With my trip to Costa Rica being a couple of years ago, I knew it was about time I went back because I simply loved it that much; I do not tend to repeat countries at least not within a 2-5 year period. When I made plans to go back, I wanted to add another country onto the list. I found a great deal with G Adventures for a February departure that did the Caribbean side of Costa Rica for a few days and then about 10 days in Panama. If you are a young adult (between 18 to 39) looking to travel with like-minded people in a small group that has a mixture of warm weather, beaches, forests, outdoor sports or a bit of relaxation, the Panama Experience itinerary is a great option. I recommend it if you haven’t been to Costa Rica before and want a taste and if you have never been to Panama before. It’s ideal for solo-travellers and it’s budget-friendly. As a group, we travelled together from each location, had group dinners and went out on the town to enjoy some nightlife. Most of us were in our late twenties and early thirties. The 18 of us bonded together very well and because of the small group size I got to know everyone and created memories with each individual.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica
(from Canada, Austria, Switzerland, UK, Belgium)
What I liked about doing this itinerary the most with G Adventures was the flexibility. In each location, I could decide based on my budget and interests how I wanted to spend my time and money. For the major attractions, most of the group was together but for things like hiking I went off on my own. Our Chief Experience Officer was a great resource for us to organize our day excursions and help us with things like finding the nearest bank machine or supermarket. All of the logistics were taken care of for us thanks to our CEO.
hiking the Quetzal Trail – Boquete, Panama
The itinerary starts in San José. We spent about 2 nights in each location. Puerto Viejo is a great beach town home to Black Sand Beach and near Cahuita National Park. Bocas del Toro is where it’s at for nightlife. There are lots of neat bars and hostels right on the water of the island. As a group, most of us opted in to do a day excursion exploring some of the nearby islands and snorkelling near Bocas.
Boquete is located inland where you can explore the cloud forest, do some hiking, and zip lining. Santa Catalina is a small coastal community. You can do a surf lesson or take a boat trip to Coiba National Park.
Valle de Anton is a town in the middle of a spectacular valley where there are some great viewpoints of the mountains. Tourism is a new concept in this area but is starting to develop quickly. We ended our journey with a couple of days in Panama City which is another great place to enjoy the nightlife and visit the Panama Canal.
What’s the cost? It starts from $1399 CAD per person taxes included (about $100 per day)
Here’s what you get for the 14-day package:
- Your Discover Moment: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
- Your Discover Moment: Boquete
- Beach time in Bocas del Toro and Santa Catalina
- Panama City stay
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- Simple hotels (2 nts), hostels (11 nts, multi-share).
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
Coiba National Park, Panama