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Panama and Costa Rica by Sea: The Natural Wonders of Central America

Colón - Puerto Caldera - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Le Champlain
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Your 8-day journey in Central America will start along the white sands and translucent waters of Holandes Cayes, one of the coral islets of Panama’s San Blas Islands. Spend a day in this tropical paradise and enjoy the opportunity to swim and snorkel. After a daytime sailing from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the world-famous Panama Canal, Le Champlain calls at Fuerte Amador for an exploration of Panama City’s Old Quarter and Biomeseo. You sail next to the remote and magnificent Darién National Park and meet members of the local Emberá community. Your final call will be in Herradura, Costa Rica, gateway to the spectacular Carara National Park.
Ruins at the Fortress of Santiago
Highlights
  • Opportunity to explore, swim and snorkel on beautiful Holandes Cayes
  • Discover the lively city of Panama
  • Visit the region's rich tropical flora and fauna in Carara National Park
  • Encounter with the local indigenous Kuna and Emberá communities
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Colón | Embark

  • 1 Dinner
strong>Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is today an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city. Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened.

Day 2: San Blas Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the north-east coast of Panama, the San Blas archipelago is a string of coral islands in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. More than 300 islands and cays cover an area of 300 square kilometers offering travelers a multitude of treasures. Sheltered behind a long coral reef, the San Blas Islands are full of enchanting anchorages. The long sandy white beaches bound by crystal-clear waters will allow you to relax and enjoy incredible marine fauna before engaging with the Kunas Indian community. Still subsisting on hunting and fishing, they will welcome you in their villages of bamboo houses gathered near the beaches.

Day 3-4: Crossing the Panama Canal | Fuerte Amador, Flamenco Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
An artificial peninsula situated at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, Fuerte Amador is the gateway to several noteworthy sites. Right near there, the impressive Miraflores Locks are a shining example of the engineering feats deployed during the construction of the Panama Canal. Further north, in villages nestling amid dense vegetation, lives the Embera tribe, guardian of the forest and of the Chagres River. This proud people have successfully preserved their traditions and their ancestral way of life, which predate the colonization of the region by the Spanish.

Day 5: Playa Muerto, Darien National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The most remote and least developed region of Panama, the province of Darien is an unspoilt land with an extremely rich variety of flora and fauna. Listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, Darien National Park offers its extraordinary scenery of rocky coastlines, mountain ranges, mangroves, rivers and creeks. Discover Playa Muerto, a tiny coastal village home to the Emberas Amerindian community. You will visit the village, attend traditional songs and dances of the locals, and admire beautiful local craft.

Day 6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 7: Herradura

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Herradura takes its name in Spanish from the horseshoe form of its bay, covered in lush tropical vegetation, its beauty enhanced by the hills that loom over it. This small town is surrounded by national parks that are remarkable for the rich variety of fauna and flora they protect. When your ship calls here, it will be the moment to take a journey in small covered boats along the Tarcoles River, whose banks are home to crocodiles and iguanas. This mangrove also hosts the loyal and flamboyant Scarlet Macaw, with its red, blue and yellow plumage, known for mating with the same partner for life.

Day 8: Puerto Caldera | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The port of Puerto Caldera lies on the Pacific coast, in the Puntarenas region, at the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya. Areas of wilderness stretch along the coast. Further inland, among the countless natural wonders to be found in the generous rainforest of the Costa Rica’s national parksPoas and Arena volcanoes towers up in all their majestic glory. In this luxuriant natural setting, Costa Rica protects one of the planet’s richest biodiversity: monkeys, sloths, tropical birds, iguanas, crocodiles, waterfalls, canyons, and more than ten thousand species of tropical plants.

Photo Gallery

Ruins at the Fortress of Santiago Culebrita Island, Puerto Rico Ruins in Colon, Panama The sunsets are amazing on the island

Map

Ship/Hotel

Le Champlain

Swimming pool
Deck
Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,410
Cabin
Select a Date
Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with French window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m². 4m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Deluxe Suite
Area: 27 m². 6m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 3 passengers per cabin.
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area: 38 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower.
Cabin
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m². 8m² private balcony with sliding bay window. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower. Up to 4 passengers per cabin.
Cabin
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with sliding bay windows. King-size bed or twin beds, and shower + bathtub.
Cabin
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m². 30m² private balcony with hot tub and sliding bay windows. King-size or twin beds and shower + bathtub.

Notes

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Included Features:
  • Transfers and luggage handling from the airport in Panama City to the ship on the day of embarkation
  • Comprehensive 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe Le Champlain, with all the amenities 
  • One included shore excursion or activity in each port of call (see “Itinerary” for more information and choice of excursions, if applicable)
  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in San José at the end of the cruise on the morning of disembarkation
 
Not included:
  • Independent meals and beverages ashore
  • Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, etc.)

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