Ultimate Panama & Costa Rica

Panama City, Boquete, Isla Palenque, Cativo Bay, Arenal
17 nights private tour from SGD $25,800

Immerse yourself in the landscapes, wildlife, culture, and adventure activities of both Panama & Costa Rica on this fully guided and comprehensive 17-night tour. Combining sightseeing opportunities with rainforest, cloud forest and volcanic hikes, spectacular views across the treetop canopy travelling along misty hanging bridges, thrilling ziplines, and leisurely aerial trams, unique bird and wildlife safaris, and luxurious desert island living, this tour offers a lifetime of lasting memories.

Panama Costa Rica Pacific
At a glance
Journey highlights
  • Exceptional itinerary:A harmonious blend of authenticity and superlative luxury, our Exceptional Journeys are designed for the discerning traveller, providing unparalleled insider access and exclusive luxury private experiences
Our tailor made journeys include:
  • Your dedicated Travel Consultant who will take care of arrangements
  • Private international airport transfers in destination
  • Your own private, English-speaking local guides
  • Unique experiences, hand-picked by our Journeys team
  • Entrance to must-see local sites
  • Dedicated 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • Complimentary access to My Scott Dunn – industry-leading travel app providing pre-departure information and in-journey support

When to visit

  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit

The best time of year to visit Panama & Costa Rica is typically from December/January to April. The rainy season runs from May to December and tropical downpours can be torrential, so always pack good waterproofs if going at this time of year. Sunshine levels are highest in the winter months from January to April, so this is considered a great time to visit.

Itinerary

Day 1-4

Panama City, Panama

On arrival at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport, you will be met by your driver for the 30-minute transfer to your base in the capital, Hotel La Compan~ia. Located in the UNESCO-listed colonial quarter, Casco Viejo (also known as Casco Antiguo), this splendid hotel is a historic gem. Featuring architecture from both the Spanish and French colonial eras, along with vintage American Beaux-Arts, the hotel has been artfully restored and is infused with timeless elegance. With beautifully appointed rooms, flawless service, original features and exquisite public spaces, a stay at Hotel La Compan~ia is like residing in a living museum.
After breakfast on your first full day, you’ll enjoy a private behind the scenes tour of the Panama Canal’s Miraflores Visitor Centre. An engineering marvel that cuts across Central America, locks at either end of the canal lift and lower the ships up to and down from Lake Gatun, one of the largest artificial lakes in the world, which forms the central section of the waterway. More recently, a third set of locks has been constructed to allow for the supersized New Panamax ships to navigate between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans without the need to travel around Cape Horn.

This private tour provides an exclusive visit to the Miraflores Visitor Centre, close to the original locks, accompanied by a representative of the Panama Canal Authority. Here, you’ll learn more about the history and building of this incredible waterway, have a chance to see the ships navigate the canal and enjoy behind the scenes access to areas not normally seen by the public, including canal platforms and control cabins.

From a visit to one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World, you head back into Panama City for a tour of one of the country’s historic highlights, Casco Viejo (also known as Casco Antiguo). The district is UNESCO-listed and full of colonial charm and architecture, with large welcoming plazas, narrow cobblestone streets, historic churches and some of the city’s best bars and restaurants.

The following day, you travel back to Lake Gatun to meet the indigenous Emberá Quera community, who live along the shoreline. The Emberá moved from their former home in the rainforest to the banks of the lake in the 1960s, but have retained their traditional culture, language, and way of life. You will be taken north of the city towards Colón to board a small dugout canoe, carved from a tree trunk for a journey along the canal and through the rainforest to Emberá Village. Look out for the bird, marine and wildlife along the way, which your guide will point out to you.

On arrival at the village, you will be welcomed by the chief who will explain more about the community’s way of life, customs, culture, and traditions. Then after a traditional lunch of fish and plantains, there will be an Emberá dance performance to enjoy, before a chance to shop for handicrafts, such as woven baskets, and wooden carvings. You might even choose to take the opportunity to get a temporary tattoo made with jagua, an ink made from a local fruit. Tourism is the community’s main source of income, and directly benefits the villagers, helping to pay for the children’s education.

After a final breakfast in Panama City, you will take a short 1-hour flight to David, before a 1-hour land transfer to the beautiful city of Boquete in the Chiriqui Highlands

Accommodation: Hotel La Compania ( 3 nights )
Day 4-7

Boquete, Panama

For the following three nights your base is the Valle Escondido Resort Golf & Spa set within a scenic valley at the foot of the Baru Volcano in Boquete. Also known as the City of Flowers, Boquete is surrounded by cool misty cloud forest, picturesque farmland, as well as flower, fruit, and coffee plantations and offers superb hiking and birdwatching. Amid this stunning scenery, the Valle Escondido Resort offers comfortable accommodation with modern amenities, superb dining, friendly service, and a relaxed ambience.

The following morning is a chance to explore the stunning scenery of the Volcán Barú National Park, with a hike into the cloud forest to see the ancient millenary Quercus trees. Tracing the footsteps of pre-Columbian Indians, you’ll see five of Panama’s oldest trees as you hike the pretty Quebrada La Mina Trail. The trail follows the course of an attractive creek through the cloud forest, along the ridges and above the valleys of Boquete. Lining the way are the giant Quercus trees which survived a volcanic eruption over 800 years ago. The forest is home to the rare Resplendent Quetzal bird, howler monkeys, white-faced capuchins, and two-toed sloths among others, and the hike is a highlight for nature and wildlife lovers.

No trip to Boquete is complete without a chance to learn more about the production and process of coffee making. Panama has a growing reputation for excellent coffee produced using traditional shade-grown techniques. With fertile volcanic soil and high altitudes, the coffee produced here is more complex and distinctive than its more famous coffee producing neighbour Costa Rica. Today, you’ll enjoy a private tour of a coffee plantation, learning about the sustainable cultivation of the beans, the roasting process and enjoying a tasting session sampling a variety of flavours, strength, and roasts.

After a final breakfast in Boquete, it’s time to head to Boca Chica for a relaxing stay at the paradise island resort of Isla Palenque. The journey involves a 2-hour land transfer followed by a 25-minute boat trip. 

Accommodation: Valle Escondido Resort Golf And Spa ( 3 nights )
Day 7-10

Panama's Pacific Coast, Panama

Nestled in the Gulf of Chiriqui on Panama’s Pacific Coast, Isla Palenque was once populated by a pre-Columbian community who named this magical island ‘Palenque’ meaning sanctuary, owing to its beautiful and sacred vibe. Today it is home to a five-star eco-lodge which will be your base for the following three nights. With seven golden beaches, and a protected nature reserve abundant in plant, bird, marine and wildlife, this desert island hideaway is the ideal location for relaxation.

For three nights, you’ll stay in a luxurious private beachfront casita, enjoying an indoor/outdoor lifestyle on an all-inclusive basis. Surrounded by rainforest and set on the golden sands of Playa Palenque, the sounds of the sea and sight of the copious bird and wildlife will live long in the memory. During your stay you are free to relax in your hammock and soak up the laidback ambience of beach life. Alternatively, the lodge provides a vast array of complimentary tours and activities to enjoy. Many of these are tide dependent, but you can choose from kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkelling, historic island tours, hiking, bird, and wildlife watching, cookery lessons, yoga, dance, and fitness classes. Other specialist activities are available for an additional cost including whale watching (July to October), sport fishing, island hopping, spa treatments and romantic beachside dinners.
After breakfast on your final morning, you’ll take a 25-minute boat transfer back to Boca Chica from where your driver will transfer you to the Costa Rican border for the next part of your Central American adventure.

Accommodation: Isla Palenque ( 3 nights )
Day 10-14

Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

A helpful representative will smooth your passage across the border at Paso Canoas before you head off to Playa Cativo. This involves an accompanied 60-minute land transfer to Golfito, followed by a scenic 30-minute boat transfer to the all-inclusive Playa Cativo Lodge on the Golfo Dulce. This eco-lodge enjoys a stunning setting within 1,000 acres of private rainforest surrounded by the Piedras Blancas National Park. 
This tropical paradise is your base for the following four nights and boasts an attractive wooden plantation-style design, comfortable accommodation, and friendly service. It is surrounded by some of the most pristine and diverse rainforest on the planet, and during your stay you will have the opportunity to enjoy a range of activities and excursions exploring the various ecosystems of the rainforest, mangroves, and marine-rich waters.
Water-based activities in Cativo Bay include kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkelling, where you can see shoals of tropical fish, manta rays, turtles, and dolphin. We’d also recommend the 1.45-hour guided tour introducing the tropical rainforest, where you’ll learn about the different ecosystems, as well as the resident bird and wildlife. There’s also a visit to Playa Cativo’s organic farm, Finca Cayetano to learn about the medicinal plants, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and herbs that are cultivated here.
For independent exploration, there are self-guided hiking trails around the reserve. Highlights include jungle waterfalls, stunning beaches, and the butterfly garden, along with a chance to simply soak up the immense natural beauty of the rainforest. Guests can also choose to join a daily mindful movement session. These last for 60-minutes every morning and are the perfect way to start your day.
On your final morning, you will retrace your steps taking the scenic boat ride back to Golfito for a flight to San Jose Santamaria local terminal and a 3-hour land transfer to Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park. 

Accommodation: Playa Cativo Lodge ( 4 nights )
Day 14-18

Arenal, Costa Rica

Your base for the following four nights is the luxurious Nayara Tented Camp. The camp enjoys unrivalled views of the majestic Arenal Volcano and each of the tents at this upscale eco-friendly resort features a four-poster bed with canopy, air-conditioning, wooden floors, spacious bathroom with oversized bathtub, an outdoor shower and private plunge pool filled from the area’s natural hot spring water. Built on stilts to minimise any impact on the environment, the tents blend seamlessly into the natural landscape. 

Your first full day combines three amazing experiences, starting with a guided hike on the 16 suspension bridges across the rainforest canopy. This provides the ideal vantage point for spotting toucans, hummingbirds, monkeys and reptiles in their natural habitat, while your guide explains more about the forest’s ecosystems and impressive biodiversity. This is followed by the Arenal Volcano Hike during which you will learn about the history of the volcano and have the chance to walk across the historic lava fields which offer fabulous views of the surrounding area. If all this hiking has made you hungry, fear not, for you will then be served a delicious gourmet picnic by the scenic Burro River at Tico. Dine on Tico ceviche of dorado or sea bass, webbed tortillas, tasty meat or bean sandwiches, fresh salad, fruits, and chocolate, all accompanied by a Jamaican-inspired cocktail. 
The following day includes a ride on the Sky Tram and Sky Trek for further wildlife spotting and rainforest adventure. The Sky Tram involves a leisurely ride on a gondola accompanied by your knowledgeable guide who will deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the ecosystems, biodiversity, and wildlife of the rainforest. The guide can stop the gondola at any given point for photographic opportunities or to point out plants and wildlife of interest along the way. The gondola ride ends at an observation deck with incredible views of both Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake. 
After enjoying the fabulous aerial views, you will now take a 30-minute hike along the forest trails for a much closer inspection of the flora and fauna, before an adrenalin-fuelled Sky Trek adventure back above the treetops. Riding a system of ziplines that cross the forest, you’ll experience panoramic views during this thrilling back down the mountainside.

On your last full day in Costa Rica, there are two wildlife adventures in store. The first is a private sloth safari involving a leisurely drive through the scenic Arenal Volcano National Park scouting for two- and three-toed sloths. These adorable creatures like to hide away, but your experienced guide will help you spot them with the aid of a high-tech spotting scope. Mobile phones can be attached to the scope for close-up photographs. Also look out for the rainbow-billed Keel Toucan, the elusive giant iguanas, howler monkeys and the blue jean frog. Also known as the poison dart frog, it’s nickname stems from the illusion that the frogs are wearing denim jeans.

Later that day as dusk descends, you will take an exciting and atmospheric hike through the rainforest to discover the nocturnal world that comes to life as the sun goes down. The sights and sounds of the rainforest at night are incredible. Look out for red-eyed frogs, snakes, lizards, and a whole array of exotic insects. This is an evening you will never forget.

Accommodation: Nayara Tented Camp ( 4 nights )
We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you.
Call us on +65 6028 0820 to start planning your holiday.

Price Guide: ( based on double occupancy and includes international flights)

Departing Price from*
  • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
  • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
  • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
Deposit from * Enquire
July 2024 SGD $25,800 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
August 2024 SGD $25,800 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
September 2024 SGD $25,800 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
October 2024 SGD $25,800 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
November 2024 SGD $26,100 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
December 2024 SGD $26,400 SGD $4,000 plan your trip
January 2025 SGD $26,400 SGD $4,000 plan your trip
February 2025 SGD $26,400 SGD $4,000 plan your trip
March 2025 SGD $26,400 SGD $4,000 plan your trip
April 2025 SGD $26,400 SGD $4,000 plan your trip
May 2025 SGD $26,100 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
June 2025 SGD $26,100 SGD $3,900 plan your trip
  • July 2024
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $25,800
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
  • August 2024
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $25,800
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
  • September 2024
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $25,800
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
  • October 2024
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $25,800
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
  • November 2024
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,100
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
  • December 2024
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,400
    Deposit from*
    SGD $4,000
  • January 2025
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,400
    Deposit from*
    SGD $4,000
  • February 2025
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,400
    Deposit from*
    SGD $4,000
  • March 2025
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,400
    Deposit from*
    SGD $4,000
  • April 2025
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,400
    Deposit from*
    SGD $4,000
  • May 2025
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,100
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
  • June 2025
    Price from *
    • Pricing is a guideline only, is based on two people sharing and excludes special offers.
    • Travel over peak periods (e.g. Christmas, New Year, festivals and other public holidays) can affect prices considerably, as can exchange rates, flight class and room type.
    • Solo traveller pricing is available upon request.
    SGD $26,100
    Deposit from*
    SGD $3,900
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When to visit

  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit

The best time of year to visit Panama & Costa Rica is typically from December/January to April. The rainy season runs from May to December and tropical downpours can be torrential, so always pack good waterproofs if going at this time of year. Sunshine levels are highest in the winter months from January to April, so this is considered a great time to visit.

Ultimate Panama & Costa Rica
Ultimate Panama & Costa Rica

We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itineraryis a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on +65 6028 0820 to start planning your holiday.

Plan your trip

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