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Costa Rica, Nicaragua & the Panama Canal

Experience nature at its finest on an adventure through the rainforests and volcans of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. View incredible wildlife in the national parks, wander through misty cloud forests, and explore colourful towns. Then discover the beautiful ports of the Caribbean and Panama Canal on a 15-night cruise.Captivating Costa RicaHead into the wilderness of Costa Rica! Cruise through the beautiful rainforest of the Tortuguero National Park, exploring the canals and backwaters and spotting sloths, iguanas, frogs, monkeys and colourful birds. Travel to the famous Arenal Volcano, once the country's most active, take a short hike and soak in the natural hot springs. Travelling through to the cloud forest of Monteverde, get a birds eye view of the forest canopy from the Selvatura Sky Walk.Dramatic Volcans, Colourful GranadaAs we cross into Nicaragua, we visit Ometepe Island with its two towering volcans, explore the colourful & colonial town of Granada and enjoy a cruise through Granada's Isletas - a beautiful group of islands formed from ancient volcanic activity.Cruise the Panama Canal on our 15 night Princess cruiseTravel in style through the 77-kilometre stretch of water that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans - the Panama Canal. This amazing feat of the modern age took more than 30 years to construct in the early 20th century and revolutionised trade routes. Visit beautiful Mexican seaside towns, see the natural beauty of Costa Rica and the romance of colonial Cartagena in Colombia.Princess Cruises:The cruise portion of the tour may be subject to change, depending on weather conditions.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to the Americas. Taxes included
  • Economy-class flight from Central America to the United Sates
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of the tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Princess Cruise
  • $60 US per cabin on board credit
  • Port taxes of $470pp (subject to change)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $195pp prepaid. On board the cruise there is a tipping surcharge to pay of approximately $14pp US per day

Accommodation & Meals

  • 14 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 2 nights at a rainforest lodge in Tortugero National Park
  • 15-night Princess cruise on board Coral Princess
  • 31 breakfasts, 19 lunches and 19 dinners including group welcome dinner

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides - excluding cruise

Sightseeing

Discover the abundance of wildlife in the rainforests of Costa Rica

  • Take a city tour of San Jose, Costa Rica's colonial capital, visiting museums and monuments including the National Theatre, National Library and the old Sabana Airport.
  • Spend 2 nights at a rainforest lodge in Tortugero National Park, nestled between Tortugero Lagoon and the Caribbean Ocean.
  • Tour the village of Tortugero with its strong Afro-Caribbean roots. Wander around the school and other areas of the village and visit the Caribbean Conservation Corporation to will learn about the sea turtles the park is famous for.
  • Explore Mawamba Park with a naturalist guide including visits to 2 butterfly farms, a frog garden and river turtles area.
  • View the amazing wildlife and exuberant flora during a boat trip on the waterways in the flooded forest of Tortugero National Park.
  • Soak in the volcanic thermal springs and enjoy the views of Arenal Volcano from your hotel.
  • Hike the lava trail at Arenal Volcano National Park.
  • Take the scenic road - boat - road transfer across stunning Lake Arenal from Arenal to Monteverde.
  • Experience a local farmers' lunch and try your hand at Tilapia fishing at El Dos de Tilaran.
  • Discover the Monteverde cloud forest from the Selvatura hanging bridges, suspended high in the rainforest canopy.

Step back in time in the colourful towns of volcanic Nicaragua

  • Cross the border to the relaxed coastal town of San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua and take in the panoramic view from the Cristo de la Misericordia View Point.
  • In San Juan del Sur spend the night in a historic 19th century building that was home to the widow of former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
  • Take the local ferry to Omotepe Island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, characterised by its two towering volcanoes (Concepcion and Maderas).
  • Spend 2 nights in a lovingly restored, century-old colonial hacienda at Santo Domingo Beach on Omotepe Island with stunning volcano views.
  • Tour Omotepe Island and see ancient petroglyphs, the Devil's Viewpoint, Charco Verde Reserve, Punta Jesus Maria and Ojo de Agua.
  • Discover the colonial city of Leon on a walking tour. Visit the Cathedral de la Asuncion, the largest church in Central America, and enjoy the view from the rooftop.
  • Learn about the revolutionary history of Nicaragua from a real Sandinista guerillero at the Museum of the Revolution.
  • Visit Masaya Volcano and peer down at the bubbling lava within the crater.
  • Enjoy a walking tour through the charming cobblestone streets of historic Granada including Casa de los Leones, San Francisco Convent, the colourful market and the numerous architecturally-significant churches and monuments.
  • Take an excursion to the Mombacho Volcano Cloud Forest to discover the flora and fauna of the area and admire the surrounding panoramic views.
  • Travel by boat around Granada's famous isletas, a unique archipelago formed by an ancient volcanic explosion, and view the prolific bird and animal life.
  • Cruise the Caribbean ports of Central America and the Panama Canal in luxury

Please Note: Once on the cruise, there is no sightseeing included as part of your Bunnik Tour. Should you like to book sightseeing (shore excursions) from the ship, this will need to be either pre-booked via Princess Cruises website or on board.

Please Note: On the cruise breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in the main dining room. Princess Cruises does have specialty restaurants that can be enjoyed for a small surcharge. Meals are included when in port, but only available on the ship. If you decide to take a day tour or leave the ship you will need to purchase your own meals.

Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
34
Price From
AUD $14,995
Start Location
End Location
Age Range
Avg. 100+
Group Size
1 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Moderate
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
06 Dec 201808 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $13,735
14 Feb 201919 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $13,735
04 Apr 201907 May 2019AvailableAUD $13,935
ItineraryExpand
Costa Rica, Nicaragua & the Panama Canal

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive San Jos

Bienvenido a Costa Rica! We arrive in the country's historic capital, San Jos .

Day 2. San Jos

We'll discover the city on a sightseeing tour this morning, seeing the National Theatre, National Library and the old Sabana Airport. Tonight we'll enjoy a group welcome dinner. [B,D]

Day 3. San Jos - Tortuguero

Special Experience: Today we venture into the Costa Rican wilds, boarding a boat on the fringe of Tortuguero National Park to enter the flooded forest and travel to our lodge. [B,L,D]

Day 4. Tortuguero National Park

Exploring the canals and backwaters of Tortuguero National Park, we'll spot a huge variety of wildlife. Keep an eye out for agoutis, iguanas, sloths, frogs, monkeys and hundreds of colourful birds and crabs. We may even spot the sea turtles that the area is famous for. [B,L,D]

Day 5. Tortuguero - Arenal

We travel through the highlands to Arenal Volcano National Park. Once we arrive at our hotel it will be time to relax in the natural hot springs. [B,L]

Day 6. Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is a 12,000-hectare area comprising rainforest, savannah, and two volcans. On a short hike to the summit of the lava trails we'll learn about Arenal, which was once the country's most active volcano. [B]

Day 7. Arenal - Monteverde

Special Experience: We travel from Arenal to Monteverde by road and boat, stopping to enjoy a local farmers' lunch and try our hand at traditional tilapia fishing. [B,L]

Day 8. Monteverde

No need for the binoculars today as we explore the cloud forest from the Selvatura hanging bridges suspended high in the rainforest canopy. The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax or discover more of the beautiful surroundings. [B]

Day 9. Monteverde - San Juan Del Sur

Today we cross the border into Nicaragua and make our way to the coastal town of San Juan Del Sur, stopping to enjoy the scenic views. [B]

Day 10. San Juan Del Sur - Ometepe Island

This morning we catch the ferry to beautiful Ometepe Island, in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, characterised by its two towering volcans. [B]

Day 11. Ometepe Island

We'll spend the day discovering the island's best scenery, including the Devil's Viewpoint, Charco Verde Reserve, Punta Jesus Maria and Ojo de Agua, stopping for lunch at a local restaurant. [B,L]

Day 12. Ometepe Island - Le n

This morning we return to the mainland by ferry and travel to the stunning colonial city of Le n, one of Nicaragua's most culturally rich communities. [B]

Day 13. Le n

Today we explore Le n's city centre on a walking tour, including the largest church in Central America, Catedral de la Asunci n, where we'll visit the rooftop for panoramic views over the town and nearby volcans. [B]

Special Experience: Hear the incredible stories behind the city's many revolutionary street murals from a Sandinista guerrillero at the Museum of the Revolution.

Day 14. Le n - Granada

Special Experience: Peer into the steaming crater of one of Nicaragua's most active volcans on a visit to Volc n Masaya National Park.

We'll then continue to Granada, a photogenic Spanish colonial town, characterised by colourful buildings and streets. [B]

Day 15. Granada

After breakfast, we depart for the Mombacho Volcano cloud forest, a misty oasis brimming with beautiful flora and fauna. This afternoon we cruise through Granada's Isletas, a group of islands formed by an ancient volcanic explosion. Tonight we'll enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant to farewell Nicaragua. [B,D]

Day 16. Granada - Managua - Miami

From Granada, we travel to Managua to board our flight to Miami. [B]

DAYS 17-32 Cruising with Princess Cruises

We travel to Fort Lauderdale to board the Coral Princess for a 15-night cruise of the Caribbean and Mexico, taking in the Panama Canal. [B,D]

Tour highlights of this 15-night Princess Cruise include, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Puntarenas, San Juan del Sur, Huatulco & Puerto Vallarta

Day 17.

Embark Cruise: Fort Lauderdale, Miami [B,D]

Day 18. Cruising at sea
Day 19. Cruising at sea
Day 20. Cartagena, Colombia
Day 21. Panama Canal, Panama
Day 22. Panama City, Panama
Day 23. Cruising at sea
Day 24. Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Day 25. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Day 26. Cruising at sea
Day 27. Huatulco, Mexico
Day 28. Cruising at sea
Day 29. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Day 30. Cruising at sea
Day 31. Cruising at sea

Day 32.

Disembark Cruise: Los Angeles. We begin our journey home [B]

Except for embarkation/disembarkation days, Breakfast, lunch & dinner are included daily while cruising. The cruise itinerary may change due to local conditions subject to the cruise line's discretion.

DAY 33 IN TRANSIT
DAY 34 ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA