Treasures of Panama & Costa Rica
Cross the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks
|2||Gatún Lake||Morning excursion to the Smithsonian Institute
Explore a traditional Emberá village
|3||Panama City||Morning excursion in Panama City
Afternoon spent exploring at your leisure
|4||Punta Patiño||Optional excursion to the nature reserve
Learn about the traditions of the Emberá people
|5||Granito de Oro Island||Morning spent cruising
Swim, snorkel, or explore the island’s beaches
|6||Coiba Island||Morning hike in Coiba National Park
Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and a beach BBQ
|Visit the Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens
Optional excursion to the Oro Peninsula
|Explore Manuel Antonio National Park
Forest canopy tour or enjoy Playa Biesanz
|Discover Curú National Wildlife Reserve
Swim, snorkel, and enjoy a BBQ on Tortuga
Note: This program is available in the opposite direction.
DAY 1 / PANAMA CITY / EMBARKATION
Embark in the afternoon at the Flamenco Marina in Panama City and settle into your cabin before setting sail on one of the world’s most iconic man-made waterways: the Panama Canal. In the late afternoon, cross the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks, with Gatun Lake as the day’s final destination.
DAY 2 / GATÚN LAKE
Today, you’ll explore Gatún Lake, an artificial body of water which forms one of the most significant stretches of the Panama Canal, carrying ships for 33 kilometres—nearly half the length of the canal. In the morning, enjoy an excursion to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa and discover a traditional village belonging to Panama’s indigenous Emberá people. By late evening, leave Gatún Lake passing through several locks before returning to Panama City.
DAY 3 / PANAMA CITY
With the significant influence by immigration and trade, Panama is arguably Central America’s most cosmopolitan city. This rapidly developing urban hub has much in the way of culture and history to offer visitors. In the morning, enjoy an excursion in the city, including the canal. The afternoon is yours to explore at your leisure. Tonight, the ship sails to Punta Patiño, a nature reserve in the Darién province in the east of Panama which shares borders Columbia.
DAY 4 / PUNTA PATIÑO
After arriving in Punta Patiño in the morning, set off on an optional excursion in this vast nature reserve, which is located within Darién National Park. You’ll sail upstream in a dugout canoe, reaching the Mogué village after passing through an extensive mangrove ecosystem. Here, you’ll be welcomed by the Emberá people. One of seven ethnic groups indigenous to Panama, they traditionally lived along the banks of the river. You’ll be invited to learn about their deep-rooted cultural traditions, participate in a dance, and share lunch in their village.
This afternoon, set sail for Granito de Oro Island in Coiba National Park. The night is spent at sea.
DAY 5 / GRANITO DE ORO ISLAND
After spending much of the day at sea, we’ll reach Coiba Island off the west coast of Panama and anchor a short distance away, on the much smaller island of Granito de Oro. Here, you’re free to spend the remainder of the afternoon swimming and snorkeling in the stunning turquoise waters or exploring the island’s sandy beaches. The ship moors overnight.
DAY 6 / COIBA ISLAND
In the morning, sail from Granito de Oro Island to neighbouring Coiba Island. Enjoy the jungle and spectacular views during a morning hike in this national park. After, there will be time for swimming and snorkeling. Enjoy a barbeque on the beach and relax in and around the tropical waters before leaving Coiba for Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica.
DAY 7 / GOLFITO / PUERTO JIMÉNEZ
Reach Golfito in the early morning, where you’ll cross the border into beautiful Costa Rica. After, continue sailing to nearby Casa Orquideas Botanical Gardens, a flower sanctuary with extensive and well-kept grounds. After, cool off with a swim before re-boarding the ship and sailing across the Pavon Bay for Puerto Jiménez.
Arriving in Puerto Jiménez in the early afternoon, you’ll have the option to set off on an excursion to the Osa Peninsula, an unspoiled paradise of rainforests, beaches, and wildlife. Tonight, the ship sails to Quepos on the western coast of Costa Rica, travelling overnight.
DAY 8 / QUEPOS / PLAYA BIESANZ
After arriving in the small but bustling port town of Quepos, leave the ship for the world-renowned Manuel Antonio National Park, where some of Costa Rica’s most iconic species—including three-toed sloths, white-faced capuchin monkeys, and thousands of birds—abound. The morning is spent exploring the park’s vast jungle and white-sand beaches.
In the afternoon, you may choose to experience a tour of the forest canopy on an excursion to Savegre River. Meanwhile, the ship sets sail for nearby Playa Biesanz, where guests who stayed on board may enjoy an afternoon swim. Tonight, enjoy a tropical-themed dinner and celebration. In the late evening, the ship cruises to Curú.
DAY 9 / CURÚ WILDLIFE RESERVE / TORTUGA ISLAND
This morning, leave the ship to explore the Curú Nature Reserve under the guidance of local park rangers and our on-board naturalist. In the late morning, rejoin the ship for a short trip to nearby Tortuga Island, arriving at noon. Here, take advantage of the warm, crystal-clear waters for some swimming and snorkeling on your final day here, then enjoy a barbeque on the beach. In the afternoon, you’ll have additional time to explore this natural playground. The ship anchors here overnight.
DAY 10 / PUNTARENAS / DISEMBARKATION
After sailing from Tortuga Island to the port city of Puntarenas, your adventure to some of Central America’s most stunning locales comes to an end. Disembark in the morning and prepare for your onward journey.
Dates & Prices
|Itinerary Code (Name of Itinerary)||Itinerary Start Date||Ship Name||Route||Duration (Nights)||Category Pricing PP|
(Treasures of Panama and Costa Rica)
|12/30/2017||M/Y Callisto||Panama City/Puntarenas||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|1/6/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|1/13/2018||M/Y Callisto||Panama City/Puntarenas||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|1/20/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|1/27/2018||M/Y Callisto||Panama City/Puntarenas||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|2/3/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|2/10/2018||M/Y Callisto||Panama City/Puntarenas||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|2/17/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|2/24/2018||M/Y Callisto||Panama City/Puntarenas||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|3/3/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|3/17/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|3/31/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|4/7/2018||M/Y Callisto||Panama City/Puntarenas||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
|4/14/2018||M/Y Callisto||Puntarenas/Panama City||8||$4,190||$4,490||$5,390||$5,770|
Port Charges included for 2017 sailings: $900
Port charges included for 2018 sailings: $590
- Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning.
- Full-board: Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a local Theme Evening , fun BBQ (weather permitting) and Captain’s Dinner.
- Regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water free all day.
- Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability).
- English-Speaking Cruise Escort.
|2000; Rebuilt in 2005 and Renovated in 2015/16||50m||4||17||35||More Details|
Travel TipsPanama – Treasures of Panama & Costa Rica
Canadian citizens must have a valid passport for at least 3 months after the last date of travel in Panama and Costa Rica.
Citizens of other countries should consult with their travel agent or our office.
No tourist visa is required for Canadians to enter Panama for visits up to 6 months (180 days).
No tourist visa is required for Canadians to enter Costa Rica for visits up to 3 months (90 days).
Other entry requirements
While uncommon for most of our guests, when entering Costa Rica you may need to provide evidence of a return or onward ticket as well as ‘sufficient funds’ for your stay. Some cash and credit cards are normally sufficient.
A handy checklist of what to bring on your trip can be downloaded here.
We strongly recommend the purchase of appropriate travel insurance for any trip outside of Canada. Information on travel insurance options can be found here.
Smoking is not permitted indoors on the ship but there are designated areas on the outside decks where one can smoke. It’s also not permitted in Panama as well as Costa Rica to smoke in all indoor public places and public transport. In addition, smoking is not permitted in outdoor sports venues.
The Panama Canal Zone has a climate ranging from the high 20’s to low 30’s with high humidity.
January to February- Warm days in the high 20’s. Mostly dry and humid.
March to April- Hot days in the high 20’s to low 30’s. Very dry and humid. Seldom Thunderstorms.
April is the hottest month of the year with temperatures in the low 30’s, so make sure you protect yourself from the sun.
In Costa Rica the summer temperatures range from low to high 20’s with high humidity.
The Dry season this lasts from December to April.
January to February- Warm days in the low to high 20’s. Mostly dry and humid. February is the driest month of the year.
March to April- Hot days in the high 20’s and low 30’s. Very dry and humid. Seldom Thunderstorms.
March is the hottest month of the year with temperatures in the low 30’s, so make sure you protect yourself from the sun.
Arrival / Departure
In Costa Rica, the most logical place to fly into or out of will be the San Jose International airport, in the capital, a couple of hours from the port of Punta Arenas.
In Panama, you will fly into/out of the Panama City International Airport, which is about a 45 minute drive from downtown and the port area.
Upon booking, we will provide detailed instructions on where your pickup point is on embarkation day in Panama City. If you have not made any pre or post tour arrangements with us, you will have to arrange your own transportation to and from this pickup point (Flamenco Marina). We are happy to provide advice or to assist in arranging transfers.
The ship will not be ready for check-in before midday (unless otherwise stipulated in the itinerary). If you have any luggage that you need to have booked in so you can enjoy some free time in port, the purser may be able to accommodate you provided we know in advance.
The cruise will finish in the morning (usually around 9:00AM to 10:00AM) on the final day. It is necessary to have settled your onboard account well before this time as instructed by the cruise director on the day before. You will then be transferred by coach to the designated point for your onward journey.
In Panama the official currency is the Panamanian Balboa.
In Costa Rica the official currency is the Costa Rican Colón.
However, in both countries the US Dollar is more commonly used and accepted throughout the country as the primary currency.
Credit cards are acceptable for larger purchases in retail shops in the cities, but in the smaller, remote areas, they will be of little use.
ATM’s accepting most international debit and credit cards can be found in abundance.
The gratuity suggested by the cruise line is USD 13 – 16 per guest per day.
Of course, gratuities are always at your discretion and the above recommendations are assuming you are thoroughly content with services rendered. All gratuities will be equally divided amongst the entire crew.
Laundry service is available for a small fee. Unfortunately, dry cleaning is not available.
Services & Activities On board
Aboard your yacht you will find an elegant dining room, spacious sun decks and comfortable lounges. No pools are on board as it is common for our guests to swim off our ships or for passengers to reach secluded beaches by tender.
There are fins, masks and snorkels available on board for use during the swim stops which are subject to availability. You can also find a small borrowing library as well as board games and playing cards for your amusement. Movies are often shown in the vessels’ Lounges, so please check in the Daily Program for show times.
Sports activities: Swimming off the ships is possible as well as snorkeling, kayaking and canoeing. At some stops it may also be possible to organize diving excursions.
Shore excursions will be offered on board but are always subject to weather and docking conditions and a minimum number of participants. They can be purchased on board at an extra cost.
Excursions will usually involve a fair amount of walking on sandy beaches and over dirt paths. If you have difficulty walking any distance, please let us know in advance and we will advise how best we can accommodate you.
Please refer to our website or consult the purser on board for additional information.
Regrettably, most of our excursions are not suitable for guests in a wheelchair.
Activity Level / Strenuousness
Light to Moderate – At most, participation in the shore excursions requires the ability to walk reasonable distances. It is necessary to be reasonably sure-footed as walking will be on dirt roads and paths.
Note that the high temperatures and humidity in summer may also make participation on this trip more strenuous than you may be accustomed to compared to the climate at home.
Food and Beverages
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are part inclusive in your voyage. All drinks on board (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks) are subject to extra charges.
Food in Panama is mildly spicy when compared to their neighbouring countries. There are so many exquisite and tasty dishes to look out for on your visit.
Meals to keep an eye out for are Hojaldras (popular breakfast), Carne salchicha guisada, a tomato sauce filled with beef or hot sauce that can be served with Patacones (fried green plantain discs), Bollos (corn dough) or Tortillas de maíz con queso fresco (corn dough with cheese topping). Their fish based dishes would definitely leave you asking for more. Be sure to try Corvina (sea bass), sole, cod, calamari, shrimp, mixed seafood prepared with cilantro, lime juice, celery, onions and aji chombo (habaneros).
There lots of refreshing beverages like Chicha de Saril (Hibiscus Limeade), Raspadura, Hibiscus flowers, lime juice, cinnamon and ginger, wonderful for a hot day, or as a mixer for that classic cranberry vodka drink.
The Rondon dish in Costa Rica dates back to earlier times of subsistence diets in the Caribbean. Though the only thing consistent is that it changes, there are a few fundamentals to this spicy coconut soup. Typically, you’ll find a fish head and assorted catches of the day, along with a variety of tubers like sweet potatoes and yucca, simmered in coconut milk for hours over an open wood flame that imparts a smoky depth. Mixed with a couple of Panamanian chilies for that signature lip singe. There are other dishes like the Chifrijo, Ceviche Tico which is a combination of rice, beans, meat and chimichurri, a tomato-based salad with lime juice.
Costa Rica has some delicious home grown fruits like Cacao fresco. Be sure to try their fruit cocktails called Naturales, and exotic drinks like Granizados.
The crew members are English speaking so communication with them should not be a problem. Be sure to have a Spanish phrasebook when going sightseeing in Costa Rican towns and cities if your knowledge of Spanish is limited.
There are no medical personnel on board the ship. However, crew members are trained in first aid and the purser can contact onshore medical people for emergency and nonemergency situations and evacuation can be facilitated in the most urgent cases.
All cabins have private, nicely appointed bathrooms fitted with showers. All cabins are air-conditioned and connected to a central music system. There is a telephone for intra ship communication. Our ship contains in lounge TV’s with satellite channels with at least a few English speaking programs. There are hairdryers in each cabin, flat-screen TV’s, public address system, safe boxes, mini-fridges and DVD players in the cabins.
The ship’s generator provides an electric voltage of 220V. Cabins are fitted with European type plugs so please remember to bring an adaptor if necessary.
For more details, please visit the Ships section on our website.
Phone & Internet
There is a phone in each cabin. Outgoing call rates are very high as a satellite connection is the only one possible.
WIFI is available in certain areas of the ship at a modest charge. As it is a satellite connection, internet speed will be very slow and we suggest it be used for urgent matters only.
If you would like to have regular data and phone connection while on land, we suggest either arranging an overseas roaming plan with your mobile operator, or pick up a local SIM card if you have an unlocked phone.
Aboard the M/Y Callisto there are no recreational facilities for children and reservations for those under the age of eleven are not advised. However, should you choose to bring children along please take into consideration that children onboard are their parents’/guardians sole responsibility.
Health / Vaccinations
Health measures should be taken before going on any trip. It is advisable to be up-to-date on your vaccinations.
Malaria is not present in Panama City, the Canal Zone and Western Panama Province, but if you are travelling outside these areas, you should consult a physician to determine whether a prophylaxis is recommended.
As has widely been reported in the media, the Zika Virus may also be present in Costa Rica as well as Panama and appropriate precautions should be taken.
As always, we recommend being in good health prior to any long distance travel. We strongly recommend consulting your physician about your intention to travel on this program to receive specific advice for your situation.
Safety & Security
The beautiful and historic countries of Costa Rica and Panama like any country in the world, it is generally but not completely safe. Being tourists in the city, security measures should be taken. When going out it’s recommended not to take any valuables along at all, in some cases even cameras and/or smartphones out of one’s hotel to reduce the chances of an unfortunate incident occurring. Late night strolls alone are especially not advisable for women. Petty crime including pickpocketing and bag snatching may occur in both Panama and Costa Rica.
Jewelry, money, documents, etc., should be placed in your individual safe deposit boxes or given to the captain who will deposit items in the ship’s safe boxes free of charge.
While places like Coronado have well placed security measures and low crime rates, one should be vigilant when visiting towns like Colon (the commercial hub of Panama) and regions beyond the town of Yaviza. Costa Rica has created the “Policía Turística”, a tourism police force dedicated to improving the safety and security of foreigners.
More information on this from the Canadian government can be obtained at: