Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions

Each expedition is crafted to offer you the most in-depth experience of Costa Rica possible and maximize your time in the company of this region's immensely rich biodiversity. Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and we will change course or linger in our expedition landing craft to take advantage of amazing birds and marine life sightings. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.


  • DAY 1: San José, Costa Rica/Puerto Caldera/Embark

    Upon arrival in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, transfer by land to Puerto Caldera and embark our ship the National Geographic Sea Lion or National Geographic Quest. Enjoy a sunset dinner onboard as we chart a course for the Guanacaste region on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. (D)

  • DAY 2: Bat Islands/Santa Rosa National Park

    Today we set our sights on the Bat Islands in the World Heritage-designated Guanacaste Conservation Area. Weather permitting, don a snorkel and fins to discover a rich underwater world, spotting rays, turtles, and tropical fish. Back onboard, enjoy a delicious lunch as our ship glides into a secluded cove in Santa Rosa National Park. The first park established in Costa Rica, Santa Rosa is home to countless bird species, including toucans, ospreys, and parrots. Venture out by kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore the coastline or relax on a white-sand beach. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 3: Cuajiniquil/Rincón de la Vieja National Park

    After an optional morning yoga session, go ashore to explore Rincón de la Vieja National Park, encompassing more than 34,000 acres and housing two active volcanoes. Hike through a dense green woodland, dotted with bubbling mud pots, keeping an eye out for exotic and rare wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, emerald toucanets, and the curious kinkajou. Soak in the Rio Negro hot springs or choose between several exciting excursions. Ride horseback across lush meadows, strap on a harness for a canyoning expedition, or soar through the canopy by zipline. If you wish, explore archaeological sites around Hacienda Guachipelín, featuring ancient petroglyphs and tomb markers. (B,L,D)


    **Please note: National Geographic Sea Lion will sail to Nicaragua overnight where necessary immigration requirements will be completed prior to returning to Costa Rica on Day 4. 

  • DAY 4: Zapotal Beach/Tamarindo

    Drop anchor off remote Zapotal Beach, where we’ll spend the morning soaking up the sun, snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, and exploring the coastline by kayak or paddleboard. Head off in search of local flora and fauna with our naturalists, then return to the ship for lunch. Cruise south to the surfing town of Tamarindo, where we hop into expedition landing crafts to explore a coastal maze of dense mangrove forests. Navigate a secluded estuary where crocodiles and sloths can be spotted. Or, choose to spend the day relaxing on the beach or strolling the streets of Tamarindo, lined with craft shops and cafés. (B/L/D)

  • DAY 5: Curu National Wildlife Refuge/Isla Tortuga

    Along the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, delve into a hotspot of biodiversity at Curu National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica’s first private national wildlife reserve. Learn about the hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, and mammals that inhabit this thriving ecosystem while exploring the park’s winding trails. Later, as we enjoy lunch onboard, cruise to a cluster of offshore islets collectively called Isla Tortuga, named for their turtle-like shape. Explore idyllic white-sand beaches shaded by swaying palms and tropical vegetation. Cap off the day with a sunset barbecue dinner on the beach. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Puerto Caldera/Disembark/San José/US

    Disembark after breakfast in Puerto Caldera. Drive to the airport in San José for flights home. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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