Experience the Earth's most pristine ecosystems in the rainforests and islands of Costa Rica and Panama. Begin with one night in San José, Costa Rica, before embarking on a seven-night cruise along pristine beaches in azure waters en route to Panama City. Along the way, led by expert naturalists on trail walks, take in the vivid sounds and colors of richly diverse wildlife and rare species that call environments like Curú National Wildlife Refuge and Manuel Antonio National Park home.
Cap this unforgettable journey by witnessing one of the greatest feats of the modern age, the engineering ingenuity of the Panama Canal. On a rare and sought-after daytime transit, watch the mighty locks raise and lower ocean-going vessels 85 feet, relying on the force of gravity to achieve in mere hours what once involved a three-week circumnavigation of South America. Spend time in Panama City, and visit the UNESCO World Heritage-designated old town of Casco Antiguo.
An optional pre-tour extension affords extra time in San José with excursions near Arenal Volcano and to a chocolate workshop and award-winning coffee plantation. A post-tour extension in Panama gives travelers the chance to learn about Panama City's rich indigenous cultures, with visits to Panama La Vieja and the Agua Clara Visitor Center.
Optional Pre-Tour: San José, Costa Rica
Day 1: Depart US / Arrive San José, Costa Rica
Day 2: San José/Puntarenas / Embark Le Bellot
Day 3: Curú National Wildlife Refuge / Isla Tortuga
Day 4: Quepos for Manuel Antonio National Park
Day 5: Rio Seco Rainforest
Day 6: Cébaco Island, Panama
Day 7: Panama City
Day 8: Panama Canal Transit / Colón
Day 9: Colón/ Agua Clara Visitor Center (time permitting) / Panama City / Return to the U.S.
Optional Post-Tour: Panama extension
Lisa Baldez is Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Why Women Protest: Women’s Movements in Chile (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and Defying Convention: US Resistance to the UN Treaty on Women’s Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Defying Convention won the 2015 Victoria Schuck Award for best book on women and politics and 2015 best book on human rights from the American Political Science Association. She is one of the founding editors, with Karen Beckwith, of Politics & Gender, the official journal of the Women and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. From 2015-2018, she served as the Cheheyl Professor and Director of the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL). Dr. Baldez is the recipient of the 2019 Midwest Women’s Caucus for Political Science Outstanding Professional Achievement Award. She and her husband John Carey have two children, both Dartmouth grads: Joe Carey ’15 and Sam Carey ’18.
John Carey is the John Wentworth Professor in the Social Sciences and the Associate Dean of Faculty for the Social Sciences. He is a co-founder of BrightLineWatch.org, which monitors democratic performance, erosion, and resilience in the United States. He teaches classes on comparative politics, on Latin America, on democratic erosion, and on foreign aid. He is the author or co-author of six books and around 100 academic articles, mostly on elections, representation, and threats to democracy. He has consulted on electoral system reform in Nepal, Afghanistan, Jordan, Tunisia, Yemen, South Sudan, Israel, Mexico, Chile, El Salvador, Philippines, and Taiwan. In 2012, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.