Central America and Panama Canal Cruises


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Adventure in paradise


Forget Indiana Jones; with verdant rainforests, myriad Mayan ruins and several diverse influences conspiring to coax all comers, unearthing your own treasure on a cruise to Central America requires minimal effort. All who set foot here will be smitten with the natives’ charm and traditions.

The wildlife alone is worth the visit to Central America – exploring this vast network of jungle canopies, you may be pleasantly interrupted by the howl of an adorable capuchin monkey here, the shrill squawk of a scarlet macaw there, or accompanied by inquisitive sea turtles during a foray into gorgeous coral reefs.

Cruises to Mexico have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the country steadily gaining a reputation as one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting holiday destinations. Whether you are most enamoured with busy urban centres or cool and relaxed beaches, you will find that this nation has something to offer you.

Cozumel is an island in Mexico with plenty to recommend. With an intriguing mix of quiet authentic neighbourhoods that exist alongside tourist-friendly playgrounds, Cozumel is known for its outstanding diving opportunities. Aldora is one of the best dive shops on the island. Here, they offer full-day excursions to caves with sleeping sharks, fishing opportunities and a trip to a lagoon with Maya ruins.

On the southern tip of the Mexican peninsula that borders California, Cabo San Lucas is home to dramatic coastline, protected marine reserves and fun-filled bars. Much like Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas has many great diving areas. Roca Pelícano, the sealion colony off Land’s End is a fantastic spot to scuba dive while Playa del Amor is great for snorkelling.

The port of Costa Maya was purpose-built for fun… with a touch of Mexican fiesta added for good measure. Costa Maya is just 30 miles south of Cancun and offers a perfect juxtaposition of old and new. Ancient Mayan ruins sat untouched for thousands of years but now act as a popular tourist attraction. Constructed in 700AD, Chacchoben is one of the oldest Mayan ruins. Walk the circular path to see all three excavated and restored pyramids, as well as many walls and staircases.


Unique plant and animal species and memories that will last a lifetime await you on your cruise to Panama and Costa Rica. As much as the land captivates, it’s impossible to overlook taking a cruise to Panama Canal, which tends to steal the headlines. Built in 1914, this stupendous feat of engineering conveniently bonds the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and makes cruising this region a blessing.

Costa Rica, a biologically diverse treasure trove with extraordinarily vibrant birds, inquisitive primates and reef-dwelling marine life. Explore the lush rainforests, mangrove swamps, numerous volcanoes and crystalline waters of this Central American isthmus, then meet the laidback ‘Ticos’ locals that call it home. White-water rafting is a very popular attraction in Costa Rica. Head to the Turrialba area (which is elevated 650m above sea level) for the best white-water rafting experience.

Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala’s largest port. Drive into the mountains to beautiful old Antigua, once the country’s colonial capital and discover its lovely bougainvillea draped buildings and breath-taking views of emerald volcanoes. Travel to famed Lake Atitlan and step back in time as you encounter the indigenous people in all their finery still living along the lakeshore. Or better yet, fly to Flores and experience the magnificent and enigmatic Mayan temples and palaces of the Tikal complex, surrounded by jungle.