Explore Costa Rica & Panama
14 days from $1,313 (was $1,545)
- Delve into the hustle and bustle of San José
- Live the pura vida lifestyle in Puerto Vieja de Talamanca
- Enjoy beach bliss on the paradise sands of Bocas del Toro
- Go hiking through the lush jungles of Boquete
- See the iconic Panama Canal in Panama City
- Travel with a group of fellow travellers and an expert guide!
Journey through the rich landscapes of Central America on this spectacular 14-day trip. Travelling with a group and guide, you’ll discover atmospheric cities, perfect Caribbean beaches and verdant mountain slopes. Starting in San José, you’ll travel through Costa Rica and Panama, ticking off some of the finest stops along the way, including beautiful Bocas del Toro, lush Boquete and picture-perfect Santa Catalina. You’ll then round off the adventure in bustling Panama City, where you can visit the mighty Panama Canal! If you’re looking for a Caribbean cocktail of blissful beach time and fast-paced city stays, then this 2-week tour is for you!
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Day 1: San Jose
Fly into the bustling capital of Costa Rica today. Make your way from the airport into the city and settle into your accommodation. You can spend the day relaxing after your flight and getting your bearings around the local area. Tonight, you’ll meet your group and tour guide at a welcome meeting where we’ll discuss the adventures to come. Then, you’re free to enjoy your first night in Central America. Why not head out for a few drinks with your group?
Day 2: San Jose to Puerto Vieja de Talamanca
Our destination today is the laid back coastal town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Here, you can enjoy the legendary Costa Rican pura vida (simple life), as you while away the hours in the colourful bars and watch the world go by on the beach. If you fancy a more active day, you can opt to go snorkelling in the shallows - keep your eyes peeled for colourful coral, scurrying octopi, sea turtles and majestic open-mouthed nurse sharks. Alternatively, you could head out of town and visit the Finca la Isla Botanical Garden, a working farm that produces natural chocolate, black pepper and nutmeg.
Day 3: Puerto Veijo de Talamanca
Enjoy a full free day to make the most of this gorgeous coastal spot. Beach-lovers can pick a spot and settle down for a glorious day of sunbathing. If you’re in the mood for more action, explore the lush green jungles and golden coves of Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. Follow the beautiful hiking trails and listen to the intoxicating sounds of the jungle as howler monkeys call overhead. Tonight, why not head to a local bar with your group and enjoy a few drinks as the sun goes down?
Day 4: Puerto Veijo de Talamanca to Bocas del Toro
Time to hop across the border and explore Panama! We’ll travel by bus, foot and boat to reach our destination, the glamorous archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Not only is this area undeniably breath-taking, with its picture-perfect beaches and colourful clapboard houses, but it also has a Caribbean vibe that is simply irresistible. Kick back, relax and settle into the local way of life. You’ll enjoy two full free days here to soak up everything this dream destination has to offer.
Day 5-6: Bocas del Toro
The next few days are completely free. You can either take it slow and spend your days on the beach and in the bars, or you can amp up the adventure with some exciting activities and excursions. Optional activities include a sailing and snorkelling tour, during which you’ll spot bottle nose dolphins and see beautiful parrot fish up close. For a deeper insight into marine wildlife, you can opt for a scuba diving trip or try a range of island hopping tours, jungle visits and cave excursions.
Day 7: Bocas del Toro to Boquete
Leaving the coast behind, we’ll travel inland towards Boquete, a picturesque town surrounded by verdant hill-slopes, coffee plantations and citrus trees. After a long travel day (around 6 hours), the afternoon and evening is free to relax and settle into your accommodation. We’ll enjoy a free day of exploration tomorrow.
Day 8: Boquete
Time to discover the stunning surroundings of Boquete. There are a huge range of hiking options in the area, from short scenic strolls to epic volcano-conquering climbs. Boquete is also home to the 6-hour Queztal Trail, which is one of the most beautiful hikes in all of Panama. If you’re not in a walking mood, you can visit a local coffee plantation and learn how coffee is produced, before sampling some of the locally-grown brews. For a shot of adrenaline (rather than coffee), you could hit the Chiriqui Viejo rapids in a white-water raft.
Day 9: Boquete to Santa Catalina
We’ll climb aboard a private vehicle today and journey towards the Pacific Coast. Watch the countryside sweep past as we drive southeast and chat with your group. Our destination is Santa Catalina, gateway to gorgeous Coiba Island. The town is home to a pair of black-sand beaches and offers exciting surf breaks and snorkel spots.
Day 10 - 11: Santa Catalina
Enjoy a couple of days bumming round on the beach, learning to surf, or exploring the amazing underwater world around SC with an optional snorkelling tour, scuba diving trip, or visit to bio diverse Coiba Island Marine Park.
Day 12: Santa Catalina to Panama City
Leave the beach behind and travel to Panama City – our final stop on this incredible 2-week tour. The city is more modern and cosmopolitan than many in Central America – think shimmering skyscrapers soaring above sweeping city beaches.
Day 13: Panama City
Enjoy a free day in the city. Take a stroll through the busy streets and discover the colourful Casco Viejo, the historic district, or get some retail therapy in the shopping malls. The main attraction though is the impressive Panama Canal. This artificial waterway extends 82km and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, providing a far quicker and safer shipping route than travelling the long way around. This man-made canal is an incredible feat of human construction and engineering, and is a must-see while in the area.
Day 14: Panama City
Your Panama Experience comes to an end this morning. Say goodbye to your group and guide and make your way to the airport to head home or on to more travel experiences. A transfer to the airport is not included but is easy to arrange. Your guide will be on hand to assist you.
- 13 nights’ accommodation
- Beach time in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
- 3-night stay in beautiful Bocas del Toro
- Free time in the lush Boquete area
- Beach time in Santa Catalina
- Visit a town in a volcano: Valle de Antón
- Panama City stay
- All transport between included destinations
- 24-hour emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers
- Meals, snacks and drinks
- Optional Activities
13 nights of accommodation are included on this group tour. You will stay in multi-share single-sex rooms in a combination of simple hotels and hostels. Rooms typically sleep 4-6 people.
Meals and drinks are not included on this tour. Your guide will be able to recommend the best restaurants in each destination along the way. You may also be able to cook your own food at your accommodation, depending on the availability of a kitchen. We recommend budgeting around £350-450 for meals and drinks.
You should arrange your flight to arrive into San José, Costa Rica, on your programme start date (day 1). You will then need to make your way from the airport to the city, by local bus or taxi. Please arrive in time for the welcome meeting which is usually held at 6pm on your programme start date.
Please note, we can arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
Your tour ends in Panama City on day 14, no activties are planned for this day and you are free to depart at any time. A return airport transfer is not included but is easy to arrange and your tour guide will be able to help you with your onward travel arrangements.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
The minimum age to join this group trip is 18 years.
It is your responsibility to obtain the correct visas for your time away. British Nationals can enter Costa Rica for up to 90 days without a visa. British nationals do not need a visa to enter Panama unless arriving by sea. Other nationalities may require visas. Please check with your local embassy for the most up to date visa advice and information.
We’re Travelling As A Couple. Can We Stay In Private Rooms?
Accommodation is normally allocated on a shared single-sex basis. Private room upgrades may be available at certain locations at extra cost. Please contact a travel advisor for more information
How Many People Will Be In My Group?
The average group size for this trip is 12. The maximum is usually 16. Your fellow travellers will usually be aged between 18 and 39.
Can I Travel Alone?
Yes! Nearly three-quarters of our travellers go solo. As this is a group trip, you’ll soon meet other like-minded people to share your travel experiences with, and you’ll come home with many new friends from around the world.
Due to Covid-19, many of our partners and suppliers across the globe are putting in place new procedures and policies regarding health and safety in response to the outbreak. These new measures will adapt and change as the state of travel evolves, and the policies and procedures will vary depending on each trip. Some changes that you may experience on our trips are:
Updated safety & hygiene procedures
Health and safety measures will be adapted by our partners and suppliers, dependent on local laws and restrictions.
Different transport & accommodation
You may find yourself on transport or in accommodation that would not typically be used, such as hostels that are more secluded, or on more private transport. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Most trips include a meeting on arrival with the guide or local team to discuss the trip, and this is an opportunity for you to ask any questions. You should arrive in time to attend these briefings.
Emergency support 24/7
We have a UK based 24/7 emergency phone line if you have a genuine urgent matter that you need attending.
Knowledgeable & Trained Staff
We can help answer any questions or concerns you may have before you depart. Whilst travelling the guide or local team on our trips are there to help, and to ensure the smooth running of our trips.
Should you require medical assistance whilst travelling, the local team or guide will be able to help you get to a point of care. Medical facilities and standards can vary across the glove, so you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place.
Varying group sizes
To begin with, many trips will run with amended group sizes, so you may find smaller groups than would be typical. This may vary by trip, or even by individual departure dates.
Whilst there may be changes on our trips, it is vital that you make travelling safer for yourself, your travel companions, the local staff and guides, and the people of the country you are visiting. You should follow all local laws and restrictions, and follow the guidance of the local team. In addition, you can help make travel safer by bringing and using your own face coverings/masks and hand sanitiser, social distance where appropriate, wash your hands frequently, and cover your face when coughing or sneezing.