Backpacking Across Costa Rica & Panama

Trip code: CRPQ

Trip Highlights

  • Explore 2 amazing Central American countries - Costa Rica and Panama
  • Take a tour of the Mi Cafecito Community Coffee Plantation at San Miguel de Sarapiqui
  • Visit the Arenal Volcano
  • Visit the Monteverde Butterfly Garden
  • Relax at the beachside and savor the authentic local food in Quepos
  • Explore the Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Explore the archipelago of Bocas del Toro
  • Visit the Panama Canal including the Miraflores Locks

Tour Details


Are you ready for an adventure tour of two picturesque Central American countries? The Costa Rica & Panama Quest Tour has an action-packed itinerary for 16 days that'll add hundreds of experiences to your Gap Year journey and take you closer to nature in the most amazing way. If you are looking for a retreat away from the urban life, crowd and cacophony, then this is your chance to travel to some of the most pristine destinations and soak yourself in the sun at the beaches of Quepos or Bocas del Toro. Explore the wilderness of the rainforests while experiences a night walk and indulge in adventure sports like kayaking or snorkeling. It'll surely be a trip worth remembering!


Day 1 - Arrival in San José

Welcome to Costa Rica! You will have to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José. Travel to your hotel and take rest after a long flight. You have a free day to explore the city, but make sure to return back by evening. There will be a Welcome Meeting where your coordinator will tell you about the detailed itinerary and you'll also get to meet your travel mates.

Day 2 - San José to La Fortuna

Drive to San Miguel de Sarapiqui and take a tour of the Mi Cafecito Community Coffee Plantation to know where your amazing cup of java coffee comes from! Learn about the entire process - from harvesting to getting that freshly brewed cup of beverage and know more about the farmers living there. Have a local lunch with the plantation dwellers and head towards Arenal Volcano immersed in therapeutic waters heated by the earth’s magma and infused with healing minerals and salts. You'll be totally mesmerized! Once you reach La Fortuna, you can opt for some adventure walks and hikes as well. 

Day 3 - La Fortuna

It's your free day in La Fortuna and we hope you can make the most of your time and don't miss out much! If you are seeking some adrenaline rush, then you'll have to go for white water rafting or canyoning! Ask your coordinator and he'll guide you the best! You can also opt for exploring the amazing wildlife scenes and natural wonders in this area.

Day 4 - La Fortuna to Monteverde

You'll fall in love with today's journey! Travel by bus to Laguna de Arenal and then take a boat through the stunning Costa Rican scenery up into the cloud forest. Soak yourself in the beauty and freshness of the surroundings and prepare for an adventurous night walk in the cloud forest. Your guide will be there to assist you and you can learn more about the habits of the area's nocturnal wildlife including mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, and keep your eyes and ears open on this slow-paced walk. 

Day 5 - Monteverde

You have a day to explore Monteverde. Explore the cloud forest region, go for canopy zip lining and hanging bridge tours, visit the Monteverde Butterfly Garden to see and opt for a horse ride as well.

Day 6 - Monteverde to Quepos

It's time to travel to the beach town of Quepos, just outside Manuel Antonio National Park. You can either explore the park or just relax at the beachside and savor the authentic local food. The beautiful white-sand beaches and the warm turquoise water will surely make you drool!

Day 7 - Quepos

If you haven't yet visited the Manuel Antonio National Park, then today, you should! Later, head towards the beach for a swim and surfing. You can also go for kayaking in the Damas Island estuary which is a protected home for birds, snakes, crocodiles, and white face monkeys.

Day 8 - Quepos to San José

Chill on the beaches and later head back to the capital city of San José.

Day 9 - San José to Panama City

Get ready to travel to Panama! You'll be boarding a flight and travel to Panama City today, one of the most happening Central American cities!

There might be other travelers who'll join you today, so there will be a Welcome Meeting where you'll get to meet your new friends. 

Day 10 - Panama City to Bocas del Toro

It's time to fly again! After reaching David, travel by bus and boat to the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. The islands are mostly covered by rainforests - so it'll be a treat for the nature lovers, for sure! You can head out to explore the rainforests or just spend time on the beaches that are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or diving.

Day 11 - 12 Bocas del Toro

You have two days to spend in this archipelago - so loosen up and explore as much as you can! You can opt for an entire day's Bocas del Toro Boat Tour or go for the Isla Bastimentos Canopy Tour. There's so much to do here, that you'll probably just run out of time!

Day 13 - Bocas del Toro to Boquete

It's time to travel to the mountain retreat of Boquete from the beaches. Nestled in a green mountain valley, this is an outdoor lover's paradise and you'll be absolutely thrilled to be here.

Day 14 - Boquete

It's your day to relax and explore Boquete. You can opt for coffee plantation tour, or go for some adventure sports if you are in a mood.

Day 15 - Boquete to Panama City

It's time to travel back to David and catch a flight to Panama City. Go for a visit to the Panama Canal including the Miraflores Locks and on-site museum. It's your last day, so go for some souvenir shopping and enjoy a farewell dinner with the group.

Day 16 - Panama City

Like all good things, this trip also comes to an end. It's time to board a flight back home, or towards another destination that's waiting to greet you!

Dates & Cost

Price Includes
  • Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour at Sarapiquí
  • Visit the Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano
  • Guided cloud forest night walk at Monteverde
  • Panama Canal visit as well as Miraflores Locks and museum visit
  • All Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Accommodation
  • Meals - 1 lunch
Price Excludes
  • International Flights
  • Visa Fees
  • Insurance expenses (can be purchased from us at minimal cost)
  • Cost of Vaccinations
  • Additional tours and activities (not included as paid for in the itinerary)
  • Airport transfers (available at extra cost)
  • Meals not mentioned