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Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Seven-night nature cruise aboard intimate small ship
  • Full transit of Panama Canal
  • Panama City tour
  • Cruising through islets of the Gulf of Panama
  • Unspoiled Coiba National Park
  • Coiba’s abundant sea-, bird-, and wildlife
  • White-sand beach of tiny Granito de Oro
  • Sheltered waters of Golfo Dulce
  • Naturalist’s paradise of Osa Conservation Area
  • Amazing diversity of Curú Wildlife Refuge
  • Opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding
  • San Jose’s Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
  • Visit to Poas Volcano
  • Doka Coffee Estate tour and tasting
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Panama City, Panama Upon arrival late this afternoon in the Panamanian capital, we transfer to our hotel. This evening is at leisure.

Day 2: Panama City/Embarkation/Panama Canal After a panoramic city tour this morning, we visit the Agua Clara Visitors Center of the Panama Canal. Here we see two amazing – and entirely different – sights: on one side sits huge, manmade Gatun Lake, busy with cargo ships and other vessels; on the other, the complex machinery of the canal’s recent expansion. Then we transfer to Colon and board Safari Voyager, our intimate small ship, ahead of this evening’s travel highlight: a full transit of the 48-mile Panama Canal, from ocean to ocean. As the lights of the canal come on, we see the results of human ingenuity – and the efforts of more than 75,000 workers. B,D

Day 3: Cruising – Gulf of Panama We’re on the lookout for marine life today, as we cruise the Gulf of Panama. We may enjoy superb bird watching as we wind our way amid the islands and islets of this large inlet of the Pacific. B,L,D

Day 4: Cruising – Granito de Oro, Coiba More cruising through the clear blue waters of Coiba National Park today, plus a stop at picture-postcard Granito de Oro. This tiny islet, with volcanic outcroppings at either end bookmarking a dense mini-jungle, offers an unspoiled white-sand beach and excellent snorkeling. So, it’s our choice: we can swim, snorkel, relax on the beach, kayak, or visit the park’s main island to search for howler monkeys, crested eagles, and four species of turtles. B,L,D

Day 5: Cruising – Coiba National Park We awaken today in the nature reserve of the mostly marine Coiba Island National Park, a UNESCO site. A penal colony for almost a century until 2005, Coiba Island is virtually untouched by development. White-sand beaches, coral reefs, and waters alive with saltwater crocodiles, turtles, humpback whales, and more surround the island, where howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, and crested eagles preside. Activities are our choice: we can take a guided hike to spot monkeys and hummingbirds, board a kayak to skim the crystal-clear waters, or search for colorful sea life on a snorkeling excursion along the coral-covered volcanic rock. Then it’s back on board for lunch and an afternoon of cruising. B,L,D

Day 6: Cruising – Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica Today’s destination: Golfo Dulce (“Sweet Gulf”), a large sheltered bay tucked between Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and the mainland, where the rainforest of Corcovado National Park meets the ocean. In these sheltered waters ringed by secluded beaches and a tropical rainforest teeming with colorful birdlife, we have the opportunity to snorkel, paddle a kayak, or ride a skiff along the mangrove-lined shore to explore the rare flora and fauna surrounding us. And, we may see some of the surfers drawn here by one of the world’s longest left-hand “breaks.” B,L,D

Day 7: Cruising – Osa Conservation Area Today we embark on guided jungle hikes through the Osa Conservation Area, a naturalist’s paradise in this wild and remote outpost. Known for its diverse plant and animal life – Osa boasts some 2.5% of Earth’s entire biodiversity – the conservation area houses all four species of Costa Rica’s monkeys, plus tree frogs, caimans, anteaters, scarlet macaws, coatis, and 16 different species of hummingbird, among countless other species. B,L,D

Day 8: Cruising – Curú National Wildlife Refuge We enjoy another day of nature at its purest at the Curú Wildlife Refuge at the southeastern tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Home to 78 species of mammals, 87 species of reptile, 232 bird species, and more than 500 different types of plants, the 84-acre refuge has 17 hiking trails through varying ecosystems, including mangrove swamps and both wet and dry tropical forests. Among the local residents we may see: anteaters, whitetail deer, armadillo, monkeys (capuchin, spider, and howler), giant toads, butterflies, and a dazzling array of colorful birds. Back on board our ship tonight, we enjoy the Captain’s farewell dinner. B,L,D

Day 9: Disembark/San Jose We disembark Safari Voyager this morning and set out by motorcoach for the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. Upon arrival we visit a local artisans’ market then tour the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, housing gold and other artifacts found between 500 and 1500 CE in what is present-day Costa Rica. After lunch at a local restaurant, we reach our hotel, where the remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure. B,L

Day 10: San Jose On today’s excursion, we travel through the Central Valley to Poas Volcano National Park. Here we view one of the world’s largest craters, a steaming, bubbling cauldron; and also take a guided walk along park trails. Then we continue on to the Doka Coffee Estate, located on the fertile slopes of Poas Volcano, where we learn about coffee-making and Costa Rica’s coffee industry – coffee beans being one of the country’s largest exports. After lunch at the estate, we return to our hotel late afternoon. Tonight, we celebrate our Central American adventure at a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,L,D

Day 11: Depart for U.S. We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flights to the U.S. B

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 10 nights’ accommodations: 3 nights in Deluxe and Superior First Class hotels, 7 nights aboard Superior First Class Safari Voyager
  • 26 meals: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • All shipboard amenities, including complimentary massage
  • Wine, spirits, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages aboard ship
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation in Panama City and San Jose
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for ship staff, local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2018/2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

2018
 
 
 
 
Nov 23
2018
Nov 29*
Dec 7

 
2019
Mar 21*
2019
 
 
Jan 10*
Feb 1
Feb 15
Miami$6,384$6,484 $6,784
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Boston, Charlotte,
Chicago, Cleve,
Dal, Detroit, Hou,
New York, Orlando,
Tampa, Wash, DC
$6,684$6,784$7,084
Cincinnati, Denver,
Los Angeles, Minn,
Phil, San Francisco
$6,784$6,884$7,184
Phoenix, Port (OR),
Seattle
$6,884$6,984$7,284

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy in an outside Master category cabin on Main Deck and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $239, and port charges of $250, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $3,195. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 125 days before departure. All 2018/2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, fees, and port taxes) are guaranteed.

*Reverse itinerary: Costa Rica to Panama

Cabin upgrades: Commander Category on Cabin Deck: $495 ($895 single); Captain Category on Bridge Deck: $895 ($1,395 single)

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    The Bristol Panama Hotel, Panama City / Day 1 / Deluxe 


    Recently recognized as one of the top 10 hotels in Latin America by Conde Nast Traveler, The Bristol Panama Hotel enjoys a superb location in the heart of downtown Panama City. Despite its location in the city’s financial and business district, the hotel boasts an elegant interior reminiscent of an intimate private Panamanian manor, with a host of sophisticated and comfortable common areas to lounge in. The Bristol Panama Hotel also offers a gourmet restaurant and lounge along with a separate bar (with food service), rooftop outdoor lap pool, full-service spa, fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with separate, glass-enclosed shower and deep soaking tub. Guest rooms also feature in-room safe, minibar, coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

     

    Safari Voyager , Panama Canal/Costa Rica / Days 2-8 / Superior First Class 


    Additional information to come.

    Intercontinental Costa Rica , San Jose / Days 9-10 / Superior First Class 


    The InterContinental Costa Rica hotel is well situated in Escazu, one of San Jose’s exclusive suburbs, and located within the Multiplaza Mall complex (close to shops and restaurants).  The 372-room hotel has four restaurants, lounges, spa, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, fitness center, and heated outdoor pool (surrounded by tropical gardens).  Each of the guest rooms has air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone

     

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Our Tour Directors

Additional information coming soon.

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

David McCullough
The Path Between the Seas
A great story, admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail, this is the one book to read on the creation of the Panama Canal.

Adrian Forsyth, E.O. Wilson (Introduction)
Nature of the Rainforest, Costa Rica and Beyond
Our favorite biologist-writer returns to the Neotropics in this beautifully illustrated, oversized overview of the rainforest. A marvelous, anecdotal introduction to ecology, evolution and conservation.

Twan Leenders, Robert Dean, Jim Zook, Fiona Reid
The Wildlife of Costa Rica, A Field Guide
This guide includes 450 of the most common, interesting and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that you are likely to encounter. With exquisite full-color illustrations for each.

Christopher P. Baker
National Geographic Costa Rica
This stylish and informative travel resource features 200 photographs, many maps and good information on the country’s history, nature and culture.

ITMB
Central America Map
A detailed map of the Central American isthmus at a scale of 1:1,100,000.

Christopher Baker
National Geographic Panama
Award-winning travel writer and photographer Christopher Baker introduces the history, nature and attractions of Panama.

Hector Perez-Brignoll
A Brief History of Central America
A good overview of the region’s economic, political and social history through the 1980s by a professor at the University of Costa Rica. Well-written, informative and concise.

Ovidio Diaz Espino
How Wall Street Created a Nation: J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Panama Canal
An intriguing look into the treachery, behind-the-scenes financial wrangling and Roosevelt-era dollar diplomacy that resulted in both the Panama Canal and the establishment of Panama as an independent nation.

Rosa Maria Britton
The New Panama Canal, A Breathtaking Journey
Between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
To mark the completion of Panama’s Third Set of Locks Project, this coffee table tribute brings the colossal engineering feat into focus with informative text and some gorgeous photographs. Opened in 2016, the new lanes of the canal promise a new era in both global transportation and the history of Panama.

Richard Biesanz
The Ticos
This insightful, fact-filled portrait of the Costa Rican people details their culture, history and society.

Barbara Ras
Costa Rica, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
These 26 well-chosen stories by Costa Rican writers introduce the people, culture and land.

John Le Carre
The Tailor of Panama
Set in Panama, this thriller by master storyteller John Le Carre includes spymasters, corrupt officials, arms manufacturers and other unsavory types.

David Rains Wallace
The Monkey’s Bridge, Mysteries of Evolution in Central America
Opening this absorbing account of the history and biogeography of the Central American isthmus with the tale of Columbus, Wallace often weaves his own travels in the region with a crisp overview of exploration, nature and evolution. Natural history buffs and ecologically minded travelers will appreciate this valuable resource.

Elizabeth Royte
The Tapir’s Morning Bath
An engaging account of ecological research and ecologists at Barro Colorado Island, the Smithsonian Institution’s Tropical Research Station in Panama.

Adrian Hepworth
Wild Costa Rica
This beautiful, informative survey of the habitats, wildlife and protected areas of Costa Rica features 200 color photographs and chapters on natural history and conservation.

Pocket Naturalist
Costa Rican Wildlife
This handy, fold-up card includes color illustrations of dozens of typical birds, mammals and reptiles.

Rainforest Publications
Panama Wildlife Guide
This handy 14-panel fold-up card features expert color illustrations of dozens of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.

Richard Garrigues, Robert Dean (Illustrator)
The Birds of Costa Rica
This new edition covers 903 species of birds with hundreds of new, supplemental or revised color illustrations by Robert Dean and revised color-coded range maps.

Robert Dean, George R. Angehr
The Birds of Panama
Created for the field, with range maps, illustrations and descriptions on facing pages.

Willow Zuchowski
Tropical Plants of Costa Rica
Organized by habitat, this photo guide to 400 species has chapters on popular destinations, including Monteverde and Tortuguero.

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