The Perfect “Costa Rica – Panama” Itinerary

Have you been thinking about visiting Costa Rica this year? But then, you came across our new Cayuga Collection Hotel Isla Palenque in Panama and are getting second thoughts? No problem. You can do both. Here are some ideas on how to do the Pacific Trail along the coast of Costa Rica and Panama.

View from your beachfront casita in Isla Palenque, Panama. You are just steps from a pristine beach.

If you plan a vacation of minimum 10 days in Central America, we can recommend a combo itinerary of Costa Rica and Panama. This is how you make it happen:

Choose the one or two Cayuga Collection Hotels that you would like to visit in Costa Rica. The hotels and lodges that combine with Isla Palenque due to relative proximity are Lapa Rios Lodge on the Osa Peninsula, Kura in Uvita and Arenas del Mar Resort in Manuel Antonio.

There are several ways to travel from those hotels and resorts to Isla Palenque. From Arenas del Mar it is about a 3 hour drive to the border. From Kura it is a 2 hour drive and from Lapa Rios a 2 hour combo of ground transfer and boat ride crossing the Golfo Dulce before you get to the border.

Leave the Driving to us
Leave the driving to us. The combination of Lapa Rios and Isla Palenque has become one of the most popular itineraries for our guests.

Our driver guides will assist you with the immigration formalities and on the Panamanian side, the Isla Palenque driver will meet you and take you to Boca Chica (about 2 hours) where you would get on a boat for a final 20-minute boat ride to Isla Palenque.

After a stay at Isla Palenque, some of our guests cross the border back to Costa Rica and possibly visit another Cayuga Collection Hotel. Others continue on to Panama City, visit the historic Center of Panama called Casco Viejo and then fly back to home from there (PTY).

The airport of David, Panama’s second largest city is only an hour from Boca Chica. We can also arrange charter flights from San Jose Costa Rica to David in case you are a bit short on time.

As so often in life, the journey is an important part of the experience. Travelling from a hotel in the south of Costa Rica to Isla Palenque is a great experience. If you need assistance in setting up this itinerary, send us a note to or visit

Kura Uvita
The combination of Kura and Isla Palenque is the “best of both worlds”. Spectacular views at Kura and beachfront at Isla Palenque.

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Andrea Bonilla

Co-Owner & VP Operations