We invite you to join us on an expedition to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. It is the perfect winter escape. Dense, lush rain forest. Pristine deserted beaches. Monkeys galore. Coatimundis and dozing sloths, plus toucans, macaws, and hummingbirds. Walk deep into the rain forest; the only sounds are the birds and monkeys in the trees and your own footfalls. And slowly, everyday life dissipates as revitalization takes over. Each day reveals distinct facets of the region: forest trails for hiking, a cool swim in a waterfall pool, or a coral reef to snorkel. Opportunities abound to see creatures in their natural environs—both on land and in the sea.
This trip is a singular experience of diverse nature and jungle wildlife coupled with an in-depth crossing of the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering. During our program we will: venture into remote wilderness: hike among monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds, and explore far from any inhabited places; we will transit the Panama Canal—a historical marvel of engineering; kayak in cool azure waters where the rain forest meets the sea; and we will explore idyllic islands; snorkel over a vibrant coral reef and take an expedition landing craft cruise through mangroves.
Upon arrival in San José, transfer to Herradura and embark National Geographic Sea Lion. (D)
Spend the morning in Manuel Antonio National Park. We explore early, when the wildlife is
most active. The naturalists point out monkeys or birds as they zip through the forest, and
lethargic three-toed sloths in the trees. In the afternoon, find a place for a hike or take a
refreshing swim. (B,L,D)
We anchor off the Osa Peninsula, unreachable by road, to see some of the most pristine
lowland rain forest on the Pacific. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, you may swim
in waterfall pools, horseback ride, or join an expedition landing craft cruise. Trek through the
rain forest to look for monkeys. (B,L,D)
We enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce, a protected
gulf along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica. At Casa
Orquídeas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat
and special invitation, see a profusion of orchids; look for tanagers,
parrots, and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the placid bay, ideal for
kayaking or swimming. (B,L,D)
Our first stop in Panama is at the remote Isla Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage
site. Once a penal colony, the island has long been protected and accessible by special
permit only. You’ll have an opportunity to search for the Coiba Island agouti and the mantled
howler money. The pristine beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. (B,L,D)
This archipelago of islands due south of Panama City has a storied past—pearls,
conquistadors, buccaneers, and so much more. We’ll explore the turquoise waters via
expedition landing craft or kayak, where dolphins and whales have been spotted. Observe
roosting and nesting magnificent frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies on the bluffs of
isolated islets. Reboard the ship in the afternoon and head to the Panama Canal. Stretching
more than 50 miles, the Canal was a colossal engineering feat completed in 1914. We’ll
most likely begin our crossing at night, when the Canal is dramatically lit. (B,L,D)
In the morning, we’ll board expedition landing craft for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in
Gatun Lake by special arrangement. This island has been the primary Smithsonian center for
tropical rain forest study since 1923, and we are proud to have special permission to visit the
facilities at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Join local guides for a walk through the
forests that so challenged the builders of the Canal. In the evening,
continue through the complex lock system of the Canal. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, disembark in Colón and transfer to the airport
in Panama City for flights home. (B)
Cost and program Inclusions
|Cabins & Rates Category||Double*||Solo|
|*Per person rate|
What is Included:
The cost of your voyage includes basically everything you have the opportunity to do as part of your expedition with us, both on board and on shore. The only things not included are those of a personal nature–alcohol, airfare to and from, an occasional meal ashore where we feel you might like to have the option, tips to crew, spa treatments, and certain specialized events or activities–like opera tickets in Vienna–that may interest only a limited number of people. You could literally go on our voyages with not a dollar in your pocket and have a perfectly excellent experience taking advantage of everything we offer.
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
- 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand (soda not incuded on Lord of the Glens)
- Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
- Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
- Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
- The guidance and company of our expedition staff
- The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
- Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
- Sightseeing & entrance fees
- Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
- Transfers to and from group flights
- The expertise of our expedition staff
- All excursions
- Zodiac & kayak explorations
- Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
- Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
What is Not Included:
While aboard ship nearly everything is included in the cost of your expedition, but getting to and from our ships is not included. International airfare and internal airfare are not included in the price of the expedition. Our air department is more than happy to help make your travel arrangements, and often, our guests choose to pay for their flights using miles.
- International and internal airfare
National Geographic Sea Lion
Linblad's twin expedition ship, National Geographic Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet comfortably accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. All cabins face outwards with windows, private facilities and individual climate control.
Thanks to Linblad's sturdy fleet of Zodiacs and virtually untippable kayaks, you can be off the ship and out exploring within a moment's notice. Launch your kayak from a picturesque beach, hike with our Bryn Mawr Faculty Lecturer or Linblad's naturalists into the rain forest or walk easily along a sandy dune.
The Public Areas of the ships include a Library; Lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slide shows and presentations; Observation Deck; partially covered Sun Deck with chairs and tables, and LEXspa. Linblad's "Open Bridge" policy provides guests and opportunity to meet their Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.
All meals are served in single a seating with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Breakfast is a wide selection buffet and lunch is often served family style. Menu emphasizes local flair.
Linblad's state of the art Expedition Equipment includes: Bow Camera, hydrophone, kayaks, snorkeling gear, Splash-Cam, underwater video camera, video microscope and, Zodiac landing craft. Special Features: Guest internet access, Wellness Program and LEXmarket. A Video Chronicler onboard all voyages.