Journey from San Jose to spectacular Panama City

Squeezed in between the pounding swells of the Pacific and the crystal hues of the Caribbean, dotted with live volcanoes and gifted with generous swathes of lush jungle, Costa Rica and Panama often feel like the lands that time forgot. Thanks to some green-minded conservation decisions on the part of progressive governments, this delightful slither of Central America will enchant and enthral nature boffins and adventure enthusiasts alike. From the smouldering crater of Arenal Volcano to the tranquil beach town of Golfito, the mist-shrouded foliage of the Monteverde cloudforest to the steaming jungle of Manuel Antonio National Park and the contrasting sides of Panama City, this is one journey sure to bestow impressions not easily relinquished.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Panama City, Panama
Costa Rica,
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
299kg pp per trip


  • Explore the verdant cloudforest of Monteverde
  • Gaze at the smouldering peak of Arenal Volcano
  • Search for quetzals and toucans in San Gerardo de Dota
  • Embark on a mangrove kayaking tour in Golfito
  • Bliss out in bucolic Boquete
  • Marvel at the contrasting modernities of Panama City


Get accustomed to Costa Rican time on a leisurely walk through San Jose or perhaps visit the lively San Pedro area.
Head to La Fortuna and the beautiful surrounds of Lake Arenal, where big winds sweeping in from the Caribbean make the lake a windsurfer's delight. Why not visit the active Arenal Volcano - the sight of this magnificent beast lighting up the night sky is truly breathtaking.
Ecologists have suggested that the steamy Monteverde cloud forest was actually once two different ecosystems, straddling each side of the Continental Divide. As a result, the area boasts several unique species of flora and fauna. Explore the emerald-green cloud forest by foot to admire the wide array of wildlife and to learn how this incredible ecological curiosity came to be.
Discover the soft sandy beaches, tropical vegetation and turquoise waters in Manuel Antonio National Park. Hike along the trails to spot some of the abundant wildlife - be on the lookout for armadillos, sloths and colourful birds. Impossible to resist, the warm waters offer great swimming, kayaking or surfing. While Manuel Antonio itself is a laidback kind of town, its nightlife is famously fiery - so kick up those heels and get a taste for Costa Rican revelry.
Lively, modern and always on the move, San Jose makes for an intoxicating introduction to Latin America. Catch this capital's infectious vibe, wander its bustling streets and plazas, or take to the surrounding hillsides to experience nature at her finest.
Scan the lush forest foliage for Costa Rica's much-celebrated birdlife; toucans, kingfishers and the resplendent quetzal all nest in the woods of San Gerardo de Dota. Why not finish the day with some fly fishing from the banks of the Savegre River.
Drive on to the small coastal town of Golfito. Spend the days scouring Refugio Nacional Golfito for its unique flora and fauna or embarking on any number of adventure activities, before bedding down to the nocturnal stirrings of the surrounding forest.
Cross into the pristine natural beauty of Panama's rolling highlands. In addition to offering some spectacular hiking trails and river rafting opportunities, the region if famous for its coffee. Nestling back with a steaming pot and good book can be an equally pleasant way to lounge away the day.
Set in the crater of a (thankfully) now-extinct volcano, the town of Valle de Antón makes for a delightful overnight stopover en route to Panama City. Hiking trails snake the lushly forested mountainsides, natural hot springs offer opportunities for a relaxing soak and folky craft markets pop up come weekend.
Brash and glitzy one minute, subdued and simple the next, Panama City is an intriguing capital of extremes. Get your bearings on a guided orientation tour and take in Panama Canal, one of humankind's most astounding engineering accomplishments. Fine dining options abound, so why not rally the group for a memorable final dinner.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


16 breakfasts1 dinner
Boat, Minibus, Shuttle Bus
Hotel (12 nights), Lodge (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Boquete - Coffee Plantation tour
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • La Fortuna - Hot Springs
  • Manuel Antonio National Park - entrance
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest hike
  • Orientation walk
  • Panama City - City & Canal Tour
  • Piedras Blancas NP - Mangrove kayak tour
  • San Gerardo de Dota - Quetzal spotting tour


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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
3. This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our San Jose to Panama trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews in the last year.

San Jose to Panama , May 2015