Costa Rica / Panama Adventure
Whitewater Rafting / Mountain Biking / Beaches
This trip offers a great combination of activity and beaches in Costa Rica and Panama. Biking in the coffee-lined valley of Orosi and a rainforest experience on the Pacuare River with whitewater rafting is followed by some beach time on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Crossing the border to Panama we stay in the town of Boquete, the biggest town in the Chiriqui Highlands with a chance to experience the canopy from above on the longest zip lines in Panama. Our last few days are spent on the spectacularly un-spoilt island paradise of the San Blas Archipelago.
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San Blas Islands
|Departure Dates 2012|
|Departure dates upon request.|
|Until Oct 31, 2012|
|Starting at $1,985|
Day 1: ARRIVE - Arrival in Costa Rica. After welcoming you at San José airport your guide will bring you to a comfortable hotel in the city and take time to answer any questions, meet the group and prepare for your multi-activity adventure trip. The evening is free to explore San José.
Day 2: OROSI (Mountain Biking) - The adventure begins with a drive to the panoramic Orosi Valley. After a safety talk and some helpful tips on mountain biking we mount up and begin our ride. The landscape of the area is unique; coffee-lined valleys and cloud forest side-by-side. With misty vistas and lush green plants lining the steep hillsides, we take a lot of breaks to enjoy the views. We end at a mountain top lodge near Turrialba. (B,L).
Day 3: PACUARE RIVER (Whitewater Rafting, 10 km) - We set off for the Pacuare River and our two-day whitewater rafting adventure. We will run a total of 27 kilometers of Class III-IV rapids exploring the magnificent river valley. This afternoon we arrive at our comfortable riverside camp, "El Nido del Tigre". Nestled between the sounds of the rainforest and the hum of the river, take time to explore the lush environment first hand. Look out for toucans overhead or simply relax in a hammock soothed by the sounds of the river and the forest. (B,L,D).
Day 4: PACUARE RIVER / PLAYA COCLES (Whitewater Rafting, 17 km) - Today the Pacuare takes us through virgin rainforest, cascading waterfalls and river carved canyons. We maneuver through the exhilarating rapids and point out the intricacies of the rainforest at the river’s edge. Along the way we take time out to do some hiking to spectacular waterfalls and have lunch on the shore. “Taking out” at Finca Pacuarito, our adventure then takes us to the lush South Caribbean coast of Costa Rica - an area of untold natural riches, unique culture and traditions. Playa Cocles, a small beach between Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo, will be your home for the next couple of nights. (B, L).
Day 5: PLAYA COCLES (Beach Day) - The day is free to relax and enjoy the area. There are a great variety of activities that we can help arrange including: snorkeling, horseback riding, visit to the Cahuita National Park or local Indian Reserve. (B).
Day 6: BOQUETE (Travel Day) - We drive from the Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica crossing the border into the highlands of Panama to Boquete, known as the "Valley of the Flowers and the Eternal Spring". This journey takes about 4 hours plus some time at the border. Tucked away on the eastern slopes of the Volcan Barú this small and charming mountain village produces some of the sweetest oranges and richest coffees in all of Panama. The village benefits from sunny and cool mountain weather and it’s healthy climate has prompted many to believe it is the secret to longevity since many native Boqueteños have lived well on past their one-hundredth birthdays. The surrounding hills and slopes are primarily covered in shade-grown coffee plantations, providing a rich product recognized by international connoisseurs. Known for their sustainable farming practices, these farms are recognized the world over by conservationists and are home to an abundance of birds equal to those found in the cloud forests higher on the mountain. Coffee is primarily picked by the Guaymi Indians during the months of October through February. Coffee picking season is a festive time when colorfully clad Indian families come from various parts of the province to harvest the coffee cherries. After settling into your hotel, you will have the rest of the day to explore the quaint town center. (B).
Day 7: BOQUETE (Free Day with Zip Line Canopy included) - What better way to experience nature than with a Tree Trek!! Boquete is home to the longest zip lines in Panama and so we will take this exhilarating, adrenaline rush ride- glide through 3 kilometers of the canopy of the century-old cloud forest high above pristine rivers, waterfalls and landscapes bordering Amistad National Park and the Baru Volcano. Surrounded by exotic vegetation and wildlife this is one of the most memorable nature adventure experiences.
Day 8: BOQUETE TO PANAMA CITY - After breakfast it is a short drive to the town of David for our local flight to Panama City (approx. 1 hour). Once settled into our hotel, the rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the City. (B)
Day 9: PANAMA CITY / SAN BLAS ISLANDS - This morning we are on our way to the remote islands of the San Blas. Our journey begins with a short local flight to Rio Sidre followed by a boat ride to the island of Achutupo. The islands are inhabited by the Kuna Indians. Most of the communities speak only the ancient Indian language and the women still wear the traditional colorful dresses in orange and yellow, highlighted with the world famous "mola" rainbow colored patterns emblazoned with fishes, birds, jungle animals or geometric designs. On the mainland, the Cordillera de las San Blas mountain range rises above this gorgeous, unexploited, unspoiled and relatively unknown paradise. Of the 365 islands, only about one-tenth are inhabited by the Kuna Indians who maintain their own economic system, language, customs and culture, with distinctive dress, legends, music and dance. They live in the same way their ancestors did; trading coconuts and fishing for crabs, lobsters and snappers aboard their graceful hand-carved wooden canoes, complete with patchwork sails, called "Cayucos". The other islands are for the most part uninhabited with some of the most beautiful white sand islands you can imagine. Accommodation is also in accordance with the islanders, in bamboo huts with thatched roofs and sand floors. There are very few huts and at night they are lit by kerosene lamps, adding to the romance of the islands. (B,L,D).
Day 10: SAN BLAS ISLANDS (Beach Day) - After a light breakfast, enjoy the day at your leisure exploring the San Blas Archipelago, meeting the Kuna culture, relaxing at the beach or taking optional tours. A visit to the Indian villages, right out of the pages of National Geographic, includes the option to buy the famous mola embroideries directly from the Kuna Indians. There are great photo opportunities of the Kuna women in their colorful and quaint surroundings (they usually charge $1 to take their photo) and hearing about their unique way of life. Snorkeling is known to be very good to superb on the islands just ask for the best spots. (B,L,D).
Day 11: SAN BLAS ISLANDS / PANAMA CITY - This morning we take a flight back to the mainland of Panama and once again to the City and a city tour which includes a visit to the old city of Panama, the town of Balboa and the Panama Canal locks. The evening is free to enjoy Panama City on your own. (B).
Day 12: DEPARTURE - You will be picked up at your hotel in time for your departure from the airport. (B).
DO YOU FIT THE CLIENT PROFILE FOR THIS TRIP?A general understanding and experience level of mountain biking is required but it is not necessary to be an expert biker. No previous experience is required for whitewater rafting but you will be actively paddling while in the raft. A general level of fitness and stamina will help with your enjoyment of the trip.
Trip Includes: As specified in the above itinerary, lodging, transportation within Costa Rica, airport/hotel transfers on scheduled arrival/departure dates, meals [B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner], national park entrance fees, guide services, ground operator support within Costa Rica and taxes.
Not Included: International airfare, airport departure taxes, meals not specified in the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, personal equipment, extras in hotels (laundry, phone calls, room service), gratuities, or costs associated with changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control.