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Panama City to Antigua
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An adventurous overlanding journey is a fantastic way to explore the traveller's paradise of Central America! This incredible trip will take you some of the continent's best highlights, as well as taking in plenty of hidden gems and unique experiences! This adventure takes us through the heartland of the vibrant string of countries between Guatemala and Panama. We start in the beautiful colonial town of Antigua, and journey into the rarely-visited country of El Salvador, with its diverse plant and animal life and a landscape shaped by volcanic activity. We'll visit the spectacular Mayan ruins of Copn in Honduras, and then head over to the tropical island paradise of Roatn where we have the chance to go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters! We then overland into the magnificent country of Nicaragua, where we explore the cultural hubs of Lon and Granada before seeing the breathtaking sight of the Masaya Volcano and have the opportunity to trek around the stunning island of Ometepe. We then journey to Costa Rica, where we have the chance to go rafting of visiting the thermal springs at La Fortuna before moving onto the dense cloud forests of Monteverde and the jungle and beach paradise of Manuel Antonio National Park. Finally, we cross into Panama and explore the outdoor activitiy hub of Boquete before finishing this epic trip in the buzzing capital of Panama City.

Latin America

Duration: 28 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Hiking, Caving, Canoeing, Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Trekking, Boating Physical rating: Light
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 60.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158237
Starts: Panama City, Panama Finishes: Antigua, Guatemala
You will visit
  • Panama City
  • Santa Clara
  • Boquete
  • Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Monteverde
  • La Fortuna
  • Ometepe Island
  • Granada
  • Masaya National Park
  • León
  • Lake Yojoa
  • Roatán
  • Copán
  • Suchitoto
  • Cerro Verde National Park
  • Los Cobanos
  • Antigua

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Panama City

Border information: if you are starting in Panama City, you will most likely enter Panama at Panama City Tocumen International Airport (IATA code: PTY).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Until the meeting, the rest of the day is free to explore the busting Panamanian capital. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Panama City before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Panama City.

If you are continuing on from Cartagena today then your leader in Colombia will assist you with transport to the airport for your included flight to arrive in Panama in time for the joining meeting.

In Panama City we will stay in a local hotel in the Bella Vista district.

02

Day 2: Panama City

Today we will drive to the Miraflores Visitor Centre at the world-famous Panama Canal, learning all about its controversial history and incredible role in shaping trade and world politics in the 20th century. After our included visit we will drive to the small coastal town of Santa Clara.

In Santa Clara we will camp in the grounds of a guesthouse, about 10 minutes' walk from the beach.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3-4: Boquete

Today we will drive up into the Chiriqui highlands, arriving at the town of Boquete.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to take part in some of the many optional outdoor activities which the town is famous for, including the opportunity to take the strenuous trek to the 3,478m summit of Volcán Barú, the highest point in Panama.

In Boquete we will stay in a local hostel, with a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

04

Day 5-6: Manuel Antonio National Park

Border information: Exit Panama at Paso Canoas, enter Costa Rica at Paso Canoas

Today we will drive across the border into Costa Rica, and arrive at the spectacular beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

On the following day we will have an include guided walk through some of the beautiful trails within park, learning all about its flora and fauna and immersing ourselves in the idyllic landscape. We will have free time in the afternoon to take part in some optional activities or relax on the wonderful beaches.

In Manuel Antonio we will stay in a hostel near the beach, with a mixture of private rooms and dormitories.

05

Day 7-8: Monteverde

Today we will drive to the town of Tilarán, where we will leave our overland vehicle behind and transfer by taxi to the dense cloud forests and coffee plantations of Monteverde, a stunning area offering an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided walk on the trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest National Reserve, followed by a free afternoon to visit some of the town's highlights or enjoy some adventurous activities such as canyoning or horse riding.

In Monteverde we will stay in a local hotel.

06

Day 9-10: La Fortuna

Today we will continue by taxi and boat to La Fortuna, a stunning town under the shadow of the mighty Arenal volcano. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to take optional treks through the incredible surrounding volcanic landscapes or forest canopies, or get involved in many different adventure activities such as zip-lining, white-water rafting, and canyoning. La Fortuna is also famous for its outstanding hot springs, which we will have the opportunity to visit.

In La Fortuna we will stay in excellent cabanas outside of town.

07

Day 11-12: Ometepe Island

Border information: Exit Costa Rica at Peñas Blancas, enter Nicaragua at Peñas Blancas

This morning we drive across the Nicaraguan border and to the small town of San Jorge on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Central America's largest lake. Here we will board a ferry to the stunning volcanic island of Ometepe, where we base ourselves in the port village of Moyogalpa and enjoy free time to explore on arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

On the following day we will have free time to explore and take part in optional activities such as the challenging trek to the summit of the Concepción volcano that dominates the island, or seeing some of the mysterious ancient petroglyphs that are dotted through the landscape.

On Ometepe we will stay in a small local hotel.

08

Day 13-14: Granada

Today we will take the ferry back to San Jorge to rejoin our overland vehicle and take a short drive to Nicaraguas's oldest city of Granada, a beautiful town which oozes with colonial charm! We will have free time to explore the city upon arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the historic streets of Granada's old town, or take part in some of the myriad of optional activities that are available here.  

In Granada we will stay in a centrally-located hostel, which has a mixture of private and dormitory rooms.

09

Day 15-16: Masaya National Park

Today we drive to the university town of León. En route we will have an included visit to the traditional markets in the small town of Masaya, and witness the incredible active caldera of the nearby Masaya volcano (if its volcanic activity isn't too high).

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the town's wonderful colonial architecture or to take part in the many optional activities available here.

In León we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

10

Day 17: Lake Yojoa

Border information: Exit Nicaragua at Las Manos, enter Honduras at Las Manos.

Today we will have a a full day's drive across the border into Honduras and to the beautiful countryside of Lake Yojoa.

In Lake Yojoa we will camp for the night in the grounds of a lodge and brewery.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).

11

Day 18-20: Roatán

Today we will take a short drive to the town of San Pedro Sula and board a short local flight to Roatán, the largest of the famous tropical Bay Islands. On arrival we will transfer to the area of the West End Bay, where we base ourselves for our stay. 

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

On the following 2 days we will enjoy lots of free time to take part in the wealth of optional activities available on Roatán, and of course to relax and swim on the stunning Caribbean beaches here!

In Roatán we will stay in a local hotel near the beach.

12

Day 21-22: Copán

Today we will start early to transfer back to Roatán's airport and catch our flight back to the mainland, rejoining the Dragoman Bus! We will then continue our journey west through Honduras, arriving at the small village of Copán.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included guided visit to the spectacular Mayan ruins of Copán, followed by a free afternoon to explore some of the other highlights in the area.

In Copán we will stay in a local hotel.

13

Day 23: Suchitoto

Border information: Exit Honduras at El Florido, enter Guatemala at El Florido. Exit Guatemala at Anguiatú, enter El Salvador at Anguiatú.

Today we will have a full day drive into Guatemala and then through to El Salvador, arriving at the beautiful town of Suchitoto.

In Suchitoto we will stay in dormitory rooms at the Centro Arte Para La Paz community centre, which runs many programs for the local communities to build cultural identity, unity, teaching skills, self-sufficiency, environmental equality and a culture of peace.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

14

Day 24: Cerro Verde National Park

Today we will spend the morning in Suchitoto to have the chance to explore the town with its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, and to learn about the incredible work of the Dragoman-supported community centre in which we stay.

In the afternoon we will drive to the stunning Cerro Verde National Park, where we will be surrounded by awe-inspiring volcanoes and countryside.

In Cerro Verde National Park we will camp with basic facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

15

Day 25-26: Los Cobanos

This morning we will spend some time in Cerro Verde National Park to give us the opportunity to take an optional guided trek up the nearby Santa Ana volcano (approximately 4 hours).

In the afternoon we will take a short drive to the Pacific coast and the small fishing village of Los Cobanos, a charming town well off the tourist trail.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to relax on the coast and take part in optional activities such as boating trips through the mangroves and walks along the beach in search of nesting turtles!

In Los Cobanos we will stay in a hotel on the beach.

16

Day 27: Antigua

Border information: Exit El Salvador at La Hachadura, enter Guatemala at Ciudad Pedro de Alvarado.

Today we will cross the Guatemalan border to arrive in the stunning colonial city of Antigua. The rest of the day is free to explore the beautiful colonial city and its dramatic surroundings.

In Antigua we will stay in a delightful colonial hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

17

Day 28: Antigua

Border information: if leaving in Antigua, you will most likely exit Guatemala at Guatemala City La Aurora International Airport (IATA code: GUA).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Antigua. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit the world-famous Panama Canal at the Miraflores Visitors' Centre, and learn all about the fascinating history of this controversial structure
    • Take a guided walk through the stunning trails of Manuel Antonio National Park, finishing at the world-class tropical beaches where you can swim and relax
    • Take a guided trek to explore the stunning forest trails of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, learning all about the fascinating and beautiful ecosystem there
    • Visit the dramatic crater rim of the active Masaya volcano between León and Granada
    • Visit the traditional markets in Masaya village, famous for its local handicrafts
    • Enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent ancient Mayan ruins of Copán
    • Visit the spectacular volcanic landscape of Cerro Verde National Park, one of El Salvador's gems
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman Overland crew plus local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 10% Camping - 90% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Caving
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • R & R
  • Snorkelling & Diving


Reviews (5)
Paul L . Posted on: 

Really enjoyed the journey and thought the drivers/guides were great.

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Douglas P. Posted on: 

Tony was a top chap!

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Lara S. Posted on: 

Betsy was awesome, everything had its place and it was surprisingly tidy.

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Margaret L. Posted on: 

Both crew were excellent and kind and considerate to people's needs and wishes. Could not have asked for better.

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Sally M. Posted on: 

Zoe and Tony made an excellent team.

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