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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2009, 02:19 PM
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panama took excursion visiting the locks,historical district[oldest church with gold altar]and lunch amongst downtown skyscrapers and beautiful skyline. was one of our best shore excursions of some 15 cruises.costa rica took a big off road truck[held 25 people]to banana plantation and rain forest was disapointed except seeing the poisonous tree frogs.booked both off carnival
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:52 PM
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Walrus, do you remember what the Panama excursion cost and what it was called on the Carnival site? This sounds like what we want.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:39 PM
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Has anyone done the Panama kayak excursion with carnival or another line ?
Or can anyone recomend a vendor/tour group Costa Rica

I'm interested in snorleling at Calhuita Beach in Costa Rica...anyone been ?
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:13 AM
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Hi Im doing Panama and Costa Rica in February, it was great to see the pictures and get the advice on what to do. The police escort sounds exciting - perhaps I had better make sure I do the trip with RCI just in case!
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cruisingUK:
Hi Im doing Panama and Costa Rica in February, it was great to see the pictures and get the advice on what to do. The police escort sounds exciting - perhaps I had better make sure I do the trip with RCI just in case!
That was the ship's tour
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 10-18-2009, 03:13 PM
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Papa -- I have never cruised to Costa Rica, but I have spent an extensive amount of time there - most of it on the Caribbean coast. We spend most of our time in a little town called Puerto Viejo which is about an hour drive south of Limon - we like it so much we even bought land there. Limon is a horrible place - dirty and a lot of crime. We lock our doors and get out as fast as possible. So I wouldn't recommend spending any time there. However, everything south of Limon is delightful. It is very easy to drive there and very easy to get around once you get out of Limon. I would really urge you to rent a car and go south of Limon. You might want to rent a GPS too just to get out of Limon. Roads are not marked well there. But there is only one major road going south, so it's no problem to follow it. In recent years the road has been repaired and is now in very good condition. We were just there last month with no problems. I believe you could probably hire a driver too, but we always drive ourselves.

The drive along the coast south of Limon is beautiful. If you have an entire day there, you'll have plenty of time to see all sorts of things. You can head south with either Puerto Viejo or Cahuita as your destination. Stop along the way (about half way) at the Sloth Sanctuary for an up-close, personal encounter with these amazing creatures. Skip the boring canoe trip there - just stop to see and touch the residents -- lots of photo ops and amazing information.

Head on south from there. You'll enter a national wildlife refuge. Don't let the armed guards worry you -- they are there to prohibit drug smuggling from Panama and to stop the smuggling of wildlife. They generally don't stop tourists at all. There is a national park at Cahuita with great facilities and gorgeous beaches. You can stroll along a well marked trail and see howler monkeys in the trees above you. We usually see iguanas too. The beaches are beautiful. If you are into snorkeling, you can pay a guide to take you out to the reef - it's too far out to go from the beach. They have markers on the bottom to tell you what you're looking at. It's a live reef with a lot of colorful coral and gorgeous fish -- just gorgeous. There are also good restaurants in Cahuita.

If you skip Cahuita and head on south, go to Puerto Viejo. The road will turn to dirt - just slow down and forge on -- its worth it! There is a hidden little surfer town with a vibe all its own. Lots of little shops and phenomenal restaurants. English is widely spoken there. You'll meet people from all over the world. Head on through town, just to the south to Playa Cocles. You'll see a little inn on your right called La Isla Inn -- stop for some good food or just a cold drink. The beach across the street is gorgeous and is the only one in the area with a lifeguard. You can rent surf boards or take a surf class if you're adventurous. There is surf most of the year.

Have Fun!
 
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