Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview


Complimentary Airfare

Book by October 31, 2018 and receive free international round-trip airfare between Miami and Costa Rica or Panama, or a complimentary Panama City extension, on the December 8 and 15, 2018 departures and all 2019 departures. Offer is for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and is subject to availability. Please call for details.

Available Departures
  • Dec 8-15, 2018
  • Dec 15-22, 2018
  • Jan 5-12, 2019
  • Jan 12-19, 2019
  • Jan 19-26, 2019
  • Jan 26-Feb 2, 2019
  • Feb 2-9, 2019
  • Mar 29-Apr 5, 2019
  • Traveling aboard the new National Geographic Quest, cross through the historic Panama Canal and examine its fascinating lock system with our onboard experts.
  • By special permission, take a guided walk through the tropical forests of Barro Colorado Nature Monument, site of a National Geographic-supported wildlife tracking study.
  • Snorkel the pristine reefs surrounding Isla Coiba, one of Panama’s most remote national parks.
  • Discover the hidden waterfall pools within the jungles of the Osa Peninsula, and cruise into Costa Rica’s Golfo Dulce to visit Casa Orquídeas, a flowering tropical paradise reachable only by boat.



Immerse yourself in the natural wonders along the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Panama on a voyage aboard the new National Geographic Quest. Venture into the rain forest of Corcovado National Park; search for monkeys, frogs, sloths, and brightly colored birds on the Osa Peninsula; or go for an optional horseback ride along a pristine beach. Cap off your voyage with a crossing of the legendary Panama Canal.

Day 1: U.S./San José, Costa Rica/Puerto Caldera

Upon arrival in San José, transfer to Puerto Caldera and embark the National Geographic Quest.

Meals Included:Dinner
Day 2: Osa Peninsula

Anchor off the Osa Peninsula to see some of the most pristine lowland rain forest on the Pacific coast. In the environs of Corcovado National Park, swim in waterfall pools, take an optional horseback ride along the beach, or trek through the rain forest for a chance to see four species of monkeys—howler, spider, capuchin, and squirrel.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Osa Peninsula/Golfo Dulce

Enter the mangrove-fringed Golfo Dulce, a protected gulf along the southwestern edge of Costa Rica. Venture ashore at the white sands of Playa Blanca. Then head inland to visit remote indigenous communities and experience daily life on the Osa Peninsula. Meet with local artisans working with cocoa, heart of palm, and sugar cane, and watch as they ply their trades. Later, hike in mature rain forest where sloths, monkeys, and brightly colored birds can be spotted; or kayak in the Golfo Dulce, one of only a few tropical fjords in the world. In the evening, enjoy drinks and a beautiful sunset.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Golfo Dulce

Visit the Casa Orquídeas, a tropical paradise of ornamental palms, bromeliads, heliconias, orchids, and flowering gingers closed to the general public and reachable only by boat. As you stroll the property, keep an eye out for tanagers, parrots, and toucans. Later, explore the placid bay, ideal for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac rides, and swimming.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Coiba National Park, Panama

Isla Coiba, one of Panama’s most remote national parks and a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers some of the best reefs for snorkeling in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Observe this vibrant undersea world while swimming, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Gulf of Panama Islets/Panama Canal Transit

Today, explore the tiny islets of the Gulf of Panama by Zodiac or kayak. Here, we might spot frigate birds, brown pelicans, neotropical cormorants, and brown boobies. Set sail for the Panama Canal this afternoon. Stretching more than 50 miles, the canal was a colossal engineering feat completed in 1914 and is still traversed by some 14,000 ships every year. As cargo ships tend to pass through the canal during the day, we’ll most likely begin our crossing at night, when the canal is dramatically lit.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Gatún Lake/Panama Canal Transit

Board a Zodiac for a specially arranged visit to Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatún Lake. Scientists have worked at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Colorado Island since 1923, researching its 120 mammals and diverse tree species. It is also the site of a National Geographic-supported project that tracks tagged animals using automated radio signals and wireless technology. Join local guides here for a walk through the forests. This evening, continue through the complex lock system of the canal.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Colón/Panama City/U.S.

After breakfast, disembark in Colón and transfer to the airport in Panama City for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast