Signature Costa Rica and Panama: The Caribbean route
Overview & Highlights
Visit two contrasting Central American countries. Costa Rica is a treasure trove for the nature-lover with many divine national parks, while Panama is a cultural melting-pot where you'll discover the Canal by boat.
- Arenal Volcano & Ecotermales Hot Springs
- Tirimbina trails and hanging bridges
- Tortuguero village & canals
- Coffee finca & coffee farm tours
- Cruise down the Panama Canal
This sunlit holiday combines natural riches with one of the greatest feats of human engineering, the Panama Canal. Relax in soothing hot springs in the shadow of the picture-perfect Arenal volcano then visit the Caribbean jungle waterways and mangrove forests of the wildlife-rich Tortuguero reserve. Cross into Panama to spend time on Bocas del Toro, white-sand islands off its Caribbean coast, and in the lush forests of the rugged interior at Boquete. After this, travel to Panama City to sail through the Panama Canal.
Costa Rica has an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna and its people are extremely welcoming. The comprehensive network of national parks with their extensive trails is always very accessible. In line with its love and respect for the great outdoors, Costa Rica also has been at the vanguard of adventure tourism, with activities on offer from zip-lining to white-water rafting.
Panama has a different rhythm, and is a real melting pot of cultures as a result of being at the crossroads of oceans. The Panama Canal, one of the world’s most crucial transport corridors, is a stunning piece of engineering. You will pass through some of the locks on a launch and explore the historic capital, with its history of pirates and naval battles.
Arrive in San José and transfer to your hotel.
Transfer to Arenal volcano area.
Excursion to Ecotermales hot springs.
Transfer to Sarapiqui via Tirimbina and the hanging bridges.
Transfer to Guapiles and Tortuguero
Explore Tortuguero National Park.
Transfer by road and water to Bocas del Toro.
At leisure at Bocas del Toro.
Transfer to Boquete via Oreba Chocolate Farm.
Coffee finca excursion.
Transfer to Panama City.
Panama Canal partial transit.
Transfer to the airport for your international flight.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Soak in Arenal’s hot springs
Nature trail across Arenal’s hanging bridges
Visit the national parks and private reserves in Central Highlands
Tortuguero kayaking and wildlife-spotting trip
Go snorkelling in a Panamanian marine reserve
Take a Panamanian coffee tour
Visit the Panama Canal
Explore Tirimbina Nature Reserve
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
Costa Rica / San Jose, central highlands and central valleys
Costa Rica / Arenal and the north
Costa Rica / San Jose, central highlands and central valleys
La Quinta de Sarapiquí Country Inn
Costa Rica / Caribbean coast
Turtle Beach Lodge
Panama / Bocas del Toro and The Caribbean
Panama / Boquete and the Chiriquí Highlands
Boquete Tree Trek Mountain Resort
Panama / Panama City
Tryp by Wyndham
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Cartagena - perfect mix of history, culture, nightlife and beach lazing. Colombian people very friendly and genuinely seemed delighted that we visited their country.NG, Leyland
Many good memories - arriving at Macchu Picchu was something we had wanted to do for many years, so was probably the most memorable.CA, Wembley
Amazing trip, fab group, experienced guide and definitely value for money. Would highly recommend.AB, London
There are several experiences we enjoyed on this trip. The lguacu Falls are amazing, couldn't stop taking photos. In the Pantanal the variety of birds was superb and we were lucky enough to see an ocelot. We greatly enjoyed our holiday, we were a small group of two couples so were pleased that the trip still went ahead with these low numbers.JT, Hemel Hampstead
Enjoyed the trip to the equator while in Quito. Loved Alausi, very interesting place, people. Cuenca was lovely, very easy to get around, felt safe, staff at hotel very helpful, happy hour cocktails 2 for 1 delicious! Las Cajas national park very interesting. The Galapagos week was fantastic! Staff really professional, islands and wildlife more than I imagined, learnt to snorkel, scenery fantastic. The group were also really nice, and as a single traveller this made my holiday really special. And on the whole the weather was very sunny and warm. Enjoyed the picnics we had during our trips in the Andes, which the tour leader arranged, especially the exotic fruits which she advised us to try.JC, Bury
The holiday was all we expected and when asked we would recommend it to friends with reservation.EC, Taunton
This is the third year that we have travelled with JLA and each time it was very well organised from start to finish. We have had three brilliant trips.JH, Radstock
The tour was well paced for our age group with enough leisure time to do your own thing or just chill. One of the best holidays I have ever been on. Well done and thank you all.JM, Buckhurst Hill
The overall experience was friendly and efficient, seeing the most amazing places from high up in the desert to the wilds of Patagonia.CB, Beckenham
The Iguacu Falls were spectacular and most likely the most impressive Falls I will ever see. We were absolutely spellbound by the magnitude, scale and layout. Obviously, Machu Picchu takes your breath away. Nature and man-made wonders at their best!PK, Ashton-Under-Lyne
The trip surpassed our expectations and I have already recommended Journey Latin America to friends and even to people I talked to on a bus in Machu Picchu, one of whom was from the U.S.A.
Excellent professional service both before and during the holiday. Would certainly recommend Journey Latin America as a company to discover South America with.EW, Weston-Super-Mare
The tour leader was excellent as was the whole experience, especially the exciting optional excursions, kayaking, horse riding, zip linings, snorkelling and many interesting walks.MG, Glasgow
A wonderful, memorable trip - so happy we chose JLA and the Condor tour - thanks to all the team, and to the tour leader especially. The itinerary was really well thought out and the Bolivia part was an unexpected bonus! This was my first ever visit to Latin America, and our first ever experience of a group tour. I m sure we will be doing both again with JLA.HS, London
Overall it was a wonderful trip with an exceptional tour leader assisted by excellent local guides and drivers. We left with memories that will last a lifetime.GC, Fortrose
Great experience from JLA from start to end.JD, Bristol
Tour was very well planned with excellent local Guides and the tour leader was brilliant.MBG, Malta
"This was a very important holiday for us and we were a little apprehensive but it was a wonderful experience."HB, Perth
We enjoyed the entire holiday and it's hard to pick out a highlight. Watching a dozen scarlet macaws fly over the Copan ruins was a sight we will never forget.SW, Great Missenden
An excellent holiday which met our wish to revisit some parts of Brazil and explore new areas; Pantanal was a real discovery and better for seeing wildlife than Manaus.PMR, Blandford Forum
"I was particularly impressed with the scenery in Bolivia. I had expected the salt flats but the rest of the country was a real bonus. On the optional excursions, I particularly enjoyed Chacaltaya and the star gazing in San Pedro."GP, Northwich
Thank you for giving me an amazing trip, with a wonderful leader and a lovely group of people to travel with.BK, London
It was a very memorable and exciting holiday. As well as the magnificent scenery, I was bowled over by the birds, animals and flowers. Compared to Europe, it felt very unspoilt and unpopulated.KM, Edinburgh
The bright colours of the towns and cities, buildings, fruit and vegetables, flowers and trees!CS, Guildford
Well organised brilliant holiday. It felt like 2 holidays in one as each week was so different from the other.PS, King's Lynn
Amazing enjoyed every minute i don't usually do group tours and rather travel independently but journey Latin America has changed my mind.SJ, Jersey
Seeing the people on the Uros islands demonstrate how they cook, the amazing Iguassu Falls, seeing a toucan close up (at Iguassu), all the different Inca sites, seeing the traditional dress and witches market in La Paz, the herbal drinks being explained in Asuncion, sunset on sugarloaf mountain and chilling out on Ilha grande.PW, Leatherhead
I travelled with a great group of people, a fantastic Tour Leader and amazing Driver. One of my best JLA experiences.JH, Woking
Every day was memorable for some reason - the reason for being there was to see Aisen - so the cities perhaps less memorable - but our tour leader made these interesting for us with visits to Tigre and Valpariso Advice for future travellers would be to venture into the undiscovered and be prepared to enjoy the majestic, varied, beauty of Aisen. A great trip made into a superb trip by the participation, laughter and respect of all involved!CR, Isle of Mull
Every day was a highlight - loved the train from Puno to Cusco, and then there is Machu Picchu.RK, Dorchester
It was, in short, an unqualified success in all important ways. The local guides set a remarkably high standard in being knowledgeable, articulate and generally helpful, two or three of them outstandingly so. None of the hotels was less than comfortable and/or notable for its outlook and general amenities; those in Nicaragua and El Salvador were probably the best, while the Guatemalan and Belizean accommodation was betrayed only at times, mainly by the food it served. We took away an enormous variety of impressions, ranging from the sense of insecurity and awe created by all those volcanoes; through the surprise at the comparative sophistication and well-being superficially apparent in El Salvador and the interest in seeing potters, weavers, farmers and conservationists at work; to the ultimate satisfaction experienced through that artful blend of the natural with the man-made worlds characterising the Mayan sites of Guatemala and Honduras, most notably at Copán and Tikal which were the obvious highlights of the tour.TD, Oxford
Tailor made holiday
Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for 40 years. We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert
After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.