DISCOVER THE DELIGHTS OF COSTA RICA
Make the two-hour drive to the coast to Quepos, the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica. The Marina Pez Vela is a perfect spot to moor your Sunseeker, as you prepare to embark on the eight-day itinerary which will see you encounter a host of colourful marine life, secluded islands, palm-shrouded beaches, and wild, restless rainforests.
First, Corcovado National Park, considered one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, is unmissable. Palm trees fringe the soft-sand coastline, rocky outposts framed by a host of colourful coral and marine life, mangrove lagoons, rainforest-lined beaches. It’s nature’s paradise, untrampled and raw, and still relatively unscathed.
Take the tender to shore and enjoy the palm studded beaches. Or, if you embark during whale-watching season in December-March, you would be hard-pressed not to find a pod of humpback whales playfully dancing in the sea during sunrise or sunset. To watch a great mammal of the ocean as it swims and glides past as the sun sets or rises, the skyline awash with red, purple, pink and, finally, a dark violent red as it dips or sets, is one of life’s greatest indulgences.
Next, cruise along the coastline and marvel at the luscious rainforests and canary-yellow dunes. On the mainland, even indulge in a horse-riding session to explore the rainforests. The next stop is Santa Catalina in Veraguas. Ensure you leave ample time for a stop here, the marinas are plentiful and there are apt facilities to enjoy your stay. However, day trips are essential, and Santa Catalina is a perfect spot to cast off and explore the Chiriquí Archipelago and, more importantly, Coiba Island.
Coiba Island is a special place and not to be missed. Reserved almost exclusively for nature lovers, Coiba is a world-class diving spot within Costa Rica, located on the same corridor as the Galapagos Islands and offers access to Bahia Damas Reef, the largest reef on the western coastline of the Americas. The marina life is plentiful, and a dive at any season will be met with wonder and awe; expect to be greeted by hammerhead sharks, manta rays and whales. From December to April is the whale shark season, the biggest fish in the ocean.
Dive over, ensure you take the time to head inland on the island. There are many hikes to be enjoyed, as well as over 147 species of birds, monkeys, crocodiles, and iguanas. Incredulously, surfers can indulge as well. The coastline boasts a good, consistent break, the best in Central America.
Coiba is just over an hour boat ride from Santa Catalina. Stay and enjoy the city, or continue along the coastline, even as far as Las Perlas Islands. These islands are famed for their crystal-clear waters, a haven for dolphins and turtles. There are over 200 islands in this inlet, the most famed and well-known are Del Ray and Contadora. There are various marinas to moor, along the coastline and in the islands. Pearl island Marina is secluded and quiet, or Marina Vista Mar.
Finally, Panama City. It is a place and city not to be missed. The city bustles with life and energy, a stark contrast to the languid and laid-back vibe from earlier in the trip. Palm trees are replaced with sky-rises, rainforests swapped for an urban jungle. Still, it is fun, and the Panamanians love to party. You will be spoiled for choice for nightlife options but try the Río Abajo district for local cuisine and finish the night at Santana, a very fun bar. If you need to revisit the more effortless and relaxed vibe from earlier in the trip, take a tour to the El Valle de Anton mountains, only a two hour ride from the city.
Costa Rica is a very special place. It is one of the richest biodiverse countries on Earth, and is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, or for those that need a break from the urban concrete jungle. Indulge and rewind, and, finally, finish with a few days in Panama City, a fun and vibrant place which is not to be missed.For Sunseeker enquiries in Costa Rica,
please contact Sunseeker Panama
T +507 391 0348