Treasures of Central America (Guayaquil - Colon)
14 days with Ponant Rating:
DAY 1 – GUAYAQUIL
Departure at 18H00.
Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Pacific”, Guayaquil is the most inhabited city in Ecuador. Founded by the conquistadors in 1535, it borders the coasts of the province of Guayas. You can stroll without any cares in the world, in the upper part of the city, next to the Las Peñas district. This Bohemian district with its colourful houses offers an impressive view of the city, if you’re courageous enough to climb the steps which separate the chapel rooms from Cerro Santa Ana lighthouse. The city is also blessed with many parks and gardens, perfect for taking a breather.
DAYS 2-3 – AT SEA
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 4 – CASA ORQUIDEAS
Your ship will sail across the gulf of Dulce in direction of the splendid botanical garden of Casa Orquideas that you will reach by Zodiac®. Golfo Dulce is one of the most intense rainforest landscapes in the world, unfolding and exposing what has been described by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth”. More than 400 species of tropical birds, over 500 species of vascular plants, 140 species of tropical mammals, hundreds of butterfly species and many more tropical organisms call this place home.
DAY 5 – AT SEA
DAY 6 – ACAJUTLA
A former indigenous village and the location of the first battle fought by the Pipils during the Spanish conquest, Acajutla is now a favourite entry point for accessing El Salvador’s major pre-Columbian sites, such as the Mayan ruins of Tazumal or the Joya de Cerén archaeological site, listed with UNESCO. This pre-Hispanic community buried under ash after a volcanic eruption in the 7th century offers visitors almost intact vestiges of daily life at that time: dwellings, kitchens, public baths, tools…
DAY 7 – PUERTO QUETZAL
Located on the Pacific coast, 100 kilometres south of the capital, the city of Puerto Quetzal is the largest port in the country. Close to the city, the ravishing little old city of Antigua, is a former colonial capital listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. You’ll admire the wealth of its historical monuments.
DAY 8 – AT SEA
DAY 9 – SAN JUAN DEL SUR
Considered Nicaragua's surfing capital, the attractive seaside resort of San Juan del Sur is an idyllic location for chilling in the waves. You're guaranteed to fall in love with this former fishing town on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, now a popular seaside holiday spot. Less than a two-hour drive away is the city of Granada, founded in 1524 at the foot of the Mombacho volcano. Clinging to the shores of Lake Nicaragua, the town is a stunning example of colonial architecture, with its narrow streets and Al-Andalus houses painted in bright colours. Don't miss out on a tour of its La Merced church, wander around the main square and explore the San Francisco convent.
DAY 10 – HERRADURA
Herradura takes its name in Spanish from the horseshoe form of its bay, covered in lush tropical vegetation, its beauty enhanced by the hills that loom over it. This small town is surrounded by national parks that are remarkable for the rich variety of fauna and flora they protect. When your ship calls here, it will be the moment to take a journey in small covered boats along the Tarcoles River, whose banks are home to crocodiles and iguanas. This mangrove also hosts the loyal and flamboyant Scarlet Macaw, with its red, blue and yellow plumage, known for mating with the same partner for life.
DAY 11 – AT SEA
DAY 12 – VIVEROS, PEARL ISLANDS
The Pearl Islands archipelago, formed by over 220 islands and islets, is named in memory of the pearl oysters present in the Gulf of Panama. In colonial times, the pearls were extracted and used as ornaments or currency. “La Peregrina” was discovered in this archipelago: this pearl is famous for its perfection and for belonging to several royals and, more recently, Elizabeth Taylor. While the pearls have now disappeared from the azure waters of this paradise with its history of adventures and piracy, you can still swim from the sandy white beaches and observe shoals of multi-coloured fish performing their gracious ballet.
DAY 13 – CROSSING THE PANAMA CANAL, COLÓN
Aboard your ship, experience something unique, that has inspired the imagination of numerous adventurers in the 20th century: sailing the Panama Canal. Its construction started in 1880 under the direction of Ferdinand De Lesseps. Abandoned then resumed, this marvel of engineering was completed by the United States in 1887 and opened in 1914. The canal crosses the Isthmus of Panama and links the Atlantic to the Pacific. Including three levels of locks and by raising ships to the level of Lake Gatun, almost as if the water was a lift, it allows them to avoid having to round Cape Horn.
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.
DAY 14 – COLÓN
Disembarkation at 07H00.
All This Included
PONANT invites you to discover a condensed overview of Central America’s architectural gems and most stunning natural treasures through an exceptional itinerary.
In Guayaquil, you will board the Le Boréal for a 14-day cruise to 6 countries!
Your first stop: Casa Orquideas. In the heart of a region that is home to Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches, you will have the chance to visit a botanical garden with a sublime collection of tropical flowers.
Le Boréal will then call at Acajutla, the gateway to the Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site, where you will be able to admire the vestiges of a pre-Hispanic farming community from the 7th century.
From Puerto Quetzal, you will be able to visit Antigua Guatemala. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city, overlooked by majestic volcanoes, is often considered to be the country’s most beautiful.
After a stop in San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), from which you can access the colonial city of Granada, you will get close to nature in Carara National Park, a wild gem revealing the richness of Costa Rica’s fauna.
This cruise to Central America will also be the chance for a unique experience: crossing the mythical Panama Canal. Spanning the Isthmus of Panama, this marvel of engineering will take you from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Boréal
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.