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Travel along the Costa Rican coast and down to the Panama Canal on a memorable small ship adventure cruise

Central America is truly a place to fall in love with nature – be it dense, wildlife-filled forests, white beaches with irresistible waters, or vast jungle-ringed lakes – and you’ll get to experience it all on this memorable small ship adventure cruise. Aboard the M/Y Callisto, surrounded by rich fabrics, woodwork, antiques and fine works of art, cruise down the Pacific Coast and choose to explore lush nature reserves, snorkel among the marine life of idyllic islands, and indulge in beach barbecues. You can travel up river in dugout canoes to a hidden village and spend time with the indigenous locals, swim in crystal clear waters, and enter the locks of the famous Panama Canal. With stops at the likes of Tortuga Island, Puerto Jimenez, Granito de Oro Island, Punta Patino Darrien and Gatun Lake, this trip is a unique way to experience this diverse corner of Central America.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Panama City, Panama
Costa Rica, Panama
Adventure Cruising
Physical rating
Min 7
Group size
Min 1, Max 34

Why we love this trip

  • This trip includes an optional adventure in dugout canoes, paddling up the Mogue River to spend time with Embera Indians. Not something you find on a traditional itinerary.

  • While bigger cruise liners have to moor out at sea and commute into shore via tender, we’ll drop anchor in the middle of port towns like Quepos, Puerto Jiminez and Punta Patino. You can hop on or off the boat as you please.

  • This is the adventure cruise for nature lovers. Crocodiles, turtles, Coiba Aguit, howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, kingfishers – you’ll have the chance to see them all in their natural habitat. There’s also an on-board naturalist with you for the entire journey.

  • The Pacific waters off the coast of Panama are some of the most beautiful you’ll see anywhere. We’ll be swimming off the back of the boat and exploring the shore via zodiac boats.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with between 30 – 50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wifi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • Onshore activities and excursions will involve a bit of walking. You’ll be visiting a lot of National Parks, and you may have to cross uneven ground, sometimes in slippery conditions.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets on-board. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs on-board. Handrails are always available.


Embarkation will take place between 3 and 4pm. Once all are on board, we set sail for Quepos.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
We arrive in the morning at Quepos where there will be an optional excursion to Manuel Antonio Reserve, a highlight of the cruise.
Manuel Antonio National Park is the jewel of the Costa Rica large number of national parks. Its fragile rainforest ecosystem shelters an abundant wildlife including the easy to see monkeys and a great variety of tropical birds. We will take you by bus to the Park Entrance for your one & half hour guided walk in the dense rainforest. Your local guides and our naturalist will lead you through small trails and you will encounter an extraordinary animal life and a thousand different species of flora. The trail followed is very well maintained and is easy walking with no uphill climbs. Our hike ends with a swim at a park's beach before returning to the Callisto.
In the afternoon, there is the option of joining an option Forest Canopy tour, or sailing on with the Callisto to Playa Biesanz.
Tonight is our tropical themed dinner and party on board the Callisto. We sail late evening towards Golfo Dulce. Overnight at sea.
Optional Activities
  • Quepos - Manuel Antonio National Park - EUR60
  • Quepos - Titi Forest Canopy Tour - EUR80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We reach Puerto Jimenez early morning where you can take the Osa Peninsula optional excursion. This takes a short and easy walk through a lovely patch of secondary forest where you will have the chance to see four different kinds of monkey, scarlet macaw and many other species of bird.
We return to the ship for a late lunch while we cross Golfo Dulce on the way to the afternoon stop.
Casa Orquideas is a beautiful, privately owned botanical oasis containing many species of tropical plants and plants brought from all over the world. There will be time for a swim before returning to the Callisto by tender.
We sail on to Golfito for midnight immigration and ship clearance procedures and spend the night at sea en route to Cebaco Island, Panama.
Optional Activities
  • Casas Orquideas Garden Tour - EUR40
  • Osa Exploration Walk - EUR57
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We arrive in the morning at Restingue Island for an amazing swimming and snorkeling experience in this little paradise island. Around noon, we will sail to nearby Cebaco Island for a beach BBQ and time to swim and enjoy this beautiful beach.
In the afternoon, we sail onto Punta Patino, spending the night at sea.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today, there is an optional excursion to Punta Patino in the Darrien National Park. and to the Mogue Embera Reserve. We sail upstream in dugout canoes and reach the Village of Mogue after passing through the mangrove ecosystem that lines the river. We are welcomed by Embera Indians, one of the 7 indigenous groups living in Panama. They are known for their beautiful handicrafts and well preserved traditions. Overnight at anchor.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
PLEASE NOTE: The Coiba Island excursion involves a medium to strenuous uphill hike.
An early morning departure and we are sailing towards the Pearl Islands for a day of swimming, snorkeling and a beach BBQ. In the afternoon, we sail onto Panama City.
On arrival, after immigration procedures, there will be an optional excursion to Old Panama with dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in port.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning, there is an optional excursion to the Gatun Lake and San Lorenzo Spanish forts. We will visit the Panama Canal Expansion Observation Centre in Gatun and have lunch there. On the way back to Panama City, we stop at the Canal Museum and have time to watch the movement of ships in the locks.
Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner on board the Callisto. Overnight in port.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembarkation will take place after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner


7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners


Small Cruise Ship


Small Cruise Ship 7 nights

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises.
On this itinerary, shore excursions are optional and are paid on board the ship in Euro’s. The price and a description of these excursions are listed in the day to day itinerary.
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate.
Children from the age of 7 can be accommodated on these voyages. Each boat has one cabin category that will accommodate a 3rd person allowing for triple sharing. Any child under the age of 18 must share with an adult.

Essential trip information

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