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Small-ship Expedition Cruise

Hidden Costa Rica and Panama

A ROMTravel Art, Culture and Nature Trip


March 8 to 21, 2024
From $10,195 to $12,495 USD per person


Starts: San José, Costa Rica
Ends: Panama City, Panama

A Letter from Jeannie Baldwin

Dear ROM travellers,

Come on a lifelong, learning journey on land and sea with ROMTravel and Adventure Canada. Exploring the hidden gems of Costa Rica and Panama, you will visit places rich in biodiversity, be immersed in indigenous culture, see lush flora, exotic birds, and animals, and visit some places so remote that they are difficult to access by land.

What better way to start your adventure than a ROM three-day exclusive experience that will acquaint you with Costa Rican culture and geography. We will take you through the historically rich aspects of San José, Costa Rica’s capital, then to the Tabacón Hot Springs, Costa Rica’s largest network of naturally flowing thermal mineral springs, and the Arenal Volcano National Park with more than 150 species of birds. Then we board the “M/S Panorama” with Adventure Canada for a ten-day boutique, personalized sailing expedition around the south coast of Costa Rica and Panama, taking in the Panama Canal and completing our trip in Panama City.

This will be an immersive cultural experience both on and off the ship. On board, you will learn from local, high calibre naturalists and cultural ambassadors who will share their personal firsthand experiences. Each day your onboard and onshore programming will be thoughtfully planned to ensure you have the best possible experience in the local environment.

As someone who is passionate, not only about travel but also about the experiences and memories travel creates, I am certain that this trip will delight anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure who is curious about the natural world, culture, people, and history. You will be surprised and delighted throughout your expedition!

Join me as a distinguished ROMTravel guest, where you will enjoy the company of a small group of friendly, like-minded adventurers.

Jeannie Baldwin

ROMTravel Contact Information

Jeannie Baldwin
ROMTravel Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 416.543.4752

How to Book

To reserve your space contact Adventure Canada at 905.271.4000 or 1.800.363.7566 or email at [email protected].

A $2,000 United States Dollars per person deposit will be required along with a signed registration agreement.

Adventure Canada is a registered Ontario company, and is licensed to sell travel packages through the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO). Adventure Canada is required to keep all customer deposits in Client Trust Accounts and may only use the funds once the trip has begun, or to make a deposit to an operator on behalf of the client. Client Trust Accounts are subject to audit by a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) on an annual basis and are regularly inspected by TICO auditors.

Adventure Canada’s TICO Registration Numbers 4001400 and 50021860

ROMTravel Exclusives

  • Enjoy the company of a small group of friendly, adventurous people.
  • Get personalized service from your ROMTravel Coordinator who will accompany the group throughout the tour.
  • Attend exclusive pre-expedition events in San José and the Arenal National Rainforest.
  • Reconnect with your fellow travellers at a ROMTravel reunion.

About Your Travel Provider, Adventure Canada

Adventure Canada is an award-winning family run travel company with more than thirty years’ experience specializing in small ship cruises to the world’s more remote coastlines. They engage, educate, and entertain by connecting people to each other and the land through travel. Adventure Canada’s pioneering approach to expedition cruises and small group experiences emphasizes wildlife, culture, learning, and fun. Adventure Canada has provided travel experiences for ROMTravel since 1991.

Awards

Certified Safe Travels Operator

Adventure Canada has been awarded a Safe Travels certificate by the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. This accreditation recognizes us as a global leader in our adopted health and hygiene protocols and confirms our commitment to putting the safety, health, and security of our clients, staff, and crew before all else. For more information, please visit Adventure Canada’s website.

A parrot sitting on a tree branch

A Scarlet macaw. © David Newland, 2019.

Itinerary

Dates: March 8 to 21, 2024
Cost: From $10,195 to $12,495 United States Dollars per person double occupancy depending on the cabin category. International flights not included.

Starts: San José, Costa Rica
Ends: Panama City, Panama

Single Supplement is based on availability and subject to additional costs.

Duration 13 nights, 14 days
Vessel
is the “M/S Panorama”

A monkey standing on a tree branch in a jungle

Central American Squirrel monkey. © David Newland, 2019.

Map

2024 Hidden Costa Rica and Panama map showing our planned route and ports of call
  • Day 1: San José, Costa Rica
  • Day 2: Private San José city tour and Tabacón Hot Springs, Costa Rica
  • Day 3: Arenal National Rainforest, Costa Rica
  • Day 4: Arenal National Rainforest to Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Day 5: Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
  • Day 6: Curú and Isla Tortuga, Costa Rica
  • Day 7: Bahía Drake and Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
  • Day 8: Puerto Jiménez on Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
  • Day 9: Isla Coiba National Park and Marine Preserve, Panama
  • Day 10: Playa Muerto, Darién National Park, Panama
  • Day 11: The Panama Canal, Panama
  • Day 12: Lake Gatún and Fort San Lorenzo, Panama
  • Day 13 and 14: Panama City, Panama

Highlights

  • See White-faced Capuchin, Howler and Squirrel monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park.
  • Hike and take a mangrove river cruise at Corcovado National Park, home to some of the richest biodiversity on the planet.
  • Transit the iconic Panama Canal.
  • Visit an Emberá community, one of the seven Indigenous nations within Panama.
  • Explore Panama City’s historic old town.
  • Snorkel at Isla Coiba National Park and Marine Preserve, considered one of the ten top snorkeling spots in the world.
A ship going through a canal

Transiting the Panama Canal. © David Newland, 2019.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 San José, Costa Rica

Begin Your Adventure

Arrive at your leisure to the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) and make your way independently to our group hotel, the Hotel Park Inn, located in the heart of San José. Meet your guide and fellow travellers over dinner and unwind from your day of travelling.

Day 2 Private San José City Tour and Tabacón Hot Springs

Historic and Contemporary Exploration

Enjoy the morning exploring San José with a private locally guided walking tour. San José is the capital of Costa Rica and the economic centre of the nation. It is currently undergoing a renaissance, yet it still retains much of its past multicultural heritage in restored elegant old buildings, museums, historic statues, and parks. The walking city tour is an intimate and authentic perspective of the capital city and contemporary Costa Rica. This guided tour will provide visitors with an overview of Costa Rica’s view on sustainability and eco-centric focus and how that has fed into their policy making, culture, and present-day economy. The tour will conclude with lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will make our way by private transfer to Hotel Tabacón Resort where we will spend the rest of our afternoon and evening enjoying the Tabacón Hot Springs, Costa Rica’s largest network of naturally flowing thermal mineral springs in Arenal’s largest and most beautiful private rainforest reserve.

A waterfall in a jungle

Tabacón Hot Springs, Costa Rica. © The World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons, 2022.

Day 3 Arenal National Rainforest

Visit Volcanos and Waterfalls

Enjoy a morning adventure with the Sky Aerial Tram and Arenal Lava Volcano Trail to explore Arenal Volcano National Park. Later, experience a cultural tour and a delicious lunch at the Arenal Vida Campesina local organic farm. After lunch, enjoy a private guided walk to La Fortuna Waterfall. Free time in the afternoon allows you to walk around the town of La Fortuna at your leisure, then return to the Hotel Tabacón Resort to enjoy a group dinner and the natural thermal water pools.

Day 4 Arenal National Rainforest to Puntarenas

A Birder’s Delight

Take part in a private naturalist walk this morning at the Danaus Biological Reserve. Once open farmland, this reserve has been allowed to revert to a forest and now teems with wildlife. Keep your eye out for Boat-billed herons, butterflies, and over 150 species of birds. After lunch, we will travel to Puerto Caldera where we will transfer to the “M/S Panorama” and set sail down the coast.

A bird sitting on a tree branch in a jungle

Boat-billed heron, Costa Rica. © Joseph C Boone, Wikimedia Commons, 2008.

Day 5 Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park

Spot Charming Wildlife

Delight in wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities at Manuel Antonio National Park, home to plentiful White-faced Capuchin, Howler, and Squirrel monkeys, as well as deer and sloths. Then, choose the activity you like best: an aerial forest canopy tour or a visit to the quaint town of Quepos.

Day 6 Curú and Isla Tortuga

Swim and Snorkel in Crystal Clear Waters

In the morning, begin with a fascinating birding excursion through the Curú Wildlife Refuge, led by local park rangers and our team of naturalists. Set sail for the paradise island of Isla Tortuga to indulge in a delicious beach barbeque and a swim or snorkel in crystal clear waters.

Two people snorkelling in the ocean with fish in the foreground

Snorkeling. © Angelique800326, Wikimedia Commons, 2008.

Day 7 Bahía Drake and Corcovado National Park

Commune with Creatures Great and Small

Hike at Corcovado National Park, the largest park in Costa Rica, covering almost a third of the Osa Peninsula. National Geographic has called Corcovado “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.” Embark on a mangrove cruise through the ecologically rich Sierpe River. Nearby is Bahía Drake, known to be a common wintering and breeding ground for humpback whales.

Day 8 Puerto Jiménez on Golfo Dulce

Observe Tropical Plants and Parrots

Visit “Casa Orquideas” (House of Orchids) for a peek at the region’s botanical delights, including orchids, heliconia, and bromeliads. Get your camera and binoculars ready to spot wild Scarlet macaws, who are regular visitors to the jungles surrounding Puerto Jiménez. This small town in the southern region of the Puntarenas province, our last stop in Costa Rica, is also a historic gold mining and logging community.

A close up of a colourful flower

Orchid. © Ronincmc, Wikimedia Commons, 2018.

Day 9 Isla Coiba National Park and Marine Preserve, UNESCO World Heritage site, Panama

Enjoy a Nature Lover's Paradise and Tour a Historic Prison

Learn the poignant history of Isla Coiba’s penal colony, which housed Panama’s most notorious criminals and political prisoners for more than 90 years. Choose the guided walk that suits you best, spotting bird species as you go, in this natural paradise that retains 80% of its original forest cover. Relax by the beach or strap on your snorkel for views of the largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific.

Day 10 Playa Muerto, Darién National Park

Visit an Emberá Indigenous Community

Journey into the lowland tropical forests of Darién National Park for an excursion to a traditional Emberá community, one of the seven Indigenous nations within Panama. This community is not accessible by road or ferry service. Receive a warm welcome, watch a cultural performance, and appreciate the beautiful handicrafts and traditions.

Two women preparing food

At an Emberá community, Panama. © David Newland, 2019.

Day 11 The Panama Canal

Take a City Tour

Depart from the marina for a guided walking tour of Panama City, with stops at the Panama Canal Museum, the Miraflores Locks, and the historic Casco Viejo (old town). When you re-embark the “M/S Panorama”, you’ll enter the locks to officially begin your transit through the Panama Canal: gateway to the Atlantic Ocean!

Day 12 Lake Gatún and Fort San Lorenzo

Transit an Iconic Waterway and Visit a Historical Fort

Enjoy an excursion to Fort San Lorenzo, a Spanish colonial ruin and a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal, with possibilities for spotting birds and sloths along the way. Then it’s all aboard to transit the locks of Lake Gatún and begin the final leg of your seaward journey. Enjoy the on-board education program and scenic views on deck as you cruise.

An aerial view of an old fort on the coast

Fort San Lorenzo, Panama. (c) Garcia.dennis, Wikimedia Commons, 2018.

Day 13 and 14 Panama City, Panama

Wave a Fond Farewell

Disembark the “M/S Panorama” at Colón’s 2000 Terminal and board your complimentary shuttle back to Panama City. Meander at your leisure during some free time to explore before we meet at a local restaurant for our farewell dinner. Enjoy one final night in the city’s Casco Viejo neighbourhood before making your way independently to the Tocumen International Airport (PTY) or choose to extend your stay in Panama.

Note
Itineraries may be subject to change without notice due to weather and sea conditions.

ROMTravel Coordinator

Jeannie Baldwin has been a travel enthusiast from a young age and has planned trips for groups from her university days through to her professional life where she planned and led trips for top talent employees. As part of ROMTravel, Jeannie is committed to ensuring ROM travellers have a high-quality, personalized trip experience. With Jeannie, travellers will feel the benefits of being part of a small group of like-minded adventurers while having the opportunity to participate in vast, broad, new, and exciting travel experiences; all the while having fun!

Jeannie Baldwin

Expedition Cost

All prices are per person, in United States Dollars.

Cabin Category 5 $12,495

Cabin Category 4 $12,195

Cabin Category 3 $11,795

Cabin Category 2 $11,195

Cabin Category 1 $10,195

Expedition Cost Includes

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided each day with the exceptions of Day 1 dinner only and Day 14 no meals provided
  • Passage aboard the “M/S Panorama” on days 4 to 13
  • Accommodation in 4-star hotels with private facilities on days 1 to 3
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Special access permits, entry and park fees
  • Team of expedition staff
  • Guided activities, sightseeing and community visits
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Educational program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment

Expedition Cost Does Not Include

  • International flights from your home to San José, Costa Rica, and from Panama City, Panama to your home.
  • Transfer from airport to hotel on day 1 in San José, Costa Rica
  • Transfer from hotel to airport on day 14 in Panama City, Panama
  • Breakfast and lunch on day 1
  • Meals on day 14
  • Program enhancements and optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodations outside of the included days

M/S Panorama

The Panorama is a three-masted Motorsailer launched in 1993 and rebuilt in 2001, last renovated in 2014. Upper deck cabins and lounge, and main deck cabin en suite bathrooms and lounge have been refitted.

Learn More

Ms panorama

Terms and Conditions

Full terms and conditions are available on the Adventure Canada website. The internet link to the terms and conditions will be provided upon request. Important terms and conditions include:

Payments, Hotels, Pre-trip and Post-trip Enhancements

Fares are priced in United States Dollars and are per person, per trip. A $2,000 United States Dollars deposit per person, per trip is required to register. Your final balance for the trip is due 120 days prior to the scheduled departure date (“Departure Date”). All late payments are subject to a penalty of 1.5% interest per month, or 18% per annum. Adventure Canada reserves the right to cancel your booking if it is not paid within 120 days of the Departure Date or deny boarding due to any unpaid balances, without a refund to you. Hotels offered through Adventure Canada are a third-party service and require full payment at the time of booking. If cancelled more than 120 days before your Departure Date, a $50 United States Dollars per hotel room fee will be non-refundable. Within 120 days of your Departure Date, the hotels will be non-refundable. Future Travel Credits do not apply to and will not be issued for hotel bookings.

Travel Insurance

A minimum of Emergency Medical and Evacuation Insurance is mandatory for participation in all Adventure Canada trips. You must carry a minimum of $500,000 United States Dollars per person emergency medical and evacuation coverage. This may not cover the full cost of a medical emergency. All medical and evacuation expenses are your sole responsibility. Any losses you sustain as a result of not having sufficient or proper insurance coverage are your responsibility. Evidence of policy documentation will be required prior to the trip.

Cancellation by the Passenger

All requests for cancellation must be received in writing. Upon Adventure Canada receiving a written notice of cancellation at least 121 days prior to the Departure Date, you shall receive a refund of the amount paid for the trip, less an administrative penalty of $1,000 United States Dollars per person, per trip. If a written notice of cancellation is received by Adventure Canada between 91 and 120 days prior to the Departure Date, you shall receive a refund of 35% of the amount paid for the trip, and no Future Travel Credit will be provided. In the event of a cancellation made 90 days or less before the scheduled date of departure, you will forfeit any amount paid for the trip to that date. For these and other reasons mentioned within these Terms and Conditions, you are strongly advised to obtain comprehensive cancellation insurance at the time of registration.

Age Restriction

The minimum age requirement is 5 years of age for travel. Children aged 5 to 7 must have their legal guardians sign a liability waiver.


Contact Information

Jeannie Baldwin, ROMTravel Coordinator
Email [email protected]
Phone 416.543.4752

Adventure Canada
Email [email protected]
Phone 905.271.4000 or 1.800.363.7566

ROMTravel
100 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M5S 2C6

Phone 416.586.8034
Email [email protected]
Website https://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/romtravel

ROMTravel is organized by ROM's Department of Museum Volunteers to provide support for the Museum. ROM is an agency of the Government of Ontario.