Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in San José, Costa Rica
Welcome to the capital city of San José! Upon arrival you will be met by your Tour Director, who will help you check into your hotel.
Day 2 San José–Arenal
This morning, journey to the artisan town of Sarchi, made famous for its ornately painted oxcarts, which were originally used to transport coffee beans. Spend some time exploring the local shops filled with handmade wood artifacts before continuing to the Arenal Volcano area, where you will stay two nights. From your hotel, you can admire Arenal Volcano, which was Costa Rica's most active volcano until 2010, when it entered a resting phase. Due to the geothermal area surrounding the volcano, there are many therapeutic hot springs to enjoy. And no visit to Arenal would be complete without a visit to the most famous— TABACÓN HOT SPRINGS. Take a dip and relax in the numerous natural springs and pools of mineral waters surrounded by lush, tropical forest, followed by a special welcome dinner at Tabacón Hot Springs.
Day 3 Arenal
Today is at leisure to explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a network of suspension bridges, platforms, and trails built in the cloud forest. From here, explore the forest canopy with a bird’s-eye view, giving you a different perspective of the forest’s wildlife—a great opportunity for nature lovers and bird watchers! Alternatively, you may choose a rafting adventure, horseback riding, or spelunking in nearby Venado Caves.
Day 4 Arenal–Los Sueños (Embarkation)
This morning, head toward the Pacific Coast to Los Sueños, where you will embark your expedition-style mega-yacht, the Variety Voyager. This sleek, yet elegant, 36-cabin ship will be your home for the next seven nights. Set sail across the Pacific toward the Nicoya Peninsula, an area humming with rich biodiversity. Later on board, join the Captain for a welcome cocktail and dinner. NOTE:The majority of landings are made by Zodiac on this cruise.
Day 5 Cruising: Curu Nature Reserve & Tortuga Island
Wake up off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula and Curu Nature Reserve, a privately owned reserve made up of five different habitats—from mangroves to tropical forest. An optional Naturalist-led walk introduces you to the wildlife that thrives here, including 200 species of birds, monkeys, anteaters, and much more. Return to the ship for a short sail to palm-studded TORTUGA ISLAND for snorkeling in the turquoise waters off this uninhabited island. While you play in the waters, the crew is busily preparing a special BBQ lunch on the white-sand beaches of this paradise island. This evening, join the ship's Naturalist for a lecture on tomorrow's port of call.
Day 6 Cruising: Quepos
A morning sail brings you to Quepos. Today you may opt to take a Naturalist-guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the lushest places in Costa Rica. Explore some of the dense mangrove swamps that shelter a variety of wildlife, including the three-toed sloth, coati, howler monkey, and much more. As you arrive on the pristine white-sand beaches, watch for iguanas and white-faced monkeys, as they are commonly found there!
Day 7 Cruising: Puerto Jimenez/Golfo Dulce & Casa Orquideas
Wake up off the Osa Peninsula in Puerto Jimenez, where you will find the entry to the Osa Conservation near Corcovado National Park. This area conserves the largest primary tropical rainforest on the American Pacific coastline, and is one of the few remaining sizeable areas of lowland tropical rainforests in the world. It is large enough to support a great population of the endangered Baird’s tapir, and holds about 140 species of mammals (representing 10% of the mammal species in America). Join an optional excursion into the Osa Conservation and with some luck, you may see harpy eagles, red-eyed tree frogs, scarlet macaws, ocelots, toucans, and monkeys. This excursion also includes a visit to a sea turtle hatchery where turtle conservation is the focus. Back on board, enjoy a late lunch, followed by the chance to visit a private orchid farm, Casa Orquideas. Sail to Golfito, where the boat will clear immigrations into Panama and continue on to Coiba Island. Enjoy an onboard lecture by the ship's Naturalist tonight.
Day 8 Cruising: Coiba Islands & Granito de Oro, Panama
This morning, arrive at the largest island in Central America: Coiba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. You may like to join an optional hike with the Naturalist to search for monkeys, agoutis, and other mammals commonly found here. The waters are teeming with life and are home to one of the largest coral reefs in the Americas. Snorkeling is a must as the beach BBQ is being prepared! Continue to Granito de Oro, a pristine island off the Panama coast. These waters inside COIBA NATIONAL PARK are considered among the top 10 snorkeling and diving sites in the world. Time for swimming and snorkeling to explore the reef full of fish, turtles, eels, and dolphins.
Day 9 Scenic Cruising: Panama City & Panama Canal Transit
This morning, arrive in Panama City, where you have the option to venture into Old Town Panama City, founded in 1673 after the original city was destroyed by pirates. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts restored colonial buildings, churches, and historical monuments. Also visit the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center to learn about the history of the canal and its construction. After a late lunch on board, prepare for a special treat as you begin a late-afternoon transit of the PANAMA CANAL. This engineering marvel connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic took 34 years to construct and carved a 51-mile path through the Continental Divide. Our passage begins from the Pacific, and we will transit three sets of locks: the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel, and Gatun, which will raise us over 85 feet to the Atlantic Ocean. NOTE: Entrance into the canal is controlled by the Panama Port Authority. Clearance for a daylight crossing cannot be guaranteed, but it’s a highlight at any time of day.
Day 10 Cruising: San Blas, Carti & Gran Perro Islands
Arrive in the San Blas archipelago in the Caribbean, governed by the Kuna Indians, who maintain their autonomy and run their own economy, language, customs, and culture. The San Blas Islands are comprised of over 365 islands surrounded by spectacular reefs, turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, and centuries-old native Kuna villages. Traveling here is like stepping back in time! Upon arrival at Carti Island, you can visit a nearby Kuna Village to learn about the traditional way of life. Also learn about age-old ceremonies, the local laws of the native villages, and the stories behind the colorful molas worn by the Kuna women. Sail to nearby Gran Perro Island for a beach BBQ and snorkeling time. This evening, join the Captain and crew for a farewell cocktail and dinner.
Day 11 Colon (Disembarkation)-Gamboa Rainforest
Disembark your ship in the Caribbean port city of Colon and make your way into the Panamanian jungle of SOBERANIA NATIONAL PARK. Arrive at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort on the banks of the Chagres River near the Panama Canal, where you will stay for the next two nights. This afternoon, venture into the tropical rainforest with a Naturalist who will take you into the canopy on an AERIAL TRAM that brings you eye to eye with the birds and other animals commonly found here. Glide silently through the treetops in search of Capuchin monkeys, Howler monkeys, sloths, and many species of birds, just to name a few.
Day 12 Gamboa Rainforest
An enchanting journey takes you deep into the dense jungles of the Chagres, where the Emberá Indians have lived for centuries. The adventure begins with a CRUISE up the river in dugout canoes, the Emberá traditional hand-carved boats. Upon arrival at the INDIAN VILLAGE, you will be taken back in time as you are immersed in ancient Emberá cultural dances and music that have not changed much since Columbus arrived in the 1500s. The Emberás provide a glimpse into their mystical rituals and amazing knowledge of medicinal plants and other natural remedies. The Indians will then invite you to explore the area’s abundant variety of birds and wildlife during a trek that takes you through the untouched jungle and past sparkling waterfalls. Return to your resort, where you will enjoy a special farewell dinner this evening.
Day 13 Gamboa Rainforest
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.