Costa Rica & Panama in 12 Days

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Arenal, Puerto Viejo & Bocas del Toro

Alex
Travel crafter

A nature-focused trip through two captivating Central American countries. Experience the views from Arenal Volcano, the Caribbean charms of Puerto Viejo and the island paradise of Bocas del Toro.

Trip Highlights
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Arenal
Puerto Limón
San José
Bocas del toro
Included
All flights
Accommodation
All transfers.
Activities
Breakfast only
Availability
Departures Available
until October 2023
available
Categories available
superior
included

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Bask in the tropical paradises of Costa Rica and Panama on a wonderful journey from the rainforests of Arenal to the azure beaches of Bocas del Toro. Touch down in historic San José and explore the wildlife-rich rainforests that surround the majestic Arenal Volcano. In Puerto Viejo, soak up the Caribbean charms before crossing the border to fall in love with the paradise beaches of Bocas del Toro.

12 days trip including flights*

12 days and 11 nights in destination

1

NYC - SJO

San José

2

Arenal

3

Arenal

4

Arenal

5

Puerto Viejo

6

Puerto Viejo

7

Pueblo de Bocas

8

Pueblo de Bocas

9

Pueblo de Bocas

10

Puerto Viejo

11

San José

12

SJO - NYC

* It may change depending of your departure city, departure date and arrival date.

The calendar does not display internal flights, trains or other transportation included in the itinerary.

1st Day: US - San José

Arrive at your US departure airport to board a flight* to San José. Arrive in the capital of Costa Rica and transfer to your hotel. If time allows, get out and explore the vibrant neighbourhoods and colonial architecture of this charming, historic city. Overnight stay in San José.

* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.

2nd Day: San José - Arenal

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, take a shared transfer to Arenal, passing by the lush landscapes of Costa Rica's interior. Arrive at the hotel and check-in. In the afternoon, meet your guide and embark on a guided hike to the Arenal Volcano. Enjoy a hiking experience through trails marked with the remains of previous lava flows of the impressive and majestic Arenal Volcano. The main attraction of La Fortuna is the Arenal Volcano, with its nearly perfect cone shape and a height of 1633 meters. Along the hike, you can discover the abundant flora and fauna which inhabits the rainforest, which is being regenerated. Learn all about the Arenal Volcano and its history and activity from your guide. After the hike, you may choose to visit one of the popular hot springs in the area to relax and enjoy the thermal waters, which are naturally heated by the volcano (optional extras).* Overnight stay in Arenal.

* Paradise Hot Springs Pass: Enjoy an evening of indulgence with a pass to the Paradise Natural Hot Springs, heated by the Arenal Volcano. Enjoy access to three different hot pools and two hydromassage hot tubs, perfect for relaxing in the beautiful tropical surroundings. Price per person: $67.

Included
Guided hike to the Arenal Volcano
3rd Day: Arenal

Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a day at your leisure to relax or explore. We recommend an optional excursion to La Fortuna Waterfall or, alternatively, explore the hanging-bridges of Arenal's cloud forest.* Whatever you choose to do, the beauty of the natural surroundings is sure to make for a memorable day! Overnight stay in Arenal.

Optional Hanging Bridges Cloud Forest Excursion:  Admire the beauty of the forest and the backdrop of the Arenal Volcano and gain valuable insight into the native plant and animal species from your expert guide. Journey across a series of hanging bridges for a birds-eye view of the rainforest. Price per person: $73.

*Optional Excursion to La Fortuna Waterfall: Explore the delights of the exotic rainforest as you take a guided hike to the impressive La Fortuna Waterfall. The well-kept walkways make this an accessible nature walk for most people, who will be rewarded with excellent views of the waterfall and the chance to take a dip in its crystalline waters. Price per person: $67.

Optional
Cloud Forests Excursion
Optional
Guided-Walk to the La Fortuna Waterfall
4th Day: Arenal

Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to enjoy the tranquillity of this beautiful natural environment. We recommend an optional horseback ride excursion to explore the region in the traditional way.* Overnight stay in Arenal.

Optional Half-Day Horseback Ride Excursion: Set off on a scenic horseback ride to appreciate the beauty of nature and the sounds, color and energy of the rainforest. Ascend to a viewpoint where you will have an impressive view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. Lunch included. Price per person: $70.

 

Optional
Half-Day Horse Riding Excursion
5th Day: Arenal - Puerto Viejo

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a laid-back morning at your leisure to relax or explore the local area. In the afternoon, set off towards the Atlantic Coast and to Puerto Viejo in the province of Limon. Know for its laid-back atmosphere, nightlife and great food and drinks scene, a stay in sunny Puerto Viejo is the perfect antidote to our busy lives. Arrive, transfer to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. Overnight stay in Puerto Viejo.

 

6th Day: Puerto Viejo - Cahuita National Park - Puerto Viejo

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, set off to the Cahuita National Park for an unforgettable nature hike where you can observe the local wildlife ranging from snakes to monkeys, racoons, butterflies and anteaters. Explore the 3.5 kilometres of natural trails between Punta Cahuita and Cahuita town with an expert guide, learning lots about the local animal and plant life along the way. Enjoy a traditional tropical fruit-based snack before returning to Puerto Viejo. The remainder of the day is free at your leisure. Overnight stay in Puerto Viejo.

 

7th Day: Puerto Viejo - Bocas del Toro

Breakfast at the hotel. Set off early this morning to catch a shared transfer to the Sixaolo border between Panama and Costa Rica and across to the idyllic paradise of Bocas del Toro, taking the boat from Almirante to Isla Colon and continuing by road to your hotel. This gorgeous island chain, which stretches out into the Caribbean Sea, is a tropical wonderland of turquoise waters, lush rainforests and sandy atolls. Once settled at the hotel, enjoy the remainder of the day relaxing at your own pace. Overnight stay in Bocas del Toro.

8th Day: Bocas del Toro - Cayo Coral - Cayo Zapatilla - Bocas del Toro

Breakfast at the hotel. Begin the day by walking to the pier where the adventure begins as you set off on a boat tour to observe the dolphin pods that inhabit the waters around Bahia Honda. Continue to Cayo Coral where you'll have the chance the snorkel in the warm waters to explore the colorful underwater world and 'coral gardens'. Discover the gorgeous beaches of Cayo Zapatilla and stop at Sloth Island, where you can observe these notoriously lazy animals in their natural habitat. As the day draws to a close, return to Bocas del Toro and your hotel. Overnight stay in Bocas del Toro.

Please note: The order of the tour may differ depending on the weather. Snorkelling equipment included. The total duration of the tour will be between approximately 6 and 7 hours.

 

Included
BAHIA DE DELFINES, CAYO CORAL Y CAYO ZAPATILLA
9th Day: Bocas del Toro

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a day at your leisure in Bocas del Toro. This is the perfect opportunity to kick-back on the beach and enjoy the tropical climate at your own pace. Tuck into the Caribbean cuisine that this region is famed for and soak up the laid-back atmosphere. Overnight stay in Bocas del Toro. 

 

10th Day: Bocas del Toro - Puerto Viejo

Breakfast at the hotel. It's time to return to Costa Rica this morning as you take a shared boat transfer back to Almirante and a shared road transfer to Puerto Viejo, crossing the border at Sixaola. Get settled at the hotel in Puerto Viejo and enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure, taking in the beautiful sea views. Overnight stay in Puerto Viejo. 

11th Day: Puerto Viejo - San José

Breakfast at the hotel. Take a shared transfer back to the capital, to spend your last night in San José. We suggest taking a stroll through this beautiful city or enjoying a delicious dinner at a local restaurant. Alternatively, enjoy an optional VIP City Bus Tour for a good overview of the city sights and a memorable end to your Costa Rican adventure.* Overnight stay in San José.

* Optional San José VIP City Tour Bus: Visit the most prominent sights of the city such as the National Theater, the Art Museum, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the charming Central Market, among other places. Traditional dinner included. Price per person: $70.

Optional
San Jose City Bus Tour
12th Day: San José

Breakfast at the hotel. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport to board your flight back to the US.* Arrive in the US and end your trip.

* If your return flight departs in the evening, your arrival in the US will be the following day and the total duration of your trip will be 13 days.

Accommodation: 11 Nights

Select your hotel category:

Included activities

If you have reduced mobility you can request assistance for these activities by speaking to one of our experts
Included

Included activity for day 2 in Arenal

Duration 03:00h Approx. Pick up time: 14:30 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

Guided hike to the Arenal Volcano

Take a guided hiking excursion to the Mirador el Silencio to discover the abundant landscapes of the incredible Arenal Volcano! Discover the rich flora and fauna of the rainforest and learn about one of Costa Rica's most iconic natural wonders.

What's included: Transfer, bilingual guide, entrance to the park

more information
Included

Included activity for day 8 in Bocas del toro

BAHIA DE DELFINES, CAYO CORAL Y CAYO ZAPATILLA

BAHIA DE DELFINES, CAYO CORAL Y CAYO ZAPATILLA

more information

Available Activities

Activities are subject to availability. The price for each optional activity will be shown in the next step of the booking process.
If you have reduced mobility you can request assistance for these activities by speaking to one of our experts
Optional

Suggested activity for day 3 in Arenal

Duration 02:30h Approx. Pick up time: 07:50 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

Cloud Forests Excursion

Take a 3km long route which consists of a combination of paths and 8 bridges, where you can explore the different layers of the cloud forest as well as the inhabitants of each of them from the ground up to the treetops.

What's included: Transfer - Bilingual guide - Entrance to the bridges

more information
Optional

Suggested activity for day 3

Duration 03:00h Approx. Pick up time: 07:30 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

Guided-Walk to the La Fortuna Waterfall

Enjoy a guided nature-walk through the rainforest to the La Fortuna waterfall, where you can swim in its clear waters. Your expert guide will help to point our the numerous plant and bird species along the way!

more information
Optional

Suggested activity for day 4

Duration 02:30h Approx. Pick up time: 10:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

Half-Day Horse Riding Excursion

Set off on a scenic horseback ride to appreciate the beauty of nature and the sounds, colour and energy of the rainforest. Ascend to a viewpoint where you will have an impressive view of the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.

What's included: Transportation - Bilingual guide - Equipment - Horseback riding

more information
Optional

Suggested activity for day 11

Duration 03:30h Approx. Pick up time: 15:15 Approx

Physical rating:

Light

San Jose City Bus Tour

Embark on a city tour of the highlights of San Jose including the National Theatre, Art Museum, Metropolitan Cathedral and the charming Central Market, among other sights. Authentic Costa Rican dinner included.

What's included: VIP double-decker bus - Bottled water - Bilingual guide - Authentic dinner - Walking tours: National Theater Lobby, Art Museum, Central Market Shopping, Metropolitan Cathedral, Democracy Square, Central Avenue and National Monument.

more information

The price includes

  • Included in all our trips. more information
  • Departures from main US airports.
  • International flights: US - San José - US.
  • 11 nights accommodation in Charm and Superior category hotels. *
    more information
    See hotels included
  • 11 breakfasts.
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Visits and entrance fees with english speaking guide as indicated in the itinerary.
    See itinerary
  • All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
  • Boat tour to observe the dolphins in Bahia Honda.
*The cancellation policy applicable is according to the Terms and Conditions available and agreed at the time of your purchase

Not included

Entrances*, drinks, tips, border taxes and costs ($9 per person departure tax when leaving Costa Rica) and any other services not mentioned in what's included. 

* The excursion to Cayo Zapatilla and Cayo Coral does not include admission to Bastimentos National Park, which is $ 10 per person and must be paid at destination. 

 

* Rooms in Drivers Paradise hotel come with one double bed. If you require two twin beds there will be an additional supplement.

  • Entry requirements
    Valid passport with at least six months validity.
  • Visa
    Visa is not required for stays less than 90 days.
  • Currency
    Costa Rican Colon
  • Language
    Spanish
  • Electricity
    110 V. Adapter required.
  • Health
    Please consult your doctor regarding malaria prophylaxis.
  • Time zone
    UTC - 06:00
  • Other useful information
    Local emergency number: 128
  • Tourist Office website
    https://www.visitcostarica.com/en

Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline’s website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.

Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same, or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.

In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or cancelled without prior notice.

Children: 2 - 8 years.

 

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