'Along the Caribbean'

What makes this trip special?

Lots of easy-to-see wildlife

Lots of easy-to-see wildlife


Tortuguero's inland waterways are one of the very best places in Costa Rica to see wildlife. Turtles nest on its ocean beaches.

Remote rainforest preserve and eco-lodge

Remote rainforest preserve and eco-lodge

Selva Bananito Eco-lodge

Set in a secluded location in the Talamanca mountains adjacent to La Amistad, Costa Rica's largest National Park, Selva Bananito is a family-owned cattle ranch, rainforest preserve and genuine eco-lodge offering guests a chance to switch off and connect with their natural surroundings whilst enjoying a range of on-site activities

Jungle at the beach

Jungle at the beach

Puerto Viejo and Cahuita

Caribbean beaches backed by forest reserves in Costa Rica's peaceful southeastern tip, near the Panama border. Aside from relaxing on the beach or surfing, hire bicycles, snorkel on coral reefs or visit fascinating local indigenous and Caribbean communities

Snorkel Blue Caribbean Waters

Snorkel Blue Caribbean Waters

Bocas del Toro

Six islands and over 200 islets make up the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Shallow waters bursting with marine life make it one of the best locations in Panama for snorkelling.

Escape the Metropolis

Escape the Metropolis

Casco Viejo - Panama City

Narrow cobbled streets, small plazas and colonial French & Spanish buildings seem a world away from the skyscrapers of modern Panama City. Recently restored under UNESCO World Heritage and dotted with chic boutique hotels, the Casco Vieja offers an atmospheric stay in the capital.

Sail the Panama Canal

Sail the Panama Canal

Panama Canal

Experience the incredible engineering achievement of the Panama Canal first hand by taking either a full or partial transit along the canal.

Itinerary map for Costa Rica 'Along the Caribbean' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 San José
  • 2 Tortuguero
  • 3 Tortuguero
  • 4 Tortuguero
  • 5 Selva Bananito Lodge
  • 6 Selva Bananito Lodge
  • 7 Selva Bananito Lodge
  • 8 Cahuita
  • 9 Cahuita
  • 10 Cahuita
  • 11 Bocas del Toro
  • 12 Bocas del Toro
  • 13 Bocas del Toro
  • 14 Bocas del Toro
  • 15 Panama City
  • 16 Panama City
  • 17 Panama City
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Along the Caribbean'


San José

You are met on arrival at San José airport and taken to your chosen hotel.


Turtle beaches and flooded forests

This morning you are taken by road and boat to your wildlife lodge at Tortuguero on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast where you stay for 3 nights. Here there are great opportunities to see sloth, monkeys, basilisk lizards, tree frogs, and waterbirds in the flooded forests behind long wild beaches where turtles nest between July and October.


Join a boat tour through narrow river channels into the flooded forest to see green iguanas, kingfishers, white-faced capuchin monkeys, black river turtles and the chance of rarer species such as great green macaw and the extraordinary boat-billed heron.


Additional free day based at Tortuguero on a full board basis. Optional excursions are available locally at additional cost e.g. kayaking, nature boat rides, turtle nesting etc


Talamanca Mountains

Returning by boat to the road you are driven down the Caribbean coast to the little town of Bananito and to a lodge in the Talamanca mountains by La Amistad NP for a 3 night stay.


Two full days at your lodge with activities that could include horse-riding, bird-watching, or a range of walks through primary forest in La Amistad, some at extra cost.


Free day at Selva Bananito for optional excursions available.


Caribbean Coast

After a final morning and lunch at the lodge you are driven to Bananito from where you travel to your lodge in Cahuita in tropical gardens a short walk from Playa Negra. Stay for 3 nights.


Cahuita has its own national park where you walk beside a long horseshoe beach backed by forest with monkeys, sloth, racoons, poison dart frogs, snakes, iguanas and lots of birds.

DAY 10

Free to relax at the pristine local beach or join activities available locally such as snorkelling or swimming in Cahuita NP.

DAY 11

Into Panama: Bocas del Toro

Early this morning you travel across the border into Panama and board a boat to Colon Island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Here you spend 4 nights at a waterfront property in Bocas town with its lively travellers bars and small restaurants.

DAY 12

The first of 2 days exploring the archipelago by boat. A short ride brings the boat to Laguna Bocatorito where there is a high chance of dolphin circling and surfacing in its quiet waters. You continue to Coral Key to snorkel sheltered reefs (considered the best in the whole archipelago) with many coloured corals with lots of fish. The boat sails to Red Frog Beach for an afternoon looking for its tiny red citizens or relaxing on its beautiful, wild, white sands. The boat returns to Bocas town late in the afternoon.

DAY 13

This morning your motor boat sails to Playa de las Estrellas where you snorkel to look for the starfish that give this beach its name. Sail on to Boca del Drago to relax on a white sand beach with calm turquoise sea and later to Isla de Pájaros, or ‘Bird Island’, with spectacular scenery and large numbers of sea birds.

DAY 14

Free in Bocas del Toro. Relax or choose a third boat trip.

DAY 15

Panama City and the Panama Canal

Catch the mid-morning flight for 3 nights in Panama City, with the rest of the day free to explore the capital. (It is possible to fly back to San José instead.)

DAY 16

Today you visit the Panama Canal’s Miraflores lock to see huge vessels squeezing through. After a short visit to the lock’s museum and visitor centre you explore Casco Viejo, Panama City’s historic colonial quarter, with your local guide.

DAY 17

A memorable ‘partial transit’ of the Panama Canal sailing in a relatively small tourist boat to experience the engineering feats that raise ships of 90,000 tons 85 feet above sea level within a near Garden of Eden of lush rain forests that surround this truly unique achievement.

DAY 18

You are taken to Panama City’s international airport in time for your flight home.

DAY 19

Guide prices for 'Along the Caribbean'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-range hotels, shuttle transfers 2 people sharing £3,635 £3,740
Mid-range hotels, private transfers 2 people sharing £3,900 £4,005
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Costa Rica & Panama
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • shared services of resident English-speaking guide in Tortuguero and at Selva Bananito
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes

Customer reviews for 'Along the Caribbean'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Along the Caribbean'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 San José 24°C rainfall 28mm
2 Tortuguero 30°C rainfall 383mm
3 Tortuguero 30°C rainfall 383mm
4 Tortuguero 30°C rainfall 383mm
5 Selva Bananito Lodge 30°C rainfall 263mm
6 Selva Bananito Lodge 30°C rainfall 263mm
7 Selva Bananito Lodge 30°C rainfall 263mm
8 Cahuita 30°C rainfall 221mm
9 Cahuita 30°C rainfall 221mm
10 Cahuita 30°C rainfall 221mm
11 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
12 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
13 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
14 Bocas del Toro 28°C rainfall 198mm
15 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
16 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm
17 Panama City 31°C rainfall 43mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Along the Caribbean'

Day 1



Average rating 4.8 (297 ratings)

Hotel Bougainvillea is a very nice 3-4 star hotel set among ten acres of lush flower filled gardens and surrounded by coffee plantations and citrus orchards. Situated in Heredia it provides a quiet first/last night hideaway just 15 minutes from the international airport and from downtown San José. Bedrooms are rather bland, but spacious with two double beds, a sitting area and the full range of facilities. Most of the rooms have free wi-fi internet access. Every room has a balcony offering marvelous views of the mountains on one side and the San José skyline on the other. There is a light and pleasant dining room, a large inviting swimming pool and 2 tennis courts. This is a good option for gardeners, birdwatchers and those who prefer to stay out of the city centre.  It is not ideal if you intend travelling around Costa Rica by shuttle bus transfers.

Days 2 - 3

Mawamba Lodge


Average rating 4.5 (245 ratings)

Mawamba Lodge is set amongst 15 acres of lush tropical gardens and within easy walking distance of Tortuguero village. The hotel's 54 rooms blend perfectly with the surrounding exuberant jungle vegetation. From the basic wooden bungalows you can hear a cacophony of sounds as you lie in bed. Ranchos with hammocks tucked away in the gardens are perfect for relaxing after a day of adventure. Private nature trails and an open sky butterfly farm provide the opportunity to discover different species of trees, palms trees, heliconias and many other plant species that abound in the tropical rainforest. There is also a red-eyed tree frog project by the swimming pool, bar and a buffet style restaurant. The package here includes all meals, morning and afternoon boat trips through the canals to observe the abundant wildlife. Although rustic, we like this lodge for its size and position in Tortuguero.

Mawamba Lodge
Days 5 - 7

Selva Bananito Eco Lodge & Preserve


Average rating 5.0 (2 ratings)

Selva Bananito is a family-owned cattle ranch with a rainforest preserve situated adjacent to La Amistad, Costa Rica's largest National Park. Their lodge offers individual wood bungalows standing on stilts in the Caribbean tradition. Each of the spacious cabins features two double beds each with mosquito netting, private bathroom with solar heated water, gas lamp, torch, large veranda and hammock. Meals of good wholesome home cooking are served communally at the 'rancho' by candle light. Activities include rainforest and river hikes, horseback rides, mountain biking, rappelling and tree climbing. NOTE: There is no electricity in guest cabins and the eaves of the bedrooms are permanently open to the elements to allow a cooling breeze, so not for the bug phobic.

Selva Bananito Eco Lodge & Preserve
Days 8 - 10

Suizo Loco Lodge


Average rating 4.7 (6 ratings)

Suizo Loco Lodge is located 3km outside of Cahuita, around a 20 minute walk from Playa Negra. All rooms have private bathrooms, private terraces, ceiling fans, safes, mini-bar, coffee maker, mosquito net, hairdryer. Suites and bungalows are larger an can accommodate up to six people. The hotel is set in landscaped gardens filled with native trees. There is a swimming pool with pool-side bar. The on-site restaurant, Don Pelon, has an open kitchen and specializes in meat and seafood dishes.

Suizo Loco Lodge
Days 11 - 14

Hotel Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro

Average rating 4.2 (5 ratings)

This waterfront chalet style hotel is located in the heart of the Bocas village on Isla Colon.  Bars, restaurants, water taxi docks are all just a short stroll away.

The wooden structure of the hotel is built out over the water with a communal deck area where breakfast is served. All 11 rooms have a/c and private bathrooms, WI-FI , Flat Screen cable TVs,  telephones, coffee makers, ocean kayak rentals and in-room massage.  The décor has a nautical theme. Three rooms have balconies and ocean front views.

Hotel Bocas del Toro
Days 15 - 17

Toscana Inn Hotel

Located in the heart of Panama City's commercial/financial district, this traditional, slightly old fashioned hotel offers a cosier alternative to the more business-style hotels in the area.

Each of the hotel's 91 rooms spread over 6 floors have A/C, flatscreen cable TV, safe, iron and ironing board, mini-fridge.

There is a terrace with views of the city and a small onsite restaurant specialising in Panamanian cuisine open from 06.30-22.30.

Toscana Inn Hotel