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Low Budget Trip Through Central America

Costa Rica - Nicaragua - Panama (14 days / 13 nts)  From $1799

Granada, Main Square

Day 1: Arrival in San José / Costa Rica
Our airport guide will wait for you at the exit of the airport in San José. 30 minutes transfer to San José downtown and check in at the hotel.

Included meals: None
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Tournon *** or similar

Day 2: San José - Monteverde
You will be picked up at the hotel by Interbus, a collective bus service for tourists. Other international tourists will travel with you on these transfers. You will drive on the Panamerican Highway to San Ramón and Puntarenas, and then on a bumpy road up to Monteverde, located at 1‘400 meters above sea level. The transfer will take about 4 hours.
Check-in at the hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Monteverde is well known for its cloud forest reserve. In addition to that, many different activities are offered in this area today, such as:
Entrance to Monteverde Reserve, approximately USD 18,- per person. Hikes of 1-3 hours are possible. Transfer from/to the hotel by taxi.
Selvatura - Nature & Adventure Park. Different attractions such as trails over suspension bridges (approx. USD 25,-), canopy tour (approx. USD 45,-), a butterfly garden (approx. USD 10,-), snake and frog museum (approx. USD 12,-). They also offer English-guided hikes through the cloud forest (approx. USD 35,- per person). Transfer from/to Selvatura USD 10,- per person.
Horseback riding (depending on duration approx. USD 40,- to 60,- per person)
Night tour with observation of animals (approx. USD 30,- per person)

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Cabañas Los Pinos **, Standard room, or similar

Day 3: Monteverde
The whole day is at your leisure for optional excursions.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Cabañas Los Pinos **, Standard room, or similar

Day 4: Monteverde - Liberia - Peñas Blancas / Nicaragua - Ometepe
We will pick you up by Interbus collective transportation and return to the Panamerican Highway, on which we travel North via Cañas to Liberia, capital of Guanacaste province. That‘s where the driver of ORO Travel will wait at approx. 11:30 to bring you to Peñas Blancas, the border to Nicaragua. He will help you through the immigration process and you will drive to San Jorge, where you take the ferry boat to Ometepe, a beautiful volcanic island in the huge Lake Nicaragua. In Moyogalpa your private transportation will wait for you and take you to Playa Santo Domingo, enjoying impressive views of the island´s two volcanoes - Concepción and Maderas. It seems like time stands still on Ometepe Island. Excursions can be booked at the reception of the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Paraíso *(*), Cabañas, or similar

Day 5: Ometepe - San Jorge - Granada
You have the morning to yourself for any optional excursions you might like to book. Please are opportunities to hike, visit the refreshing natural ask the reception for any tour (pool Ojo del Agua‘ and much more).
In theafternoonwe will pick you up at the hoteland take the ferry boat back to the mainland. Your driver will be waiting for you for the transfer to the colonial city of Granada.
Enjoy the beautiful architecture and the excellent restaurants and nightlife hidden behind the colonial facades of this romantic city.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel La Pergola *(*) or similar

Day 6: Granada
Who have the whole day to yourself to enjoy and explore the colonial town on your own or with an optional tour. ORO Travel will be happy to assist you, the office is located in the historical center of Granada.
We can suggest tours like the Granada City tour in a typical horse drawn carriage, a boat tour of the Isletas‘ or little islands on Lake Nicaragua, or even a tour to the stunning Mombacho Volcano cloud forest.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel La Pergola *(*) or similar

Day 7: Granada - San José / Costa Rica
You will be picked up in the hotel for a short ride to the bus terminal in Granada. From here, you will take the public bus (Transnica, Ticabus) to San José, Costa Rica. After arrival, take a taxi to the hotel (not included). The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Probably it will be too late to visit a museum, but there are severalnice bars and restaurants in the hotel area.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Tournon *** or similar

Day 8: San José - Tortuguero
An English-speaking guide will pick you up early in the morning and you will enjoy a ride through Braulio Carillo National Park, one of the most impressive jungles in Costa Rica.
After approximately an hour, we will reach the village of Guápiles and enjoy a typical breakfast in a nearby restaurant. Continuation via Siquirres to the area of La Pavona/Caño Blanco, from where we continue by boat. Our way leads over channels and rivers to Tortuguero, where we arrive around noon.
After lunch, you have the opportunity to join a first excursion to the area together with your local guides. Between July and September you can book an optional night tour to watch the sea turtles laying their eggs into the sand near the lodge (approx. USD 30,- per person).

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Mawamba or Laguna Lodge *** or similar

Day 9: Tortuguero National Park
Your local guide will take you in small boats through the narrow channels of Tortuguero National Park. You can enjoy two boat trips. The first one takes place very early in the morning, just after sunrise. We highly recommend participating in this excursion, because it is the best time to observe animals such as crocodiles, turtles, iguanas, monkeys, sloths and many different species of birds.
In the afternoon you have the opportunity to visit the small village of Tortuguero, or - weather permitting –go on a hike through the rainforest.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Mawamba or Laguna Lodge *** or similar

Day 10: Tortuguero - Sixaola / Guabito (Panama) - Bocas del Toro
After breakfastwe return to the area of La Pavona/Caño Blanco by boat, where our bus will already wait for you for a direct transfer to Sixaola, the border village to Panama (arrival approx. 1pm Costa Rica time).
After the immigration process on the Costa Rican side, you will cross an adventurous bridge and a representative of Gapa Travel will wait for you on the Panama side of the border.
Continuation to Changuinola, where you will get on board of a taxi boat to Isla Colón, main island of Bocas del Toro. The boat transfer is without guide. Check-in at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Laguna **(*) or similar

Day 11: Bocas del Toro Islands
Today you will enjoy an excursion by boat to discover this beautiful world of islands. We first drive to Laguna Bocatorito, where it is very usual to observe dolphins. We then continue to Coral Key, an ideal place for snorkelling. The island also hosts a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch (not included).
We end our day with a visit to Red Frog Beach, where you have enough time to enjoy the sea and observe the red poison dart frogs. Return to your hotel on Colón Island.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Laguna **(*) or similar

Day 12: Bocas del Toro - Panama City - City Tour
We continue our journey through Central America by plane and reach Panama City after just 1 hour. An English-speaking driver will take you on a city tour. He will show you the ruins of the old city, destroyed in 1671 by the pirate Sir Henry Morgan. You will then see the old part of the city with its cathedral and the national theatre. We end the sightseeing tour with a visit of the Miraflores locks of the Panama channel, where you can observe the huge cargo ships passing through. Return to the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Centroamericano ** or similar

Day 13: Panama City
The day is at your leisure for any optional tours you may like to book. Here are some ideas:
Excursion to Isla Taboga, approx. USD 27,- per person; incl. transport & boat ticket
Excursion by train to Colón, visit of Portobelo and return to Panama City, approx. USD 110,- per person, train ticket, entrance fee Portobelo and English-speaking driver
Emberá Indians; USD 124,- per person, full-day excursion including lunch and English-speaking guide Panama City is also well known for excellent shopping.

Included meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Centroamericano ** or similar

Day 14: Transfer to the airport or additional program
Transfer to the international Airport of Panama City and end of our services. Of course you can also extend your stay with an additional program.

Included meals: Breakfast

Guide speaking English/Spanish
Hotels Single Double
Villa Tournon (San Jose North)
Claro de Luna (Monteverde)
Villa Paraiso
La Pergola
Mawamba Lodge (Tortuguero)
Isla Inn
Centroamericano
$2,285 $1,799

Valid 11-Jan-14 to 31-Oct-14
Shared service unless indicated otherwise
Prices per person in USD $, subject to change without notice

Included:

- Transfers and transportation as per description, on seat-in basis most of the time
- Ferry to / from Ometepe Island
- Public bus (Transnica or Ticabus) from Granada/Nicaragua to San José/Costa Rica (quoted with USD 29,- per person; subject to change)
- Flight Bocas del Toro - Panama City in tourist class (luggage limit 14 kg, any excess baggage has to be paid upon check-in)
- Accommodation at the mentioned hotel categories
- Meals as per description
- English-speaking guide from day 8 to 10 in Tortuguero, English-speaking boat driver on day 11 in Bocas del Toro and English-speaking driver on day 12 during the Panama City tour
- Entrance fees for the included activities and visits
- Travel documentation

Not included:
- Tourist card upon entering Nicaragua, currently USD 10,- per person
- Border fees upon entering and departing Nicaragua, currently USD 3,- per person per border-crossing
- Border fees Costa Rica – Panama, currently USD 3,- per person
- Airport departure tax Panama City, currently USD 40,- per person (generally already included in the flight ticket)
- Transfer out on other departure days as per this itinerary (will be charged according to the manual from Gapa Travel)
- Possible fuel surcharges
- Tour guide (except see above)
- Optional tours and activities
- Voluntary tips
- Meals and drinks not mentioned
- Extras in the hotels