Central America Tours

Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unraveling the Pacific Ocean coast line of Costa Rica. We will reach the Nature Reserves and National Parks of Isla Coiba, Corcovado and Manuel Antonio, witness life in the San Blas and cross the celebrated Panama Canal, an event for every avid cruise goer. Each day you will discover a new port of call.

The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Los Sueños, Herradura, Costa Rica to Cartagena, Colombia

Tour length: 8 days/7 Nights

Departure Dates 2013: SUNDAYS December 8, December 22

Departure Dates 2014: SUNDAYS January 5, January 19, March 2, March 16

Ship: Variety Voyager

CostaRicaCartagena.001

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (Sunday): Los Suenos/Herradura (Costa Rica)

Embarkation at 4 pm. Overnight in Los Suenos,Herradura/Costa Rica.

Day 2 (Monday): Los Suenos/Herradura – Quepos (Costa Rica)

Morning sailing to Quepos. This morning we reach Quepos for 3 optional excursions. This is the starting place to visit Manuel Antonio National Park. This park was created in 1972 and consists of three magnificent white-sand beaches that are backed by a jungle sheltering hundreds of fascinating plant species. Naturalists lead walks to outstanding wildlife viewing. There are over 109 mammal species and 184 species of birds here. Watch for monkeys, iguanas, agoutis, sloth, and the rare turquoise cotinga. Manuel Antonio offers well-maintained trails where you can explore the jungle on your own or join a walk with one of our naturalists. You may wish to see the small shopping area, relax on the white-sand beach or take a swim. Overnight at anchor.

Day 3 (Tuesday): Quepos – Corcovado/Drake Bay – Golfo Dulce/Golfito (Costa Rica)

Morning sailing to Corcovado/Drake Bay. We reach Drake Bay, our landing place in the Osa Peninsula and starting place for our 2 optional excursions. The main attraction of Bahía Drake is Corcovado National Park, a nature preserve and tropical rainforest that occupies almost a third of the Osa Peninsula. Visitors are almost guaranteed to see some of the most incredible wildlife living in the jungles of the reserve including red-eyed tree frogs, quetzals, tapirs, harpy eagles, white-lipped peccaries, monkeys and scarlet macaws. Swimmers can have the amazing opportunity to share the warm waters with marlins, dolphins, and pilot whales. Later in the evening we sail around the Osa Peninsula to Golfo Dulce. In the evening we reach the protected area of Golfo Dulce and reach Golfito. Overnight in port.

Day 4 (Wednesday): Golfo Dulce – Golfito (Costa Rica)

We reach Golfito in the protected area of Golfo Dulce for 2 optional excursions. Our unique excursions will bring you to a Wildlife Reserve and to the amazing Casa Orquideas or Orchid House, a private botanical garden beautifully landscaped and maintained. A unique opportunity to see some amazing flowers and taste some unusual fruits. After dinner we leave Golfo Dulce for an overnight at sea.

Day 5 (Thursday): Granito de Oro and Coiba islands (Panama)

We arrive early in the morning in this tiny Island for some swimming and snorkeling in a pristine environment. After BBQ on board we sail to nearby Coiba island. Coiba, identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest island in Central America, off the pacific coast of the Panamanian province of Veraguas. The waters adjacent to the island are teeming with marine life. It is surrounded by one of the largest coral reefs in the pacific coasts of the Americas; it is the beginning of the underwater Cordilera mountain chain that also includes Coco’s and the Galapagos islands. This makes for a unique dive experience you shouldn’t miss. Overnight at sea to Panama for our Canal crossing.

Day 6 (Friday): Panama Canal Transit

This morning we reach the entrance of the Panama Canal for a day crossing the Canal. The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Work on the canal, which began in 1880, was completed in 1914. The 8 to 10 hour canal passage includes transit through three sets of locks, Gatun Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks, through which the water level is adjusted 85 feet. We will transit through the locks and through Gatun Lake, a man made lake formed by an earthen dam across the Chagres River. With priority given to commercial vessels (14,000 cross the Canal each year) crossing times are not guaranteed. We exit the Canal at Limon Bay/Colon and continue to San Blas islands. Overnight at sea.

Day 7 (Saturday): San Blas islands (Panama)

This morning we reach the San Blas Archipelag, a chain of over 365 tropical islands of which 50 only are inhabited by the Kuna Indians, who live in communities of bamboo-sided, thatched-roofed houses. The Kuna Indians are one of a few indigenous groups that make up Panama’s population. The area is owned and administered exclusively by the Kuna, who run it as an autonomous republic. Kuna much as their ancestors did and pass on their customs through dances and chants, and crafts which include their richly embroidered molas. For island-to-island travel the Kuna use dugout canoes made from wild cashew trees. The women dress as their ancestors did with brilliant shawls, strands of beads wrapping their legs and gold rings through their noses. In the evening we leave San Blas for Cartagena Colombia. We leave San Blas in the evening and sail to Cartagena Colombia. Overnight at sea.

Day 8 (Sunday): Cartagena (Colombia)

Morning arrival in Cartagena/Colombia. Disembarkation from 9:00 to 10:00.

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Accommodations & Rates

CATEGORYDOUBLE OCCUPANCYSINGLETHIRD PERSON
C$2,990$4,485
B$3,490$5,235$2,445
A$3,990$5,985
P$4,990$7,485$3,495
OWNER'S SUITE$6,190$9,285
PORT CHARGES - Per Person$450$450$450

Including Port Charges, Taxes and Staff Gratuities

General Information

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. For your convenience, you may charge your deposit to your American Express, Visa, or MasterCard. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment. However, personal checks are accepted for both deposits and final payment.

Cancellations & Refunds: After confirmation, up to 120 days before tour departure deposit is subject to a 50% cancellation charge. After 120 days, up to 91 days prior to departure cancellation charge is 100% of deposit.

Insurance: We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement.

Itinerary: The itinerary, accommodations, and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Travel Dynamics International.

Responsibility: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the passenger and Travel Dynamics International and EXPLOR CRUISES . The passenger is also advised to review his/her separate ticket passage contract with the vessel’s owner/operator, which will constitute the sole, legally enforceable terms of carriage for this tour and is available on request. Travel Dynamics International and EXPLOR CRUISES act solely as agents for the passenger with respect to all transportation, hotel and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the passenger’s safety and satisfaction, but, we neither assume nor bear any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any ship, airplane, train, automobile, motor coach, carriage or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party, involved in carrying the passengeror in affecting these tours. We are not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses must be borne by the passenger, and tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. In the event of cancellation, delay or rescheduling mandated by any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall have the option of accepting in lieu of the original tour such rescheduled tour or other substituted tour(s) as may be offered by us, or else, receiving a refund of as much of such advance tour expenditures as we are able to recover on the passenger’s behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but, we shall not have any obligation or liability to the passenger beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour’s itinerary and to substitute hotels, ships, or lecturers if this is required. We reserve the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any tour prior to departure, and, so long as this is not due to any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid to that point if he/she so desires. No refund shall be made for any unused portion of any tour. By forwarding their deposit(s), the passenger certifies that he/she and/or their dependents, minors or others covered thereby do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that could create a hazard for them or other passengers. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to decline to retain any person as a member of any tour should such person’s health, condition or actions adversely affect or threaten the welfare or safety of other passengers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled or stored at the passenger’s risk entirely, and, we shall bear no liability or responsibility for any damage or other loss thereto. Passenger tickets are not transferable and are not subject to alteration by the passenger. No suit shall be maintainable against the carrier, or vessel, for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passengers, unless written notice of the claim, with full particulars, is delivered to the carrier or its agents at its office at the port of sailing or at the port of termination within six months from the day when such incident occurred. In no event shall any such suit or any claim against the carrier or vessel for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger be maintainable unless such suit is commenced within one year from the day when the incident causing such losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger occurs, notwithstanding any provision of law of any state or country to the contrary. Resolution of any disputes arising hereunder shall be brought within the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, pursuant to the applicable general maritime law, and applying the applicable general maritime law and Federal maritime statutes.

Rates: Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, and currency values. While we do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.

Fuel Supplement: Travel Dynamics International reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement, without prior notice, if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $85 per barrel. This supplement may be charged even if the cruise fare has been paid in full.

Ship’s Registry: USA

 

The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal

Cartagena, Colombia to Los Sueños, Herradura, Costa Rica

Tour length: 8 days/7 Nights

Departure Dates 2013: SUNDAYS December 1, December 15, December 29

Departure Dates 2014: SUNDAYS January 26, February 23

Ship: Variety Voyager 

CartagenaCostaRica.001

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 (Sunday): Cartagena (Colombia)

Embarkation at 16.00 to 17.30 pm. Overnight at sea.

Day 2 (Monday): San Blas islands (Panama)

This morning we reach the San Blas Archipelago, a chain of over 365 tropical islands of which 50 only are inhabited by the Kuna Indians, who live in communities of bamboo-sided, thatched-roofed houses. The Kuna Indians are one of a few indigenous groups that make up Panama’s population. The area is owned and administered exclusively by the Kuna, who run it as an autonomous republic. Kuna much as their ancestors did and pass on their customs through dances and chants, and crafts which include their richly embroidered molas. The women dress as their ancestors did with brilliant shawls, strands of beads wrapping their legs and gold rings through their noses. In the evening, after our deck BBQ lunch we leave San Blas lunch and sail to Limon Bay/Colon to enter the Panama Canal.

Day 3 (Tuesday): Panama Canal Transit

The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Work on the canal, which began in 1880, was completed in 1914. The 8 to 10 hour canal passage includes transit through three sets of locks, Gatun Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks, through which the water level is adjusted 85 feet. We will transit through the locks and through Gatun Lake, a man-made lake formed by an earthen dam across the Chagres river. With priority given to commercial vessels, 14,000 cross the Canal each year, crossing times are not guaranteed. We exit the Canal in Panama and sail overnight to Coiba & Granito de Oro islands. Overnight at sea.

Day 4 (Wednesday): Granito de Oro and Coiba Islands (Panama)

Coiba, identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest island in Central America, off the pacific coast of the Panamanian province of Veraguas. The waters adjacent to the island are teeming with marine life. It is surrounded by one of the largest coral reefs in the pacific coasts of the Americas; it is the beginning of the underwater Cordilera mountain chain that also includes Coco’s and the Galapagos islands. This makes for a unique dive experience you shouldn’t miss. Overnight at sea to Golfo Dulce/Golfito.

Day 5 (Thursday): Golfo Dulce – Golfito (Costa Rica)

This morning we reach Golfito in the protected area of Golfo Dulce for 2 optional excursions. Our unique excursions will bring you to a Wildlife Reserve and to the amazing Casa Orquideas or Orchid House, a private botanical garden beautifully landscaped and maintained. A unique opportunity to see some amazing flowers and taste some unusual fruits. Overnight in port.

 Day 6 (Friday): Golfo Dulce/Golfito – Corcovado/Drake Bay (Costa Rica)

We leave Golfo Dulce early in the morning and sail to Drake Bay. We reach Drake Bay, our landing place in the Osa Peninsula and starting place for our 2 optional excursions. The main attraction of Bahía Drake is Corcovado National Park, a nature preserve and tropical rainforest that occupies almost a third of the Osa Peninsula. Visitors are almost guaranteed to see some of the most incredible wildlife living in the jungles of the reserve including red-eyed tree frogs, quetzals, tapirs, harpy eagles, white-lipped peccaries, monkeys and scarlet macaws. Swimmers can have the amazing opportunity to share the warm waters with marlins, dolphins and pilot whales. Overnight at anchor.

Day 7 (Saturday): Corcovado/Drake Bay – Quepos – Los Suenos/Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica)

Morning sailing to Quepos. This morning we reach Quepos for 3 optional excursions. The starting place to visit Manuel Antonio National Park. This park was created in 1972 and consists of three magnificent white-sand beaches that are backed by a jungle sheltering hundreds of fascinating plant species. Naturalists lead walks to outstanding wildlife viewing. There are over 109 mammal species and 184 species of birds here. Watch for monkeys, iguanas, agoutis, sloth and the rare turquoise cotinga. Manuel Antonio offers well-maintained trails where you can explore the jungle on your own or join a walk with one of our naturalists. You may wish to see the small shopping area, relax on the white-sand beach or take a swim. In the evening we sail to Los Suenos, Herradura. Arrival late in the evening in Los Suenos, Herradura. Overnight in port.

Day 8 (Sunday): Los Suenos/Herradura (Costa Rica)

Disembarkation from 9:00 to 10:00.

Accommodations & Rates

CATEGORYDOUBLE OCCUPANCYSINGLETHIRD PERSON
C$2,990$4,485
B$3,490$5,235$2,445
A$3,990$5,985
P$4,990$7,485$3,495
OWNER'S SUITE$6,190$9,285
PORT CHARGES - Per Person$450$450$450

Including Port Charges, Taxes and Staff Gratuities

General Information

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to reserve your space on the tour. For your convenience, you may charge your deposit to your American Express, Visa, or MasterCard. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Credit cards are not accepted for final payment. However, personal checks are accepted for both deposits and final payment.

Cancellations & Refunds: After confirmation, up to 120 days before tour departure deposit is subject to a 50% cancellation charge. After 120 days, up to 91 days prior to departure cancellation charge is 100% of deposit.

Insurance: We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement.

Itinerary: The itinerary, accommodations, and arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of Travel Dynamics International.

Responsibility: Please read carefully the following terms and conditions, which constitute the sole, legally enforceable agreements between the passenger and Travel Dynamics International and EXPLOR CRUISES . The passenger is also advised to review his/her separate ticket passage contract with the vessel’s owner/operator, which will constitute the sole, legally enforceable terms of carriage for this tour and is available on request. Travel Dynamics International and EXPLOR CRUISES act solely as agents for the passenger with respect to all transportation, hotel and other tour arrangements. In that capacity, we exercise all reasonable care possible to ensure the passenger’s safety and satisfaction, but, we neither assume nor bear any responsibility or liability for any injury, death, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity arising in connection with the services of any ship, airplane, train, automobile, motor coach, carriage or other conveyance, or the actions of any third-party, involved in carrying the passengeror in affecting these tours. We are not responsible for damages, additional expenses, or any other losses due to cancellation, delay or other changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, civil disturbances, acts or threats of terrorism, travel warnings or bans, termination or suspension of war risks or other carrier insurance, quarantine, acts of God or other causes beyond our control. All such losses must be borne by the passenger, and tour rates provide for arrangements only for the time stated. In the event of cancellation, delay or rescheduling mandated by any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall have the option of accepting in lieu of the original tour such rescheduled tour or other substituted tour(s) as may be offered by us, or else, receiving a refund of as much of such advance tour expenditures as we are able to recover on the passenger’s behalf from carriers, third-party tour vendors, etc., but, we shall not have any obligation or liability to the passenger beyond the foregoing. We reserve the right to make alterations to the tour’s itinerary and to substitute hotels, ships, or lecturers if this is required. We reserve the right to cancel, delay, or reschedule any tour prior to departure, and, so long as this is not due to any of the aforesaid causes beyond our control, the passenger shall be entitled to a full refund of all monies paid to that point if he/she so desires. No refund shall be made for any unused portion of any tour. By forwarding their deposit(s), the passenger certifies that he/she and/or their dependents, minors or others covered thereby do not have any mental, physical or other condition of disability that could create a hazard for them or other passengers. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to decline to retain any person as a member of any tour should such person’s health, condition or actions adversely affect or threaten the welfare or safety of other passengers or impede the tour. Baggage or valuables brought on the tour shall be transported, handled or stored at the passenger’s risk entirely, and, we shall bear no liability or responsibility for any damage or other loss thereto. Passenger tickets are not transferable and are not subject to alteration by the passenger. No suit shall be maintainable against the carrier, or vessel, for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passengers, unless written notice of the claim, with full particulars, is delivered to the carrier or its agents at its office at the port of sailing or at the port of termination within six months from the day when such incident occurred. In no event shall any such suit or any claim against the carrier or vessel for any losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger be maintainable unless such suit is commenced within one year from the day when the incident causing such losses, accidents, damages to person, property, personal injury (including death or other types of bodily injury) of the passenger occurs, notwithstanding any provision of law of any state or country to the contrary. Resolution of any disputes arising hereunder shall be brought within the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, pursuant to the applicable general maritime law, and applying the applicable general maritime law and Federal maritime statutes.

Rates: Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, and currency values. While we do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.

Fuel Supplement: Travel Dynamics International reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement, without prior notice, if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $85 per barrel. This supplement may be charged even if the cruise fare has been paid in full.

Ship’s Registry: USA

 

Costa Rica Sustainable Tourism Program

Perfect as a destination tour, and as an add-on to our Costa Rica/Panama cruise.

Tour length: 8 days/7 Nights

Departure Dates 2013: Year Round 

In this program we have focused on using ecologically sensitive boutique hotels, certified by the Costa Rica Tourist Board. Each of the boutique hotels used are models of sustainable tourism businesses. At each property you may learn about how they have achieved their certifications through various ecologically and environmentally responsible initiatives.

Designations are assigned to properties based on their sustainability standards and achievements, with a maximum possible of five “Leafs”. Each of our properties have achieved at least four “Leafs”, with one, the Arenas del Mar, achieving five “Leafs” to go with its five “Stars”.

Stephen Weston and I personally scouted and visited each hotel in September 2012 to ensure it met our standards. This is a truly unique program with a focus on ecology, bird and wild life, and showcasing the amazing biodiversity of this small, magical country. Stephen grew up in Costa Rica in a family known for ecology and preservation. From his grandfather, who was responsible for protecting Coco Island, to his father and siblings, all are involved in natural history and eco-tourism.

This is a very special program focusing on the natural wonders: birds, wildlife, and flora, and showcasing the amazing diversity of this small magical country. Stephen will personally escort your tour, sharing his wealth of knowledge and ensuring a memorable experience.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 – ARRIVE SAN JOSE, Costa Rica 

Meet and transfer to the four “Leaf” luxury boutique HOTEL GRANO DE ORO. Situated on a shady street just off San Jose’s main thoroughfare, Hotel Grano de Oro is a true oasis in the heart of the city.  Converted from a Tropical Victorian mansion, the 40-room hotel maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home with all the amenities of a fine hotel. Service is paramount and the perpetually smiling staff of the Hotel Grano de Oro welcome guests to their “home away from home” time and again. Each room is different, reflecting the historic roots of the boutique hotel.

DAY 2 – TORTUGUERO

A short and scenic early morning flight over the central mountains to the Caribbean coast brings you effortlessly to Tortuguero, famous for nesting sea turtles and jungle canals. Tortuguero is a unique and exotic place. You will feel transported to an ancient time, discovering unexplored places and incredible wildlife. Tortuguero National Park is one of the most varied within the national park system, with 11 ecological habitats, from high rainforest to herbaceous marsh communities.

There are no roads in this jungle environment – the only transportation is by boat. Your MANATUS HOTEL boat will meet you at the airfield and take you to your luxury boutique hotel for breakfast. Manatus Hotel has just 12 large rooms to make your stay a luxury. Each is equipped with two queen size beds, air conditioning, cable TV, and mini bar – Plus internet, spa, bar and pool – everything to make your stay enjoyable.

Travel in to the national park by boat to explore the jungle wilderness and see amazing wildlife – birds, monkeys, reptiles and incredible vegetation.  Return to your hotel for lunch. In the afternoon visit the local town and conservation center.  Enjoy a gourmet dinner this evening. And perhaps take a jungle walk to see the night life! (B, L, D)

DAY 3 – DAY EXPLORING TORUGUERO NATIONAL PARK

Enjoy a variety of activities, including kayaking, and returning to the canals to see more wildlife.  Perhaps observe the sea turtles during their nesting, egg-laying behavior in the evening or the hatchings in the morning along the beach. Options are available such as sport fishing. (B, L, D)

DAY 4 – DANTICA CLOUD FOREST LODGE

After breakfast you will leave the jungle to fly back to San Jose, where you will be met and driven up into the cloud forest of the central highlands. The Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge is situated high in the mountains of the Talamanca mountain range, at an altitude of 2.600 meters above sea level, in the middle of the Upper Montane Cloud Forest.

The eight luxurious bungalows are located in the heart of the Los Santos Forest Reserve, some 84 km from the capital San José towards Southern Costa Rica. Constructed on the top of a hill in the middle of this valley full of Quetzals, these bungalows offer a spectacular view of the cloud forest. The bungalows offer a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and forest. Large floor to ceiling glass windows, some up to 6 meters wide, give you the impression of being in the forest itself. Every Bungalow has its own terrace situated at the south or west side, combining the warmth of the sun in this temperate climate with a view that enables you to oversee the valley and primary forest. Ideal for bird watching from a comfortable chair, the terrace is covered so that neither fog nor rain will disturb you. Each bedroom has a queen-sized bed or separate beds, according to your preference. (B)

DAY 5 – BIRD WATCHING

Leave for an early morning walk to see the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), the sacred bird of the Aztec and Maya Cultures.  San Gerardo de Dota is known to be the best place in Costa Rica to see the Quetzal, with a yearly success rate of over 95% with our experienced guide. The valley of San Gerardo is a wonderful place to observe birds; it is catalogued in the famous book: “Fifty place to go birding before you die”. Of the more than 150 species that are found in this valley, over 30% are endemic, such as the long tailed silky-flycatcher (Ptilogonys caudatus), fiery-throated hummingbird (Panterpe insignis), black-faced solitaire (Myadestes melanops) and collared redstart (Myioborus torquatus). This afternoon we will drive into the valley and visit a beautiful waterfall. Enjoy lunch alongside the pristine Savegre River. (B)

DAY 6 – TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN

After breakfast enjoy a scenic drive to the breathtaking ARENAS DEL MAR, perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio National Park. Located within walking distance to the Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenas Del Mar is an extraordinary beachfront resort catering to travelers looking for more than just the typical luxury hotel experience.  Being the first and only prestigious property awarded with the “Five Sustainability Leaf Award” and “Five Star Award” – highest ratings possible in both categories – by the Costa Rican Tourist Ministry, this Manuel Antonio hotel was designed and built with the utmost importance on sustainability along with deluxe accommodations. Guest rooms and suites offer spectacular ocean views, upscale dining in two hotel restaurants with a focus on fresh local products and personalized service that exceeds expectations.

Enjoy the charms of Manuel Antonio National Park, with its striking white-sand beaches, clear tranquil waters and abundant wildlife. Though the highlights of this park are its two white sand beaches Espadilla Sur and Manuel Antonio – it also protects coastal rain forest, a mangrove swamp, coral formations and 12 islands that serve as seabird sanctuaries. Our guide will teach you about the park’s distinctive plant life and point out some of the resident fauna, which include 109 mammal species, including 3 species of monkeys, agouti, three-toed sloth and 184 species of birds. (B)

DAY 7 – BIRD WATCHING – CANOPY TOUR

Costa Rica is a birder’s paradise. With over 856 different species, you just need to go for a short walk to see a multitude of colorful exotic birds. Here, in Arenas Del Mar, the trees, bushes and flowers planted just outside your room, were chosen because they attract different species of tanager, euphonias, flycatchers, robins, woodpeckers and over 180 different species of birds. During the early hike we usually see monkeys, sloths and agoutis as well. Come and join us for a fascinating nature experience!

For those who love nature and hiking, the Rainmaker Reserve is just the right tour! Hand rails and easy to follow footpaths, along with observation platforms, allow you to observe waterfalls, discover the area’s rich biodiversity and explore the majesty of the forest from a bird’s eye view. The Rainmaker is a 1,500-acre reserve mainly consisting of primary rainforest and home to thousands of unique plant species, many varieties of birds, morpho butterflies, and the colorful poison dart frog. The Canopy Bridge system consists of suspension bridges of six sections total, spanning from platforms attached to massive hardwood trees to create the most impressive canopy walk in Costa Rica. At the end of the walk, there are several beautiful waterfalls where you can a refreshing dip. Afterwards, enjoy a spa treatment, followed by a wonderful dinner overlooking the Pacific. (B)

DAY 8 – FLY TO SAN JOSE – HOME – OR JOIN CRUISE

You won’t want to leave, but if you must, you will fly from Quepos airport back to San Jose and connect with your flight home, fully energized and reinvigorated by a week of truly memorable natural experiences.  Or drive to Los Suenos to join your cruise to Cartagena. (B)

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

The development of sustainable tourism must be seen as the balanced interaction between the use of our natural and cultural resources, the improvement of the quality of life among local communities, and the economic success of the industry, which also contributes to national development. Sustainable tourism is not only a response to demand, but also an imperative condition to successfully compete now and in the future (Definition of Sustainable Tourism, CST 1997).

CERTIFICATION FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM (CST) BY THE COSTA RICAN TOURIST BOARD

It is a program that seeks to categorize and certify each tourism company according to the degree to which its operations comply with a model of sustainability. To this effect, four fundamental aspects are evaluated:

• Physical-biological parameters – Evaluates the interaction between the company and its surrounding natural habitat.

• Infrastructure and services – Evaluates the management policies and the operational systems within the company and its infrastructure.

• External clients – Evaluates the interaction of the company with its clients in terms of how much it allows and invites the client to be an active contributor to the company’s policies of sustainability.

• Socio-economic environment – Evaluates the interaction of the company with the local communities and the population in general.

Accommodations & Rates

SEASONRATES PER PERSON, DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
LOW SEASON (May-December)$4,995
HIGH SEASON (January-April)$5,395

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