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Tiny Caldera is situated between the volcanic beaches of Golfo de Nicoya and some of the country’s highest mountain peaks.
Shore Excursion Port Tips
The former banana-exporting town of Quepos is your basecamp for a day of rainforest adventure. Take a walk along trails that weave up to waterfalls, or ride horseback to a beautiful jungle pool. A float trip through a mangrove swamp populated by monkeys, crocodiles, egrets, and herons is also available. Or you may choose a nature walk through Manuel Antonio National Park, with its lovely beaches, easy trails, and animal life.
The Paridas archipelago, an emerald scatter of over 50 uninhabited tropical islands in Panama’s Pacific coast, about 35 miles south of the border with Costa Rica. Many native Panamanians are not even aware of the islands’ existence and this is how the chain came to be known as the “Lost Islands of Barú”.
One of the entrances to the Panama Canal on the Pacific side, the port of Fuerte Amador, founded in 1519, is a short drive from Panama City. In Panama City, the best are found at the market in Balboa.
Renowned as the Eighth Wonder of the World, marvel as your ship is raised, then lowered, 85 feet to sail gracefully through three massive locks in the Canal.
Colón is the capital of Colón Province, in Panama. It sits on the Caribbean coast, at the entrance to the Panama Canal. The Canal Expansion Observation Center is a park with viewing platforms over the canal’s Atlantic locks and Gatún Lake. The vast Colón Free Trade Zone offers tax-free shopping. Just west of the city, at the mouth of the Chagres River, Fort San Lorenzo is a well-preserved colonial military structure.
Cartagena is a port city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. By the sea is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with squares, cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings. With a tropical climate, the city is also a popular beach destination. Reachable by boat are Isla de Barú, with white-sand beaches and palm trees, and the Islas del Rosario, known for their coral reefs.
The city’s banana industry, operated by the United Fruit Company, is one of the most important in South America. Santa Marta also has fine beaches and is a tourist center. Founded by the Spanish explorer Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525, it was often sacked by corsairs in the 16th cent. During colonial times the city was important as an outlet for the Magdalena River valley. It remained royalist during the revolution and was liberated in 1821. Simón Bolívar died on an estate nearby.
When it comes to the Caribbean, many islands are blessed with sugar-white beaches, tall palm trees, and friendly bartenders serving up umbrella-topped drinks. But Aruba is like no other island. Over the years, its Dutch West Indies mix of ethnicities has nurtured a deep and interesting cultural mélange—as well as fine cuisine, refined shopping, and vibrant stage shows. Add to that an outdoor world of internationally significant locations for fun-seeking folks of all ages. There is simply no better place on the planet to learn and enjoy windsurfing. The world-renowned steady breezes that fill the sails also keep us cool in a deep Caribbean location that is blissfully below the hurricane path. Sun always shines on our pristine beaches, and that brings a truly global group of travelers to our shores.
The people of the Netherlands established a trading settlement at a fine natural harbour on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in 1634. The town developed continuously over the following centuries. The modern town consists of several distinct historic districts whose architecture reflects not only European urban-planning concepts but also styles from the Netherlands and from the Spanish and Portuguese colonial towns with which Willemstad engaged in trade.
Kralendijk is the capital of Bonaire, a Dutch island in the Caribbean Sea. Colorful architecture dots the shopping street of Kaya Grandi. The Bonaire Museum displays archaeological finds, shells and old photos. Off the coast is Bonaire National Marine Park, with a coral reef sheltering tropical fish. This stretches west to Klein Bonaire Island, where the sandy beaches provide a nesting ground for sea turtles
St. George’s is the capital city of the Caribbean island of Grenada. In the town center, the 18th-century Fort George offers panoramic views of the island and St. George’s Bay. Nearby, Fort Matthew was formerly a battleground and, later, an asylum, and has underground tunnels. The Grenada National Museum hosts exhibits about the history of the region, including the plantation economy and the whaling industry.
In the north of Mayreau is Salt Whistle Bay, a perfect half moon beach, separating the Atlantic from the Caribbean side with a sand spit only 50 yards wide, fringed by palm trees. The windward side of Mayreau is one huge deserted beach; you could spend days picnicking, sunbathing and snorkeling in the underwater world of Mayreau Garden. The southwestern, leeward beach is Saline Bay, nearly a mile of white sand with calm, clear water – ideal to bring your family!
An infectiously happy island, with beautiful beaches, balmy weather, and a delightful British flair. As a result of its successful sugar economy in the 17th- to 19th-centuries, you’ll find large manor estates full of fine Barbados mahogany and antiques, along with gaily painted wooden frame houses– the essence of the festive Caribbean. Rum rules in Barbados, and, over the centuries, cane plantations have divided the Bajan landscape into a pretty patchwork of fields, coconut and royal palms, breadfruit, oleander, and citrus trees.