In our last journey, we introduced you to luxury cruise destinations Tahiti, South America, Russia, China and Egypt.
Now as promised, here we are to take you on a virtual trip to Egypt, West Caribbean and Central America so that you choose your favorite exotic destination among 7 options. So fasten your seat belts as our first destination is Western Caribbean.
Exotic Western Caribbean Cruises:
When you talk about English literature, you cannot ignore Shakespeare. Similarly, when you talk about luxury cruises, you cannot ignore Caribbean.
Islands in the Western Caribbean are by far more convenient to reach during three-, four-, five- or even seven-day cruises from ports like Tampa, Mobile, New Orleans and Galveston. Most of the ports in this region are unfamiliar and thus exotic to the majority of Americans.
The increasing popularity of Panama Canal transits has also created a need for new ports take the pressure off the Caribbean-side standby’s of Aruba, Curacao and the San Blas Islands. And so, the industry began casting about for new destinations to please the legion of frequent “been there, done that” cruisers.
What are the cruises available for the Western Caribbean Region?
You can choose from many cruises including a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises etc.
Central America cruises:
Central America is exotic because of the fascinating Maya Civilization that predicted the Doomsday of 21 DEC 2012. Following is the list of exotic ports in Central America:
1. Belize City:
Formerly British Honduras, the country of Belize is sandwiched between Mexico‘s Yucatan Peninsula and Honduras. The three countries share the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and understandably draw scuba divers from around the world. Belize has numerous sites appropriate for snorkeling. Most ships offer snorkeling as a supervised shore excursion.
Several cruise lines offer scuba diving excursions here for certified divers, though at the time this article was completed only NCL offered “Discover Scuba” (a supervised dive with instruction for uncertified divers) in Belize.
Belize has a lot to offer to those people as well who are not interested in diving. Non-divers can go to Cave tubing, where they ride inner tubes on a river crossing underneath a range of hills through a series of caves. Cave tubing is offered by most if not all lines calling here, as are zip-line canopy tours.
Central America was the home of classic Mayan civilization, and there are ruins to visit, most notably at Xunantunich, Cahal Pech and Altun Ha. Most cruise lines combine two of these experiences for all-day excursions, i.e., zip-line and cave tubing, or cave tubing and Mayan ruins.
The Mayan ruins at Tikal in Guatemala are one of the top two sites in the world, because Central America was the heart of “Classic Maya” civilization.
Holland America Line offers Tikal (reachable by air) as a Belize City shore excursion.
2. Roatan, Honduras
Roatan is one of Honduras’ Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahia). The Bay Islands are an above-water adjunct to the barrier reef that is their key tourism draw.
There is history here as well; Dominica and Roatan where the destination of the forced migration of the last remnants of the Carib Indians. The Roatan contingent, finding little to keep them on the island, eventually dispersed throughout the mainland.
Ecology and geology draw more visitors to Roatan than history. Come and experience the shore excursions, exploring the forest canopy, including what has become the ubiquitous zip-line experience, kayaking, visiting Gumbalimba Park, or just kicking back on Tabyana Beach.
Apart from diving and dolphin experiences, the main attraction is Roatan‘s seminal reef-tourism developer, Anthony‘s Key Resort, for which most people come here.
3. Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala
Three main attractions of Castilla are Eco/adventure tourism, ancient Mayan ruins of the Classic Era, and tropical agriculture and modern Guatemalan history.
Holland America Line offers an excursion by air to the magnificent Mayan site of Copan in Honduras, known as “the Paris of the Maya World.”
A must visit place is Quirigua National Park, which is devoted solely to the Mayan archeological site there. The excursion lasts about 4 and a half hour. For those who wish to spot birds, exotic plants and other flora and fauna there is kayaking or motoring on various rivers, and hiking in the 500-acre Hacienda Tijax eco-farm.
4.Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a synonym for eco-tourism in the western hemisphere. Few countries in the entire world have been so successful in finding and maintaining a balance between commerce and conservation than this progressive nation. Most of the protected territory is within its numerous national parks and reserves, and there is increasingly active development outside park boundaries.
Costa Rica has forests in virtually every ecological niche from temperate dry hardwoods to tropical rain forest. For kayakers and rafters, the mountainous terrain of Costa Rica is an attraction because it creates rushing streams and rivers. Costa Rica has three ranges of volcanic mountains with several active volcanoes.If you want to experience the adventure of seeing an active volcano, visit Arenal volcano.
So what is your choice of luxury cruise? Asia, Africa, Caribbean or Central America? Post your comments.
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