Activities around Arenal abound from lava flows hikes, canopy walkways and zipline tours, river float trips, visits to local farms, soaking in hot springs, mountain biking and waterfall rappelling.
Up in the cool highlands and the quaint town of Monteverde, our guides will accompany you through the verdant Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, pointing out exotic wildlife and plant life, such as howler monkeys and the Resplendant Quetzal, heliconias and orchids. And if you did not have time in Arenal there are canopy tours and ziplines here, as well.
Finish off in Costa Rica at a luxury hotel overlooking the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park, where you can spend your days hiking or ziplining through the coastal jungle, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, spotting dolphins while on a catamaran cruise, sea kayaking or paddleboarding along the coast, or just relaxing on the beach.
Fly to Panama City for a couple of days visiting an Embera indigenous village and cruising the Panama Canal.
Fly to the Chiriqui Highlands, where you can hike in cloud forests, visit a coffee farm and fly through the cloud forest canopy. Round-out Panama exploring the marine world of the Caribbean Sea in Bocas del Toro.
Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.
Upon arrival in San José, you’ll be taken to your downtown hotel to rest.
Butterfly sanctuaries, toucan feedings, frog gardens awarble with singing amphibians: this is La Paz Waterfall Gardens, and it’s the first of many wonders you’ll experience on your Costa Rican odyssey.
Following a leisurely breakfast, you’ll visit this humming rainforest preserve to marvel at its jungle cats and monkeys, as well as its riverside trails overlooking some of Central America’s most crystalline waterfalls.
After lunch, you’ll pass through tropical farmlands to arrive at your Arenal-area hotel.
Arenal may be one of the world’s most active volcanoes, but don’t worry: you can view its smoky rumblings from the safety of its observatory lodge, ideally situated on the peak’s northern side.
Monitored by the Smithsonian Institution ever since its spectacular explosion on July 29, 1968, the volcano sports a craggy lava trail with panoramic views of the surrounding forest.
You’ll experience it all in a half-day hike. Afterwards, transfer overland to the Monteverde cloud forest, where you’ll rest for the evening in your luxury hotel.
Monteverde means “green mountain,” and this misty, 26,000-acre oasis is among the most verdant paradises on the planet. Colonized in 1951 by pacifist Quakers, who converted it into a protected cloud forest, it’s home to 100 mammal and over 400 avian species, most famously the resplendent quetzal, the mythological bird that’s also the national symbol of Guatemala.
In the morning, you’ll take a 20-minute aerial tram tour of the park, followed by a slide down a 3,300-foot zip line that provides an exhilarating overview of the jungle. If the weather is fine, you’ll glimpse both the Caribbean and the Pacific in the distance. After lunch, explore the park’s lush undergrowth with an expert naturalist guide.
Next up: Manuel Antonio National Park, chosen as one of the most beautiful in the world by Forbes magazine. With its secluded coves, branching trails, and lush rainforest growing right up to the water’s edge, it’s a perfect place to get lost amidst nature’s beauty.
Here, after a morning trip overland, you’ll be dropped off at your hotel and left to explore the park on your own.
Flora and fauna are the star attraction in Manuel Antonio Park, and your second day here will be spent in the company of an expert naturalist who will get you up close to its many resident species.
These include camouflaged iguanas and three-toed sloths, orange-and-purple crabs and white-faced capuchin monkeys. The latter, in particular, are so abundant here that authorities have built them their own suspension bridge to allow them to swing freely through the terrain.
For your last day in Costa Rica, you’ll take to the water in an open-seat kayak to explore the exotic ecosystem of the Damas Island Estuary. Paddle with the currents as your naturalist guide reveals to you the protected inland waterways of this mangrove swamp.
Here you’ll float beneath the shade of tall mangroves, which grow only in rarified climates, while watching sloths and howler monkeys scurry through the tree canopy. Your guide will point out nocturnal silky anteaters and non-poisonous mangrove snakes, before bringing you back to your hotel to rest.
Transfer to the airport in San Jose for your flight to Panama City.
Arrive in Panama City and transfer to your hotel for an evening of leisure.
Embera Indians On Gatun River
Depart your hotel for a 1 1/2-hour drive across the Isthmus towards Colon for a cultural visit an Embera indigenous village on the shores of the Gatun River. You will board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) and travel up through lush forest to the community.
Along the river you may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas, Neotropical Cormorant, Amazon, Ringed, and Green Kingfishers, along with Keel-billed Toucans and Ospreys flying above.
At the Embera village you will be greeted with dancing and music. You will learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature and experience their unique culture.
A traditional lunch will be included. This afternoon you will experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience history in the making by observing close-up the Panama Canal Expansion works on the new Gatun Locks.
Panama embarked on a major project to expand the Panama Canal a decade ago. The US$6.25 billion project, due to be completed in 2016 will give the waterway the needed competitive advantage to operate successfully for at least another century. The Panama Canal celebrated its 100th anniversary on August 15, 2014.
The return to Panama City will be on the Trans-Isthmian train. The railway follows a similar route as the original train built to transport 49ers coming from the East coast of the United States across the Isthmus to continue their journey by boat to California during the Gold Rush.
The route was diverted when Gatun Lake was formed to give way to the Panama Canal. After a 1-hour train ride you will be transferred to your city hotel early evening.
Panama Canal Rainforest Boat & Miraflores Locks
Early in the morning you will be picked up at your hotel by your naturalist guide for a 45-minute drive to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres meets the Panama Canal.
Here you will board an expedition boat and depart on an adventure that will include a voyage across Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal passing by gigantic cargo ships transiting the waterway, making contrast with the natural surroundings.
Along the way, you will have the opportunity to spot green iguanas and three-toed sloths resting on tree branches, crocodiles, osprey in the hunt for peacock bass, snail kite and keel-billed toucan among other wildlife.
The expedition boat will allow for close approximations to rainforest covered islands (former hill tops) in Gatun Lake to search for White-faced capuchin, Mantled howler monkey, Central American spider monkey, and the endemic Red-naped Tamarin.
Enjoy the extraordinary views of the Panama Canal and the natural surroundings followed by a picnic lunch in a private garden in Gamboa town. From here you head to the Miraflores Locks Visitors Center, where you will visit multiple exhibits of the canal and have the opportunity to view the operations of the Panama Canal.
In the afternoon you will transfer to Albrook domestic airport for a flight to David, the capital of the Chiriqui province. Chiriqui is known as “Panama’s breadbasket” and contains some of the most breathtaking highland scenery in Central America.
Transfer to the eastern side of the dormant Baru Volcano to the quaint town of Boquete with its countryside dotted with flower, fruit and vegetable farms, coffee plantations and extraordinary cloud forest environments. Overnight at a Boquete hotel.
Cloud Forest Canopy Ziplining & Coffee Tour
Pick up from your hotel and set off on a a cloudforest canopy tree trek on a zipline, that allows you to contemplate the rainforest from 14 different canopy platforms while smoothly soaring in the heights from one treetop to another. You will glide through the trees and encounter a world unknown.
You will discover a fascinating perspective of wildlife that you had perhaps never appreciated. Native species of flora and fauna can be observed. You will marvel at the sight of a great variety of orchids, trees and wildflowers that are found throughout the area. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
This afternoon you have an interactive experience in the highlands of Boquete. Sr. Tito´s Finca La Milagrosa in the Jaramillo region is one of the most respected and 100% organic coffee producers in the country.
This small farm is not meant for large productions, and Mr. Tito's specialty coffee is only destined for exportation to Europe and the United States. Return to your hotel in the afternoon.
La Amistad is a bi-national park that stretches from Costa Rica into Panama, a small portion of which extends into the Chiriqui province encompassing mostly cloud forests. Here, the land rises in excess of 1,500m and warm air ascends the mountains where it meets with cooler air and condenses into a persistent cloud cover.
Cloud forests exhibit a unique ecosystem with an astonishing diversity of flora and fauna. Towering trees reach towards the sun to form a canopy that creates a cool, shadowed, misty underworld on the forest floor.
It is noisy with the sounds of numerous insects, birds, and frogs but it is difficult to see them because of the ferns, tree ferns and epiphytes that crowd the lower and middle strata of the forest.
During the 4-5 kilometer nature walk you will reach up to 1,700m (approx. 200m elevation gain) where you can take a refreshing swim under a waterfall. Water drips from spongy mosses that cover tree trunks, from bromeliads that attach themselves to every cranny on the trees, and from flower petals perched high in the canopy of the forest.
After lunch at a Boquete restaurant depart for the 3.5 hour drive to Almirante, Bocas del Toro. Enroute across the Continental Divide, you may stop at Fortuna Dam. You will be crossing the Palo Seco protected area that serves as buffer zone to La Amistad International Park.
The transition from the cloud forests to the coral reefs of Bocas del Toro in the Caribbean Sea is impressive. In Almirante you are met by your boat and transferred to Isla Colon. Overnight at Bocas Inn.
Salt Creek Village / Basitmentos Marine National Park
You depart by boat from the Bocas Inn early in the morning traversing the expanse of Bastimentos National Park, Panama’s first marine national park.
You reach Salt Creek by navigating through clusters of Red Mangroves, which provide sea creatures with a protective area during their reproductive and development stages.
Upon arrival you first enjoy a walk along Caiman trail. This trail takes you through several stages of lowland forest dynamics. Here, you will look for birds such as Red-throated Ant Tanager and Golden-collared Manakin (Cerritus sub sp.). Mammals such as Night Monkeys, White-faced Capuchins and Three-toed Sloths also live here.
An older tract of rainforest has tall trees that provide life to birds such as the Three-wattled Bellbird and Green-breasted Mango. A nearby lagoon is home to Spectacled Cayman and Slider Turtle. On the ground you will look for the tiny endemic poison dart frog Dendrobates pumilio.
After the hike, you enjoy a visit to the Ngobe Bugle indigenous community to have a chance to purchase handicrafts such as painted woodcarvings and handbags, followed by lunch. In the afternoon you will snorkel among mangroves and coral reefs, searching for numerous fish species, as well as dynamic and brightly colored sea fans, sponges and brittle starfish.
Boca Del Drago
Depart with a boat ride around Colon Island to Boca del Drago. Weather permitting, you visit Swan's Cay, a rock protruding from the depths of the Caribbean Sea, which serves as rookery for Red-billed tropic birds (the only place to be found in Panama) and Brown boobies.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you will enjoy the beach at Boca del Drago and search for colorful giant starfish. Along the coastline, returning to the lodge, we make stops at coral reefs and mangrove isles for snorkeling.
After lunch you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Panama City. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel.
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Tocumen International Airport.
|Price from||$4,630.00 per person, based on double occupancy|
Based on double occupancy for 2 travelers, reduced prices for parties of 3 or more.
International and domestic airfare
Dauren was the best part of the trip. He was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about animals and vegetation. We would use him again and would recommend him to any of your clients.
- Leo H, February 2015