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Sailing the Panama Canal - Costa Rica & Panama Aboard Sea Cloud
January 4-16, 2015
Begin in San José, Costa Rica, with an after-hours visit to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Admire exotic orchids and perhaps spot a quetzal, the Mayan sacred bird, at nearby El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve. From Puerto Caldera sail down the country’s rugged Pacific coast to discover the vast, verdant Térraba-Sierpe mangroves, home to rare birds and accessible only by boat. Spend a morning exploring stunning Corcovado National Park before sailing to Isla de Coiba, home to Panama’s largest marine reserve. Step ashore in Isla Iguana for snorkeling and bird-watching, and dock overnight in Panama City for an architectural tour and museum visits. Spend a day traversing the canal to Colón. View the immense steel gates that open to let ships into various locks, which raise and lower the vessels to access artificial lakes. The following day, sail through the densely forested islands of Bocas del Toro, tendering ashore for a private reception by the owner of a botanic garden. Disembark in Puerto Limón and enjoy a nature walk in the Veragua Rainforest before concluding in San José.
Study Leader Information
This exclusive tour is accompanied by distinguished architectural historian and horticulturist Patrick Bowe. A long-time favorite of the National Trust, Patrick will enrich the journey with his in-depth knowledge and delightful wit.
January 4 - Sunday - Miami | San Jose, Costa Rica
Depart Miami this morning on a nonstop flight to San José. Following check-in at the San José Marriott, the afternoon is at leisure. In the early evening, gather for an after-hours visit and welcome dinner at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.
January 5 - Monday - San Jose | San Ramon | Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica
Depart this morning for San Ramon and the El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve, where we will discover some of the 2,500 species of plants, including 400 varieties of orchids. We hope to see exotic wildlife such as the quetzal, two-toed sloth, and motmot bird. Following lunch, continue to Puerto Caldera where Sea Cloud awaits. Enjoy a champagne toast as we set sail in the early evening.
January 6 - Tuesday - Drake Bay | Sierpe de Osa, Costa Rica
Anchor this morning in Drake Bay and join a boat tour through the channels of the Manglares de Térraba-Sierpe, one of the largest mangrove systems of Central America. A hidden world accessible only by water, these flooded forests are home to nearly 100 species of birds, including the endemic mangrove hummingbird (found nowhere else on earth). Lunch on board is followed by afternoon lectures.
January 7 - Wednesday - Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
This morning explore Corcovado National Park. Mostly undisturbed because of its isolation, the park is home to the scarlet macaws, quetzals, red-eyed tree frogs, and tapirs. Naturalist guides will lead us on a walk through the park to see some of the 13 major ecosystems, including mangrove, palm grove, montane forest, lagoon and primary lowland rainforest. Return to Sea Cloud for lunch and the balance of the day at sea.
January 8 - Thursday - Golfito | At Sea
Stop in Golfito and travel by Zodiac to nearby Orquidea, a beautiful private orchid garden. Enjoy an afternoon of sailing and lectures, as Sea Cloud continues to Panama.
January 9 - Friday - Isla de Coiba, Panama
Tender ashore this morning to Isla de Coiba, home to Coiba National Park, the largest marine reserve in Panama and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Swim or snorkel from the pristine white sand beach at Granita del Oro, with its calm waters and a splendid array of coral and fish.
January 10 - Saturday - Isla Iguana, Panama
Known for its large population of frigate birds, the Isla Iguana Wildlife Reserve also has vast areas of preserved coral reef, making it a superb place to snorkel. Admire the beauty and unique fauna of this uninhabited island during our morning visit.
January 11 - Sunday - Panama City, Panama
Arrive at Balboa, the port for Panama City. Drive to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center, for an up-close view of vessels transiting the canal and see the museum on the canal’s history. Visit the Danilo Perez Foundation to enjoy Latin jazz played by talented children. Dinner is on board as Sea Cloud remains in port overnight.
January 12 - Monday - Panama City, Panama
Begin the morning with an architectural tour of Casco Viejo (Old City) including Plaza de la Catedral, Palacio de las Garzas, and Las Bóvedas. Savor typical Panamanian food in a local restaurant before visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art. At the Amador Causeway tour the recently opened Bridge of Life Museum, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Gehry’s only building in Latin America, the museum explains how the formation of the Panama Isthmus changed the world three million years ago.
January 13 - Tuesday - Canal Transit | Colon, Panama
Today is dedicated to our passage through the man-made lakes and three sets of locks that comprise the 48-mile-long Panama Canal, considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. In the early evening, arrive in Colón, on the Caribbean Sea.
January 14 - Wednesday - Bocas del Toro, Panama
The Bocas del Toro Archipelago consists of six densely forested islands, scores of uninhabited islets, and Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos. Tender ashore this afternoon to see a private botanic garden where we will be greeted by the owner. Following the visit there will be time to explore the quaint town.
January 15 - Thursday - Puerto Limon | San Jose, Costa Rica
Disembark Sea Cloud in Puerto Limón for a scenic drive to the capital city of San José. En route visit Veragua Rainforest and see the research center. Enjoy a nature walk before lunch. Arrive at the San José Marriott in time for dinner and an overnight.
January 16 - Friday - San Jose, Costa Rica | Miami
Depart on a morning flight to Miami.
Per person, based on double occupancy.
|Upper and lower twin beds, shower.|
|Twin beds, shower.|
|Twin beds, shower.|
|Twin beds, shower.|
|Cabins 3-5, 7-10||$15,995|
|Queen-size or twin bed(s), marble fireplace and bath.|
|Original Owner’s Suites. King-size bed, bathtub, marble fireplace and bath.|
Mention Historic Hotels of America when booking your tour and receive three $100 gift certificates, each good toward a $100 refund when you book through HistoricHotels.org and stay for at least two-nights at a Historic Hotels of America hotel.**
To book a tour please contact our tour VIP desk at +1 202 772 8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Included in tour cost: Two nights hotel accommodations at the San José Marriott; Ten nights cabin accommodations aboard Sea Cloud; All meals during the cruise; wine with lunches and dinners; Enrichment program of lectures and special events; Escorted sightseeing by private motorcoach and entrance fees for included visits; Airport / hotel / pier group transfers and porterage; Taxes and service charges; all gratuities aboard and ashore.
Not included in tour cost: International airfare; passport fees; alcoholic beverages other than wine at lunches and dinners; personal items and expenses; airport transfers for those not on group flights; baggage in excess of one suitcase; trip insurance; any other items not specifically mentioned as included.
**Maximum of one $100 certificate may be claimed for a refund with a minimum two night stay booked through HistoricHotels.org following the return of your tour and completion of your hotel stay. The refund will be issued within 45 days of the completion of your stay upon submitting a Great Experiences & Tours $100 refund application. Refund application must be submitted with a copy of your hotel folio receipt, the original confirmation number from your booking on HistoricHotels.org, and the Certificate number issued to you for booking your tour through Historic Hotels of America. Certificates issued are a promotion only valid toward future reservations made through HistoricHotels.org and do not have any cash value. One certificate may be used per room per two night or longer stay at the same hotel. Eligible rates include rates publicly available at time of booking. Reduced rates, rooms included in another travel or tour package, employee rates, advance purchase rates, and certain last minute sale rates are not eligible for this promotion.