Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia

8° 28′ N 83° 12′ W

ECJ2BX Keel-billed Toucan - La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge - Boca Tapada, San Carlos, Costa Rica
ExpeditionsUi Arrow rightCosta Rica and the Panama Canal

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

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Highlights

An adult and a juvenile brown capuchin monkey in Costa Rica
  • Venture into remote wilderness: hike among monkeys, sloths, and tropical birds, and explore far from any inhabited places

  • Transit the Panama Canal over two days to see it by day and in the coolness of night—plus an exclusive stop at the Smithsonian Research Institute

  • Discover the wild rainforests of Corcovado National Park, which National Geographic dubbed “the most biologically intense place on Earth”

  • Explore idyllic islands, snorkel over a vibrant coral reef, and take a Zodiac cruise up a wild river

Day by Day

Multiple routes available

Some departures follow a modified itinerary. Please refer to departure dates for exact routing of your departure.

Eastbound


Starts at

San José, Costa Rica

Ends at

Panama City, Panama

Download Itinerary

Day 1

San José, Costa Rica / Puerto Caldera / Embark Ship

After arrival in San José this afternoon, we transfer to the Pacific Coast town of Puerto Caldera. This evening, we embark our ship National Geographic Quest and set sail south on our Central American adventure.

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 1

San José, Costa Rica / Puerto Caldera / Embark Ship

After arrival in San José this afternoon, we transfer to the Pacific Coast town of Puerto Caldera. This evening, we embark our ship National Geographic Quest and set sail south on our Central American adventure.

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2

Corcovado National Park

Anchor off the Osa Peninsula to see some of the most pristine lowland rainforest on the Pacific coast. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, swim in waterfall pools or trek through the rainforest for a chance to see four species of monkeys—howler, spider, squirrel, and capuchin.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

Corcovado National Park

Anchor off the Osa Peninsula to see some of the most pristine lowland rainforest on the Pacific coast. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, swim in waterfall pools or trek through the rainforest for a chance to see four species of monkeys—howler, spider, squirrel, and capuchin.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Golfo Dulce / Osa Peninsula

Enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica as our nimble expedition ship takes us into the remote upper reaches of this placid bay. Go ashore on the western side of the bay, in the pristine waters of Playa Blanca, on the Osa Peninsula. Head inland to meet and share with inspiring local families living in remote communities and working with cocoa, heart of palm, and sugar cane. Hike mature rainforest or kayak in peaceful waters in Golfo Dulce, the only tropical fiord in the continent. By special arrangement, visit the Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association on the Osa Peninsula and assist researchers with data collection and hear presentations by the staff at LAST including a talk by the dedicated researchers, working so hard to positively impact sea turtle conservation. At the end of our visit, we will be invited to participate in the release of rehabilitated, healthy turtles back into the Pacific—a truly poignant moment. In the evening, enjoy drinks ashore and a beautiful sunset.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Golfo Dulce / Osa Peninsula

Enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica as our nimble expedition ship takes us into the remote upper reaches of this placid bay. Go ashore on the western side of the bay, in the pristine waters of Playa Blanca, on the Osa Peninsula. Head inland to meet and share with inspiring local families living in remote communities and working with cocoa, heart of palm, and sugar cane. Hike mature rainforest or kayak in peaceful waters in Golfo Dulce, the only tropical fiord in the continent. By special arrangement, visit the Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association on the Osa Peninsula and assist researchers with data collection and hear presentations by the staff at LAST including a talk by the dedicated researchers, working so hard to positively impact sea turtle conservation. At the end of our visit, we will be invited to participate in the release of rehabilitated, healthy turtles back into the Pacific—a truly poignant moment. In the evening, enjoy drinks ashore and a beautiful sunset.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Golfo Dulce

As our Golfo Dulce exploration continues by Zodiac, paddleboard and kayak, we encounter Pacific Costa Rica’s dazzling avifauna as we watch for golden-hooded and Cherrie’s tanagers, yellow-throated toucans, fiery-billed aracaris and crimson-fronted and orange-chinned parakeets, constantly chattering in flight above the jungle treeline. The flora is a kaleidoscope of tropical color with bromeliads, heliconias and orchids set against the verdant green of the tropical forest.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Golfo Dulce

As our Golfo Dulce exploration continues by Zodiac, paddleboard and kayak, we encounter Pacific Costa Rica’s dazzling avifauna as we watch for golden-hooded and Cherrie’s tanagers, yellow-throated toucans, fiery-billed aracaris and crimson-fronted and orange-chinned parakeets, constantly chattering in flight above the jungle treeline. The flora is a kaleidoscope of tropical color with bromeliads, heliconias and orchids set against the verdant green of the tropical forest.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Coiba National Park, Panama

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.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Coiba National Park, Panama

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.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Gulf of Panama Islets / Panama Canal Transit

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.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Gulf of Panama Islets / Panama Canal Transit

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.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Gatún Lake / Panama Canal Transit

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. By special arrangement, National Geographic Quest will anchor in Gatún Lake near the Barro Colorado Nature Monument overnight.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Gatún Lake / Panama Canal Transit

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. By special arrangement, National Geographic Quest will anchor in Gatún Lake near the Barro Colorado Nature Monument overnight.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Colón / Panama City, Panama / Disembark Ship

After breakfast, disembark in Colón and transfer to the airport in Panama City for your flight home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8

Colón / Panama City, Panama / Disembark Ship

After breakfast, disembark in Colón and transfer to the airport in Panama City for your flight home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Download Itinerary

Dates & Rates

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Ships

Ship National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest

Guests

100

Cabins

50

National Geographic Quest: Designed for Adventure

Built in 2017, National Geographic Quest is ideal for the fast-moving channels and shallow coves of the Pan-American waters. Her design and engineering were informed by our nearly 40 years of experience in the narrow straits of Alaska, the coast of Costa Rica, and into the gray whale nursery lagoons of Baja. 

Examples of features unique to Lindblad Expeditions include twin boarding platforms that enable our team to load two Zodiacs at once, so our guests can get off the ship quickly to take advantage of wildlife sightings and maximize exploring time. She also features a shallow draft, allowing her Captain to navigate the inner reaches and provide more intimate experiences.

Modern, clean-lined, with large expanses of glass to take in the extraordinary views, National Geographic Quest enables guests to see, do, and experience the best of her geographies.

Book now and join us on an unforgettable journey

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View of the skyline of Panama City framed by tropical rainforest, Panama

Panama City & San Lorenzo Pre-Extension

3 Days

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/ per person

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View of the skyline of Panama City framed by tropical rainforest, Panama

Panama City & San Lorenzo Post-Extension

3 Days

From

$1,540

/ per person

Explore

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Over 50+ years of exploring, Lindblad Expeditions’ veteran staff and the quality companionship they provide has established the company’s reputation. From expedition leaders to naturalists, most hold advanced degrees and are established authorities in their fields. Some join a few expeditions each year to explore the same sites, some of them spending some time in the field away from rigorous academic work. And others lead expeditions all around the world—with many guests saying, “Where you’re going, we’re going,” and returning time after time to travel with them. Browse our team directory to discover the full cast of expedition staff.

Captain Andrew Cook with guests and Staff on the Bridge of National Geographic Venture, Baja California, Mexico

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Guests gather at the bar of the ship National Geographic Orion, sipping on their favorite drinks and engaging in lively conversation as they relish in the camaraderie of good company.

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Underwater photographer on coral reef, Pulau Lintang Island, Anambas Archipelago, Indonesia

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Guests toast to the sunset on the ship National Geographic Quest/Venture

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Expedition leaders take guests to explore daily by skiff in the Amazon

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Guests from the Lindblad Expedition ship National Geographic Explorer take the Polar Plunge off ice floe in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, Southern Ocean.

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Central America 2023-25


Exploring Costa Rica and Panama is a singular experience that combines biodiverse jungle wildlife with an in-depth crossing of the Panama Canal, a marvel of engineering. It is the perfect winter escape. Dense, lush rainforest. Pristine deserted beaches. Monkeys galore. Hike deep into the rainforest; kayak and paddleboard along the shore; take a cool swim in a waterfall pool; snorkel over a coral reef. Opportunities abound to see creatures in their natural environs—both on land and in the sea. Expert local naturalists and photo instructors are with you every step of the way, always giving you choices and expanding your knowledge. Aboard, you can always savor panoramic views from the 50-cabin National Geographic Quest. Plus, you’ll get an exclusive chance to visit to Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Association at Playa Blanca on the Osa Peninsula, where you can meet with researchers who are critical in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of native sea turtles.

From

$6,820

/ per person

Does not include flights

Book Now
duration
8 Days
Book by Jun 30

$700 AIR CREDIT OR FREE 3-DAY PANAMA CITY EXTENSION

See all offers

View our brochure for more details

Central America 2023-25

Talk to an Expedition Specialist

+1.800.397.3348

From

$6,820

/ per person

Book Now
duration
8 Days

View our brochure for more details

Central America 2023-25

From

$6,820

/ per person

Book Now
duration
8 Days
Book by Jun 30

$700 AIR CREDIT OR FREE 3-DAY PANAMA CITY EXTENSION

See all offers

View our brochure for more details

Central America 2023-25