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Central America Journey

Price per person / Double occupancy
Taxes Included

Central American Journey:  Once you begin your Central American travel, you will first discover Costa Rica, a small country with an incredible amount of biodiversity. More than one-quarter of the nation is protected land, cloud forest, rainforest, dry forest, impressive waterfalls, volcanoes, abundant wild life and immaculate beaches, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

In addition to exploring Costa Rica, you will continue on to discover Nicaragua, a country blessed by natural treasures, charming, colonial cities and friendly people. Your small group will have the chance to visit the highlights of Granada and Omepete.

After a couple of days, you will return to Costa Rica to visit the colossal Arenal volcano and its relaxing hot springs, to navigate the fascinating Tortuguero Canals and to enjoy the vibrant life of Puerto Viejo. The journey continues to Bocas del Toro, Panama, whose region is part of a much larger protected area.

Next you will cross into La Amistad in Costa Rica, which spans some 2.5 million hectares. Its intense biodiversity and pristine condition have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. You will take a short flight to Panamá City, the cosmopolitan and bustling capital of Panama, and you will discover Casco Viejo, the historic district and cultural gem of Panama City. Enjoy the party, dance the night away to live salsa music or just admire the city from a roof-top bar.

Introduction
Itinerary
Hotels
Gallery

Introduction

Trip Style: Leisure & Nature Exploring
Operational Season: Year Round
Departures: Every Day

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Meet and greet at the airport. Transfer to San José
  • Day 2: San José to Monteverde – Hanging Bridges at Selvatura
  • Day 3: Monteverde to Peñas Blancas / Nicaragua – Ometepe
  • Day 4: Ometepe to Granada City Tour – Granada
  • Day 5: Granada to Masaya Volcano –  Boat Tour Las Isletas – Granada
  • Day 6: Granada to Los Chiles / Costa Rica – La Fortuna / Arenal Volcano
  • Day 7: Arenal National Park –  Thermal Springs
  • Day 8: La Fortuna – Tortuguero
  • Day 9: Tortuguero National Park tour
  • Day 10: Tortuguero – Puerto Viejo Beach
  • Day 11: Cahuita – Bocas del Toro
  • Day 12: Bocas del Toro – Boat excursion to watch dolphins
  • Day 13: Bocas del Toro – local flight – Panamá City
  • Day 14:  Partial Panama Canal tour & dinner
  • Day 15: Return flight from Panama City

Highlights

  • Discover the cloud-forest of Monteverde, the majestic Arenal Volcano, the Tortuguero Canals and the Carbbean coast of Costa Rica.
  • Many engaging short excursions
  • Explore the colonial city of Granada, the Masaya Volcano National Park and the ‘Isletas’, an archipelago of 350 little islands in Nicaragua
  • Be amazed by the beauty of Bocas del Toro and enjoy the nightlife at Panamá City.
  • Bilingual local guide in each country
  • Cultural experiences and fun adventures

Brief Itinerary

Enjoy 15 days traveling and discovering the highlights of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panamá. Make new friends and explore nature reserves, meet friendly locals, and immerse yourself in new cultures. An amazing gay journey that you will never forget!

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Meet and greet at the Juan Santa Maria International Airport where your private driver and tour guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel. Comfort Hotel, Gay Owned***Colours Oasis, Budged Saver.

Included

  • Private transfer from the airport to the hotel
  • Lodging in San José

Day 2

San José – Monteverde

Right after breakfast, your fantastic journey starts with an expedition up to the mountains of Monteverde, our cloud forest jewel. (The last 35 km will be a bumpy ride.) Here, you will check in at the Trapp Family Lodge. Next, you will visit Selvatura and take a guided tour through the hanging bridges, from which you can see many birds and plants in the dense green forest.

The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. You can enjoy an optional canopy tour, spend time at the butterfly garden or, if you prefer, just walk through the natural trails of the park. Trapp Family Lodge or similar, Standard Room. (B)

  • Breakfast
  • Hanging Bridges Tour, round trip transportation, equipment and bilingual guide
  • Lodging in Monteverde

Day 3

Monteverde – Omepete, Nicaragua 

After a delicious breakfast, you will head back to the highway and continue via Guanacaste northwards to Peñas Blancas, a town near the Nicaraguan border (approx. 11:30h). After the formalities of crossing the border, your Nicaraguan guide will take over and you’ll continue along the large Lake Nicaragua.

During the trip , you’ll enjoy a scenic drive to the volcanic Island of Ometepe. In Moyogalpa, local transportation will be waiting for you and bring you to Playa Santo Domingo, passing by some colorful towns. Villa Paraiso, Superior Cabins. (B,L)

  • Breakfast
  • Round-trip transportation, tours and local guide
  • Lodging in Omepete

Day 4

Omepete – Granada city tour 

In the morning, you will visit the museums “El Ceibo” and stop at the renowned laguna “Charco Verde” before taking the ferry back to the mainland. From San Jorge, you’ll continue on towards Granada, the oldest city in the Americas, founded in 1524 by the conqueror Hernández de Córdoba. You will explore and enjoy the historical centre of this colonial gem during a guided walking tour. Gay Owned Boutique Hotel***La Islita, suite. (B&D)

  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Round-trip transportation and local guide.
  • Tours
  • Lodging in Granada.

Day 5

Granada – Masaya Volcano – Boat tours Isletas

After breakfast, your next destination is the Masaya Volcano National Park, where you can view the Santiago Crater. Due to its extraordinary activity, local people call this crater ‘mouth of the devil’. Then, you will continue to Catarina, a traditional town, to appreciate the spectacular panorama of Apoyo Lagoon and the area nearby.

On the way to Granada you will stop by the ‘Isletas’, an archipelago of 350 little islands. During a boat tour, you will discover some of these fascinating islands just offshore Granada and observe the wildlife of this region. Return to your hotel at Granada. Gay Owned Boutique Hotel***La Islita, Suite Room. (B & L)

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Round-trip transportation and local guide.
  • Tours as specified
  • Lodging in Granada.

Day 6

Granada – La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Today, after the breakfast and check-out, you will leave Granada and drive to San Carlos. Enjoy the different scenery and learn more about this Nicaraguan region during the trip. From San Carlos you will take a private boat along the Rio Frío to Los Chiles, where you reach Costa Rican territory. Again, your local guide will wait for you at Los Chiles / Costa Rica, from there the journey continues by land transportation to La Fortuna, located at the foot of the active Arenal Volcano. Check in at your hotel. After dinner you may enjoy the hotel’s own hot springs until 10:00 pm. Arenal Paraiso, Superior Room.

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Transportation from Nicaragua to La Fortuna.
  • Lodging in La Fortuna

Day 7

La Fortuna – Rio Balsa Rafting tour – Thermal Springs

Experience the thrill and adrenaline-rush of whitewater river rafting on this trip down the class 2/3 Balsa River. After meeting with you river guide, you will drive 30 minutes to where the fun starts! Your guides will explain the security procedures and safety gear before embarking down the river. Enjoy up to two exciting hours of whitewater action on this stunning tropical river.

Get wet and wild through rapids such as “Magnetic Rock” and “Dredges”. Enjoy a swim, various fresh tropical fruits and cold drinks followed by an athentic Costa Rican lunch at a local farm. The lunch-spot is a tour in itself.

Return to La Fortuna to discover the famous Hot Springs. Arenal Paraiso, Superior Room. (B & L)

  • Breakfast
  • Picnic lunch
  • Whitewater rafting tour and visit to the hot springs
  • Lodging in La Fortuna

Day 8

La Fortuna -Tortuguero National Park

After an early-morning check-out, you will leave for the Caribbean region of Costa Rica, where you’ll stop for a typical breakfast and continue to the Pavona dock. Here you’ll board a boat to get to the hotel. Enjoy your lunch and discover the amazing wildlife of the area. In the afternoon, you can visit the town of Tortuguero. Gay Friendly Lodge***Turtle Beach, Standard Room. (B, L & D)

  • Breakfast on the road
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Visit to Tortuguero Village
  • Lodging in Tortuguero

Day 9

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero and its labyrinth of natural waterways give guests the chance to experience a true rainforest experience, with the illusion of exploring dense and endless jungles, full of flora and fauna, without even getting off the boat. Discover the delightful canals of Tortuguero and explore the rainforests, exotic plants, and wildlife, such as river and sea turtles, crocodiles and other animals in this incredible and outstanding adventure and nature tour. ***Turtle Beach, Standard Room. (B, L & D)

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Tour to the Tortuguero Canals, including the entrance fee, guide and transportation
  • Lodging in Tortuguero

Note: Optional Nesting tour at night for only $30.00 per person

Day 10

Tortuguero National Park – Puerto Viejo

After breakfast, you will leave the beautiful area of Tortuguero by boat. At La Pavona Dock, the bus will be waiting for you. You will travel to the Caribbean coast, a place full of life and music. You’ll follow the coast to south to Puerto Viejo, a small village with a typical Caribbean ambience, a relaxed vibe, and cool people. Check in at the hotel.

The rest of the afternoon is for your leisure. Enjoy it with a drink in one of the reggae bars, take a bike to explore the village, and have dinner in one of the local restaurants. Gay Owned***Banana Azul, Standard Room. (B & L)

  • Breakfast.
  • Transportation by boat and private van to Puerto Viejo.
  • Lodging in Puerto Viejo

Day 11

 Puerto Viejo – Bocas del Toro, Panamá

After an early morning of leisure, it will be time to continue to Sixaola, at the Panamanian border. Your guide will help you with the immigration paperwork, and you will cross over an adventurous bridge (approx. 1pm).

In Guabito, on the Panama side, your local guide will be waiting to take you to Almirante. Here, you will load your luggage on a boat and navigate about 30 minutes to the islands of Bocas del Toro until you arrive at the major Island of Colón. After a short walk, you’ll check-in at your hotel.

The rest of the day is at leisure. Here you will find bars, restaurants, shops and souvenir stands in a very relaxed Caribbean atmosphere. Gay owned Hotel***Plantation Island, Deluxe Room. (B & D)

  • Breakfast.
  • Transportation by boat and private van to Bocas del Toro.
  • Lodging in Bocas del Toro

Day 12

Bocas del Toro – Boat Tour

Today you will enjoy a boat excursion to Laguna Bocatorito, where you can watch dolphins. In a nice local restaurant, you can taste some delicious seafood. Coral Key is an ideal place for snorkeling. In the afternoon, you will visit the Red Frog Beach or the Stars Beach, where you’ll have time to swim or explore the island. Passing by Hospital Point, you will return to the hotel on the main island. Gay Owned***Plantation Island, Deluxe Room. (B & L)

  • Breakfast and lunch.
  • Tour to Laguna Bocatorito, Coral key and Red Frog Island.
  • Lodging in Bocas del Toro

Day 13

Bocas del Toro – Panamá City

Today you can explore Bocas del toro or take an optional tour during the morning. After check-out we wil take you to the local airstrip to take a flight to Panama City.

Comfort Class Lodge, Gay friendly***Casa Naruti, Standard Room. (B & L)

  • Breakfast
  • Local flight to Panamá City
  • City Tour (optional)
  • Lodging in Panamá City

Day 14

Panamá City – Partial Crossing of the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is an engineering masterpiece which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Partial transits typically sail round-trip from Florida ports. The ship enters the first set of locks, then turns around in Gatun Lake and exits the canal the way it entered. Partial transits give you a sampling of the workings of the Panama Canal in less time than a full canal transit. Comfort Class Hotel, Gay Friendly***Casa Nuratti, Standard Room. (B & L)

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Partial Panamá Canal Tour
  • Lodging in Panamá City

Day 15

Panamá- Return flight from Panamá City

Transfer to the international Airport Tocumen of Panama City, depending on your departure time. End of travel package.

  • Breakfast.
  • Private transfer to the international airport in Tocumen.

Hotels

Colours Oasis

Combining modest luxury and Spanish style with extraordinary value, Colours Oasis Resort is San José’s leading full-service boutique hotel for gay and hetero/straight-friendly adult clients. Warm, friendly and open-minded, Colours welcomes gays, bisexual, lesbian, straight people of all ages as singles, couples and groups.

Trapp Family Hotel

The Trapp Family Hotel is the nearest hotel to the famous Monverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Whether you prefer comfort, being in the middle of a captivating cloudforest, or their authentic family hospitality, you have found the right place. The hotel is an ideal option for an unforgettable vacation, surrounded by a paradise of flora and fauna. You will be delighted by Monteverde’s unique beauty.

Villa Paraiso Hotel

The hotel is situated 24 km from Moyogalpa, the most important port on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, and 14 km from the new port of San Jose del Sur.  Villa Paraíso Hotel is also located right on the lovely Santo Domingo Beach; an exotic tropical accommodation, with enthusiastic staff to welcome and assist you.
The hotel has private cabins dispersed among natural vegetation and over-looking the beach.

La Islita Hotel

La Islita originally was constructed with reclaimed wood, recycled roof tiles and doors from deteriorating haciendas in the area. Designed around the gigantic mango tree which is the heart of the property, this gay-owned boutique hotel is ideally located at the end of a safe and quiet street, only two short blocks from Granada’s main attractions and restaurants.

Arenal Paraiso Hotel

The hotel is situated in La Fortuna, close to the Arenal National Park Volcano. The accommodations are surrounded by lush tropical gardens and walking-trails, and guests will enjoy using the hotel’s swimming pools and hot springs. Hotel Arenal Paraiso has 14 amazing swimming pools, all of which are fed by natural spring water and are thus high in mineral content. Some pools are small and intimate, while others are pretty large. The pool temperatures range from 107°F (42° C) to 78° F (26° C).  In addition to these pools, the hotel also offers guests use of their private trails, which extend throughout the hotel’s 160 acres (65 ha).

Turtle Beach Lodge – Tortuguero

Turtle Beach Lodge in Tortuguero National Park, is an isolated lodge spanning 175 acres. It includes miles of jungle-trails, a meandering private canal, and a half mile of secluded beach on the Caribbean Sea.

The lodge offers highly-skilled staff and guides who ease you into an amazing jungle experience. Tortuguero has incredible biological variety due to the existence of eleven unlike habitats, including rainforest, swamps, beaches and lagoons. The lodge’s grounds practically explode with an spectacular array of colorful flowers and plants, trees and a singular medicinal garden with plants native to Costa Rica.

Banana Azul – Puerto Viejo

The Banana Azul Hotel is a small and cozy hotel on Puerto Viejo Beach. The owners, Colin Brownlee and Jorge Fernández, will welcome you to their lodge created with care using local products and a philosophy that highlights relaxation. Beautiful gardens decorate the property. Relax, drink or eat under one of the beach-shade ranchos or relax in one of the several freely-hanging hammocks where you can take an afternoon nap or read a book. The accommodations consist of 14 beautiful guest rooms, all with private bath and free wireless Internet, which are perfect for adventurous travelers looking for a comfortable, peaceful place to stay while visiting the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.

Island Plantation – Bocas del Toro

Island Plantation is a petite Bali-Style eco-resort located right in front of beautiful and unspoiled Bluff Beach on the most important island of the Bocas archipelago. There are three comfortable and stylishly-appointed king bed deluxe guest rooms and a two-bedroom suite (one king bed, two twins) in this small paradise!

The owners and managers are skilled hospitality professionals that understand the importance of excellence, fine food and wine, outstanding service, and the modest extras that make any stay special.

Casa Nuratti – Panamá City

Casa Nuratti was planned with those who enjoy the practical things of life in mind. The dominant color of the 14 rooms assures a great night’s rest, and the thoughtful details make it a temptation to stay.

The decor is simple and clean, incorporating characteristic elements of Panamanian environment, including examples of the local culture, which give insights to the society, history and geography of the country.

Similarly, in recognition of the property’s history, in each one of the spaces, Casa Nuratti incorporates at least one characteristic of Panama, which are not always available to the average tourist. For this reason, a complete tour of their rooms can give a broad overview of the country, its people, and culture.