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Grab a Texas-style breakfast in the historic Strand District. Then explore Galveston’s illustrious history on a scenic stroll past well-preserved Victorian mansions. Cruise from Galveston and dig a little deeper at one of the many local museums, where you’ll discover oil industry exhibits, a restored 1877 tall ship, and historic Texas artifacts.
Grand Cayman is where the high life meets island life. This international banking haven is as much known for award-winning beaches as for the flocks of celebrities and high rollers that frequent them. You can sip Cayman Mama’s while rubbing shoulders with the global glitterati. During your Grand Cayman cruise, you can snorkel with stingrays in Stingray City. Treat your inner foodie at eateries established by acclaimed top chefs like Michael Schwartz, or chow down on conch fritters by the seashore. You can even soak up some rays at one of the beaches voted best in the world, Seven Mile Beach. And do it all in the same day.
Cartagena de Indias boasts romantic colonial architecture and a Caribbean coast glittering in shades of bright white and aquamarine. Saunter through the leafy Plaza de Bolivar, photographing multicolored streets like Calle Segunda de Badillo. Cruise to Cartagena to dance to the beat of merengue, salsa and Colombia’s very own cumbia at places like Bazurto Social Club. Discover Proclamation Square, where the town people gathered in 1811 in support of the declaration of independence from Spain, and walk the 16th-century fortifications of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. Enjoy Cartagena’s natural grandeur on its many beaches, like Bocagrande, Playa Blanca and placid Rosario Islands National Park, just 45 minutes away from the city.
Home to the Panama Canal’s Atlantic Ocean entryway, Colón is the second-largest city in Panama. Start your adventure at the Gatun locks, where you can watch ships being raised by water lifts to the higher elevation of the canal. Then, visit the Portobelo Natural Park and take in the beauty of its 16th century forts. Or head to the beach at Playa Maria Chiquita for clear Caribbean Sea waters and white sands. Cruise to Colón, Panama and check out Portobelo National Park, where you can see 17th-century Fort San Lorenzo or go bird-watching along the Achiote Trail in San Lorenzo Protected Forest. Or take the one-hour trek to Panama City, the Caribbean’s urban heartbeat.
A voyage through the Panama Canal is filled with views of lush terrain and calm waters. This marvellous achievement of modernity is best witnessed from the bow of the ship, where you’ll see the revolutionary mechanism of the canal at work when it elevates the vessel up 26 metres. The ship reaches the canal’s higher elevation and is able to sail swiftly through its tranquil waters. As you make your way between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans with your Panama Canal cruise, you’ll pass by Soberania National Park, a lush region of protected rainforest – you may even spot one of the many species of rare birds that inhabit the forest.
San Juan del Sur is a town on Nicaragua’s southwest coast. It’s known for a string of nearby Pacific beaches, such as Maderas Beach, with its strong-breaking waves, and the quieter Marsella Beach. A towering, contemporary Christ of the Mercy statue stands on a cliff above the bay. Near a creek on the outskirts is an ancient petroglyph. South along the coast, olive ridley turtles breed at La Flor Nature Reserve
Puerto Vallarta – or simply Vallarta, as the locals call it – is a romantic’s dream, with its cobblestoned lanes, beachfront eateries and an old city centre filled to the brim with charming boutiques. Jump onboard a Puerto Vallarta cruise and head to the shimmering waters of Yelapa beach for a dream-like escapade, or pop into Cafe des Artistes for a romantic meal in a candlelit garden. Then check out the landmark Los Arcos, a set of Roman-style arches by the waterfront, for a perfect photo of Vallarta’s official symbol. For a break from the city life, head to Jardin Botanico Vallarta and enjoy the delightful scents of orchids and bromeliads and the refreshing waters of a boulder-filled river.
Discover Los Angeles’ multicultural history by walking through its diverse selection of neighborhoods: See the ornate Twin Towers Dragon Gateway in Chinatown and the traditional Mexican shopping stalls and vendors of Olvera Street. Then, chill by the beach at Santa Monica Pier, or take the iconic drive down Sunset Boulevard, one of the most often-filmed thoroughfares in the country.
Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu and Long Beach are four of Los Angeles’ most popular beach destinations. Of the four, Malibu is the most remote and least urban — head here for surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Depending on traffic, you can get to Long Beach in 40 minutes, while the others take around an hour.
Snap a pic of the Hollywood sign, stroll down the Sunset Strip and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or visit Paramount Studios. You can see all of these and more on the Grand City Tour by StarLine Tours which operates two times a day, seven days a week.
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