Turtles, Volcanoes & Monkeys
Turtles, Volcanoes and Monkeys
Turtles, Volcanoes, & Monkeys: Turtles, volcanoes, and monkeys, oh my! Take a journey to a remote corner of Costa Rica to witness the magical spectacle of seasonal turtle nesting/hatching up in Tortuguero before moving inland to the iconic Arenal Volcano. Explore primary rainforest rich with lush fauna and wildlife and soak in therapeutic mineral hot springs in the evening. Hike along the turquoise blue waters of Rio Celeste and to its beautiful cascading waterfall. Cap off your adventure by lounging alongside troops of howler monkeys at Capitan Suizo’s beachfront pool. These authentic, charming hotels offer a front row seat to Costa Rica’s “wild side” without sacrificing your own creature comforts.
Destinations: Panama City, Boquete, Boca Chica
Duration: 8 days
*Price Range: $$$
*Rates inclusive of full vacation experience – hotels, tours, domestic transfers, and tax (excluding international airfare). Actual price based on length of travel, number of travelers/rooms, seasonal rates (high, low, peak), number of tour activities, and mode of domestic transportation.
$$$: At or under $1,200 per person.
$$$: $1,200 – $1,800 per person.
$$$: $1,800+ per person
Fly into Tocumen International Airport (PTY) where one of our local airport representatives will meet you as you exit your plane and guide you through an expedited immigration process. They will show you to the VIP Lounge where you can enjoy snacks and drinks while they collect your luggage for you. Once you are ready, the airport representative will guide you to your private transfer waiting outside the airport. You’ll transfer 30-minutes to the trendy Balboa Avenia oceanfront walkway and check into your hotel, Hilton Panama. If your flight arrives to Panama City by the early afternoon, there’s time to see the Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks Visitor Center. Tonight, enjoy dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse inside the Hilton or explore nearby restaurants a short taxi ride from the hotel.
Fuel up with an early breakfast in preparation for your rainforest and wildlife adventure just 45-minutes outside of Panama City. Once you’ve arrived to Gamboa, you’ll aboard a boat to start your ride across the man made Gatun Lake in search of iguanas, crocodiles, sloths, tamarins, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, and white-faced capuchin monkeys. Your expert guide will help point out the wildlife with his/her well-trained eye while explaining the history of the lake and its function with the canal. Enjoy a picnic lunch back on land before embarking on a historical tour in the afternoon to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo. At the end of your guided tour in Casco Viejo, choose to stay in the area to explore one of the many delicious restaurants before taking a taxi back to Hilton Panama. Play in the pool and/or the casino back at the Hilton Panama hotel this evening.
Spend a relaxing morning alongside the rooftop pool and sundeck at Hilton Panama. For a half-day morning tour, you can explore the rainforest canopy on a gondola ride at Metropolitan Nature Park, walk along the Pipeline Road in Soberania National Park, or visit the Biodiversity Museum. Have lunch in Panama City before your private transfer to Albrook Airport for your domestic flight over to David in Western Panama. Upon arrival to David Airport, a private transfer will be waiting to take you an hour into the mountains for your time in the quaint mountain town of Boquete. Your stay at Riverside Inn located just outside of town offers the perfect mix of peace and tranquility yet easy access to restaurants, cafes, and shops in town. This evening enjoy dinner at Riverside Inn’s neighboring partner restaurant, The Rock.
Enjoy a peaceful breakfast alongside the Caldera River at The Rock restaurant. This morning you’ll enjoy a hike to The Lost Waterfalls, a set of three waterfalls within the tropical cloud forest. Keep a watchful eye out for howler monkeys, sloths, and quetzals as you make your way along the trail to all three waterfalls. Enjoy a refreshing swim in a waterfall pool before your hike out of the reserve. Return to Riverside Inn to refresh and change before lunch at a local restaurant or cafe in town. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring town or enjoy an afternoon activity such as horseback riding in the Jaramillo mountains or rock climbing nearby cliff formations. After a day of hiking through the cloud forest, have pizza or pasta for dinner this evening at the popular RetroGusto Restaurant.
If you’re up for an early morning adventure (4am), you’ll be able to see the sunrise from Panama’s highest point at 11,398 feet. To arrive, you’ll take a fun and bumpy 4×4 ride up the side of Baru Volcano. On a clear day at the top, you’ll be able to see both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans! Return to Boquete by 10am for a rewarding breakfast. If you’re not up for a 4am start-time, then enjoy a mid-morning nature walk over Boquete Tree Trek’s 8 hanging suspension bridges. You’ll learn about the region’s flora and fauna while keeping a watchful eye out for the famous quetzal that is often spotted nesting along the trail. Then, fly from the cloud forest treetops on 12 canopy ziplines. Return to Riverside Inn to freshen up for a gourmet dinner at the historic and top-rated Panamonte Restaurant.
After your final breakfast in Boquete, a private transfer will take you on a short 2-hour drive to Boca Chica for a three night stay along the Pacific coastline at Bocas del Mar. Check into your room and then dive into one of two pools to cool off from the hot sun. This evening, enjoy an early evening mangrove tour in search of various species of birds, amphibians, and monkeys while you enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Pacific.
After breakfast at Bocas del Mar, you’ll embark on a full day adventure to explore white sandy islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui. You’ll island hop beautiful islands lined with tall palm trees with the opportunity to snorkel the crystal clear Pacific waters. Keep a watchful eye out for sea turtles, dolphins, and whales (July – October) as you hop from island to island. Enjoy a picnic lunch and drinks ashore and spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the beach. Return to Bocas del Mar in time to watch the vibrant sunset from the edge of the infinity pool.
Either spend this day relaxing around the resort’s pool and spa or enjoy a half-day excursion. You can do some off-roading on ATVs through the rainforest and to hidden beaches or explore these regions via a horseback ride. For ocean based activities, you can water ski, ride a banana boat around the bay, or take out the kayaks to explore hidden beaches on your own.
A private transfer will take you back to David for your domestic flight back to Panama City. Fly home from Tocumen International Airport (PTY).
- Dine at one of the top restaurants in San Jose, Grano de Oro
- Watch turtle nesting/hatching up in Tortuguero (seasonal)
- Walk along the vibrant blue river banks of Rio Celeste
- Lounge poolside with howler monkeys at Capitan Suizo
- Catch a colorful sunset while dolphins swim alongside your catamaran
Best for: Nature Lover, Family, Couple, Wellness/Spa
Bucket list experiences: Turtle nesting, wildlife, Tortuguero National Park, volcano, hot springs, rainforest, waterfall, dolphins, beach
Accommodations & Location:
- Grano de Oro, San Jose
- Manatus, Tortuguero
- Lost Iguana, La Fortuna
- Capitan Suizo, Tamarindo
Every Central America Vacation itinerary includes 24/7 in-country support. We’re here with you every step of the way to insure the best experience possible, from the initial planning stages to the moment you’re on your flight home!