Join us for this incomparable nine-day sailing journey from the Costa Rican rainforest through the mighty locks of the Panama Canal. Spend one night in a deluxe hotel in San José, Costa Rica, then embark on a Five-Star cruise for seven nights from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, to Colón, Panama, aboard the exclusively chartered Wind Star, a small sailing ship carrying only 148 guests. Explore the terrestrial wonders of Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park and the Golfo Dulce. Call at rarely visited Isla Cébaco and discover the rich marine life in its vivid coral reefs. Tour Panama City, including its Casco Antiguo (Old Quarter), a UNESCO World Heritage site, and experience a daylight passage through the awe-inspiring Panama Canal. Enjoy lectures by exclusive onboard study leaders throughout the itinerary. Shipboard gratuities, complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise and complimentary watersports are included. Extend your stay with the Costa Rica’s Cloud Forests and Volcanoes Pre-Program and Dynamic Panama Post-Program Options
U.S./San José, Costa Rica
Depart the U.S. for San José. Upon arrival, check into the hacienda-style Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San José. The evening is at leisure.
San José/Puerto Caldera
The horticultural diversity of Costa Rica, the “Garden of the Americas,” is evident in the parks of this vibrant capital city. On the city tour, see the interesting mix of architectural styles, including Spanish Colonial, Moorish and Modernist. The National Theater is a regal Baroque edifice modeled on Milan’s La Scala. The National Museum’s exhibits feature impressive pre-Columbian Central American artifacts.
After lunch in a local restaurant, enjoy a scenic transfer to Puerto Caldera to embark the m.v. Star Pride. (B,L,D)
Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park
Experience an unparalleled diversity of wildlife in Manuel Antonio National Park’s lush tropical paradise, a captivating combination of rainforest, beaches and coral reefs, home to more than 100 species of mammals, almost 200 species of birds and various reptiles and amphibians. In this “Living Eden,” expert naturalists will help you spot colorful toucans, screeching howler monkeys, camouflaged iguanas, squirrel monkeys and rare and endangered species such as the scarlet macaw and quetzal, all of which are protected by law in this natural haven.
Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board this evening. (B,L,R,D)
Join this spectacular nine-day journey from the Costa Rican rainforest through the mighty locks of the Panama Canal.
Curú National Wildlife Refuge
Unlike traditional nature reserves, Curú Wildlife Refuge is a unique blend of sustainable agriculture, forest management and wildlife protection, encompassing five distinctive untouched habitats making it the ideal place to see the intricacies of co-dependent ecosystems. Board a Zodiac for a wet landing on the beach and enjoy a guided walk in the morning, the best time of day to observe an abundance of wildlife including pumas, anteaters, ocelots, otters and more than 230 species of birds. (B,L,D)
Isla Coiba, Panama
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection has emerged as a rich laboratory for studying coral, mammals and plants. In addition to 69 species of fish, humpback, orca, sperm and Cuvier’s beaked whales are known to migrate through the marine park’s perimeter.
Explore Isla Coiba, the largest island in Central America. Once an isolated political prison, Isla Coiba today is a host of terrestrial wonders—untouched rainforest, rugged headlands, pristine white‑sand beaches and mangrove thickets—the perfect environment for the evolution of new and endemic subspecies and for the preservation and protection of endangered species. Enjoy opportunities to snorkel or swim in the turquoise waters or encounter the wildlife during a guided nature walk on this tranquil and pristine, lesser traveled paradise. (B,L,D)
Central America’s most attractive capital city was founded in 1519 by Spanish explorers and rebuilt in the late 17th century. Tour the “old quarter” known as Casco Antiguo, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and discover a charming neighborhood with cobblestone streets, a stunning 16th‑century cathedral and many historic architectural edifices that remain intact.
Adjacent to the Panama Canal, the Miraflores Visitor Center provides an opportunity to see how the famous locks, which handle annually more than 70 percent of commercial shipping traffic to and from the United States, operate. Also visit the new Biodiversity Museum, designed by architect Frank Gehry of Guggenheim fame, showcasing the ecological significance of Panama’s exotic flora and fauna. (B,L,D)
Panama City/Daylight Transit Panama Canal/Colón
Cruise from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea through the mighty locks of the Panama Canal. Enjoy a specially arranged lecture on the history of the canal. Transit times through the canal are controlled by the Panama Canal Authority and traffic conditions. (B,L,D)
San Blas Islands/Holandes Cays
Cruise to the sun-drenched San Blas Islands, located on the Caribbean side of Panama and an extraordinary testament to Panama’s commitment to the indigenous Guna Indians, also known as the Kuna Indians, and their centuries-old language, customs and culture. Villagers live in typical thatched roof huts, barter or trade in fish and agricultural products and paddle dugout canoes, their main mode of transportation. Guna women continue to hand stitch traditional colorful molas (reverse appliqué panels) and wear winis, long strings of tiny beads wrapped around their forearms and legs in striking geometric patterns.
This afternoon, enjoy an opportunity to snorkel or swin the clear turquoise waters of pristine Golfo de San Blas, populated with vibrant, untouched coral reefs and rich marine life.
Join the Captain for a Farewell Reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)
Disembark in Colón and visit the Panama Canal Expansion Agua Clara Visitor Center to enjoy panoramic views of the canal’s new longer and wider locks and the impressive Gatún Lake, the
166-square‑mile artificial body of water created a century ago to feed the canal. Transfer to Panama City for your return flights home that will arrive later today. (B)
(Agua Clara visit is departure flight time permitting)
R = Reception, B = Breakfast Included, L = Lunch Included, D = Dinner Included