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Playa Manuel Antonio

Central American Adventure: Costa Rica & The Panama Canal

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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Your adventure begins in San Jose, Costa Rica, where you will meet at a central location before transferring to Puerto Caldera on the coast. From the Nicoya Peninsula work your way south, visiting four different national parks or protected areas. Your small ship gives you unprecedented access to the colourful bays and hidden coves of this lush, tropical coastline. Explore on foot, hiking the trail networks of the parks, or strolling along the white sandy beaches. After a week leave this tropical paradise and head for Panama City, journeying down one of the modern wonders of the world - the Panama Canal. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Jose, Costa Rica | Embark
Day 2 : Nicoya Peninsula | Curú National Wildlife Refuge
Day 3 : Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 4 : Osa Peninsula | Corcovado National Park
Day 5 : Osa Peninsula | Golfo Dulce
Day 6 : Coiba Island | Golfo de Montijo
Day 7 : Pearl Islands | Isla del Rey
Day 8 : Panama City
Day 9 : Panama Canal
Day 10 : Colon, Panama | Disembark


  • Explore the protected national parks of Costa Rica & Panama
  • Hike through rugged rainforests learning about the endemic wildlife species
  • Enjoy this tropical paradise in a zodiac, kayak or on a paddle board
  • Travel through the Panama Canal – one of the modern wonders of the world


RCGS Resolute

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Aerial view of San Jose city Friendly Sloth Playa Manuel Antonio Red-eyed tree frog on flower Crossing a stream on Osa Peninsula

Day 1 San Jose, Costa Rica | Embark

This morning have the opportunity to explore the capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose. Wander through some of the many plazas that dot this historic city and try a plate of the national dish, Gallo Pinto. After your afternoon rendezvous at a central location in San Jose, then transfer two hours west to Puerto Caldera. Here meet your vessel, RCGS Resolute, head aboard and settle into our rooms. Tonight enjoy dinner and then migrate to the deck, reveling in the first of many tropical sunsets. RCGS Resolute makes a short sail across the Gulf of Nicoya to anchor off the Nicoya Peninsula, ready for the next day’s adventures.

Day 2 Nicoya Peninsula | Curú National Wildlife Refuge

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore the Curú National Wildlife Refuge which is nestled at the southeast tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. From a gentle walk along the well established trails in the heart of the park, to a more challenging hike on the Finca de Monos trail - a prime Spider Monkey viewing area - there are several ways to explore this national treasure and its diverse wildlife. The refuge hosts one of the most beautiful beaches on the peninsula and has spearheaded many successful sustainable development programs from reintroducing the near extinct Spider Monkey, to the coral reef restoration project and migratory bird monitoring. The tangled mangroves of the shoreline and nearby islands are the ideal backdrop for kayaking, paddle boarding or snorkeling.

Day 3 Manuel Antonio National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your adventure continues in the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the smallest yet most visited national parks in Costa Rica. Boarding the zodiacs, access the park, slowly cruising along the turquoise blue waters of this tropical paradise. Boasting over 100 species of mammals, 184 species of birds and a plethora of diverse flora, this park is a wildlife lover’s dream. Keep your eyes peeled for two and three toed sloths, white-faced monkeys and toucans as you explore the entanglement of trails weaving through the park. The network of hiking trails crisscross the parkland, providing access to its rainforest, white sand beaches, waterfalls and coral reefs. You may also catch a glimpse of the dramatic volcanic rock formations, Punta Cathedral and Punta Serrucho, from several of the beaches that line the Manuel Antonio National Park. If you would rather explore the park by water, use a paddle board or kayak for an aquatic adventure, or simply relax on one of the white sand beaches.

Day 4 Osa Peninsula | Corcovado National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Extending into the sea at the southern end of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, the Osa Peninsula is rich with both wildlife and history. This is the first of two days in one of the country’s most remote destinations and once again take advantage of your coastal access to explore the ‘Parque Nacional Corcovado’. Almost half of the peninsula is devoted to the park which protects an incredible variety of wildlife, including Costa Rica’s largest population of jaguars and tapirs. The park is also home to the only remaining old growth wet forests on the Pacific coast of Central America, all four of the country’s monkey species: howler, spider, white-faced capuchin and squirrel, 20 species of hummingbird, the endemic yellow-billed cotinga and black-cheeked ant tanager, crimson fronted parakeets, and more.

Day 5 Osa Peninsula | Golfo Dulce

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the second day on the Osa Peninsula round its most southern point, while navigating the emerald waters of the Golfo Dulce or “Sweet Gulf”. Experience the breathtaking tropical paradise unfolding before your eyes. There are two ways to explore the Golfo Dulce, either by land or sea. If you want to try your hand at panning for gold, a practice that extends back thousands of years in the region, join us when you visit the little town of Puerto Jimenez, one of the largest towns on the Osa Peninsula, boasting just over 3,000 inhabitants. If the water is your prefered method of exploration, kayak or paddle board through the expansive tangled mangroves as the wildlife thrives around you. Pods of spinner, bottlenose and spotted dolphins are also residents of the gulf, and in April and May, the enigmatic whale shark comes to breed in Golfo Dulce. If you are lucky you may be able to spot one of these solitary gentle giants, who can live up to 150 years.

Day 6 Coiba Island | Golfo de Montijo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you bid farewell to Costa Rica, our first stop in Panama is Coiba Island, a place with an unusual history. Having separated from the mainland an estimated 15,000 years ago, Coiba is now home to many endemic subspecies, such as the Coiba Island howler monkey and the Coiba Spinetail. In 2005, Coiba National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is home to numerous native flora that have since become extinct on the mainland of Panama due to deforestation. This is also one of the last places in Central America where the scarlet macaw can still be found in sizeable numbers. Venture out on foot, kayak, or paddle board to explore this tropical gem. If time permits, have the opportunity to sail to near-by Granito De Oro, which is a top snorkeling location due to the diversity and volume of marine life. In the afternoon explore the famous wetlands of the Golfo de Montijo, whose 50,000 acres of mangroves are home to a staggering abundance of wildlife. Cruise the shoreline of the gulf with your cameras and binoculars poised, ready to view the wetlands that are teaming with waterfowl and wading birds

Day 7 Pearl Islands | Isla del Rey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You have now entered the Gulf of Panama, but before you head for the Panamanian mainland, make one more island-hopping stop at the Pearl Islands, oras locals refer to it, Islas de las Perlas. This archipelago of more than 250 islands received its name from Spanish Conquistadors who found countless pear ls when they visited the islands in 1503. Isla Del Rey is the largest and most visited, with several resorts and hotels, while Isla Saboga is less populated, less visited and offers a glimpse into traditional island culture. Most famous for their deserted white sand beaches, fragile ecosystems and marine life, the islands also made a splash when they were featured as the location for the Survivor television series

Day 8 Panama City

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a week of exploring the remote tropical coastline and far-flung islands, trade your flip-flops for walking shoes today as you venture into the cityscape of Panama City. Steeped in rich Spanish history, its cobblestoned historic centre, Casco Viejo, is framed by colonial era landmarks such as the Presidential Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. Be sure to enjoy an espresso or mojito in one of the many cafés shaded by bougainvillea in Panama’s old quarter. For those in search of a cultural experience, the numerous museums, including the Museum of Biodiversity, designed by Frank Gehry, is an experience every architectural fan should check off their bucket list. If you are looking for a quintessential Panamanian hat or a mola made by the Guna Indians in the San Blas Islands, then the markets are a must see. Head to the fish market for a tasty snack or the National Handicraft Market if pottery, molas and jewelry handcrafted by the pre-Spanish indigenous people of Panama is more your style.

Day 9 Panama Canal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With your cups full of the cultural experiences of Panama City, today sit back and let the history come to you. Spending the better part of the day (8+ hours) moving though the 77km Panama Canal from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, pass under the Bridge of the Americas before entering the Miraflores Locks. The locks  then takes you up to Miraflores Lake, then up again to Gatun Lake, before being lowered back down to the sea level of the Caribbean Sea. You can not simply watch this incredible feat of engineering, you have the opportunity to experience it firsthand. With the crossing completed, then anchor near the city of Colon to enjoy your final dinner together attended by the Captain of the ship and toast your adventures.

Day 10 Colon, Panama | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, it is time to bid farewell to your crew and fellow travelers as we disembark RCGS Resolute. A transfer back to Panama City is provided for all guests and while some of you travel to the airport, many may wish to add a few extra days to explore more of the masterpiece that is Panama City.

RCGS Resolute

Per person starting at
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Main Deck Triple
Located on Deck 3 these cabins feature the option for a double or two single beds and a third Pullman berth, which can fold out from the wall if required. A sectional lounge is placed by the portholes with a writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the expedition room and gangway.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Twin Private Cabin
Twin Private cabins are located on Deck 4 and have the option for either a queen or two single configured beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Cabin
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Plus Cabin
Superior Plus cabins are located midships on Deck 5. They are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. A comfortable lounge is placed by the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample floor to ceiling cabinet storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Shackleton Suite
The Shackleton Suites are situated on Deck 6. Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a queen or two single beds with upgraded linen/ pillows.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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One Ocean Suite
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. Sleeping quarters feature a queen size bed with upgraded linen/pillows. Included is a comfortable sectional lounge with matching club chairs, a large desk, expansive floor to ceiling cabinetry, and spacious washroom facilities with both a shower and bathtub.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.  

Your Expedition Includes:
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your voyage
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation 
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, ecofriendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings 
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities 
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits 
  • Educational presentations and talks by experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management 
  • An emergency trained medical physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff 
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa
  • treatments) 
  • Access to well stocked library full of reference books
  • Optional Sea kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddling boarding, etc. (included in the voyage fare) 
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB 
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
The Expedition does not include:
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses 
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged) 
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged) 
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses 
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone) 
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all One Ocean Expeditions trips) 
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount –$US12-15 per day)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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