Costa Rica & Panama

Always wanted to see Panama and Costa Rica? Great news! We designed the perfect combination between these two country’s with arrival in Panama City and departure out of San Jose.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Panama City, Panama – San Jose, Costa Rica
DURATION OF TRIP 20 Nights
ADVISED MONTHS OF TRAVEL All year around
INCLUDED
Airport Transfers
20 Nights Lodging w/Breakfast Included
3 Nights in Panama City
3 Nights in Bocas del Toro
2 Nights in Puerto Viejo
1 Night in Yorkin
1 Night in Cahuita
2 Nights in Tortuguero
2 Nights in La Fortuna
2 Nights in Monteverde
3 Nights in Samara
1 Night in San Jose
Local flight from Panama City to Bocas del Toro
Transfer from Bocas del Toro to Puerto Viejo
4×4 Rental Car w/basic Insurance for 13 days
All meals included in Yorkin
All meals included in Tortuguero
Boat tours through the Tortuguero Canals
Visit to the Tortuguero Village
English speaking guide in Tortuguero
24/7 Natural Mystic Travel Assistance
NOT INCLUDED
Flights
Meals other than included
Gasoline and optional full coverage Insurance
Personal expenses and tips

 

Additional information

Customize Your TripChange Destinations, Add Destinations, Add Tours, Modify Lodging, Upgrade Rental Car
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Day 1: Arrival in Panama City

At arrival in Panama City your driver will be waiting for you to bring you to the Tryp Panama Centro. Panama City is well known for it’s variety; big skyscrapers, the old colonial part of the city, the colorful markets, the Balboa along the coastline, the local shops and also the upscale hip clubs and restaurants..A real vibrant city!
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Day 2: Panama City

Two full days to discover everything that Panama City has to offer! You can opt for a tour to the islands in front of the coast, visit the Amador Causeway, the Cerro Ancon, the Ebera indigenous group or Casco Viejo, a lot of options to choose from!
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Day 3: Panama City

Of course a visit to the Canals of Panama can’t be missed now that you are here! The Miraflores Locks are located on the Pacific side and also the locks on the Caribbian Colon are easily accessible by train.
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Day 4: Bocas del Toro

Today is going to be an exciting day as you will hop an a beautiful flight towards the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. The archipelago of Bocas del Toro counts a dozen of small green islands with crystal blue waters. From the 80 different kinds of corals that the Caribbean counts, you can find almost all of them here! This means great snorkeling and spotting of dolphins, starfish and many colorful fishes.
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Day 5: The islands of Bocas del Toro

The boat docks on the main island offer many different tours to the different islands. We recommend to visit Cayo Zapatilla, Starfish Beach, Red Frog Beach and Dolphin Bay!
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Day 6: The islands of Bocas del Toro

Another day to visit some islands around! A nice place to hang out for drink is Aqua Lounge. They have fun swings to jump in the ocean, as well as a fun trampoline and of course delicious cocktails to watch the sunset. Another great place to have some food is Bibi’s on the beach!
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Day 7: Puerto Viejo

Today you will head to the beautiful Caribbean Coast line of Costa Rica. A boat and shuttle will take you to the boarder where your driver will help you with all the boarder formalities. Once on the other side in Costa Rica, you will hop back on the shuttle to head towards Puerto Viejo. You will be staying in this little town for the next two nights. The small village of Puerto Viejo is vibrant and there is always something happening; live music, many great restaurants and a night of dancing underneath the stars with your feet in the Caribbean sand will add to the Caribbean feeling. Your hotel for these two night will be Cariblue, located right in front of Cocles beach and nearby town for restaurants and shops.
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Day 8: Puerto Viejo

A full day in Puerto Viejo and around. The coast line spreads out from Cahuita all the way to Manzanillo Gandoca; into the Amistad national park. The beaches invite for sunbathing and the different bays each offer another activity; surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, stand up paddling and swimming. A great way to move around is by renting a bike for just $5 a day.

Another great thing to do is to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center. This center is a great place to visit as you will be able to see the animals from very close. They are open 2 times a day; 09:30 and 11:30 for a tour and has an entrance fee cost of $20 per person. By visiting the Jaguar Center, your donation will go directly to caring for our rainforest guests.

Koki Beach is without a doubt one of our personal favorite restaurants in town; wonderful food and a Caribbean stylish ambiance

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Day 9: An overnight with the indigenous of Yorkin

Your rental car will be delivered at your hotel in the morning. It will be a Hyundai Bego 4×4 (or similar) for the rest of your travels.

Once you received the car you will start to drive towards the little town of Bambu. Here you will leave your car behind for one night as you will continue your journey by canoe towards Yorkin, a little town of Bri Bri where you will be a guest with the indigenous for 2 days.

After arrival your guide will take you to the lodge and you will visit the medicine garden right after that. Of course your guide will explain you all about the healing power of this medicine garden. You will also visit the local school and the traditional housing (cabins) of the Bri Bri. Your guide will explain you about the history of his people and how they had to escape in the jungle when Columbus arrived in Costa Rica. Very interesting is to see how the Bri Bri saved their own traditions as well as their language and habits.

After a typical Bri Bri lunch, the guide will take you on a chocolate tour where he will explain the whole process from cacaobean to chocolate. You will see how the cacaobean gets roasted and grinded and you will taste a bit of this in the form of a hot chocolate drink. Of course you will also taste the pure chocolate bar as we know it!

In the afternoon you will receive a short workshop about their ‘artisania’. They will show you how they make their products straight from nature with calabashes and seeds. After the workshop you will receive dinner and will be ready for your night in the jungle!

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Day 10: Cahuita National Park

After breakfast, your guide will take you on a short hike through the jungle. He will show you how the Bri Bri hunted back in the day with bow and arrow. You will get a chance to try and will see that it’s not as easy as it looks like!

After the hike you will have lunch and will then make your way back to Bambu where you will pick up your rental car to drive to your next destination; Cahuita. You will be staying here for 1 night and will have some time to visit the famous national park. This park is easy to walk on your own and you will see lots of monkeys, sloths, snakes, raccoons, birds and many more species! The park is also located next to the beautiful beach of Cahuita so don’t forget your swimwear to take a refreshing dip in the ocean.

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Day 11: Tortuguero National Park

An early rise today! You will drive towards Guapiles where you will leave your rental car behind for the next two days. Your English / Spanish speaking Tortuguero guide will pick you up at Selva Tropical where your Costarican breakfast is served.

The route will continue along big banana fields until you reach the dock. The last part of today’s journey will be by boat, so get your camera’s ready for the wildlife you can encounter on this last leg of the trip.

Upon your arrival at the Laguna Lodge it’s about lunch time and you can taste the Caribbean dishes at the restaurant after you settled in your comfortable room.

In the afternoon your guide will take you on a tour to the Tortuguero Village and he or she will tell you all about the National Park of Tortuguero and, the sea turtle nesting sites and the culture of this isolated part of Costa Rica.

The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure to relax at the pool, have a drink at the river bar or stroll around the lodge or beach to find sloths, monkeys, toucans and other beautiful species until dinner will be served.

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Day 12: Tortuguero National Park

This morning you will experience the jungle waking up while on a boat tour through the canals of Tortuguero. Depending the weather circumstances the tour may leave before or after breakfast. No matter the departure time, you will hear and see all animals looking for food and sunlight.

Your guide will tour this boat trip so you will learn about the animals in their habitat. In the afternoon your guide will take you on a guided walk to spot even more animals, like lizards and birds. All meals are included this day, as well as coffee, tea, water and cookies.

In the turtle nesting season (July/September) you do not want to miss the turtle watching tour. Your guide can give you more information about the chances of seeing the turtles and about the price (as this tour is not included in the package). If the circumstances are good for watching turtles your guide will take you to the beaches after dark to witness the sea turtles laying eggs, an experience you do not want to miss!

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Day 13: La Fortuna

Today your guide will take you back to Guapiles by boat. Here your lunch will be served and you will pick up your rental car to drive towards your next destination; La Fortuna, at the slopes of the Arenal volcano. As you get closer to La Fortuna you will see the perfectly shaped active Arenal Volcano from a distance. For the next two nights your hotel will be Arenal Montechiari; a beautiful lodge with cabins with a private terrace and a great view of the Arenal Volcano. You can relax in the swimming pool or stroll around the lodge in search for birds, monkeys and sloths or just enjoy the wonderful view of the majestic Arenal volcano.
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Day 14: Volcano Arenal and surroundings

Today you’ll have the whole day to discover the area. There is a lot to do here: a boat ride over the Cano Negro river, hanging bridges, hot springs, the waterfall of La Fortuna…
Let us know if you would like to book a fun tour in advance or we can also add this once you are here.
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Day 15: Monteverde Cloudforest

It is time to leave the Volcano as you will be heading towards the beautiful cloudforest of Monteverde. When getting close to Monteverde you will have great views of the lake, the valley and the coffee plantations. Your hotel for two nights will be Monteverde Inn.
After your arrival you can opt for a coffee tour, or a twilight walk to see the animals that are active after sunset! We can make reservations for your preferred tours.
Santa Elena has some very nice dining options. We love to have dinner in the excellent Treehouse; a memorable dinner in the top of a tree!
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Day 16: Monteverde Cloudforest

Today you can opt for a hanging bridges or exciting canopy tour. Transportation and professional guides will be included. The tour will depart early in the morning so you will have most change of seeing animals. You might even see the Resplendent Quetzal! Your guide will tell you all about the flora and fauna during this tour.
In the afternoon you can explore the Monteverde National Park or the Santa Elena reserve. The trails are well marked and lead through the ancient cloud forest; a beautiful piece of preserved nature!
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Day 17: The beaches of Nicoya

Your last part of the trip will be spend at the beautiful beaches of Nicoya, in the little town of Samara (one of our favorite destinations). Samara located in Nicoya offers a beautiful spread out beach with fun little terraces under the palm trees. Your hotel has a nice swimming pool to relax and you will also be able to do some tours around and see the Olive Ridley Turtle that is resident of the waters around Samara!
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Day 18: Samara and sea turtles in Ostinal

We highly recommend to make a night tour to the beaches of Ostinal or Camaronal to see the Olive Ridley hatching. There is a nursery where they protect their nests, and with a little luck, you will be able to see the baby turtles running towards the ocean!

Other great activities to do around here could be to take a surf lesson or to rent a kayak and go snorkeling on your own to the island located nearby. This island has a beautiful little reef where you will be able to see tons of colorful fishes. Also don’t forget to visit our favorite beach bar: Gusto@the beach. They have a great lounge area with sofa’s, great food, live music and great cocktails to watch the sun set!

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Day 19: Samara Beach

Your last day on the beach has arrived..Enjoy the beautiful beach and soak up the sun before heading home for one more day!
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Day 20: San Jose

Waking up in Samara with the sounds of the howler monkeys, you will have breakfast and then start driving towards San Jose. You will spend one more night here, before your flight back home.
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Day 21: Flight back home

At time for your flight, you will drive towards the airport to drop off your rental car and hop on your flight back home.

Your Natural Mystic Trip at a glance

With this trip you will be able to see the highlights of Panama and Costa Rica. Fly into Panama City and out of San Jose.

We will first take you through the wonderful city of Panama City where you will be able to see the Panama locks and stroll around the city to also see the colonial part. From Panama City you will take a local flight to the islands of Bocas del Toro for 3 days on the beautiful crystal clear waters. There are many great islands to discover here: Cayo Zapatilla, Bird Island, Red Frog Beach and Starfish Beach.

From Bocas del Toro you will do the crossover to Costa Rica with our guidance, which will make the border crossing go smooth and fast. You will then stay 2 nights in the lovely town of Puerto Viejo where you can explore the coastline by bike. Don’t forget to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center here to be able to see many animals from up close!

We also included a very special stay as you will be a guest with the Bri Bri indigenous for one night. With your rental car you will drive up to Bambu from where you will continue your journey by canoe. Your guide will teach you all about their habits and culture as he will take you on many guided tours through the jungle.

Your next destination will be the National Park of Cahuita. A small fisherman village with a National Park full of flora and fauna. You will have some time here to hike through the park and spot many different kind of animals!

From the Caribbean Coast you will then head to La Fortuna, a little town located on the foot of the famous Arenal Volcano. They call this destination the adventure capitol of Costa Rica for a reason as there are many different activities to do around here; rafting, canyoning, ziplining, hanging bridges or if you prefer not to be so adventurous: hot springs, the la fortuna waterfall and National Park or a boat ride through Cano Negro National Park.

Your next destination will be the cloud forest of Monteverde. A magical place where you will be able to spot many different bird species like for example the Quetzal. Here you can opt to hike through the reserve or see the animals from up close by walking over the hanging bridges or make an exciting zipline tour.

To end your vacation, we will take you to the beaches of Nicoya. You will stay 3 nights at the beautiful town of Samara where you will be able to relax, soak up the sun, do some surfing and spot the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle!

Your Selected Lodging for this trip

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The TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro is located in the heart of Panama City in the upscale El Cangrejo, Bella Vista neighborhood just 15 miles from Tocumen International Airport. The convenient location of our hotel puts you within walking distance to some of Panama’s best restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

Taste the flavors of Old Town and sample different foods and drinks while enjoying music and shows late into the evening. The hotel is also the perfect departure point for visits to the Panama Canal and Casco Viejo, the historic center of the city. Discover the natural beauty of the area with a hike through Metropolitan National Park, home to over 254 species of birds. If you love to shop, the Multiplaza Mall contains department stores and restaurants sure to please all tastes and budgets, while craft markets located in Old Panama and the Canal area are also sure to delight.

Click here for more information about Tryp Panama Centro

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Escape to Hotel Swan’s Cay, a Bocas del Toro Panama hotel where European luxury meets Caribbean hospitality.

One of the first hotels in Bocas del Toro, Hotel Swan’s Cay is located in the center of Bocas Town on Main Street overlooking the central park and municipal buildings, conveniently close to all stores and main facilities on Isla Colon Bocas del Toro.

As for the central location you can easily visit all parts of this beautiful Island Archipelago; many captains offer their boats and services to show you Dolphin Bay, Sea Star Beach, Bird Island, Red Frog Beach, clear water mangroves, deserted islands and pristine beaches.

The hotel offers a swimming pool, an Italian restaurant on-site and friendly staff that will help you make your Bocas del Toro stay a great one!

Click here for more information about Swans Cay

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The Cariblue Beach & Jungle Resort offers the relaxing environment of the untainted and colorful frequented Playa Cocles (together with the neighboring Playa Negra, Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva one of the most beautiful and most famous beaches facing to the Southern Caribbean Sea of Costa Rica – and certainly the most loved by surfers).

Enjoy the unforgettable experience of an eco-friendly lodging among centuries-old trees in the heart of the rainforest of Talamanca, near the Wildlife Refuge Gandoca – Manzanillo.

Thanks to this extraordinary location, the guest are treated to an optimal bird-watching opportunity too: about 120 species of birds are observable in the hotel garden as well as monkeys, sloths and iguanas that can be seen!

Click here for more information about Cariblue

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Atlantida Lodge offers Cahuita beach front location, lodging for all budgets, a big swimming pool and a beautiful tropical garden.

A bar and restaurant are on site and at short walking distance you are in the heart of the small Caribbean Cahuita village.

A great family lodge to explore all of the Caribbean Coast!

Click here for more information about Atlantida Lodge

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Laguna Lodge is an eco-touristic lodge, located in Tortuguero surrounded by beautiful rivers, lakes and wetlands that shelter a lush jungle of primary forests and exotic plants.

The lodge is built on a narrow strip of land, 650 feet wide, between Tortuguero´s main lagoon and the Caribbean Sea, a lot of wildlife guaranteed! You will be amazed by the variety of wildlife you can encounter and sleeping with the sounds of the jungle and the sea around you.

All meals are included during your stay in Laguna Lodge, as well as professionally guided tours.

[at_btn text=”Click here for more information about the Laguna Lodge” url=”http://naturalmystictravel.com/tours/laguna-lodge/

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Arenal Montechiari is a cozy small hotel, offering bungalows at just 400 meters from to La Fortuna center, yet offering a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano. A swimming pool is nested in the tropical garden.

The charming rooms have an exterior terrace from which you can view birds, butterflies that flutter amongst the flowers and plant life in the hotel gardens. You can read your favorite book or simply breathe in the tranquility that you feel at this hotel.

The bungalows are spacious enough for families; a good option to stay in La Fortuna at the slopes of the Arenal Volcano.

Click here for more information about Arenal Montechiari

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Monteverde Inn is located in the Valle Escondido Reserve, offering hotel guest free access to the reserve to explore the abundant nature, waterfalls and wildlife in the Monteverde primary cloud forest.  The Inn is a small familiar place where you will feel right at home!

Still close to all Santa Elena and Monteverde has to offer, it is a nice quiet secluded place. The lodge offer guided walks after sunset in the private Valles Escondido Reserve; highly recommended!

Click here for more information about Monteverde Inn

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Hideaway Hotel Samara has a quiet location close to both Samara & Carrillo beaches and offers relaxation and privacy, plus easy access to exciting activities.

A one minute stroll leads to the pristine beaches and the Hideaway offers a nice swimming pool and a gourmet restaurant on-site.

Spacious guest rooms and excellent service in this quality Samara hotel.

Click here for more information about Samara Hideaway

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Situated three blocks from the city’s main avenue, and walking distance of downtown, the Park Inn hotel’s location is perfect for your stay in San Jose.

Enjoy local and international cuisine at RBG Bar & Grill, and enjoy a dip in the shimmering outdoor pool.

The Park Inn hotel features in-room amenities like wifi and 42-inch flat-screen televisions in the rooms and for you exercise after of before your flight, the hotel also offers a gym.

Click here for more information about Hotel Park Inn

Note: All selected lodges subject to availability, let us know if you would like to see different lodging options or upgrade your stay!

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