Panama - Costa Rica kosher private tour

This itinerary is for inviduals and groups, designed for each client and includes kosher catering.

Day 1 – Arrival to Panama, Panama City (Thursday)

(Dinner) Our driver will wait for you outside the terminal to take you to your hotel in Panama City.

Overnight at hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn or similar – standard room

NOTE: estimated driving time 30 minutes 

Day 2 – Rio Chagres – The Embera Community –Synagogue (Friday)

(Breakfast, lunch, kosher dinner) Depart to the Chagres National Park to visit the Emberá Community, at eastern Panama. When arriving to the river, you will meet some members of the indigenous Emberas who will take you in their narrow canoes (piragua) to their village. On the way, enjoy watching the local birds and other animals. Enjoy the sight of the spectacular waterfall where you can swim. Visit the Embera indigenous community and see their traditional customs, dances, music, arts and crafts and history. A typical traditional lunch will be served at the end of the tour and watch local folks dances with the national dress - La Poller. At the end of the day we will return to Panama City. In the evening we will walk to the synagogue to take Shabbat dinner.

Overnight at hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn or similar – standard room

Day 3 – Panama City – Jewish community (Saturday)

(Breakfast, kosher lunch, dinner) A day of rest. Visit the Jewish community in Panama City. You will take a walk to the Shabbath synagogue where you will also have lunch.

Overnight at hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn or similar – standard room

Day 4 – Panama City – San Blas Day Tour – The Guna (Sunday)

(Breakfast, lunch, dinner) early in the morning depart to San Blas islands which are a group of 378 islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. Cross the Isthmus through the dense forest and reach the Indian reservation of the Guna. Clean beaches and unspoiled nature can be found everywhere. The islands got their name from an old meeting point for pirates which was called "The Samballoes," which was convenient for hiding and privacy. The Guna community enjoys its own independent set of rules, unique culture and traditional clothing design which is called "La Mola that is being sold at the arts & crafts market in Panama City. One of the high lights of the day, will be the lunch at the Guna’s after which we will return to Panama City.

Overnight at hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn or similar – standard room

Day 5 – Panama City – Panama Canal - The Causeway – The Old City , Casco Viejo (Monday)

(Breakfast, dinner) After breakfast, we will visit the Panama Canal and the Miraflores gates to see the amazing sight of the ships crossing the Panama Canal, from and to the Pacific Ocean. The canal is starched over 80 kilometers from Panama City on the shore of the Pacific Ocean up to Colon at  the Atlantic Ocean  gives room for 14,000 ships to sail in the Canal every year. Then, – the old colonial city - Panama La Vieja - the historical first Spanish city that was built on the pacific coast. Visit the Casco Viejo- the old quarter with the presidential residence and the national Theater, the Barrio de San Felipe and a walk through the Plaza de la Independencia, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza de Bolivar, the "San Francisco of Asís Church’’, Albrook fortress and Balboa. We may meet the girls of the Guna who come to sell their arts and crafts which they bring from San Blas islands. Later visit Mi Pueblito to see the perfect restoration of some colonial buildings conveying the 3 cultures of Panama. Later on visit the Causeway – the new business area in Panama City made of an artificial road taken from the canal soil and connects between the 4 small islands in the Panama Canal, currently the most developed area the, Albrook Fortress and Balboa, part of Bella Vista commercial

area. At the end of the day, we will leave for La Pintada of Penonomé to see the farmers make Tabaco and the typical Panamanian hat.

Overnight at hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn or similar – standard room

Day 6 – Panama City - Antón Valley - La Pintada de Penonomé – Santiago (Tuesday)

(Breakfast, dinner) After breakfast, we will head to Anton Valley, which is located in the flat wide caldera of El Valle inactive Volcano. Later visit the Chorro El Macho reserve and watch the 30 meters length waterfall which according to an old legend it is enchanted. The area around town is one of the last habitats of the critically endangered. We will visit the town’s small zoo El Níspero, and watch the endangered species of the Panamanian golden frog and go to the public market which is the town’s main landmark. In the afternoon, visit La Pintada of Penonomé and see how the farmers make tobacco and the typical Panamanian hat.

Overnight at Mykonos Santiago Hotel or similar– standard room

NOTE: estimated driving time 3.5 hours

Day 7 – Santiago – El Trapiche – Coffee Tour – Boquete (Wednesday)

(Breakfast, dinner) Early morning we will leave for the Trapiche tour to see the production of sugar. We will watch the process of making brown sugar and other types of products which are made from the sugarcane. Then, visit Finca Dos Jefes at Boquete for a coffee tour, pick coffee beans and transport them to the grinding machine. If the season will allow, we will be able to see the coffee harvesting process. At the end of the day we will go to the viewpoint to overlook the Boquete area.

Overnight at hotel Ladera Boquete or similar - standard room

NOTE: estimated driving time 4 hours

Day 8 – Boquete – Arrival to Paso Canoas, Costa Rica – Manuel Antonio – National Park (Thursday)

(Breakfast, dinner) Today you arrive to the border between Panama and Costa Rica; once there you do all paperwork and change the bus, meet the Costa Rican guide and depart to the central pacific coast where Manuel Antonio is located. It is one of the most luxuriant locations in Costa Rica, with spectacular white-grey sandy beaches fringed by thickly forested green hills. Upon your arrival visit Manuel Antonio National Park which preserves beautiful beaches, the unique formation of the Punta Cathedral, mangroves, a set of offshore islands and a humid tropical forest. The park has four beaches, each with its special characteristics. A guide will take you through the park to see numerous species of butterflies, monkeys, raccoons, coatis, agoutis, two-toed sloths, snakes, orchids, etc.

Overnight at hotel Shana – Standard room

NOTE: estimated driving time 4.5 hours

Day 9 – Manuel Antonio – Crocodile – San Jose (Friday)

(Breakfast, kosher dinner) Today in the morning depart to central valley where San Jose is located. On the way, crocodile’s adventure takes place on the Tárcoles River, one of four rivers flowing out into the Nicoya Peninsula, and home to one of the world’s largest crocodile populations in the wild with individuals up to fifteen feet long. In addition to them, over fifty different kinds of birds can be seen on site, including the very rare scarlet macaw and a great variety of resident and migrant waterfowl. Iguanas and Jesus Cristo lizards are very common as well.

Overnight at hotel Corobici – Standard room

Note: estimated driving time 4 hours

Day 10 – San Jose (Saturday)

(Breakfast, kosher lunch, dinner) Today you have free day to share with your partners.

Overnight at hotel Corobici – Standard room

Day 11 – San Jose – Museum – Monteverde – Hanging Bridges – Bat Jungle (Sunday)

(Breakfast, dinner) Today in the morning visit the gold museum of Costa Rica and give a little walk around the place. Then depart towards Santa Elena & Monteverde area (which means "Green Mountain"). Breathtaking view of the Gulf of Nicoya and the islands below will accompany you while ascending the hills. The Monteverde reserve was founded in 1951 by a group of North American (Quakers) who live in a secluded on 1400 meter high plateau. Although some of the original virgin forest was cleared for dairy and coffee farming, the founders’ environmental consciousness, together with help from private organizations, founded a biological reserve that hosts one of the richest ecological systems in the country. Once you are there, start the day by walking on the hanging bridges of Monteverde - five bridges in total, the longest is around 984 feet. The trails extend for slightly over a mile and a half (2.5 km), making this tour extremely feasible for everyone. Then visit the Bat Jungle, it is an educational displays cover nearly every facet of a bat’s existence. Visitors will learn about the diversity and abundance of bats, where they roost and what they eat (including such things as fruit, nectar, insects, frogs, fish, birds, lizards and mice), and how their wings compare with the wings of birds. Echolocation is explained, as are the feeding habits of vampire bats.

Overnight at hotel El Establo – Deluxe room

NOTE: estimated driving time 4 hours

Day 12 – Monteverde – Arenal – Arenal Hike – Paradise Hot Springs

(Breakfast, lunch) Today go head to Arenal close to the Nicaraguan border. This region possesses beautiful and varied scenery. The lowlands host gushing rivers, hot springs, lagoons and plentiful wildlife. Upon your arrival enjoy this tour to the volcano hiking through the forest to get to the place where the lava used to flow, plants, wildlife and Arenal Lake. See the very place where the glowing rocks used to tumble down of the mountain. In the end of the day, enjoy the thermal water of Paradise hot springs for a few hours and dinner there.

Overnight at hotel Montaña de Fuego – Superior room

NOTE: estimated driving time 3.5 hours

Day 13 – Arenal – Don Juan – Chocolate Tour – Lands in love – Canopy (Monday)

(Breakfast, dinner) Today you will start at Finca Burío, five minutes from the town of La Fortuna. Owned by Don Juan, a traditional Costa Rican farmer which according to the participants just saying hi and talking to this character worth the tour! Don Juan will take you to a tour through his different tropical plantations, some of them not common or even unknown, and will explain how they been used for cooking, industrial use and for medical purposes. The design of the land and the plantation attracts all sorts of birds and other animals which you will be able to see throughout the tour and experience real rainforest wildlife on this farm! The tour continues to the “trapiche” where you will see first-hand the how to extract sugar from the sugar cane, drink fresh sugar cane juice, and learn about the process of making the “guaro”, the famous Costa Rican alcohol. Finish with a healthy, organic and delicious lunch. Later continue with the view of the majestic Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna of San Carlos, enjoy the sweetest rainforest experience, discovering the ancient secrets of chocolate: from its discovery and use, in tropical America, to the processing of the product we know and enjoy today. Considered as “a gift of the Gods”, the cacao tree was very important to the ancient culture, it was not only used as a ceremonial drink, but its seeds were also used as currency because of its economic value, in many regions of Mesoamerica, including Costa Rica. In this 2-hour

“hands on” program, you will have the opportunity to learn interesting aspects of cocoa and chocolate, from its origin and history, participating in all the production process, from the harvesting of the fruit, drying and grinding of the seed, also the developing of the traditional drink of our ancestors, and of course enjoying a high quality organic chocolate. Enjoy this journey through the history, culture, traditions and the flavor. At noon drive to Lands in love, hotel, and resort and adventure center right in the center of a cloud forest. Once there continue with the canopy tour, where you will see the forest from the top of the trees - more than 500 acres of forest. The tour includes 8 cables, 12 platforms, 3 trails, 1 hanging bridge and 1 Tarzan swing -total of 845m.

Overnight at hotel Aurola Holiday Inn - Standard

NOTE: estimated driving time 3.5 hours

Day 14 – Lands in love – Poas – La Paz – Airport (Tuesday)

(Breakfast) After breakfast, meet your private guide driver and leave towards Poás Volcano with its impressive main crater and its sulfur fumaroles and learn about the different ecosystems in this beautiful national park. Then a visit in La Paz waterfall gardens! Walk through a trail leading to a spectacular waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. Inside the park visit the hummingbird gallery, the serpentarium, the bird house, the butterfly garden and the frog’s exhibit. Then according to your int’l flight, depart to the Int’l airport.

NOTE: please notice that check in for international flights recommended to be done two hours prior departure. Estimated driving time 30 minutes

END OF SERVICES

This is a sample itinerary customized for each client.

Prices on request, please advice dates and number of people.

INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE:

Accommodation

5 nights at hotel Plaza Paitilla Inn

1 night at hotel Mykonos

1 night at hotel Ladera  

1 nights at hotel Shana  

2 nights at hotel Crown Plaza Corobici  

1 night at hotel El Establo  

1 night at hotel Montaña de Fuego 

1 night at Lands in love hotel & resort 

Meals

As specified in the program

Transportation:

Comfortable, modern minivan from days 1-14

Tours & Tours Packages – private local guide from days 1-14

·        Emberas community and Charges national park

·        San Blas tour - Guna community

·        Panama canal

·        The Causeway

·        The old city (Casco Viejo)

·        Anton Valley

·        La Pintada de Penonome

·        Trapiche tour

·        Coffee Tour

·        Manuel Antonio National Park

·        Crocodile Stop

·        San Jose City  Tour

·        Hanging Bridges

·        Bat Jungle

·        Arenal hike

·        Paradise hot springs

·        Don Juan farm

·        Chocolate tour

·        Canopy – Lands in love

·        Poas Volcano

·        La Paz waterfall

Does not include:

·        Personal expenses & tips

·        Optional tours and activities

Departure taxes ($29.00 per person at the time of quote)