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Scuba diving in the reefs

Panama and Costa Rica

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Tere Moana
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A transit of the Panama Canal ranks high on the “wish list” of most cruise enthusiasts. But this travel rite of passage is only one of the highlights of this unique small ship cruise itinerary. Embark the Tere Moana in Colón, Panama, and set off for Portobelo, whose 17th- and 18th-century fortifications are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From here, revel in a thrilling transit of the “path between the seas” en route to the Panamanian capital, Panama City, a sophisticated modern city steeped in history. Panama’s Coiba National Park, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its coral reefs and unspoiled virgin rainforest, awaits the next day. Then, marvel at the natural wonders of Costa Rica in Golfito, whose steep hills are carpeted with pristine rainforest … Quepos, a model of ecotourism … Isla Tortuga, home to wildlife reserves and refuges … and Curú Wildlife Reserve, a pioneering site in its combination of protected wildlife reserve and sustainable, low-impact agriculture. Your last port call on your Costa Rica tour is the Costa Rican city of Puerto Caldera, where you’ll disembark from a journey that is everything you might have wished.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Colon, Panama
Day 2 : Portobelo, Panama / Transit Canal
Day 3 : Panama City, Panama
Day 4 : Isla de Coiba, Panama
Day 5 : Golfito, Costa Rica
Day 6 : Quepos, Costa Rica
Day 7 : Isla Tortuga, Costa Rica / Curu Wildlife Reserve
Day 8 : Disembark in Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica


Tere Moana

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Scuba diving in the reefs Sunset at Quepos, Costa Rica. Enjoy a blissful snorkeling trip. A brightly colored toucan in the forest Snorkel with brilliant marine life

Day 1 Embark in Colon, Panama

A seaport on Panama’s Caribbean coast, the country’s second-largest city offers numerous parks and monuments, as well as the largest duty-free shopping zone in the Americas. Embark your luxurious floating hotel and enjoy time to settle into your stateroom before the ship casts off late this evening for your Panama Canal cruise.

Day 2 Portobelo, Panama / Transit Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover Portobelo, a fishing village on the northern part of the Isthmus of Panama whose sleepy nature today belies its storied history. Here, you can see remnants of the 17th- and 18th-century fortifications built when it was the greatest port in Central America and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This evening, you’ll experience a transit of one of the world’s great engineering marvels: the Panama Canal. During this 51-mile cruise, which ranks high on the “must-see” list of most cruise enthusiasts, you’ll enter the series of locks that raises ships about 85 feet above sea level, then lowers them back down again at the other side of the isthmus—all by force of gravity, without the use of any pumps. In the middle of the canal, you’ll sail through the 166-square-mile Gatun Lake—once the largest manmade lake in the world.

Day 3 Panama City, Panama

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day discovering the capital of the Republic of Panama and Central America’s capital of international finance. You might wish to explore Panama Viejo, the original founding site, which was destroyed in 1671 by the pirate Captain Henry Morgan, or Casco Viejo, built later that year and surrounded by fortifications to protect against future pirate attacks. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You might also view the Canal from the Miraflores Visitors Center and browse the museum … venture out to the scenic Amador Causeway, where Frank Gehry’s Biomuseo (Biodiversity Museum) is expected to open in 2013 … or shop for handicrafts from one of Panama’s seven living Indian tribes.

Day 4 Isla de Coiba, Panama

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A port call on Isla de Coiba, the largest island in Central America, gives you the opportunity to experience Coiba National Park. A Panamanian penal colony until 2004, it is comprised mostly of unspoiled virgin rainforest. Perhaps you’ll search for rare indigenous plants and a host of wildlife, including howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, crested eagles, and turtles. Or head for the beautiful white-sand beaches at the north end of the island.

Day 5 Golfito, Costa Rica

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Literally “Little Bay,” this small port town is located on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, near the border of Panama. Admire the excellent beaches set against the backdrop of the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Golfito (Golfito Wildlife Refuge), part of Costa Rica’s national parks system, featuring steep hills carpeted with pristine rainforest. Or take advantage of the sportfishing and duty-free shopping for which Golfito is renowned.

Day 6 Quepos, Costa Rica

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Set on an inlet surrounded by tropical rain forest, this Costa Rican village was home to the Quepo Indians until the mid-1700s. Today, it is an ecotourism and sportfishing mecca. Enjoy the high-spirited, friendly locals, who celebrate life with dancing in the streets and frequent festivals and other events. Explore the village center, a charming, compact area brimming with shops, galleries, restaurants, and bakeries set on the beach. Or venture the short distance to Manuel Antonio National Park—the country’s smallest park, yet one of the most biodiverse places in the world, with beautiful rain forests, beaches, and coral reefs.

Day 7 Isla Tortuga, Costa Rica / Curu Wildlife Reserve

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Literally “Turtle Island,” Isla Tortuga, off the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula, is home to wildlife reserves and refuges, with plenty of walking trails. As you cruise here, you might spot manta rays, pilot whales, or whale sharks. Then, come ashore to enjoy white-sand beaches shaded by coconut palms and perhaps go swimming or embark on a glass-bottom boat ride on emerald waters. Snorkelers can search for stingrays, angel fish, spinner dolphins, octopus, and sharks, while divers can explore the shipwrecks that have become havens for a variety of marine life.

In the afternoon, The Moana sails to Curú Wildlife Reserve, a privately owned wildlife reserve on Nicoya Peninsula. The park is pioneering in its combination of protected wildlife reserve and sustainable, low-impact agriculture. Among the animals you might see in the wild here are white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, scarlet macaws, collared peccary, coati, coyotes, iguanas, and hundreds of species of tropical and migratory birds. Curú also boasts one of the most beautiful beaches on Nicoya Peninsula.

Day 8 Disembark in Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

  • 1 Breakfast
Your voyage comes to an end in Puerto Caldera, a small port town on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. You’ll disembark The Moana here after breakfast this morning.

Tere Moana

Per person starting at
Tere Moana's Category C Cabin.
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C - Window Stateroom
Window Staterooms are 194 sq ft, some can accommodate a third guest on a sofa bed. Rooms 302-319.
Tere Moana's Category B Cabin.
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B - Window Stateroom
Window Staterooms are 194 sq ft, some can accommodate a third guest on a sofa bed. Rooms 401, 403-419.
Tere Moana's Category A Cabin.
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A - Balcony Stateroom
Balcony Staterooms are 298 sq ft (205 sq ft stateroom with 93 sq ft veranda). Rooms 501-508.


- Please note: Cruise fare does not include optional shore excursions - available to purchase for additional fees.
- Cruise fuel surcharges may apply.
- Rates are posted as double occupancy, and single supplements are available at 100%.
- Optional hotel stays and land programs are available, please contact us for details.

Additional Fees:
Port, security and handling charges are additional per person. Cruise ship fuel surcharge may apply.


  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
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Mary Curry
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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

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