Unveiled Wonders—Costa Rica & Panamá Canal

Monkeys, sloths, iguanas, hummingbirds, toucans, and whales! By kayak, skiff, on foot, and small ship—uncover the wonders of jungles, mangroves, national parks, preserves, and the Panama Canal.

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Why Travel with NPCA & UnCruise

With our shared commitment to protecting fragile ecosystems and local communities, our partnership with UnCruise Adventures offers you unforgettable travel opportunities to Alaska, Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, Hawaii and beyond.

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Get a glimpse into Costa Rica and Panamá the UnCruise way.

UnCruise Adventures specializes in small ships, BIG adventures (90 travelers or less).


2020 Departure Dates:

  • April 20, 27
  • May 4, 11

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Panama Canal transit
  • Visit a national park, wildlife refuge, and conservation area
  • Search for untamed wildlife—howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, white-faced capuchins, sloths
  • Snorkel and beach party on Panama’s Granito de Oro
  • Stroll a butterfly- and flower-rich tropical botanical reserve
  • Hike, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, and explore by skiff
  • Off-the-beaten path exploration

map

DAY 1: San José, Costa Rica – Embarkation: Welcome to the land of pura vida! On arrival in the capital city of San Jose, you’ll be warmly greeted at the airport and transferred to the hospitality suite before boarding the Safari Voyager and meeting your enthusiastic crew.

DAY 2: Curu National Wildlife Refuge: At the southeastern tip of Nicoya Peninsula—in the tangled mangroves of Curu—the cycle of life is everywhere. Local “residents” include everything from exotic birds and deer to army ants, frog-eating snakes, and hungry crocodiles. Step carefully as you cross the swinging bridge, you don’t want to land on the menu! Land crabs shift in and out of their burrows with such force it’s enough to make the earth move. A hike on the Finca de Monos trail is prime monkey viewing. They are everywhere. Off shore, the vibrant, turquoise waters near Isla Tortuga offer inviting opportunities to snorkel, kayak, and paddle board.

DAY 3: Osa Conservation Area: Adventure lies around every bend in the isolated, wild Osa Conservation Area, home to the country’s largest national park, Corcovado. The area is known for its diverse plant and animal species—a whopping 2.5% of the entire planet’s biodiversity is found here—including all four of Costa Rica’s monkeys, tree frogs, caimans, anteaters, scarlet macaws, coatis, and 16 different species of hummingbird. Explore this vast area putting feet to trail on an invigorating hike through the jungle. At the end of the day, enjoy the sunset with a tropical beverage in-hand during cocktail hour and retell stories of the day with your travel-mates.

DAY 4: Golfo Dulce: A birder’s paradise, explore a tropical preserve exploding with vibrant color. From bromeliads, ginger plants, and heliconias, to toucans, hummingbirds, mischievous monkeys, and fluttering butterflies—there’s a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and tastes in every tree and bush you pass on your walking tour. In Golfo Dulce, which separates Oso Peninsula from the mainland, explore the rare flora and fauna of mangroves by kayak and skiff.

DAY 5: Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park: Sail through the islands of Coiba National Park, making a stop at the postcard-perfect Granito de Oro islet. Offering a little bit of everything despite its small size, volcanic outcroppings at either end of this tiny landmass and a dense, mini-jungle in the center connect with a dreamy white sand beach. Named one of the world’s top 10 diving sites, your day of play features snorkeling among abundant marine life, kayaking around rocky outcroppings, and lounging on the warm sand. Hop to the park’s main island for a stretch of the legs on a trail through untouched tropical jungle. Mantled howler monkeys, crested eagles, and four turtle species call Isla Coiba home.

DAY 6: Captain’s Choice: Wake up in paradise. Start with fresh-brewed coffee and a little limbering up with guided stretches on deck. As always, the hardest part is picking the “what.” Your guides know the trails and help you spot monkeys, hummingbirds, and towering balsa trees. Slip into the drink for a kayak or snorkel. Or, just kick back in a hammock under swaying palms. Then it’s cruising time. Settle into a comfy lounge chair and take in the views.

DAY 7: Gulf of Panama | Marine Life Search: The diverse islands and islets in the Gulf of Panama are all unique, and on your last day, its captain’s choice as you cruise among them. Hosting hundreds of avian species, you may enjoy superb bird watching on a skiff exploration. And watch for mobula rays flying across the water. Later, transit from ocean to ocean along the 48-mile Panama Canal (time varies depending on when the lock authority gives the final go ahead for your evening transit). Join your shipmates on deck for a toast as the canal lights up and the temperature subsides. A story of engineering and human tenacity, it took over 75,000 workers to build it. Celebrate this unforgettable voyage with a special farewell dinner, and then join your expedition team for a slideshow highlighting the week’s adventures.

DAY 8: Panama City – Disembarkation: After an early breakfast, bid adiós to your crew. Make a stop at the Agua Clara Visitor Center. Take in the views of Lake Gatun and the newly expanded locks. Then your transfer continues, taking you to the airport for your flight home or to begin your optional UnCruise hotel stay.

A passport is required on this itinerary. Itineraries are guidelines and variations and the order of days will occur to maximize your experience.


To reserve space call the NPCA Travel Manager at 202-454-3305, email travel@npca.org, or fill out this information form.

Check out NPCA’s full tour lineup at www.npca.org/trips

  • Cost:
    From $4,895 per person double occupancy; single supplement applies
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