Costa Rica and Panama
This multi-country itinerary is the ideal combination for families looking for a mixture of wildlife experiences, activities and tropical island relaxation. As always the itinerary will be tailored to your own family so if you want longer in the rainforests hunting for the Resplendent Quetzal or finding Nemo snorkelling from the beach, just let us know.
Superb wildlife in Manuel Antonio
Snorkelling from Pacific beaches
Zip-lines at La Fortuna
Rainforest & jungle hikes
Tropical island life in Bocas del Toro
Ships navigating the Panama Canal
15 days from £1,795 pp
Plus international flights starting at £750
A two-week holiday in Costa Rica and Panama for a family of four usually costs a minimum of £7,180 plus flights.
All our holidays are individually tailored to you and your family. Prices in Costa Rica do vary significantly depending on the season but are generally highest over Christmas and Easter whereas there are quite significant savings to be had if travelling during July and August. The exact price of your tour will also vary depending on a wide range of factors including how many of you there are, what level of hotels you want to stay in and whether you stay in one large family room or have children and adults in separate rooms.
One other major factor in determining the price in Costa Rica is whether you choose to self-drive, have private transfers or be escorted throughout by a private chauffeur.
As a guideline, our standard Costa Rica holidays will start from around £5,400 for a two week holiday for a family of four based on mid-range hotels and either self-drive or with private transfers. This is based on travel during the summer and excludes international flights. It assumes that the family will all be in one room.
If you are travelling with older children who will need their own room, the price will start from £6,500 for the same tour.
If travelling at Christmas or Easter, the price will start from around £6,000, based on the family sharing one room and £7,500 based on two rooms.
There are also some wonderful boutique hotels in Costa Rica, particularly on the beach, which are considerably more expensive. If you would like to use these hotels, prices will start from £8,000 for a two week holiday for a family of four.
We like our tours to be accessible to as wide a range of people as possible. If you are travelling on a tight budget please let us know and we will be able to suggest ways to bring the price down closer to £4,500 for a two week holiday for a family of four (during the summer).
All prices exclude international flights. These start from £450 per person with a stopover and £650 per person direct from London outside school holidays. During school holidays indirect flights will usually cost at least £750 per person, and direct flights a minimum of £950 per person. We will be very happy to provide a flight quote for you from your nearest airport. Please ask us for details.
Flights are available for booking approximately 11 months in advance. If travelling during UK school holidays we suggest that you book your flights as far in advance as possible to get the best fares. Prices will rise considerably the closer to departure that you book.
We don’t impose any age limits but some activities such a zip-lining may have minimum height or age requirements.
Rest assured that you have 100% financial protection if you book with Stubborn Mule Travel. This is guaranteed through our membership of the Travel Trust Association (membership number Q0176) and our ATOL membership (number T7608). Further details can be found on our Financial Protection page.
All you need to do is let us know a few key details about you and your family and we will do the rest. After a chat to understand more about you, we can produce an itinerary as a starting point and you can review this as many times as you need to until we get it just right.
Costa Rica Easter and Panama day-by-day itinerary
When you arrive you will be transferred to your hotel by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax.
Day 2 San Jose – La Fortuna
Head to the picturesque town of La Fortuna near Arenal Volcano.
This afternoon there are lots of activities you can take part in (biking, hiking, paddle-boarding or horse-riding to name a few). Perhaps hike to the waterfalls just outside of town and take a refreshing dip in the pool at the base. A more relaxing option might be to head to one of the hot springs resort to bathe in the rejuvenating waters.
Day 3 La Fortuna
This morning those with older children enjoy an exciting rafting tour on the Balsa River. This adrenalin-fuelled activity will take you paddling down crashing rapids as the river descends through a beautiful landscape. The river is surrounded by forest so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife whenever you have a moment between rapids!
Those with younger children will enjoy a more peaceful raft experience on a flat section of the river. Giant trees overhang the banks with monkeys swinging from branch to branch and sloths curled up taking a snooze. Crocodiles bask in the sun on the sand bars at the edge of the river and birds dart across the water. You will stop at a farm for delicious local snacks.
Day 4 La Fortuna
Today you head deep into the rainforest. Your tour starts with a walk over the hanging bridges, giant suspension bridges that have been built high in the forest canopy. If you are lucky you might come across a troupe of howler monkeys but there are birds galore as well as iridescent flying beetles that will keep the children entertained.
Next up you get yourselves strapped into a harness and ride to the top of the mountain in a cable car. Then it’s time for an adrenalin rush! Fly across the valley on a series of descending ziplines, each several hundred metres long and high above the hillside. It is wonderfully exhilarating and a real adventure
Day 5 La Fortuna – Manuel Antonio National Park
This morning you will head to the Pacific coast to Manuel Antonio National Park.
In the afternoon you can either relax on the beach or perhaps take a sea-kayaking excursion off the coast from Quepos. Heading into the open water with a guide, you will get magnificent views of the coastline with its jungle clad cliffs and prolific birdlife. You will also stop in a small, secluded bay for a spot of snorkelling. Two person kayaks can be arranged so that younger children can also take part.
Read More Day 6 Manuel Antonio National Park You can spend the full day in the park, following trails through the jungle and enjoying the beaches. Please note the park is closed on Mondays. Day 7 Manuel Antonio – Golfo Dulce Day 8 Golfo Dulce Day 9 Golfo Dulce – PANAMA – Boquete Days 10-11 Boquete In addition there are options for hiking, rafting, horse riding, coffee tours, cycling and so on. Day 12 Boquete – Bocas del Toro Days 13-14 Bocas del Toro The following day you will visit an indigenous village of Ngobé. Here you will be shown how to make coconut bread – a tasting of course must not be missed – and the typical Chacara bags which are a great souvenir and support the local women and their families. You will also visit a typical Africa-Caribbean village on the island of Bastimentos before returning to Colón. Day 15 Bocas del Toro – Panama City Here you will gain a fascinating insight into the famous Panama Canal. The observation terrace offers a unique view of the locks and the ships that pass through on their way to the Pacific or Atlantic. The perfect way to round off your last evening in Central America. Day 16 Panama City
You have a full day to explore Manuel Antonio National Park. This stretches from the pristine white sands of the Pacific coast to the rugged jungle interior. It encompasses lush rainforest, remote mangrove swamps and idyllic beaches. Capuchin monkeys leap from branch to branch in the forest canopy, three toed sloths make their way slowly through the jungle and brightly coloured kingfishers dart above the river in search of small fish.
This morning it is time to head to Costa Rica’s ‘wild south’, the Osa Peninsula. Your lodge is located in the middle of the Reserva Forestal Golfo Dulce, which connects the Corcovado National park with the Piedras Blancas National park. This is an important wildlife corridor that helps to maintain and protect all of the bio-diversity Osa has to offer.
Follow one of the hiking trails from your lodge in search of leaf cutter ants, pale billed woodpeckers, toucans and hummingbirds or perhaps take one of the optional tours. These include a kayaking excursion across the Golfo Dulce, a dolphin boat tour, a snorkelling tour to Cano Island or a visit to Finca Kobo where you can learn about the local culture and follow the cocoa trail.
Early this morning you will take a private transfer to the border at Paso Canoas. Welcome to Panama! From here you will be transferred to the small mountain village of Boquete.
You have two full days to explore the area. Your lodge is located in Panama’s Chiriquí Highlands, perched on the slopes of Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama. It is a haven for some of the finest birdwatching in the entire world and there are miles of walking/hiking trails and freshwater rivers and waterfalls. There is a canopy walkway and zipline circuit so you could spend one morning soaring through the forest canopy?!
From the Pacific coast you will travel over the continental divide to the Caribbean coast, to the little port town of Almirante. Here you will take a boat to the island of Colon in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. There is a collection of several idyllic islands surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
Two days to enjoy these idyllic islands. Take a boat ride to Laguna Bocatorito where there is a good chance of seeing a dolphin colony. From here you will cruise to Coral Caye where there is a small local restaurant serving up delicious seafood then continue to ‘Red Frog Beach’, named for the little red creatures that live here. You can enjoy the beach, take a swim or hike into the interior of the island.
Take the short flight to Panama City. Upon arrival you will start your sightseeing tour of Panama’s capital with its captivating backdrop of skyscrapers, noble mansions and green hills. Visit the ruins of Panamá Viejo and the old city centre Casco Antiguo with its many unique colonial buildings, which have been colourfully restored and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. A drive down the Causeway will present you with an amazing view of the Panama City skyline before taking you to the Miraflores Locks.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Day 6 Manuel Antonio National Park
You can spend the full day in the park, following trails through the jungle and enjoying the beaches. Please note the park is closed on Mondays.
Day 7 Manuel Antonio – Golfo Dulce
Day 8 Golfo Dulce
Day 9 Golfo Dulce – PANAMA – Boquete
Days 10-11 Boquete
In addition there are options for hiking, rafting, horse riding, coffee tours, cycling and so on.
Day 12 Boquete – Bocas del Toro
Days 13-14 Bocas del Toro
The following day you will visit an indigenous village of Ngobé. Here you will be shown how to make coconut bread – a tasting of course must not be missed – and the typical Chacara bags which are a great souvenir and support the local women and their families. You will also visit a typical Africa-Caribbean village on the island of Bastimentos before returning to Colón.
Day 15 Bocas del Toro – Panama City
Here you will gain a fascinating insight into the famous Panama Canal. The observation terrace offers a unique view of the locks and the ships that pass through on their way to the Pacific or Atlantic. The perfect way to round off your last evening in Central America.
Day 16 Panama City
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
Costa Rica in pictures
Why choose us?
- Unparalleled family travel experience
- Specialist knowledge across three continents
- Hand-picked local partners
- Every holiday is tailor-made for you
- 100% financial protection
- 24hr emergency contact number
We are members of the Travel Trust Association, a trade association of Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Travel Organisers that operate trust accounts in order to provide financial protection for the consumer. Membership number Q0176.
Our ATOL number is T7608.