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Central & South America | Explore Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia

Sample Itinerary


Costa Rica, San Jose, Arenal, Panama, Cartagena

Trip Duration

9 Nights / 10 Days

Your adventurous journey awaits as you discover the beautiful diversity of Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. From the lush volcanos landscapes and replenishing hot springs in Costa Rica, to the man-made marvel of the Panama Canal and Spanish colonial wonders in Colombia, your Central and South American vacation is sure to deliver rich history, cultural discovery and exciting exploration.

Below is just a sample of the immersive itineraries our Destination Specialists can create. Click on the experiences links in the itinerary to see other curated excursion choices offered by Journese. Our Destination Specialists are happy to book our hotels and excursions highlighted in the itinerary below or let them know if you would like something customized. And, feel free to offer our non-hyperlinked suggestions to your clients to further explore the destination.


Day 1 : USA/San Jose, Costa Rica |

Just under six hours from Los Angeles, depart for your exciting Central and South American adventure. Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica and board your private transfer to the trendy Real InterContinental San Jose - Costa Rica in Escazu. An urban retreat within the expansive Multiplaza Mall complex, unwind in a sumptuous Club InterContinental guestroom for one night featuring exclusive amenities, butler service, access to the private Club InterContinental Lounge with complimentary breakfast, evening cocktails and appetizers, plus light refreshments throughout the day. Celebrate your first evening together in Costa Rica with your choice of tantalizing dining outlets including sushi or Italian gastronomy, steak and seafood, and international fare.

Day 2: San Jose/Arenal |

This morning, head out for some sightseeing, culture and shopping on the San Jose City Exploration experience. Be amazed at this vibrant capital city with its welcoming people, lovely parks, cathedrals, museums and more. Admire stately historical buildings including a visit to the National Theater and National Museum, with time to shop for some of the country's handicrafts in the central market. Then, visit a local family for an authentic Costa Rican lunch before a drive in the country. There, explore the coffee fields as you learn the brewing secrets before your departure to Arenal.

Arrive in Arenal and transfer to the romantic Nayara Springs, an exclusive adults-only boutique resort, where you will stay for two nights in an elegant one-bedroom villa. Overlooking the volcano, relax in a sleek, four-poster bed and enjoy outdoor showers, a private garden, indoor and outdoor sitting areas and private plunge pool fed by natural mineral springs. Tonight, savor a complimentary three-course dinner as the stars shine brightly above on your enchanting evening.

Days 3 - 4: Arenal/Panama City, Panama |

This morning, savor your included a la carte breakfast in Amor Loco or in the privacy of your villa. Then, experience it all on a full day of adventure on the Arenal 4 in 1 with Tabacon Hot Springs Excursion. Explore incredible flora and fauna with a hike through the Arenal rainforest, crossing more than a dozen hanging bridges over a two-mile trail. Continue to the La Fortuna Waterfall and swim in the natural pool at the foot of this 230-foot marvel, with time for lunch. Learn about the Arenal National Park as your experience resumes with a transfer to the Tabacon Hot Springs for a relaxing soak in mineral pools and waterfalls, before a buffet dinner to conclude your remarkable day.

In the morning, check out of the hotel and board your transfer to the airport for your flight to Panama. Upon arrival, transfer to the JW Marriot Panama Golf & Beach Resort for a three-night stay in an oceanview guestroom, complete with thoughtful details and modern amenities. Where history, culture and modernity fuse together, this upscale high-rise hotel is close to attractions, shopping and nightlife.

Day 5: Panama |

Start your day with a delicious breakfast and grab your camera before experiencing one of the world's greatest man-made feats of engineering: the Panama Canal. Begin your narrated Panama Canal Partial Transit Excursion with a drive from Flamenco Marina to your boat upon the canal at Gailard cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. Travel through Pedro Miguel Locks, Miraflores Lake and the Pacific Ocean, passing under the Bridge of America. Admire the Bay of Panama and the city's magnificent skyline before disembarkation and your private transfer back to your hotel.

Day 6:  Panama |

Depart the hotel this morning for your full-day tribal adventure on the Embera Indigenous Village Excursion. Immerse in the ancient Embera culture with dances, mystical rituals and music. Explore an abundant variety of wildlife during a trek through untouched jungle and sparkling waterfalls. Discover the village elder's knowledge of medicinal plants and natural remedies or watch the Embera women create beautiful baskets from palm leaves and natural dyes for a remarkable Panamanian experience. Say a fond farewell to your new native friends before returning to the hotel.

Day 7: Panama/Cartagena, Colombia |

In the morning, check out of your Panama hotel and board your private transfer to the airport for your flight to Colombia. Upon arrival, transfer to the luxurious Conrad Cartagena for a three-night stay in a deluxe oceanview balcony guestroom. Close to a wealth of historic sites, museums, restaurants, beaches, and colorful neighborhoods, enjoy contemporary-chic living with an oceanview balcony, deep soaking bathtub and lavish amenities, plus unique culinary experiences, beachfront pools, full-service spa and championship golf course.

Day 8: Cartagena |

Sip your favorite cup of Colombian coffee this morning before a delicious and colorful experience on the Real Food, Real Places & Real People - Live Cartagena as a Local excursion. Immerse in the culture and history on a guided walk through the inner walled section of the colonial city. Indulge in tempting, authentic flavors and dishes from different sites in a nearby residential neighborhood, with time to mingle with locals and discover the city's most fascinating landmarks.

Days 9 - 10: Colombia/USA |

Begin your final day with a tantalizing breakfast buffet in Adesso Tu before an informative journey on the La Boquilla & Getsemani Experience. A one-time slave colony, and now a fishing village where people live off the sea, explore La Boquilla as you glide through an incredible mangrove ecosystem on a traditional wooden canoe. Your day continues with a walk through the Spanish colonial Getsemani­ district, brimming with lively plaza and historic charm for a memorable experience.

This evening, toast a fond farewell to this destination with a classic cocktail and the catch of the day or favorite tenderloin in the hotel's signature restaurant, Biblioteka. Inspired by the chef's culinary experiences in Asia, Europe and Latin America, delight in unique local flavors and techniques for a tantalizing dining experience. In the morning, board your transfer to the airport for your homebound flight and begin planning your next enticing adventure to Central and South America. Adios!

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