Costa Rica & Panama Discovery

12 Days | Chill out in the Caribbean and soak up the sunshine

4.4 out of 5 based on 41 reviews submitted.
EUR 1.005 €
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Get under the surface of Costa Rica and Panama with this 12-day Caribbean adventure. See it all, from jungles and beaches to local villages. From San Jose to Panama City, this laidback discovery will introduce you to some of the most beautiful spots in two Central American cultures, and then it’ll give you the freedom to explore however you want, at your own pace. You can't go wrong with your local leader to steer you in the right direction (to the best bars and surf breaks), plus a small group of adventurers to enjoy them with. Make a traditional dinner in a local’s home, look out for wildlife on a night jungle walk and soak in the local hotspots in areas seldom travelled.

Trip overview

Map of Costa Rica & Panama Discovery including Costa Rica and Panama
San Jose, Costa Rica
Panama City, Panama
Panama, Costa Rica
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
This trip generates 26.23 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Put your chef’s hat on and help prepare a traditional Caribbean dinner with a local family in their home in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
  • Swim in clear ocean waters, stop in at shacks serving cold cerveza and kick back on sandy shores covered in starfish in the Bocas del Toro, where you spend three nights on Isla Colon.
  • Head to the coffee plantations, waterfalls and caldera hot springs of Boquete – a highland town so beautiful you’ll hardly miss the beach at all!
  • Go on a jungle walk at night with your expert trip leader in the rainforest district of Sarapiqui – look out for various birdlife, sloths and howler monkeys.
  • Get to know Panama City during a guided stroll along the Cinta Costera, right to the city’s salty belly – the Mercado de Mariscos (seafood market).
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip is made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers. The itinerary includes basic accommodation and has free time for activities when your leader will offer suggestions. Please budget spending money for optional activities you want to partake in.
  • Public transport is better for the environment, and you’ll get an authentic look at daily life, but keep in mind that local transport between specific locations on this trip can be pretty basic.
  • While the border crossing between Costa Rica and Panama is usually straightforward, sometimes it can take a while, so please prepare to be patient. You're on Central American time now!
  • Central America is tropical, so expect a hot and humid climate. Protect yourself from the sun, wear comfortable, light clothing and stay hydrated – especially when out on walking tours. Air conditioning may not always be available in your rooms. Occasionally, properties may require an additional charge for air conditioning.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 28 February 2024 to 31 December 2024.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2023 - 27 February 2024

Map of Costa Rica & Panama Discovery including Costa Rica and Panama



1 dinner


Private vehicle, Public bus, Taxi, Shared boat


Hotel (10 nights), Lodge (1 night)

  • Sarapiqui – Night Jungle Walk
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Puerto Viejo - Hands-on dinner in local home
  • Boquete - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Leader - led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Panama City - Leader-led walk in Casco Viejo
  • Panama City - Leader-led walk along part of the Cinta Costera (Causeway) including a visit to the Fish Market
Add on activities
  • San Jose - Pre-Colombian Gold Museum (Entrance fee) - USD16
  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures - USD38
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Surf lesson (1 hour) - USD57
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Cahuita National Park - USD5
  • Bocas del Toro - Jungle Cacao Tour (guide and transport included) - USD35
  • Bocas del Toro - Zapatilla Tour including Sloth Island & snorkelling at Cayo Coral (guide and transport included) - USD45
  • Bocas del Toro - Full-day Tour including Bastimentos island, Jungle hike & Lunch with Ngobe Community (guide and transport included) - USD60
  • Bocas del Toro - Bio-luminescence Boat Tour (guide and transport included) - USD30
  • Bocas del Toro - Colon Expedition including starfish beach & bird island - USD40
  • Boquete - Guided Bicycle Tour (guide and bike hire included) - USD55
  • Boquete - Guided Tour of Hidden Waterfalls (entrance fee, transport and guide included) - USD50
  • Boquete - Zipline (guide and transport included) - USD65
  • Boquete - Mini Canyons Tour (entrance fee, transport and guide included) - USD35
  • Boquete - Calderas Hot Springs (entrance fee and transport included, no guide) - USD35
  • Boquete - Coffee Plantation Tour (guide and transport included) - USD35
  • Panama City - Panama Canal: Miraflores Locks (entrance fee only, no guide, no transport) - USD20

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip and is subject to availability.
2. Due to limited accommodation availability in some of the destinations on this trip, rooms will occasionally be on a multi-share basis (single-gender).
3. Please be careful when booking flights into San Jose; make sure you fly into Juan Santamaría International Airport [SJO]. Please do NOT book flights to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.4 out of 5 based on 41 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Gavin · Traveled August 2023
Panama is definitely worth exploring! Having travelled through the other 7 Central American countries with Intrepid, this itinerary continued to provide plenty of high quality variety and stimulation. Coiba Island (off Santa Catalina) and it's broad range of wildlife on land and in the sea was a particular highlight (and at least matched the equivalent sights in Caye Caulker, Belize).
Review submitted 03 Sep 2023

Grant · Traveled August 2023
Tour leader Abdiel is 5 stars and trip is 4 stars. Intrepid itself zero stars as I had to pay twice for the same flight (Panama City to Miami) booked by Intrepid and Intrepid could not care less about the $450 lost. Overall considering all, 1 star due to Intrepid.
Review submitted 30 Aug 2023

Patricia · Traveled July 2023
Excellent experience on Basix trip to Costa Rica/Panama. We are in our mid 50's and were nervous that it would be too basic but all the accommodation was more than adequate - a pleasant surprise! The Itinerary gave us a good sampling of Costa Rica and Panama. Our tour guide was professional & knowledgeable (Panamanian) getting us to our destinations safely, on time and well informed. The group we traveled with were awesome, various ages, from different parts of the world. Great value for a carefree, fun, and exciting adventure!
Review submitted 07 Aug 2023

Liam · Traveled July 2023
Was looking forward to a once in a lifetime trip with my mum; however, it was ruined with the most selfish/spoiled people on our trip. Costa Rica and Panama are beautiful.
Review submitted 01 Aug 2023

victoria · Traveled July 2023
The trip is excellent for those who wish to have security whilst traveling solo. Accomodation is excellent and the places you visit are truely remarkable. Having intrepid leader means that you get a real sense of the places you visit and knowledge that you can't pick up in a guide book. I felt safe in all places in this tour and although no activities were included it was easy to find a range of them with our leaders help. Snorkleing in Cobai Island is a must, swimming with turtle, sharks and seeing whales and dolphins. I would recommend this tour to anyone thinking of visiting Panama however I would suggest reading all information given in essential information.
Review submitted 25 Jul 2023
Costa Rica & Panama Discovery
EUR 1.005 €