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Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Panama

tree frogs won’t be the only red-eyed species around!

Book from € 1,699.-
GROUP SIZE: 8-24 | 20 DAYS


Experience walking through verdant rainforests, gaze over smoking volcanoes and relax in hot sulphur springs on this exciting tour. Get acquainted with brilliant green tree frogs, energetic capuchin monkeys and intriguing iguanas before kicking back and indulging in some reggae relaxation. Nicaragua will appeal, with it's friendly people, colourful markets and Spanish colonial buildings. Panama has brilliant white beaches and colorful coral reefs. This varied journey is taken at a relaxed pace and offers plenty of freedom for your own exploration.

Travel documents


It is your responsibility to ensure you have a passport valid for at least 6 months after your return date.


It is your responsibility to ensure you have visas for travel, where required. Visa information can vary depending upon ones nationality but at present, most nationalities do not require a visa for any of the countries visited on this trip. We recommend checking this information well in advance of travelling through a site such as this one. To arrange your visa, you should either contact your nearest respective embassy or use an agency such as CIBT 



Accommodation and transport

During this tour we travel in a good, private air-conditioned bus, which allows us to stop off at places along the way. The bus is not available to the group on the free days in Granada. Transportation to and from Bocas del Toro is ​​by boat. The transfers to and from the airport are not included.

Travel distances
San José - Monteverde 155 Km/ 4 Hours
Monteverde - Granada  300 Km/ 7 Hours
Granada - Rincón de la Vieja 190 Km/ 5 Hours
Rincón de la Vieja - La Fortuna 155 Km/ 4 Hours
La Fortuna - Quepos  250 Km/ 5 Hours
Quepos - Boquete 300 km/ 7 Hours
Boquete - Bocas del Toro 190 Km/ 4 Hours
Bocas del Toro - Cahuita/Puerto Viejo 110 Km/ 4 Hours
Cahuita/Puerto Viejo - San José 200 Km/ 5 Hours

Please note that duration's are of course approximate and will depend on the local situation at the time.

You will stay in a range of accommodations. In Granada and San Jose, you have charming hotels, situated along the coast with beautiful gardens and sometimes a pool. These are simple but comfortable hotels with 2-person rooms and private bathrooms. In Rincón de la Vieja you sleep in a cosy lodge.
Travellers booking alone will share a 2-person room with a fellow traveller. We of course keep in mind to pair people of the same sex. It is possible to book a single room for the whole trip. If you wish to do this, please indicate so on your booking and a supplement will be charged.
A triple room is sometimes available on a request basis. Please keep in mind that this is a room with two double beds, which means the beds are shared.


Our tours are led by trained, local English speaking tour leaders. We know that our travellers appreciate being accompanied by these local tour leaders who, compared to their counterparts (living outside of the destination) have more detailed knowledge of their country. He/she knows the area well, can provide background information and ensure that the trip goes smoothly. He/she knows what to do if something were to go wrong, but is not a "walking encyclopedia". Therefore we would like to refer you to study a good travel guide (book) in advance of travel.

Your tour leader understandably expects a tip at the end, if she/he has completed the job well. Shoestring pay the tour guides a wage which is higher than that of most adventurous travel companies. Our guideline for tipping is between € 1, - and € 2, - per passenger per day (the equivalent thereof).


This holiday is classified as Category B

The difficulty of our travels varies greatly. Added to this is the fact that travel difficulty is a very personal perception. To give an impression of the difficulty of a particular holiday we have developed a classification system.

Category A: Light travel for everyone to do. Short distances, good hotels, travel at a slow pace.
Category B: For everyone to do as well. Sometimes long distances. Good hotels and camping facilities, sometimes an adventurous overnight experience, travel at a normal pace.
Category C: Good to do for anyone who prepares themself well and is flexible. There are tougher parts of the journey, such as longer distances or walking tours. Several nights can be spent in basic accommodation.
Category D: A relatively difficult journey, travelling long distances, often primitive accommodation or tents, and challenging walking tours.

The trip to Costa Rica is a Category B holiday. Any reasonably healthy individual can make it. During summer, the trip is considerably more difficult than the rest of the year. Although in the cities we stay in simple medium-priced hotels, you have to remember that you are travelling in a developing country with much lower living standards than you are used to at home. In addition, roads may be temporarily blocked because of the weather or owing to their state of repair, in which case a detour is unavoidable. Some journeys are very long. A flexible and positive attitude is just as important as a good physical condition.

Nature of the trip
Columbus named his discovery 'Rich Coast', which could not have been better chosen. This small country in the New World comprises a unique combination of rugged mountain peaks, active volcanoes, rainforests, tropical beaches and rich flora and fauna. Hummingbirds and brightly coloured tree frogs share the dense forests with jaguars, caimans and tapirs. We will be travelling at a relaxed pace and there will be numerous opportunities to set out on your own.


We know that travelling to remote corners of this planet has its effects. At Shoestring we really try to make an effort to keep our impact to a minimum. We try to avoid the use of plastic water bottles on our treks through Nepal and we do not dump our litter during our trips through Africa. All of our staff have been trained to take special care to ensure we make as little impact on the environment as possible. 

Furthermore we support a lot of local projects which are mostly related to clean drinking water or making sure that children get vaccinated against illnesses such as tuberculosis. On most tours you will be able to visit some of the projects we support through our local agents. Find out more about the different projects Shoestring are involved with, how you can make a difference and our environmental policies here


Travel insurance, including medical repatriation insurance, is mandatory. It is not included with our packages and it is your responsibility to purchase suitable travel insurance. Make sure that it covers all the activities that you are likely to undertake, such as rafting and trekking. Many ‘free’ insurances that come with banking packages, credit cards etc, are quite often inadequate to cover you on our tours, so make sure you check the policy before you travel. You should enter your travel insurance details via your my.shoestring account and you are required to give a copy of your insurance policy to your tour leader upon arrival. Without proper insurance like this, you will not be allowed to join the tour as we will not be able to respond adequately in case of an emergency if you do not have the right insurance.


Shoestring International
Entrada 223
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht, The Netherlands.                    

You can call us on number +31 20 6850203 or +44 (0)1306 744797 and email us at           

Opening hours Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM (Local times in Netherlands).

Country information

More country information about Costa Rica

More country information about Nicaragua

More country information about Panama

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Costa Rica

Frequently asked questions about Nicaragua

Frequently asked questions about Panama

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