Wonders of Central America 2020
8 days with Ponant Rating:
DAY 1 - PUERTO MORELOS
Embarkation 22/12/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure 22/12/2020 at 20H00 .
North of the Mexican Riviera Maya that runs along the Yucatán Peninsula, Puerto Morelos is a charming fishing village with an authentic atmosphere, its white sandy beaches scattered with thatched huts and colourful boats. The turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea shelter a marine park that protects part of the Mesoamerican reef, considered the second-biggest barrier reef in the world. A few kilometres south, you’ll be able to discover the Maya site of Tulum. Overlooking idyllic beaches of white sand fringed with palm trees, it is the only Maya site erected on the Caribbean Sea coast.
DAY 2 – BELIZE CITY
Arrival 23/12/2020 late afternoon. Departure 23/12/2020 late evening.
Belize City is the former capital and the country’s largest town. Located on the Caribbean Sea, this lively little town symbolises the fusion of British, Spanish and Maya cultures. The departure point for flights over the Great Blue Hole and the barrier reef, it’s also the ideal gateway for discovering the treasures of Maya architecture: in the heart of the jungle, the grandiose and mysterious ruins of temples and palaces at the Lamanai and Xunantunich sites await you. Another unmissable experience: a trip to the mouth of the Belize River: with a little luck and care, you’ll get a glimpse of manatees, dolphins, crocodiles, iguanas and many aquatic bird species.
DAY 3 – HALF MOON CAYE
Arrival 24/12/2020 early morning. Departure 24/12/2020 early afternoon.
The tropical green crescent of Half Moon Caye is a natural monument of Belize stretching out over crystal-clear waters. The appeal of the oldest protected marine and ornithological area in Central America stems from its beaches lined with coconut trees, but most importantly from its incredible underwater world, which you will be able to explore with fins, mask and snorkel. Corals, sponges, sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, eels and groupers live in the turquoise waters, while on land the coastal forest is home to amusing geckos and a large colony of red-footed boobies, spectacular divers that penetrate the water at high speed to feed on small fish and squid.
DAY 4 – SANTO TOMÁS DE CASTILLA
Arrival 25/12/2020 early morning. Departure 25/12/2020 evening.
A port city located in the north-east of Guatemala, on the coast of the Amatique Bay, Santo Tomás de Castilla offers exceptional access to the fabulous Mayan archaeological site of Quiriguá. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981, this place takes you back in time, deep into a décor of ruins and vestiges from the 8th century. Another unmissable visit is to the San Felipe fortress. Built at the end of the 16th Century by the Spanish to protect the villages on the shores of Lake Izabal from pirate attacks, it offers the opportunity to discover an example of colonial military architecture and to enjoy unspoiled views over the Dulce River and the surrounding environment.
DAY 5 – PUERTO CORTÉS
Arrival 26/12/2020 early morning. Departure 26/12/2020 mid afternoon.
In the hollow of the Gulf of Honduras, Puerto Cortés is the largest seaport in this country, which only recently opened up to tourism but possesses many natural and cultural riches. Its 650 km of coastline on the Caribbean Sea are bordered with sandbanks and deltas of small coastal rivers, while its waters have many reefs and cays to explore. Puerto Cortés is the departure point for discovering the impressive San Fernando de Omoa fortress, which was built in brick and coral by the Spanish authorities in the middle of the 18th century and is now a museum of history and archaeology.
DAY 6 – AT SEA
Arrival 27/12/2020. Departure 27/12/2020.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
DAY 7 – CORN ISLAND
Arrival 28/12/2020 early morning. Departure 28/12/2020 midday.
A little slice of paradise lying off the coast of Nicaragua, in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Corn Islands are an invitation to leisure as well as exploration. The long white sandy beaches lined with coconut palms promise enjoyable moments of relaxation while the hills, covered with thick tropical forest, and the surrounding turquoise waters, teeming with life, will delight hikers and divers. Countless multicoloured fish, nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, rays and barracudas can be seen in the sumptuous coral reefs and underwater caves.
DAY 8 - COLÓN
Disembarkation 29/12/2020 at 08H30.
Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is today an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city. Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened.
All This Included
PONANT brings you a brand-new itinerary in the Caribbean Sea, sailing along the Mexican peninsula of Yucatán, and down the eastern coast of Central America to Colon in Panama.
In Puerto Morelos, Cancún’s port, you will board Le Champlain for an 8-day cruise combining idyllic beaches and Pre-Columbian sites.
Your ship will first call in Belize, its heavenly beaches and its wonderful barrier reef, home to the emblematic Great Blue Hole, one of the most stunning diving spots in the world.
The next port of call will be Santo Tomás de Castilla. From there, you will be able to discover the pyramids of Tikal, another major site of the Maya civilisation, or the palaces, pyramids and sanctuaries of the Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quiriguá.
Your ship will then set sail for Puerto Cortés before reaching a little slice of paradise lying off the coast of Nicaragua: the Corn Islands. The long white sandy beaches lined with coconut palms promise enjoyable moments of relaxation while the hills, covered with thick tropical forest, and the surrounding turquoise waters, teeming with life, will delight hikers and divers.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Champlain
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.