Wild Isles: Discovering Costa Rica on board explorer yacht Plan B

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Quepos City

Famous for verdant rainforests and exotic flora and fauna, Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline down to Panama is a wonderland for nature lovers. This itinerary by Ian Garaty, skipper of Plan B, is packed with deserted islands, spellbinding snorkelling and plenty of chances to see the elusive three-toed sloth.

Day 1: Quepos City

Fly into Juan Santamaría Airport in San José and make the scenic two hour drive to meet Plan B in coastal Quepos City, gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park, renowned for its mangrove lagoons and rainforest-lined beaches. Enjoy a private tour of the forests and try to spot capuchin monkeys and three-toed sloths. Later, sip sunset cocktails on Plan B’s vast socialising area on her third deck.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Matyas Rehak

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Corcovado National Park

Overnight, Plan B will cruise 95nm south to the tropical fjord of Golfo Dulce on the Osa Peninsula. Awake in the Corcovado National Park and take a horse riding tour to see the rainforest and white sand beaches. Go out in the tender during humpback whale watching season (December to March and July to November), when the shallow, protected waters are a popular breeding ground.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Malgorzata Drewniak

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Coiba Island

Cross over into Panama by cruising another 100nm toward the Chiriqui Archipelago, arriving at the coral-fringed Coiba Island. Snorkel with the vast array of marine life including sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and manta rays. Three-toed sloths have been spotted swimming here. Sleep under the stars on the spa pool deck, where the crew will convert a sunlounger into a king size bed.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Andaman

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Los Santos Province

Break up the 170nm journey to the Las Perlas islands by stopping halfway at Los Santos province. Spend the afternoon trying to catch marlin, sailfish and yellowfin tuna. Later, Plan B’s chef will cook the catch.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Alfredo Maiquez

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Isla Cañas & Isla Iguana

In the morning, guests can head to Isla Cañas for a jungle zip-lining adventure, where eight lines offer panoramic views and the chance to spot monkeys as you fly by. Alternatively, Plan B can anchor off the wildlife refuge of Isla Iguana, great for paddleboarding and kayaking, before heading on towards the Las Perlas islands.

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Las Perlas Islands

Arrive at the Las Perlas islands, which are famous for their protected crystal blue waters that are teeming with dolphins and turtles. The main islands of Del Ray and Contadora are frequented by tourists but there are more than 200 others to explore. Enjoy a beach set up with a barbecue and water toys on one of the Robinson Crusoe-style beaches.

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Panama City

Go for a final paddleboard from the aft deck before a farewell lunch during the 40nm cruise to Panama City for the international airport. Or, if you want to continue the adventure, extend your trip and transit the Panama Canal.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com / Rodrigo Cuel

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