private minibus and boat.
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1 Reviews of Costa Rica & Panama tour
Reviewed on 28 Aug 2018 by Gabriela Stamenova
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
I think all of it. Loved every single minute and was extremely lucky with the tour guide (Vin) and the group!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
I would say to not expect luxury accommodation or to have hot water throughout but it is really worth it! Also be prepared that your days in Boquete
will be much cooler than the rest of the trip so I would suggest bringing long trousers and warm cover up clothes as many people on our trip got caught out
by the drastic change in temperature up in the mountain.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I feel like it did. We used local operators wherever we went, we were continuously told of ways to reduce our plastic wastage and also when water
was potable from the taps to minimise buying it from supermarkets. Most of the time our group dinners were also at local restaurants that offered authentic,
local food or food trucks/breweries rather than large chain restaurants etc.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
I would rate the holiday an 8.5 out of 10 just because I feel like the itinerary
should have included more days in Sabra Catalina or bocas del toro rather
than so many spent in Boquete, where our accommodation was quite far from
the city and if you were not out on activities then you had nothing to do if
you did not want to pay $25 for a single trip to the centre of town (where there
was not much to do either). Activities with local operators in boquete were also limited unless more than one person subscribed and it meant that people missed out on seeing/doing things they wanted as no one else was on the trip ie I could not do the coffee plantation (one of the highlights of the region). Apart from that I loved the trip and the people on it. Our tour guide Vin from the operator was also incredible and we owe much of our experience on him.
PlanetThe very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travellers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.
This no frills holiday exploring Costa Rica and Panama has been designed to follow our company ethos of operating low impact and even positive impact In addition to this we encourage all our passengers to take steps to ensure that their trip is environmentally responsible as possible. Should you take the opportunity to go snorkelling, explore the national parks on foot or take a cycling tour, we ask that you take on board the safety briefings given as they are to protect you and these delicate eco-systems. We want our visits to assist in the preservation of all these stunning locations and you will be encouraged to treat them with care. For example, your leader will brief you on the dos and don’ts of snorkelling to help protect the fragile marine environments. You’ll be encouraged to stick to the marked pathways in the jungle environments and to treat all destinations with respect.
Your group leader will also be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route, recycling wherever possible and we encourage all our travellers to use refillable water bottles with purification tablets rather than contributing to the rapidly escalating problem caused by the copious number of plastic bottles discarded globally on a daily basis.
PeopleThis no frills holiday exploring Costa Rica and Panama has been designed to follow our company ethos of operating low impact and even positive impact tourism. Staying in small, locally owned budget accommodation, travelling on public transport (mainly buses, but with the occasional boat to reach the islands), and utilising local services throughout, this trip supports local industry and initiative, helps to provide in country employment opportunities and encourages and supports environmental conservation where ever possible.
Operated in close collaboration with our Central American partners, your support team on the ground will all be locals, recruited from within Costa Rica and Panama and you’ll be accompanied throughout by an English speaking local group leader. Working in this way not only provides stable long term employment opportunities within Central America, but we believe gives our travellers the best holiday experience possible. The saying goes ‘a little local knowledge goes a long way’ and we believe when travelling this is invaluable.
Upon arrival in each destination your group leader will be on hand should you need help organising what you want to do. From the best local bars and restaurants, to recommending local suppliers to use for things such as snorkelling tours in Bocas del Toro, cycle hire in Boquete and guided tours.
Meals on this trip are at your own expense giving you the freedom to choose the places you eat. You’ll notice that your group leader will tend to favour smaller, often family run restaurants if you ask for advice, or if you are all dining together. Supporting these smaller businesses is a great way of putting money back into local economies, but they are also often the places that the locals eat and where we can get the best regional specialities.
There is the opportunity on this trip to visit a number of national parks and conservation projects. The Jaguar Rescue Centre in Puerto Viejo is a not-for-profit organisation that works towards the rescue, rehabilitation and ultimately the release into protected areas of these stunning creatures. Your visit will help support their great work. Likewise the requested donation for entering Cahuita National Park goes directly towards assisting with conservation efforts.