small ship adventure cruises®
Contact Sunstone Tours & Cruises Toll-Free
or contact us via e-mail
The Panama Canal & Costa Rica

The Panama Canal & Costa Rica

Cruise Highlights:

  • Full small-ship transit of the Panama Canal with on-board commentary by a local guide
  • Unique cultural visit to a jungle village in the Darien Province
  • Ride a sky tram over Gamboa Rainforest
  • Meet local Kuna villagers on the San Blas Islands

At a glance

Duration: 11 Days, 10 Nights

Coverage: Panama City, Panama to San Jose, Costa Rica

From: $5,990

Season: January - February

Activities: Wildlife

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428


A path between the seas

Spanish explorers discovered gold in Panama in 1501, luring them back to the New World with the promise of riches galore. Finding a faster and safer way to transport Panama's looted gold to Spain became an obsession for Spanish royalty. Ever since Spain created the first working plan for a canal in 1529, the idea of constructing a water-based shortcut from the Pacific to the Caribbean took hold of imaginations the world over. France came closest to achieving this dream, starting the job in 1882 until illnesses, engineering and financial difficulties took their toll. But it was ultimately the lock-based technology of a young U.S. that revolutionized world shipping patterns with the opening of the Panama canal in 1914.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

DAY 1 — Arrive Panama City

You will be met upon arrival at Panama City's Tocumen International Airport and transferred to the InterContinental Miramar Panama. Join us for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner this evening as you meet your fellow travelers. Meals D

DAY 2 — Adventures in Gamboa Rainforest

Cultural riches notwithstanding, tropical landscapes in and around the city entice with a wealth of delightful discoveries. Visit Ancon Hill - for much of the 20th century, it was part of the Panama Canal Zone and under the jurisdiction of the U.S.; the views are spectacular. Arrive at Gamboa Rainforest Resort and enjoy a special lunch featuring Panamanian food. Following lunch you have a choice - explore the rainforest with an expert naturalist on an aerial tram ride or take a boat cruise along the canal. Meals BLD

DAY 3 — Panama City Sights / Embark Le Levant

Sightseeing this morning includes visits to the important historic site of Panama La Viejo (Old Panama) and a walking tour along the cobblestoned streets of Casco Viejo. See the French Embassy, the Cathedral and the leatro Nacional and stroll along the waterfront promenade, Las Bóredas. Drive to the Miraflores Locks and have lunch overlooking the Panama Canal. Continue on to Colón to board Tere Moana, for your six-night cruise transiting the Panama Canal and to tropical ports in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Meals BLD

DAY 4 — Discover the San Blas Islands

Drop anchor along the Panama coast at one of the 365 small islands of the San Bias Archipelago. Explore a local Kuna village on Achutupo Island to experience a glimpse of tribal life; go inside a private home and view artisans at work on their beautiful handcrafted molas. Spend the afternoon in tropical bliss as you swim and snorkel off a sugar-sand beach along the Caribbean Sea. Tere Moana charts a course for the Panama Canal tonight. Meals BLD

DAY 5 — Transit the Panama Canal

Opened in 1914, the Panama Canal is one of mankind's most incredible engineering endeavors. You'll be able to fully appreciate it aboard Tere Moana, where you are free to view the canal crossing from your small yacht's open decks. It's approximately a ten-hour journey from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, during which time Le Levant enters three sets of locks - Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun locks - and is raised and lowered a total of 85 ft. A local Panama Canal guide will provide insider commentary as the ship makes its way through the canal, regaling you with stories about this important shipping route. While a daylight transit time through this 51-mile-long canal cannot be guaranteed, your crossing is certain to be a highlight of this cruise, whether you see it by day or brightly illuminated at night. Meals BLD

DAY 6 — Explore the Darien Province

Discover Panama's remote Darien Province today - one of the most ecologically diverse regions of Central America - for a most unique cultural experience in a picturesque Choco village. Glimpse the cultural traditions of local villagers, including their traditional dance, and view their distinctive cocobolo wood and tagua vegetable ivory carvings. Return to Tere Moana, and chart a course for Granito de Oro, Coiba Island. Meals BLD

DAY 7 — Coiba Island National Park

Snorkel this morning at the tiny island of Granito de Oro and spend the afternoon on Coiba Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that remains pristine and virtually untouched by visitors. Tere Moana anchors off a secluded white-sand beach and launches Zodiac crafts to take you ashore. We'll treat you to a beachfront barbecue for lunch before cruising to yet another Pacific Ocean jewel at our next destination - Costa Rica. Meals BLD

DAY 8 — Hiking in a National Wildlife Refuge

Enjoy a nature excursion to Punta Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge on Punta Marenco. Join a naturalist guide for a hike followed by a refreshing swim in Rio Claro. Meals BLD

DAY 9 — Sarchi / San Jose

Disembark ship in Puerto Caldera this morning and travel to the village of Sarchi en route to San Jose. This artisan town is known for the production and painting of the traditional ox carts seen all over Costa Rica. A city sightseeing tour welcomes you to San Jose this afternoon, including visits to the National Theater and the Gold Museum, showcasing pre-Columbian gold artifacts. Meals BL

DAY 10 — Coffee and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Near-perfect growing conditions, have made coffee one of Costa Rica's most important exports. Visit Doka Coffee Plantation to discover how the beans are harvested and roasted. Nature takes center stage at La Paz Waterfall Gardens with a chance to see beautiful Quetzals up close. Join us for a farewell dinner this evening. Meals BLD

DAY 11 — Journey Home

Fly home anytime. A transfer from Real InterContinental Hotel & Club Tower Costa Rica to San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport is included.

Dates & Rates

Tere Moana Categories
2013 Champlain La Pérouse Bougainvllle
January 12, 18* $5,990 $6,290 $6,790
January 24, 30* $6,290 $6,590 $7,090
February 5, 11*, 17, 23* $6,290 $6,590 $7,090


The Panama Canal & Costa Rica Itinerary Map


Tere Moana

Tere MoanaTere Moana is a sleek and elegant 75-passenger expedition vessel with a crew of 55. She is equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs, allowing us to land anywhere nature or curiosity dictates. Each of Tere Moana’s 40 staterooms has a sweeping view of the sea and is at least 195 square feet in size. View ship details...