Costa Rica's Cloud Forest through the Panama Canal on National Geographic Quest
Monteverde + Costa Rica And Panama
A coastal expedition & inland exploration
A thrilling & enriching adventure
Explore the wild coastal rain forests of Costa Rica and Panama by expedition ship, sail through the fascinating Panama Canal, and then venture inland to walk the suspended tree canopy bridges and explore the Monteverde cloud forest reserve. On this expedition you’ll:
- -See monkeys, sloths, rare birds, and venture deep into the rain forest
- Transit the Panama Canal, with an exclusive stop to visit the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
- Kayak, hike, swim, and snorkel; actively explore these idyllic islands and hidden waterways, getting the same enriching experience offered on our eight-day Costa Rica and Panama expedition
- PLUS you’ll venture inland for an exploration of the picturesque Monteverde cloud forest.
Add an inland exploration to your coastal expedition
There is a soothing aura about Monteverde’s cloud forest. Mist drifting past silhouettes of majestic trees, the cool quiet, and the haunting music of a bird called “solitaire.” Trees draped in a profusion of bromeliads and orchids display an abundance of life. The lacy-fronded tree fern, unchanged since early ecological times, stands out as a signature cloud forest specimen. Those lucky enough to glimpse the elusive resplendent quetzal, one of the world’s most beautiful birds, will see clearly how color and grace could inspire the reverence of Mayan civilizations.
Escape into wildness in Costa Rica & Panama
The perfect winter escape. Dense, lush rain forests. Pristine, deserted beaches. Monkeys galore. Coatimundis and dozing sloths, plus toucans, macaws, and hummingbirds. Walk deep into the rain forest; the only sounds you’ll hear are the birds and monkeys in the trees and your own footfalls. And slowly, everyday life dissipates as revitalization takes over. Each day reveals distinct facets of the region: forest trails for hiking, a cool swim in a waterfall pool, and a coral reef to snorkel. Opportunities abound to see creatures in their natural environs—both on land and in the sea.
Exhilarating adventures daily
In Monteverde you’ll walk bridges suspended in the rain forest canopy that offer a rare bird’s eye view of the jungle, plus hike the extensive network of jungle trails with your naturalist. On the coast, you’ll kayak stretches of shore where the rain forest meets the sea, search for wildlife in an expedition landing craft, and transit the Panama Canal—a modern wonder of the world. Snorkel at Isla Coiba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the best reefs in the Eastern Pacific.
Naturalists help you see and learn more
The cloud forest is a secretive place, revealing its magic to the trained eye of our naturalists, who help you observe all facets of this marvelous habitat. On our Costa Rica expedition, you experience the forest trail at ground level. In Monteverde, you explore the upper forest canopy on an exhilarating Sky Walk—a series of suspension bridges—for a bird’s-eye view. Spend two nights at a charming, family-owned lodge.
- Adventure and Active
- National Parks and Preserves
- Safari, Animals, and Wildlife
When she rolled out of Nichols Brothers shipyard and into the bay on Whidbey Island, the 100-guest National Geographic Quest became the third ship in the Lindblad fleet built at this storied Pacific Northwest shipyard. In the 1970s, Nichols Brothers built the twin ships National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, which continue to sail the waters of the west coast of North America and Central America.
National Geographic Quest was purpose-built to explore the fast-moving channels and narrow straits of Alaska, along the coast of Costa Rica, and into the gray whale nursery lagoons of Baja, her design and engineering informed by our nearly 40 years of experience in these regions. Her twin boarding platforms, for example, were suggested by a veteran staffer. Enabling our team to load two Zodiacs at once means guests get off the ship quickly to take advantage of wildlife sightings and maximize exploring time.
Larger than her siblings Sea Bird and Sea Lion, Quest has the same shallow draft, allowing her captain to navigate the same inner reaches and provide the same intimate, "insider" experiences in these charismatic regions. Modern cleaned-lined, with large expanses of glass to keep you connected to the extraordinary views, National Geographic Quest enables you to see, do, and experience the best of her geographies.
Lindblad Expeditions goes to the most amazing places on the planet—40+ geographies in all. And they’ve planted a flag in many of them, deeply committing to remote wild places—like South Georgia and the Falklands; Patagonia, where they opened up Staten Island, ‘the island at the end of the world,’ for eco-tourism; and remote and beautiful regions of Polynesia, including the Marquesas Islands where few go.
Teams that do whatever it take ...
|1||U.S. / San José, Costa Rica|
|2-3||Monteverde Cloud Forest|
|4||Monteverde / Puerto Caldera / Embark|
|5||Corcovado National Park|
|6||Golfo Dulce / Osa Peninsula|
|8||Coiba National Park, Panama|
|9||Gulf of Panama Islets / Panama Canal Transit|
|10||Gatun Lake / Panama Canal Transit|
|11||Colón / Disembark / Panama City / Home|