Central America (Costa Rica & Panama) - Central America Unveiled

The heart of Central America beats wildly, from bustling cities to rainforests, to the spectacular Arenal Volcano. Discover a diverse world full of wildlife, traditional villages, and the manmade wonder of the Panama Canal. Cruise the seas enveloped within the high tech resplendence of the Variety Voyager, your jumping off point to adventure. Swim in crystal clear waters, and explore the white sand beaches of Manuel Antonio, Corcovado, and Coiba Island, and meet the Embera at the Darrien. Scenic beauty, friendly locals, and delicious cuisine make this a trip with a wonderful quality all its own!

Degree of Difficulty - Three Paws

Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in rainforests and nature reserves, getting in and out of safari vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.

Weather Reports - When To Go

Costa Rica: Costa Rica is tropical and enjoys warm weather year round. January through March is the hottest period, but is also the driest. Moderate rain can be experienced June through August, but the heaviest rains are reserved for September and October. Turtles come ashore to nest in Tortuguero between July and October, and in Guanacaste October through February.

Panama: Most of Panama is situated just a few degrees above the equator, so temperatures vary little from month to month. Panama has two seasons – the ‘dry” season and the “green” season. The dry season is from January until mid-April and green season from mid-April until December. “Dry” means it rarely rains and the green season means typically a refreshing tropical shower late each afternoon. It rarely rains all day, which means that rain is no obstacle to exploring.

Day 1 MIAMI/SAN JOSE

Fly frommiami tosan Jose where you are escorted to your luxury hotel located only 10 minutes from downtown san Jose. DOUBLETREE CARIARI HOTEL.

Days 2/3 SAN JOSE/ARENAL VOLCANO

Your adventure begins with a drive to arenal, where you will be treated to the sight of the majestic cone volcano that rises to a height of 5,357 feet. Dormant for hundreds of years, it erupted explosively in 1968, but the activity has steadily decreased since 2010. Due to the geologic activity, you can indulge yourself with a dip in a natural hot spring. Your charming hotel offers uninterrupted views of the volcano and sits atop 27 acres of undulated land, surrounded by two streams with crystalline waters that flow from the Volcano. ARENAL KIORO HOTEL. (B Daily)

Day 4 CARARA BIOLOGICAL RESERVE/JACO

Through scenic country, your adventure continues as you drive to the luxurious quietude of Villa Caletas. along the way view the multitude of american crocodiles as they congregate within the waters of the Tárcoles River. also visit the Carara Biological Reserve, which is itself a place of transition, occupying land that marks the shift from the southern rain forests to the dryer northern forests. As a result, it is an excellent place for birders who may see, among others, scarlet macaws, in one of the few nesting places left to them in Central america. Capuchin, howler and spider monkeys along with sloths can also be spied in the prodigious treetops. VILLA CALETAS. (B)

Days 5/6 HERRADURA EMBARKATION/CURU/TORTUGA ISLAND

Enjoy a morning at leisure for optional excursions. At 4:00 pm board your vessel, the state of the art VARIETY VOYAGER. This sleek 223-ft/36-cabin mega yacht was launched in may, 2012 and complies with the most stringent SOLAS safety regulations. Spacious cabins, a glass-enclosed dining room, lounges, spa, fitness suite and sun deck make this an ideal vessel for your exploration of Central America. Make way to the Nicoya Peninsula and the Curu Nature Reserve. This privately held reserve provides support to the local economy and engages in conservation efforts focused on preserving the local flora and fauna, such as reintroducing the scarlet macaw to the area. Navigate your way to Tortuga island – actually a pair of islands, alcatraz and Tolinga, the larger of the two commonly referred to as Tortugaisland. Swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters then enjoy a tropical BBQ on the white sand beach. (B,L,D Daily)

Day 7 QUEPOS/MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

Arrive in Quepos, named for the indigenous Quepo tribe, which has retained its Latin american charm in the face of a burgeoning tourist industry. Explore Manuel Antonio National Park, within the Central Pacific Conservation area, rated by Forbes as one of the 12 most beautiful parks in the world. Here the lush rainforest greets the sea with a carpet of beautiful white sand beaches. The trees teem with monkeys and birds, including the vibrant Turquoise Cotinga. (B,L,D)

Day 8 PUERTO JIMENEZ/GOLFODULCE/CASA ORQUIDEAS PRIVATE RESERVE/GOLFITO

Weigh anchor in Puerto Jimenez, the gateway to Corcovado National Park, a hotbed of biological diversity within theosa Conservation area. After lunch aboard ship, make way across Golfo Dulce toward Casa Orquideas and its extensive grounds which hosts beautiful botanical gardens where you can see smell, and taste some of the specimens. Enjoy a refreshing swim before sailing across Golfo Dulce to Golfito Bay for immigration procedures, then overnight to Coiba Island and Panama! (B,L,D)

Day 9 COIBA ISLAND/GRANITO DE ORO ISLAND, PANAMA

Morning arrival in Coiba Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest island in Central America. After a beach BBQ, sail to nearby Granito de Oro Island for swimming and snorkeling in a pristine environment. The waters are teeming with marine life. It is surrounded by one of the largest coral reefs in the Pacific coast of Americas and marks the beginning of the underwater Cordilera mountain chain that also includes Coco’s and the Galapagos. This makes it a unique underwater experience you should not miss. In the afternoon, set sail for Punta Patino, at the Darrien.

Day 10 GRANITO DE ORO/COIBA ISLANDS

Arrive this morning at Punta Patino, San Miguel Gulf. This is your chance to discover the Mogue Embera Reserve on an optional shore excursion. You can sail upstream the Mogue River in dugout canoes and reach the village of Mogue after passing through a mangrove ecosystem. You’ll be welcomed by the Embera indians, one of the seven indigenous groups living in Panama. They’re proud and very friendly and known for their beautiful handicrafts and well-preserved traditions. You’ll be invited to share their lunch and dance with them. In the afternoon, set sail for Panama City.

Day 11 AMADOR/FLAMENCO MARINA/PANAMA CANAL CROSSING/COLON

Anchor in Flamenco Marina in Panama City where you can take an optional tour to Casco Viejo, the city’s old quarter, and Canal site. Enjoy lunch in anticipation of this evening’s canal crossing which takes you through the Miraflores,San Pedro, and eventually the Gatun lock on the Atlantic side. (B,L,D)

Day 12 COLON SHELTER BAY MARINA/PANAMA CITY/MIAMI

Arrive in Colon Shelter Bay Marina where you’re transferred to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL POST EXTENSION TO PANAMA

Disembark and explore Fort san Lorenzo Spanish Historical Forts and enjoy lunch at the Gatun restaurant at the Panama Canal Expansion observation Center in Gatun. Explore the natural playgrounds of Soberania and Chagres National Parks and enjoy marvelous birding along the Pipeline Road. Look for green iguana, three-toed sloth, crocodile, white-faced capuchin, howler and spider monkeys and Keel-billed Toucan on a cruise on the Gatun Lake. Observe the culture of the welcoming Embera who live much as they did when Columbus visited in 1502.

YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:

  • All transfers and sightseeing by air conditioned motor coach.
  • 8 days/7 nights aboard the luxury mega yacht Variety Voyager with all meals included, in category C Cabin with private shower and air-conditioning. Upgrades available to category B, and P.
  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar on land.
  • Services of local guides on land and cruise director on ship.
  • Breakfast daily. All other meals as specified above on land.
  • During the cruise,american buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a BBQ lunch and Captain’s Dinner.
  • Use of fishing and snorkeling equipment (subject to availability).
  • All admission fees.
  • Gratuities for baggage handling, hotel tips and taxes.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
Prices vary by season and package. Please inquire by phone at (800) 627-1244 or email info@classicescapes.com for more information and a pricing estimate.