The Experience

DAY 1: U.S./Panama City, Panama/Colon/ Embark Ship
Depart U.S. late morning via American Airlines on a non-stop flight to Panama City, with a flying time of about three hours. On arrival, drive to Colon to board National Geographic Sea Lion and set sail for the first part of our Panama Canal transit, anchoring in Gatun Lake for the night. (D)

DAY 2: Barro Colorado/Panama Canal Transit
In the morning, we,™ll board expedition landing craft for Barro Colorado Nature Monument in Gatun Lake. This island has been the primary Smithsonian center for tropical rain forest study since 1923, and we are very proud to have special permission to visit the facilities at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Meet some of the scientists and learn about their work before we reboard to continue our crossing. Often we have the opportunity to cross part of the Canal during the day, and another when it is dramatically lit at night. (B,L,D)

DAY 3: Gulf of Panama Islets
This archipelago of islands due south of Panama City has a storied past pearls, conquistadors, buccaneers, and so much more. We,™ll explore the turquoise waters via expedition landing craft or kayak, where we might spot frigatebirds, brown pelicans or brown boobies. Observe roosting and nesting magnificent frigate birds and blue-footed boobies on an otherwise empty stretch of white sand. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Isla Coiba National Park
Isla Coiba is one of Panama,™s most remote national parks, where you may hike the tropical, moist forest trails. The area is also perfect for swimming and snorkeling amid tropical fish. Our staff will assist both novice and expert snorkelers alike. For those preferring a drier clime, our naturalists take underwater footage, which animates our evening gathering in the lounge. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Today we make our first landfall in Costa Rica. At Casa Orquídeas, a privately owned garden accessible only by boat and special invitation, see a profusion of orchids; and look for tanagers, parrots and gaudy toucans. Later, explore the forested bay of Golfo Dulce, ideal for kayaking, expedition landing craft cruises or swimming. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Osa Peninsula
The National Geographic Sea Lion anchors off the remote Osa Peninsula and the environs of Corcovado National Park. Our exact landing spot for the day will depend on sea conditions. You may swim in waterfall pools, horseback ride or join a expedition landing craft cruise. Trek through the rain forest for a chance to see three species of monkey in one day: howler, spider and squirrel! (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Manuel Antonio National Park
The abundant wildlife here is most active in the early morning, so we are sure to get an early start. Lethargic three-toed sloths can be easy to spot, but it often takes the expert eye of a naturalist to point out monkeys or vividly colored birds as they zip through the forest. In the afternoon, explore Costa Rica,™s beautiful coast where we,™ll find a great spot for a final hike or swim. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Herradura/Disembark/San Jose/U.S.
Disembark National Geographic Sea Lion this morning in Herradura and drive to the airport for flights home, or on to other adventures. The U.S. bound flight departs in late morning, arriving in the late afternoon. (B)
Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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