A journey along the legendary Pan-American Highway through Panama, northwards to Costa Rica, including the Panama Canal and Manuel Antonio National Park
Panama City - 2 nights
Anton Valley - 1 night
Chitré - 1 night
Boquete - 2 nights
Dominical - 2 nights
Carara Area - 2 nights
Arenal - 2 nights
Flight - 1 night
The construction of the Panama Canal was an engineering feat of vast proportions, connecting the Caribbean with the Pacific. To witness the operation of the Miraflores Lock is unforgettable but the scale of the endeavour is best appreciated by a train journey along its banks.
Ironically, this ‘Path between the Seas’ cuts across another man-made wonder, the Pan-American Highway, the longest road in the world stretching from Alaska to Argentina albeit with a small break from the canal to Colombia. Travelling north along this legendary highway the landscape gives way to untamed rugged, natural beauty, virgin rainforest and stunning landscapes. Mighty volcanoes, unspoilt beaches, lakes, rivers and coffee plantations dot the slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range, home to one of the highest peaks in Central America.
With such a diverse natural environment, exotic species thrive and one particularly revered resident is the Quetzal bird, its metallic green plumage, crimson breast and incredible streamer-like feathers, a vibrant symbol of the ecological splendour. This amazing bird is seen in Panama, most frequently at Boquete, a notable centre of eco-tourism and also sighted in Costa Rica.
Manuel Antonio National Park is well known for its diversity of tropical plants and concentration of wildlife, whilst encompassing white-sand beaches with coral reefs and swaying palms, with rugged rainforest and riotous tropical birds. The park is home to iguanas, coatis, howler, squirrel and capuchin monkeys, sloths, and toucans to name but a few.
Cultural & Wildlife Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
2 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guides
Group Size: 5 – 19
Day 1 Fly from London Heathrow via Madrid to Panama City. Spend two nights at the 3-star Radisson Panama Canal Hotel.
Day 2 Early morning train along the historic Panama Canal railway from Corozal to Colón. Continue to a traditional Emberá Indian village by boat. (B, L)
Day 3 A morning tour of Panama City starting at the Amador Causeway, including the Old Town, Miraflores Locks on the Panama Canal and Miraflores Museum. Continue to Anton’s Valley, the largest inhabited volcano crater in the world. Overnight at 3-star Los Mandarinos Hotel. (B)
Day 4 Visit the Crater Valley Botanical Gardens and then continue to Chitré in the Azuero peninsula. Overnight at the 3-star Gran Hotel Azuero in Chitré. (B)
Day 5 Morning visit to the traditional colonial villages of the Azuero Peninsula before taking the Pan-American Highway to Boquete (5 hrs). Two nights at the 3-star Finca Lerida, which stands amidst its own private coffee plantation. (B)
Day 6 Morning visit to a coffee plantation. Afternoon at leisure or take a tour to view a wide variety of hummingbirds and search for the elusive Quetzal in the hotel grounds. (B)
Day 7 Cross the border into Costa Rica and travel to the Golfito area (3 hrs). Enjoy a 45-minute boat transfer along the coast of Golfo Dulce with its deserted beaches and dolphins to visit the Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden. Continue to Dominical for two nights at the 3-star Villas Rio Mar Hotel. (B, L)
Day 8 Morning optional visit to the local community of Bahia Ballena Village and learn about coconut production in the area (£42). Afternoon visit to the pre-Columbian Stone Spheres site at Finca 6. (B)
Day 9 Visit Manuel Antonio National Park. Continue to Macaw Lodge for two nights. (B)
Day 10 Early morning birdwatching walk. Afternoon visit of Macaw Lodge Sustainable Farm. (B)
Day 11 Travel to the northern plains of Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse places in the world (4 hrs). Visit the Eco Centre Danaus, great for spotting birds and mammals such as sloths, coatis and howler monkeys. Two nights in Arenal at the 3-star Volcano Lodge or Arenal Paraiso Hotel. (B)
Day 12 Visit the hanging bridges of Mistico Natural Park. At leisure or take a late afternoon optional tour to Ecotermales Hot Springs (£30). (B)
Day 13 Travel to San José airport (3 ½ hrs) for the overnight return flight to Gatwick. (B)
Day 14 Arrive London Gatwick.
A 3-star hotel located at the mouth of the Panama Canal on the Amador Causeway. Restaurants, bar, café, pool, WiFi (free). with 254 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge, coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A charming 3-star hotel located in the countryside at the edge of Anton Valley village. Restaurants, pools, WiFi (free). with 70-conditioned rooms with safe, mini-fridge, coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A 3-star hotel within walking distance of the Herrera Museum in Chitré. Restaurant, bar, pool, WiFi (free). with 108 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, and satellite TV.
A 3-star boutique hotel set on a coffee plantation with spectacular mountain views. Restaurant, bar, WiFi (free). 11 rooms with hairdryer, safe, coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A 3-star eco hotel set amongst lush gardens. Bar, restaurant, pool, tennis, spa, WiFi (free) and 52 rooms with private facilities, patio and garden view.
An authentic eco haven with an abundance of bird life, in the hills of Cerros de Turrubares and situated near to Carara National Park. Restaurant, gardens, lounge, WiFi (free) and 12 rooms with private facilities and fans.
A 3-star hotel at the foot of Arenal Volcano, admist tropical gardens with restaurant, bar, pool, WiFi (free) and 62 air-conditioned rooms with private facillities, hairdryer, coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
A charming hotel that offers beautiful views of Arenal Volcano and the northern plains. Restaurant, bar, pool, WiFi (free) and 118 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, satellite TV, mini-fridge, coffee maker and hairdryer.
Monteverde Extension - Costa Rica
Stay at the 3-star Poco a Poco hotel. Sightseeing includes the Orchid Garden, Selvatura Walkway, butterfly garden and Monteverde Reserve.
Day 1 Transfer across Arenal Lake by boat and then travel by road to the 3-star Hotel Poco a Poco for three nights. Afternoon Orchid Garden walk. (B)
Day 2 Visit the Selvatura Walkway hanging bridges, then continue to the butterfly garden. (B)
Day 3 Visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. A high elevation cloud forest offers miles of trails and excellent opportunities for bird watching, including the Silverthroated Tanager and Collared Redstart. (B)
Day 4 Travel to San José (3 ½ hrs) for the return flight. (B)
Day 5 Arrive Gatwick.
Transfers and guides for excursions will be shared with non Jules Verne passengers.
Situated in the mountains of Monteverde. Spa, pool, WiFi (free) and 30 rooms with private facilities, satellite TV, coffee making facilities and hairdryer.
per person in a twin/double room
Iberia from Heathrow
British Airways to Gatwick
Supplements per person
Single supplement £595 (Jan-Mar £695)
Extension – Monteverde
3 nights £645
Single supplement £225
Arrival transfer add £25
Departure transfer add £40
Air travel and UK departure taxes, transfers, 12 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 2 lunches, itinerary as described, services of a naturalist guide and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, visa procurement, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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