Central America tour, Managua to Panama City

“Visit a trio of fascinating countries – little-explored Nicaragua, verdant Costa Rica and petite Panama – on a two-week small group trip that explores the region’s wildlife, history, cities and white-sand beaches.”

Highlights

Managua | Granada | Masaya Volcano National Park | San Juan de Oriente and Catarina | Lake Nicaragua | Ometepe Island | San Juan del Sur | La Fortuna | Arenal Volcano National Park | Ecotermales Hot Springs | Tortuguero National Park | Sea Turtle Museum | Cahuita | Bocas del Toro Islands | Boquete | Panama city | Panama Canal

Description of Central America tour, Managua to Panama City

From Nicaragua to Panama, from the Pacific to the Caribbean, this two-week introduction to Central America takes in the highlights of the region. Barely known to tourists, Nicaragua’s beautiful landscape is vast and relatively untouched. From the colonial city of Granada to the twin peaks of Ometepe Island and Lake Nicaragua, it’s a country waiting to welcome the world.

From Nicaragua, it’s on to gorgeous Costa Rica, where its 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. With the help of our expert guide you’ll come across monkeys, caiman, iguanas, butterflies and many of the 300 bird species recorded here.

There is also time to relax on the lovely white sand beaches of Bocas del Toro Islands, a stunning archipelago with a lively Caribbean culture, crystal clear water, wonderful snorkeling and lots of wildlife and kayaking. This exciting itinerary comes to an end in Panama. No trip here would be complete without seeing the Canal, one of the world’s most impressive feats of engineering, but you also spend time in the vibrant capital Panama City, under-visited but a jewel of the region.

This is a small group guided holiday, travelling by private minibus, boat, ferry and internal flights, to whisk you quickly to the best sights. You’ll enjoy guided hikes in beautiful landscapes such as the Arenal Volcano National Park, a boat tour around Lake Nicaragua and the Tortuguero waterways and a guided walk around Panama City. You’ll spend 13 nights in comfortable accommodation, from a restored colonial property just minutes from Granada’s main square, to a wooden lodge set in tropical gardens and a beach-front property. Gain a sense of the history of Central America as and enjoy its diverse delights, from spotting wildlife and strolling through National Parks, to colonial cities, Caribbean Islands, mountains and, of course, the Panama Canal.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation & Meals:
We use predominantly locally run accommodation, which contributes directly to the local community as local staff are employed and locally produced or sourced goods are bought for the accommodation benefiting the wider community. We try to use accomodations which are aligned with our environmental ethos, too e.g. in Costa Rica all the hotels used have the CST certification (Certification for Sustainable Tourism): recycling, saving water and energy, local food consumption. Where meals are not provided, clients are encouraged to buy locally grown produce and try the abundance of fresh food being made in smaller businesses. Clients are all provided with one 600 ml bottle and are encouraged to refill it at the in order to reduce the amount of plastic waste.

Group size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local Crafts & Culture:
In Nicaragua we will visit the ‘Pueblos Blancos’ of Catarina and San Juan de Oriente. San Juan de Oriente is best known for its thriving population of artisans and boasts an incredible collection of ceramics, pottery, and woodworking craftsmen. By visiting this village and purchasing handmade products as souvenirs, we support the continuation of these crafts.

In Panama we will visit a coffee farm with the opportunity to learn about the process of coffee production and to purchase coffee to support the local community. Having the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts encourages cultural exchange and provides a significant form of alternative income. Guides are careful to explain that any souvenirs on sale over the duration of the trip which are made from animal parts, shells or local hardwoods should not be purchased.

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