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Crossing a stream on Osa Peninsula

Monteverde + Costa Rica and Panama

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Quest
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Join the National Geographic Quest on this journey sailing the pristine wilderness of Costa Rica and Panama. Venture to magical, lush rainforests and pristine, deserted beaches. Explore Monteverde’s cloud forest, a rarefied mountain rainforest strung with suspension bridges. Discover jungle areas and cruise through the historic Panama Canal, all the while on the look out for the rich and diverse flora and fauna that populate this enchanting region!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica
Days 2-3 : Monteverde Cloud Forest
Day 4 : Monteverde| Herradura |Embark
Day 5 : Corcovado National Park
Day 6 : Osa Peninsula
Day 7 : Golfo Dulce
Day 8 : Coiba National Park, Panama
Day 9 : Gulf of Panama Islets|Panama Canal Transit
Day 10 : Gatun Lake|Panama Canal Transit
Day 11 : Disembark in Colon | Transfer to Panama City

Highlights

  • Enjoy abundant opportunities to see creatures in their natural environs
  • Transit the Panama Canal & visit the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • Explore the picturesque Monteverde cloud forest
  • Escape into wildness in enchanting Costa Rica & Panama

Ship

National Geographic Quest

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Crossing a stream on Osa Peninsula Black iguana Sloth in the jungle lookie what we found while birdwatching! Jungle waterfall

Day 1 Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive in San Jose. Upon arrival, a short drive brings you to the Costa Rica Marriott Hotel.

Day 2-3 Monteverde Cloud Forest

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
A scenic drive up the mountain takes you to Monteverde Cloud Forest, an acclaimed private reserve. Bathed in cool, year-round moisture, the forest is covered with mosses and 300 species of orchids. Walk trails rich with butterflies, insects and birds and watch for the rare resplendent quetzal. Ascend the Skywalk, a series of suspension bridges, for a bird's-eye view of the rain forest canopy. Learn about life in the early Monteverde community from one of the original Quaker homesteaders. Spend each night in a charming, family-owned lodge.

Day 4 Monteverde| Herradura |Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue your exploration of Monteverde and travel to Herradura to embark your ship.

Day 5 Corcovado National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchor off the Osa Peninsula to see some of the most pristine lowland rain forest on the Pacific coast. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, swim in waterfall pools, take an optional horseback ride on the coast, or trek through the rain forest for a chance to see three species of monkeys—howler, spider and capuchin. 

Day 6 Osa Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Quest anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula and the environs of Corcovado National Park. Your exact landing spot for the day depends on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride on the beach, or join an expedition landing craft cruise. Trek through the rainforest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider, and squirrel!

Day 7 Golfo Dulce

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica. Visit Casa Orquídeas, a tropical paradise of ornamental palms, bromeliads, heliconias, and orchids, closed to the general public and reached by boat only. Keep your eye out for tanagers, parrots, and toucans. Later, explore the placid bay, ideal for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac rides, and swimming.

Day 8 Coiba National Park, Panama

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The first stop in Panama this morning is at the remote Isla Coiba, one of the many islands of Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once a penal colony, the island has long been protected and accessible by special permit only. Among its many endemic species are the Coiba Island agouti and the mantled howler monkey, as well as four varieties of sea turtle. Discover rich marine life while snorkeling, go kayaking or hiking, try stand-up paddleboarding, or simply relax on the beach. 

Day 9 Gulf of Panama Islets|Panama Canal Transit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, explore the tiny islets of the Gulf of Panama by Zodiac or kayak. Here we might spot frigatebirds, brown pelicans, neotropical cormorants, and brown boobies. Set sail for the Panama Canal this afternoon. Stretching more than 50 miles, the canal was a colossal engineering feat completed in 1914. It is still traversed by some 14,000 ships every year. As cargo ships tend to pass through the canal during the day, we’ll most likely begin our crossing at night, when the canal is dramatically lit.

Day 10 Gatun Lake|Panama Canal Transit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
By special arrangement, National Geographic Quest will anchor in Gatun Lake near the Barro Colorado Nature Monument overnight. Today, choose hikes and Zodiac cruises at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute facility on Barro Colorado Island, or take a boat ride to the mouth of the Chagres River and hike on the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center trails. This evening, continue through the complex lock system of the canal.

Day 11 Disembark in Colon | Transfer to Panama City

Disembark after breakfast in Colón. Drive to the airport in Panama City for flights home.

National Geographic Quest

Per person starting at
$8,060
Select a Date
Category 1
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, and two portholes. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
Select a Date
Category 2
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, and two portholes. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
National Geographic Quest Cabin
Select a Date
Category 3
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, and a large view window. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
Select a Date
Category 4
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door, and small, private balcony. Individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.
National Geographic Quest Cabin
Select a Date
Category 5
Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Shampoo, lotion, and hair dryer are all available, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability. 
 

Costs Include:
  • All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar
  • All meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship
  • Meals on land as indicated
  • Air transportation where indicated as included
  • Shore excursions
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Special access permits
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • Use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits
  • Use of kayaks (where available)
  • Gratuities (except to ship’s crew)
  • Taxes and service charges
  • Services of a ship physician on most voyages
  • Services of expedition staff

Not Included:
  • Air transportation (except where shown as included)
  • Extensions
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Scuba diving (where available)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Baggage/accident/travel protection plan
  • Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, and laundry
  • Gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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