See The Highlights Of Costa Rica And Panama Without wasting Time
14 Day Tour, including all flights and transfers from only £3000 per person (based on two sharing)
So many tours to Costa Rica and Panama spend endless hours on the road or waiting in airports.
We are suggesting a tour that will minimise your travel time while still seeing the major sights.
In Panama, we recommend that you stay based in the city. Either in a boutique hotel in old town, Casco Viejo, or a mile or two away in the new high rise hotels in Paitilla or Punta Pacifica.
From Panama City you can easily make day trips to the Panama Canal, Pearl Islands, Caribbean Coast ruins or El Valle de Anton.
In Costa Rica, you will need to move around from place to place, but we are suggesting that you concentate on the highlights of the country: Volcán Arenal, Monteverde and Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.
Unlike Panama City, there is not much to do or see in San Jose, so a brief tour will be enough.
The choice of hotels in Panama City is outstanding for a city of its size.
In the renovated old town there are two larger boutique hotels worth considering such as The Central and The American Trade Hotel. There are also several smaller hotels such as Hotel Casa Antigua and Tantalo.
In the new city, it is almost harder to mention an hotel brand that is not available. Most are of a hice standard and it may be your loyalty programme that guides you to a particular choice.
Costa Rica is also the opposite to Panama City, in that you will you will be staying in smaller towns (apart from San Jose) where the choice is more limited. It may be your budget that decides which hotel is the correct one for you as there are large differences available.
There are currently no direct scheduled flights from the UK to Costa Rica or Panama (although, hopefully, this will change soon.
There are a large number of carriers that fly to Panama from Europe, including, Air France, Air Europa, , Iberia, KLM, Luhthansa and Turkish. You also have the option of choosing Avianca.
The most direct route to fly to Costa Rica from Europe is using Iberia via Madrid.
You also have the option of flying via the United States.
You have the option of starting your holiday in either Costa Rica or Panama and the itinerary will include all flights, hotels and transfers.
The undoubted highlight of any journey to Panama is the Panama Canal.
You can visit one of two visitor centres on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts or book a partial canal transit that will start from Panama City and rise up in to Lake Gatun using the three locks on the Pacific side.
The Pearl Islands
The Pearl Islands are located about 30 miles off the coast of Panama City and can be reachable by ferry (90 minutes) or light aircraft (20 minutes).
The Pearl Islands consist of more than 200 islands and islets which are largely uninhabited. The islands have maginificant beaches and are home to some of the best fishing in the world.
Panama City’s historic district of Casco Viejo is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and the most trendy area in town. With beautiful colonial mansions, art galleries and excellent bars and restaurants, Casco Viejo is a must see place to visit.
El Valle de Anton
El Valle de Anton is a small town situated in the middle of an extinct volcano in central Panama. Surrounded by cloud forests and mountains, this picturesque town has a slightly cooler climate.
We recommend visiting these three destinations in Costa Rica, but depending on your tastes, almost any your is possible.
Though regular eruptions ceased in 2010, Arenal remains an impressive landmark: its perfect conical shape sharply rises above the surrounding forests and serves as the majestic backdrop for nearby towns like La Fortuna and El Castillo. The national park offers a number of excellent trails and the region is dotted with natural hot springs that definitely merit a visit.
Monteverde and Santa Elena
The neighboring towns of Monteverde and Santa Elena, which edge iconic cloud forests, are the birthplace of the country’s ecotourism movement. Here you can go trekking at high altitudes, search for rare resplendent quetzals and straddle your feet across the continental divide.
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
One of the country’s most famous national parks, Manuel Antonio, is the Costa Rica you imagined in your dreams. Here you can watch all manner of monkeys bounding through the forest canopy as you take leisurely hikes along palm-fringed shores lapped by tropical waves.