The Panama Canal with Columbia

24 Days – Dates or Various Dates

from $43,995.00 per person based on 2 sharing

Trip Style: Cruise, Touring, Luxury, Nature

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Included:

Not Included:

Prices are subject to availability and may fluctuate depending on the season.

Operators:

This is a trip we put together in collaboration with some new clients of ours in 2023. Having already booked the cruise it was our job to help get them there and build out the Columbia portion to make it a trip to remember. 

The first part of the trip is with Aurora expeditions, who are just that, a company that does small ship journeys that are a mix of cruise and expeditions ship. Designed to view wildlife they offer adventurers the opportunity to enjoy a region with a small number of passengers (less than 120). 

When you dock in Cartagena, it is time to meet your private driver with Abercrombie and Kent. For those that don’t know, A&K are one of the most luxury tour operators in the world. They are for the discerning traveller who wants a unique experience and tailored dive into a countries culture, traditions and experiences. The whole Columbia trip can be customised to focus on what you want to see and do and they have the staff on the ground to offer the most exclusive experiences with the support to match.

To top off this trip, we are flying you in business class to match the essence of the journey. If that isn’t your style though, remember, these prices are approximates to give you an idea of what something like this would cost at the time of year you would most likely want to travel in. We can tailor it, lengthen or shorten it to match your needs. 

Either way, we know this region is on your bucket list so why not reach out and have a chat to us about it!

 

 

Day 1

Departure Flight

Today we make our journey to San Jose with Delta Airlines in Business Class. If you would like to tailor your flights to include a stopover or more time at your arrival destination just let us know!

Day 1

Arrive at San Jose

Welcome to the vibrant heart of Costa Rica, San Jose. As you step into this bustling city, you’ll find a warm embrace of culture, history, and natural beauty. From the moment you arrive, San Jose invites you to explore its rich tapestry of experiences.

San Jose offers a blend of culture and adventure, with opportunities to explore nearby rainforests, encounter diverse wildlife, and embark on thrilling excursions. Whether you’re discovering the city’s museums or venturing into the wilderness, San Jose provides a dynamic and captivating experience. Explore the beauty of Costa Rica’s capital and uncover the essence of this remarkable destination.

Day 2

Embarkation Day

This morning, your luggage will be gathered from your hotel and transported directly to the port for thorough cleaning and customs clearance. It will be delivered to your cabin in advance of your arrival onboard. You’ll have ample time to get comfortable in your cabin before participating in essential safety sessions. Experience the excitement of our departure as we set sail for an exciting tropical journey.

Day 3

Curú National Wildlife Refuge

Welcome to Curú National Wildlife Refuge, a stunning natural haven in Costa Rica. With lush rainforests, golden beaches, and clear waters, it’s a paradise for nature lovers. Here, you’ll find exotic birds, colourful butterflies, and diverse wildlife like monkeys and big cats. Explore the tranquil trails, relax on pristine shores, and embrace the beauty of this conservation-focused sanctuary. It’s a place where nature thrives, and you can enjoy the serenity of the untouched wilderness. 

Come and experience the magic of Curú National Wildlife Refuge, a true gem on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Day 4

Manuel Antonio National Park

Nestled in the heart of Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio National Park is a natural wonderland. Here, you’ll find lush rainforests teeming with diverse wildlife, including the famed sloths and capuchin monkeys. The well-marked trails invite exploration, leading you to pristine beaches kissed by the gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean. It’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and sun-seekers alike. The rich biodiversity and serene coastal beauty of Manuel Antonio National Park promise an unforgettable experience for all who visit. Whether you’re an avid nature enthusiast or simply seeking tranquillity, this coastal paradise offers a memorable escape into the wild beauty of Costa Rica.

Day 5

Rio Claro Wildlife Refuge

Hidden within the heart of Costa Rica, you’ll discover the Rio Claro Wildlife Refuge, a remarkable natural sanctuary. Here, you’ll encounter a rich tapestry of life, where exotic wildlife thrives, from the most colourful birds to fascinating reptiles. 

Explore pristine environments, where vibrant forests and serene waterways invite you to wander. This refuge is a true paradise for those who cherish the wonders of nature and the thrill of adventure. It offers opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and complete immersion in Costa Rica’s unspoiled beauty. The Rio Claro Wildlife Refuge serves as your portal to an authentic, captivating Costa Rican experience, whether you’re a devoted wildlife enthusiast or a traveller seeking serenity in this tropical paradise.

Day 6

Gulfo Dulce

Nestled on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, the enchanting Gulf of Dulce is a hidden gem of untouched natural beauty. This pristine inlet, with its calm, shimmering waters, is a haven for marine life and lush rainforests. 

Explore its emerald jungles, where exotic birds serenade your journey. Kayak along the tranquil shores, or set out on a fishing expedition to catch your own dinner. The Gulf of Dulce is an eco-lover’s dream, teeming with dolphins, whales, and vibrant coral reefs. It’s a sanctuary for adventure, where you can experience the thrilling embrace of the wild or simply unwind on tranquil beaches. Costa Rica’s Gulf of Dulce offers a unique blend of serenity and excitement, creating lasting memories for nature enthusiasts and explorers.

Day 7-8

Coiba National Park, Panama

Our voyage leads us to Coiba Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site and National Park off Panama’s southwest coast. This island is home to rare creatures, including the crested eagle. We’ll start our adventure with snorkelling at Granito de Oro islet, renowned for its rich marine life, a true diver’s paradise. The following day, we’ll explore Punta Clara, a former penal colony. You can roam the abandoned prison structures and enjoy birdwatching, spotting scarlet macaws and other seabirds. We’ll then set sail for the Pearl Islands after a hearty onboard lunch.

Day 9

Pearl Islands

Discover the enchanting Pearl Islands, a tropical paradise in Panama. These islands are known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Enjoy days of relaxation on the sandy shores, swimming in the warm sea, and exploring the lush landscapes.

We plan to visit Bartolome Island, where you’ll have the opportunity to try paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkelling in the inviting turquoise waters. Explore the captivating marine life and vibrant underwater scenery of this tropical paradise. In addition, We might also visit Pacheca and Pachequilla islands for an exciting birdwatching experience.

Day 10-11

Panama City

Panama’s history spans over 12,000 years, shaped by a rich pre-Columbian era. Early cultures like the Monagrillo, Cueva, and Conte left a mark with their pioneering pottery. European influence began in 1501 when Rodrigo de Bastidas arrived from Colombia. In 1513, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa became the first European to glimpse the Pacific Ocean. Panama City was established in 1519, becoming a key hub for transporting goods from Peru to Spain.

Our journey includes a visit to an Emberá village near Panama City, offering insights into their history, culture, and craftsmanship. In the afternoon, we explore the Miraflores Visitor Centre, offering views of the Panama Canal’s Miraflores lock.

The following day, we venture to Gatun Lake, a significant part of the Panama Canal. It’s home to diverse bird species and offers a close-up view of ships. A leisurely cruise along the lake’s lush shores allows you to spot wildlife like monkeys and toucans. Lunch is served at a lakeside resort.

Afterward, we head to Casco Viejo, Panama’s historic quarter, filled with colonial architecture dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. It’s home to many historic landmarks, and you can explore further at your own pace or return to the ship with a shuttle service.

Day 12

Daylight crossing of the Panama Canal

Crossing the Panama Canal is a captivating experience drawing over a million visitors yearly. Our journey starts in the Pacific Ocean, offering stunning views of the Bay of Panama and Panama City’s skyline. Passing beneath the ‘Bridge of the Americas,’ we enter the Miraflores Locks, lifting our ship 16 meters in two steps.

Next, we navigate Miraflores Lake, a small freshwater body separating Pedro Miguel Locks and Miraflores Locks. Pedro Miguel Locks elevates the vessel 9 meters in a single step. We proceed through the Gaillard Cut, notable for its history and geological significance, where ongoing dredging efforts are visible.

Our journey culminates at Gatun Locks, the Atlantic sector’s sole set of locks, lowering the vessel 26 meters in three chambers. This remarkable journey, once a nearly two-week ordeal around Cape Horn, now takes about 10 hours to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 13

Day at Sea

As we sail to Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on the only sea day of the voyage, enjoy a few final presentations from our team of experts, edit photos, relax in the sauna and jacuzzi, or stay active in the gym. 

Day 14-17

Cartagena, Colombia​

This will be the last stop on your Aurora Expedition Cruise, but the first stop for your Private Tour with Abercrombie & Kent! Welcome back to the city of Cartagena de Indias!

After disembarkation, enjoy a guided introductory tour of Cartagena’s old town. Your local guide tells tales of Cartagena from ancient times to present day, while we visit the cities sites, from the Plaza San Pedro Claver with its stunning Church and monastery, to the Plaza Bolivar and Inquisition Palace, considered to be one of the most elegant colonial constructions of its time. The cloister where Pedro Claver lived and died has become a special place of silence, and reflection – a shrine to his life’s work which centred around the protection of slaves. Lunch is classic Colombian fare, with time to wander the eclectic streets of colourful terraced homes and classical colonial architecture before transferring to our waterfront hotel mid-afternoon.

The following morning you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel before meeting with your Abercrombie and Kent representative.

Day 17-20

Medellin, Colombia

Next you will spend 4 days exploring Medellin. Nestled in the Aburrá Valley in Colombia, Medellin captivates visitors with its innovative transformation from a notorious past to a bustling modern city. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its pleasant climate, Medellin boasts a vibrant culture, thriving art scene, and stunning mountainous landscapes. Explore the city’s rejuvenated neighbourhoods, such as Comuna 13, where vibrant street art tells stories of resilience and change. Ride the Metro cable to enjoy panoramic views and experience the city’s impressive cable car system, an emblem of urban development. 

Discover Medellin’s rich history at museums like the Museo de Antioquia, housing works by Fernando Botero, a celebrated Colombian artist. Relish local flavours at bustling food markets, enjoying authentic Colombian cuisine and soaking in the city’s lively atmosphere. Medellin’s innovation, culture, and warmth make it an engaging destination that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Day 20-22

Bogotá, Colombia

The final stop on your journey is 2 nights in Bogata! Nestled high in Colombia’s Andean mountains, Bogotá is a lively city blending history, culture, and modern life. Wander through La Candelaria, the old town, where you’ll find a mix of old buildings and new designs. Explore museums like the Gold Museum, displaying ancient gold treasures, or the Botero Museum with famous art by Fernando Botero. Visit the lively Plaza de Bolivar, home to the Cathedral and the Capitol. Taste local foods at markets or trendy eateries, taking every moment to get your fill of these Colombian flavours. Don’t miss the panoramic views from Monserrate Hill. Feel the city’s vibrancy and diverse culture during your visit to Bogotá, a memorable Colombian experience. 

Day 22-24

Overnight Flights home

Departing from Bogata, we make our journey home!

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