- Visit the Darien Jungle -UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Hike or ride on horse-back in the Corcovado National Park, one of the richest eco zones in Central America
- Look for howler and spider monkeys in the Curu Wildlife Refuge
- Visit Nicaragua’s oldest city Granada and Leon, its former capital
- Visit Mayan sites in El Salvador
Day 1 — Panama City, Panama
Embark Silver Explorer and meet some of your fellow travellers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board. After settling in a mandatory safety drill will have to be attended. Later your Expedition Leader will introduce some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. At dinner and while we sail out of Panama City you will be able to see the spectacular scenery of the Bridge of the Americas , the “Biomuseo”, designed by Frank Gehry, and Panama City’s illuminated skyline.
Day 2 — Bay of San Miguel, Darien Jungle, Panama
The Darien Jungle is remote and has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. This morningSilver Explorerwill anchor in the Bay of San Miguel. We will explore this pristine area by Zodiac or local canoe, navigating up the tidal Mogue River. The Darien Jungle is rarely visited by outsiders (fewer than 1,000 tourists visit each year).
As the Darien Jungle is recognised as one of the world’s top ten birding sites, we hope to see many different bird species such as the colourful Crimson-collared Tanager, Green and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Rufous-tailed and Snow-bellied Hummingbirds, whimbrels, White Ibises and egrets, as well as Laughing Gulls.
Day 3 — Isla Parida, Panama
Making full use of our small, manoeuvrable ship and our Zodiacs, we hope to land at this remote part of Panama for a hike through the rainforest. This island is part of the Chiriquí Marine Sanctuary. Our onboard Naturalists will point out the local flora and search for signs of wildlife during a walk ashore. Just offshore from this nature preserve, a rocky headland provides an ideal spot for snorkelling. Join the onboard Marine Biologist and learn to identify damsel fish, jacks, surgeon fish, trumpet fish, parrot fish, trigger fish and whitetip reef sharks. Take this opportunity to relax on the beach and enjoy true Silversea hospitality as your butlers serve fresh fruit skewers and a variety of cocktails.
Day 4 — Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica
Today we have the opportunity to visit Santuario Silvestre de Osa – the only wildlife sanctuary and rescue centre in Golfo Dulce that devotes all of its efforts to the care and rehabilitation of rainforest animals. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of orphaned and injured animals, including howler monkeys, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, white-faced capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, toucans, parrots and two-toed sloths. The other option is to visit the famous gardens of Casa Orquideas (Orchid House). There are more than 100 varieties of orchids and while strolling through the gardens, tanager, toucans and parrots can usually be seen.
Day 5 — Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
To be able to see the different faces of the Corcovado National Park and its surrounding forest reserves, wildlife refuges and wetlands, we go ashore in Bahia Drake. At Bahia Drake there will be two options to explore the national park: you can go horseback riding along the beach to enter the jungle, looking for Scarlet Macaws, finally reaching a lookout point to see Isla Cano, a biological reserve, in the distance. If you prefer to be active yourself, then enjoy the tranquility while you walk the trails of the pristine forest. Accompanied by local naturalist guides you will explore forest, seashore, fresh water ponds and gardens. Learn about the birds, butterflies, flowers and native flora and walk across a hanging bridge to a 30 meters high platform to immerse yourself into this peaceful green world.
Day 6 — Curu National Wildlife Refuge, CostaRica Curu National
Wildlife Refuge is located on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of northwestern Costa Rica. We go ashore by Zodiac to explore this area teaming with abundant wildlife and one of the most unspoiled beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula. Curu National Wildlife Refuge is managed sustainably to produce profit and employment through low level cattle grazing and the harvest of tropical fruits, while at the same time protecting otherwise threatened forested habitats such as mangroves, tropical moist and dry forests, and coral reefs. Some 200 species of birds thrive in the area and during a walk we will look for Scarlet Macaws, Rufous-tailed hummingbirds and Blue-gray Tanagers, as well as capuchin and howler monkeys.
Day 7 — Puerto Quepos, Costa Rica
We go ashore by Zodiac to the port of Quepos. The small town of Quepos is close to Costa Rica’s most popular gem, Manuel Antonio National Park, which is where we want to begin the day’s exploration. Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most stunning and bio-diverse areas of the world. Spread out over 683 hectares it is filled with diverse wildlife, has both primary and secondary forests, boasts a stunning shoreline ideal for bird watching or swimming, and is home to a number of endemic species of plants and animals including iguanas, sloths, squirrel monkeys, colourful crabs, and the ceiba tree, which, according to ancient Mayan culture, is the tree of life that links us to the spirit world. Together with our Costa Rican naturalist guides we will stroll through the exotic, bio-diverse tropical rainforests hoping to encounter monkeys and sloths as they traverse the tree canopy, and listen to the songs of the multitude of birds. Alternatively,enjoy a cruise through the mangroves, considered to be an important ecosystem packed with hundreds of species of marine and land animals. Aboard a sturdy vessel designed for this type of cruising, you will be taken around shifting sandbanks to reveal the animals, insects and plants that lie hidden from the untrained eye. We will pass through wide lagoons where many species of seabirds can be observed, and round narrow passages, hoping for a chance to encounter white-collared capuchin monkeys.
Day 8 — San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur is a small coastal town of roughly 8,000 inhabitants that has become somewhat of a tourist attraction with its many fishing boats in the bay and surf spots nearby. San Juan del Sur is the starting point for excursions to Granada, Nicaragua’s oldest colonial city, to see the cathedral and convent of San Francisco, and to Lake Nicaragua. Less than 12 miles separate the Pacific Ocean from Lake Nicaragua and this is where a channel would have been built instead of the Panama Canal, had it not been for the very active volcanoes found in and near the lake. Several options for excursions exist. During a cruise on the lake some of the more than 360 small islands that dot the lake can be seen. These mostly uninhabited islands are home to exotic plants and animals.
Day 9 — Corinto, Nicaragua
Just south of El Salvador’s Gulf of Fonseca and west of Lake Xolotlán is the port of Corinto. Some 20 miles to the east is Leon, Nicaragua’s second-largest city. Today we have the opportunity to visit this former capital of Nicaragua. Next to Managua Leon is the intellectual centre of the country. Apart from having Central America’s second-oldest university, the amount of colonial buildings, including its 18th century cathedral, the many churches and residential houses, rivals those of Granada. The tomb of Ruben Dario, one of Central America’s most important poets, is also found in Leon. You could also opt to visit Finca Emma, the country's largest banana plantation.
Days 10-11 — La Union, El Salvador
Entering the Gulf of Fonseca and its sidearm the Bahia de La Union, Silver Explorer will go alongside in La Union, El Salvador’s second-most important harbour. During the two days we have the opportunity to visit a coffee mill and one of the most beautiful natural protected areas of El Salvador: "The Alegria Lagoon". Another option is the visit of Guatajiagua to discover one of the very few indigenous settlements remaining in the country and a vist to the Perquin War Museum.
We will also visit Jiquilisco Bay, a hidden treasure of the Pacific. We will have the opportunity to explore the many side arms and beautiful channels of the bay to appreciate an exotic variety of mangroves. Another option will be to visit Central America’s largest cacao plantation in San Jose Real de la Carrera. You can not only see the plantation, but also the plant for processing, drying and fermenting cacao, and can taste the fruit and have a cup of hot chocolate.
Day 12 — Acajutla, El Salvador
Acajutla is El Salvador’s main harbour and the perfect jumping point for excursions to Mayan sites, spectacular nature and colonial towns and villages. El Salvador’s important Mesoamerican sites visited today on a full day tour include Joya de Cerén, a pre-Hispanic farming community that was buried under an eruption of the Laguna Caldera volcano declared a UNESCO World heritage Site , and the important political and religious centres of San Andrés and Tazumal. North of Acajutla is the El Imposible National Park. This area with the highest diversity of wildlife is the largest ecoregion in El Salvador and has been put on the UNESCO World heritage tentative list. Coffee used to be transported through a perilous gorge, resulting in the name “the impossible”. Coffee is still grown in the area and we can visit one of the plantations.
Day 13 — Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
Disembark the Silver Explorer after breakfast.