Costa Rica wildlife & beaches holiday

“A classic Costa Rica wildlife tour combined with the lesser-travelled Panama; coffee, chocolate and Caribbean charm all the way.”

Highlights

San Jose | Tortuguero National Park | Puerto Viejo | Caribbean cooking class | Travel by dugout canoe | Homestay with the Bribri tribe | Learn how to make your own chocolate | Isla Colon | Stay on a coffee plantation | Panama City |

Description of Costa Rica wildlife & beaches holiday

This adventurous tour of Costa Rica and Panama begins in San Jose, from where you’ll embark on a scenic journey through mountain landscapes and rainforest to the protected Tortuguero National Park, favoured nesting territory for countless turtles. Here in the pristine jungle, not accessible by road, the trees echo to the sounds of howler monkeys. Spend a few days in the rainforest, before the short journey to Puerto Viejo with its laidback coastal vibe.

After a few days in Puerto Viejo, during which you’ll take a tasty class in Caribbean cookery you’ll travel along the river by dugout canoe (be ready to get wet) to the Bribri village, accompanied by your guide. Stay in a palm-roofed cabana and get to know your indigenous hosts, walk through the banana plantations and, most memorably of all, learn how to make your own delicious chocolate.

Later, you’ll cross the border into Panama, for an idyllic getaway on Isla Colon, then head deeper into the countryside. In Boquete, explore one of Central America’s most renowned coffee-growing regions, learning the process from bean to cup and perhaps bring home a few beans with you.

Your final destination on this tailormade two-week tour is Panama City, where you can of course see the great canal, and sample some of the city’s famously diverse cuisine.

Packed with interesting cultural experiences, incredible wildlife and scenery so magnificent you'll be glued to your camera lens throughout, this tour of Costa Rica and Panama takes you some distance off the beaten tourist track.

Travel Team

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Departure information

Everything is tweak-able, giving you the freedom to build a unique and personal trip for your chosen date. Upgrade your accommodation for all - or just part - of your trip, slow down the pace with few extra nights here and there or add a few more active adventures along the way.
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Costa Rica wildlife & beaches holiday

Environment

We aim to use accommodation that shares our values when it comes to the environment. During this trip you will stay in an eco-lodge in La Fortuna who are committed to protecting the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. They do this by recycling, educating the community on the practices and benefits of environmental protection and using energy saving methods and biodegradable products throughout the lodge.

We also like to use local guides on each of our trips who know the area and the natural surroundings. During our trip to Tortuguero National Park you will get to explore the water ways and local village with local guides. If you book your trip to coincide with the turtle season you'll have the opportunity to visit the beach with local guides who will be able to tell you all about these fascinating creatures. You'll also be supporting the local Turtle Spotter programme which seeks to conserve and protect the turtles and support the local community so that no one is tempted to poach the animals.

Our local partner in Costa Rica has sustainability at the forefront of their ethos and they have demonstrated this by achieving the highest level of 5 leaves as part of the Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program. This program is based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management. This influences their choices when it comes to accommodation and excursions they offer.

In all our destinations we offer our customers the opportunity to donate to a local project, in Panama we have chosen to support the Esperanza Social Venture Club. a gang intervention and reintegration program based in the evolving historic district of Casco Viejo, Panama City. Once a hotbed of gang activity, this is now a thriving district of art, culture, and architecture. In order to preserve an element of human patrimony, Esperanza’s non-profit initiatives assure that young at-risk males get to take part in the neighborhood’s growth, by providing help with mental and physical health as well as coaching to enter the workforce.

Community

We are constantly looking for meaningful trips which give back to the communities and adds something really special to our customer's experience in Costa Rica. During this itinerary you will spend one night with the Bribri tribe in a local village near the Panama border. Here you will learn how to make chocolate, visit a traditional finca (farm) and learn which plants have medicinal benefits. You'll enjoy a home made meal from local natural products and get an insight into local life in this tribe. This brings tourism income into the community and gives our customers a truly authentic and memorable experience.

In Boquete, our coffee tour seeks to support local farmers. In Panama there are no co-operatives for local farmers so the farm you visit will reap all the rewards for your visit. You'll get to know all about coffee from the fruit stage to the tasting stage and you'll see exactly what agricultural life is like in Panama today.

Throughout our trips we use local guides and drivers who can pass on their specialist expertise to our customers. By having a local guide specific to each area you gain an insight and experience. This also puts money into the local's pockets, especially if you eat at local restaurants which we actively encourage.

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