Natural Wonders of Costa Rica
with the Panama Canal16 days from £2,299 per person
A tangled jungle of eco-wonderland swathed in palm-fringed beaches and enchanting cloud forests - Costa Rica is perfect for those with an appreciation for the natural world. Our tour combines unforgettable wildlife-watching opportunities, typical coffee culture in San Jose, the colonial splendour of Panama City and the astonishing engineering marvel of the Panama Canal. This magical land certainly dances to the beat of its own drum - but you’ll pick up the rhythm in no time.
Your holiday includes:
10 excursions and visits
- Tours of San Jose and Panama City
- Visits to Braulio Carrillo National Park; Tortuguero National Park; Arenal Volcano; Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge; Monteverde Butterfly Gardens and Cloud Forest private reserve
- Tortuguero Canals wildlife cruise
- Stop at Sarchi
- Partial transit of the Panama Canal
- 12 nights in hotels and 2 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International and regional flights as detailed. Prices are based on return flights with Avianca from London Heathrow via Bogota. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 19 meals: 12 breakfasts (days 3-14) 5 lunches (days 4-7 and 13) 2 dinners (days 4-5)
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager
- Travel in destination by coach
Day 1 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to San Jose.
On arrival our coach will transfer you to the Park Inn by Radisson (4-star), where we stay for two nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Park Inn by Radisson, San Jose (4-star)
Following breakfast, which is included throughout your holiday, we take a tour of this cosmopolitan capital city. Travelling through both business and residential areas of the city we experience the beautiful diversity of Costa Rican architecture, which include many European influences. During the tour we visit the Bellavista fortress, now home to the fascinating National Museum, which showcases many artefacts from Costa Rica’s history and culture. Later we take a brief tour of the exquisite National Theatre, modelled after the Paris Opera House.
San Jose - Tortuguero
We begin our journey this morning by driving through the stunning Braulio Carrillo National Park with its dramatic landscape of cloud-enshrouded primary tropical rainforest and volcanic mountains. We pass through banana plantations before travelling by boat along the sinuous waterways of the Tortuguero Canals, where we are captivated by the abundance of exotic flora and fauna. Our hotel for the next two nights is the Laguna Lodge (3-star), an eco-lodge in an area of amazing rivers, lakes, wetlands and lush, exotic jungle. In the afternoon, we’ll head out to explore Tortuguero village and visit the Turtle Preservation Centre.
Laguna Lodge, Tortuguero (3-star)
Tortuguero National Park
After breakfast, we explore the breathtaking paradise of the Tortuguero Canals. With its unique system of natural and man-made waterways this is a haven for a wide variety of birds, monkeys, sloths and toucans along with a dazzling array of orchids. After lunch the rest of the day is free for relaxation or exploration, with the option of a guided walk.
Tortuguero - Arenal
This morning we leave our lodge by boat, before continuing by coach through the plains of the San Carlos region, the heart of Costa Rica, thriving with agricultural and livestock smallholdings, to Arenal and its famous volcano. We stay for two nights at the Volcano Lodge (3-star) or The Tilajari Resort Hotel (4-star).
Volcano Lodge (3-star) or The Tilajari Resort Hotel (4-star), Arenal
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
View local communities as we travel to the village of Los Chiles on our full-day tour with lunch included. Here our boat takes us on a floating safari through tropical rainforest and pastures. The Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is considered to be one of the richest in biological diversity in Costa Rica, attracting a great variety of resident and migratory birds plus three different species of monkey and much more.
Arenal - Monteverde - Cloud Forest
This morning we depart Arenal for Monteverde, located along the continental divide at 5,000 feet above sea level. We experience the Butterfly Gardens, to observe and learn about these beautiful winged insects. Then venture through the Cloud Forest private reserve to witness the wide array of flora and fauna. This is one of the few places you may be able to glimpse a Quetzal. Our base for the next two nights is the Hotel Montana Monteverde (3-star) or Monteverde Country Lodge (3-star).
Hotel Montana Monteverde (3-star) or Monteverde Country Lodge (3-star)
Today is free to relax and explore this tropical haven, or take an optional excursion for an adventure into the cloud forest canopy. A Sky Walk of hanging bridges, trails and platforms above the forest floor, taking you to all the different layers of the forest for a great opportunity to see how the forest works.
Monteverde - San Jose
Leaving the magnificent cloud forest behind, we travel back to San Jose via the picturesque town of Sarchi, famous for its elaborately-painted oxcarts. We stay overnight at the Radisson Hotel (4-star).
Park Inn by Radisson, San Jose (4-star)
San Jose - Panama City
We travel to the airport this morning for our flight to Panama and Panama City. On arrival we check in at the Global Panama Hotel (4-star), where we stay for three nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Global Panama Hotel, Panama City (4-star)
This morning we take a tour of this fascinating city, first established in 1519. Our first stop is at the UNESCO World Heritage listed Panama Viejo Historic Monument Complex, where the remains of the oldest European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas are preserved. We continue to the Historic District, with some delightful colonial architecture. We take a walking tour to view the Palace of the President and the Cathedral. Our final stop on the tour is at the Causeway, which provides wonderful views of the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal.
It was the Spanish who first explored the idea of a canal in 1534; but at that time the task seemed impossible and it was over 300 years later before the efforts of the French commenced, brimming with confidence from the previous completion of the Suez Canal. Unfortunately a combination of mismanagement and tropical disease forced the company into financial ruin, with the project far from completion and the deaths of thousands of men. This task was taken up by the American Government in 1904; and over the course of ten years the canal was finally completed and stands today as both an engineering and economic marvel, offering travellers a unique and highly-sought-after experience, cruising through the huge system of locks. Our day begins as we board our small but comfortable vessel for our partial navigation along the Panama Canal. Massive ocean-going vessels will share the journey with us today and you will have the opportunity to view them up close as we progress through the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel lock systems, which hold back the vast Gatun Lake, and as we pass through the Gaillard Cut, one of the most spectacular parts of the entire length of the canal. The canal is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest and you will be able to see the native wildlife as you cruise by. Upon reaching Gatun Lake our vehicle takes us back to Panama City by road. Lunch is included on this truly memorable day.
Day 14 Panama City - In flight
Today we transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Day 15 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.