Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
The countries you can visit on Central America cruises are wildly wonderful with coastal beaches and inland jungle terrain that seem to go on forever. Within all that majestic scenery are colorful towns and cities dotted with bustling markets, historic architecture, and welcoming locals.
How you cruise to Central America depends on the itinerary you choose. Some go there as part of Caribbean cruises, during which you may visit ports in Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras. Other Central America cruises sail there during Panama Canal cruises; those itineraries visit ports of call in Panama, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. South America cruises that sail along the east or west coastline of the continent may also visit one or more of these ports of call.
From rainforests and jungle-lined rivers to exotic animals and coral reefs, the things for you to do and see in Central America are exciting and unforgettable. Combine the natural wonders with the vibrant cities and culture you’ll encounter on a cruise to Central America and you’re in for the cruise of a lifetime.
Cruising through the marvel that is the Panama Canal is an epic item to cross off that bucket list. Seeing how the Panama Canal’s intricate lock system works as you’re sailing along it is an education in engineering. The views of the natural surroundings along the canal from the ship’s deck is astounding.
The countries of Central America are home to a number of vast tropical rainforests and thick jungles that are perfect for ecological exploration. You can kayak or take an eco-cruise through the tree-lined waterways or go for a guided rainforest walk and encounter exotic animals that call it home.
Off the eastern coast of Central America lies the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Central America cruises that go to and Honduras give passengers the opportunity to experience the colorful reef and its sea life with snorkeling or scuba tours.
The culture of Central America differs by country, but is notably colorful and friendly with a vast history that goes back to ancient times. During your cruise to Central America, visit Embera Indian Villages, venture into the highlands to discover ancient cities, and visit a sugarcane and coffee producing hacienda.
As mentioned earlier the countries you might visit on Central America cruises differ depending on the itinerary you choose. The cities you could be visiting include Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puerto Limon and Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Colón, Panama; and Roatan, Honduras.
Adventure and beauty await you on Central America cruises when you take part in one of our exhilarating shore excursions. Whether you want to soak in the natural scenery of the countries of Central America or have animal encounters in the wild, we have all this and more for you just a shore excursion away.
Soar over the canopies of the Central American rainforests on a zipline shore excursion that will get your adrenaline going and your heart racing. As you experience the fun of sailing over the treetops, you’ll also get to take in some gorgeous views and maybe even see some wildlife.
Snorkeling with stingrays, horseback riding along the beach as your horse walks you through the shallow surf, or viewing dolphins in the wild and interacting with them on a unique snorkel excursion that takes you to where resident dolphins live in a two-acre enclosure right in the sea.
During a cruise to Central America, you’ll have several different options to experience an eco-cruise that takes you alongside jungle foliage where you’ll see plants and animals like monkeys, sloths, and crocodiles. Some prime spots for this is Gatun Lake in Panama and Tarcoles River in Costa Rica.
Expect a humid tropical climate when you cruise to Central America. Pack clothes made from light, airy material that will let your skin breathe easily while keeping you covered from the sun – and don’t forget sunscreen either. Areas of Central America are prone to tropical rain showers at different times of year due to the microclimates existing within this region, so checking what the forecast is for your itinerary timing and packing a rain jacket or poncho that folds up easily into a daypack is also wise.
Here are some other quick tips to know about cruising to the countries of Central America:
Costa Rica – Official Language: Spanish; Currency: Costa Rican Colón
Guatemala – Official Language: Spanish; Currency: Guatemalan Quetzal
Honduras – Official Language: Spanish; Currency: Honduran Lempira
Panama – Official Language: Spanish; Currency: Panama Balboa or US Dollar
US dollars are widely accepted in the countries of Central America. However, it’s smart to have the country’s currency on hand when visiting local markets or other small local businesses that may not accept credit cards if you don’t want to run the risk of having to find an ATM or forego a souvenir or bite to eat. (Except in Panama where the U.S. dollar is legal tender.)