You’ve Never Seen Central America Like This
I’ve been back from my UnCruise Adventures Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys and Mangroves itinerary aboard the Safari Voyager in Costa Rica and Panama for two weeks now. I always like writing recaps a few weeks after the fact, as it lets the memories and facts gel together to get a better picture of what this full cruise was really like. And, over the course of a week, I came to the conclusion that UnCruise does Costa Rica and Panama every bit as well as the company’s bred-and-butter itineraries in Alaska.
The full journey:
Safari Voyager – Costa Rica & Panama
|Day 1||Arrival in San Jose, Costa Rica & Embarkation in Puerto Caldera|
|Day 2||Manuel Antonio National Park, CR|
|Day 3||Curu National Park, CR|
|Day 4||Oso Peninsula, CR|
|Day 5||Golfo Dulce & Golfito, CR|
|Day 6||Isla de Coiba, Panama|
|Day 7||Transiting the Panama Canal|
|Day 8||Disembarkation, post-cruise Panama City stay and recap.|
Post-Cruise at the Hotel Bristol
It’s worth briefly touching on my post-cruise stay at the Hotel Bristol in Panama City. It’s my second time staying at the hotel, which is a wonderful property located in the heart of the city’s financial district. I’d heartily recommend anyone booking this voyage with UnCruise should take advantage of their post-cruise add-on at the Bristol, in order to spend some time exploring Panama City.
It’s also worth going here and staying for a night because the transfer from the ship will drop you off here anyhow before continuing on to the airport for those with early-morning flights. The downside, of course, is that you won’t be able to get into your room at 9am, but I’ve had success both times being able to get my room around 1:00 pm if you visit the front desk and ask nicely. Luggage storage is available for no charge.
Also noteworthy at the hotel: the Salsipuedes Bar and Restaurant, just off the right of the main lobby, are fantastic. Authentic Panamanian cuisine is offered here, and the small, clubby bar adjacent to it offers up a wide variety of Panamanian beers and liquors. Hemingway would have definitely approved of this place.
The only downside to what was an otherwise enjoyable one-night stay: sound from a nearby disco bleeds into the rooms on the second floor badly. Expect to hear lots of loud, thumping bass until the wee hours of the morning. I was so exhausted I fell asleep anyway, but if you’re a light sleeper, ask for a room on a higher floor – or bring earplugs.
Who Is This Cruise Great For?
If you want to see the Panama Canal by small-ship in an all-inclusive environment, this one is a no-brainer. Despite the fact that my voyage was on the second run ever for UnCruise in Costa Rica, the line is already showing an exceptionally high level of polish, both on-land and onboard.
Obviously, if you love nature and being outdoors, this is the cruise for you. The opportunities for hikes, walks, and trail strolls suitable for all activity levels are abundant. If you love wildlife, it’s hard to n
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