7 Days - Costa Rica & Panama Canal [Puerto Caldera to ColÃ³n]
Puerto Caldera to ColÃ³n
Departure Date : Jan 13 2024 | Feb 03 2024 | Feb 24 2024 | Mar 03 2024 | Mar 09 2024 | Dec 07 2024 | Dec 28 2024 | Jan 18 2025 | Feb 01 2025 | Feb 22 2025 | Mar 08 2025
Optional tours are available from most ports for an additional charge.
One of the stops along the Panama Canal Zone route, Puerto Caldera on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast isn't your ordinary port of call, positioned as it is within easy day-trip distance of the country's multiple national parks. The town itself is small, but makes for an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore the variety of this Central American country's outdoor attractions and activities. These include snapping photos of gushing waterfalls (and swimming at the base of one, if you bring your swimsuit!), sightseeing near active volcanoes, bird-watching in nature reserves and sanctuaries and horseback riding on Pacific beaches . . . and that's just for starters. Visitors to Puerto Caldera and the surrounding region also enjoy shopping for handicrafts that local artists sell at their cooperatives, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pintoa combination of rice and beans eaten at any time of the day or night. Puerto Caldera is the perfect reminder that adventure often awaits just around the bend.
The former banana-exporting town of Quepos is your basecamp for a day of rainforest adventure. Take a walk along trails that weave up to waterfalls, or ride horseback to a beautiful jungle pool. A float trip through a mangrove swamp populated by monkeys, crocodiles, egrets, and herons is also available. Or you may choose a nature walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, with its lovely beaches, easy trails, and abundant animal life.
Picture Jurassic foliage growing down steep hillsides all the way to the waterline, the hoots of monkeys echoing through trees choked by orchids. Golfo Dulce is one of Costa Ricas most biodiverse areas, where both the jungle and the sea brim with life. Explore the canals by kayak in search of javelinas, butterflies, and more bird species than in all of North America.
Golfito, Costa Rica
We make a brief stop in Golfito for customs clearance, which the purser will take care of.
Located within a Nature Preserve of 50 islands, and part of Chiriqui Marine National Park lovely Isla Parida boasts magnificent beaches, one of which is over 1,300 feet long. The crystal clear waters stay at 82 degrees year round and are filled with marine life. There are numerous hardwood trees like teak, mahogany, and eucalyptus, and fruit trees like mango, banana and coconut trees. Here you will be treated to Windstar's Signature Beach Party on a secluded beach that faces the Pacific Ocean.
One of the entrances to the Panama Canal on the Pacific side, Balboa/Fuerte Amador was founded in 1519 and is a short distance from Panama City. In 2012 Balboa was ranked #1 in Latin America in the category of world's busiest container ports. Sightseeing highlights include the colonial homes, the Administration Building, the Goethals Memorial, the Prado, and the local handicraft markets of traditional Panamanian crafts.
At nearly 48 miles long, on your transit through the Panama Canal you will enter three sets of locks that raise and lower the vessel 85 feet between the calm Pacific Ocean and the shimmering waters of the Atlantic. Your voyage features a daylight hours transit with numerous observation vantage points for outside viewing and comfortable indoor air-conditioned lounges. Expert onboard commentary enhances your journey as you watch the day to day workings of this bucket list experience.
The town was built as the Caribbean terminus of the Panama Railway and is adjacent to the Caribbean end of the Canal. A trip through the coastal rain forest to the old Spanish fortress of San Lorenzo gives great views of wildlife along the way and the seacoast at the end. Visitors often tour to the Miraflores or Gatun Locks of the canal from here. The Chagres National Park offers visits to the indigenous Embera people, and nearby Portobelo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose church holds an unusual statue of Christ depicted as a black man.