Day 1 - Fort Lauderdale There is an abundance of things to see and do in the Ft. Lauderdale area: visit the newly redesigned Ft. Lauderdale Beach and cafes, stroll the historic Riverwalk, shop the luxurious stores on Las Olas Boulevard or adventure to the Everglades for an intriguing air boat excursion.
Day 2 - At Sea
Day 3 - At Sea
Day 4 - Cartagena, Colombia Its official name is Cartagena de Indias—or "Cartagena of the Indies"—but call it Cartagena for short. The formal name hints at this Colombian city's colonial relationship with Spain; it was founded in 1533 and named after the mother country's Cartagena. Colombia declared independence in 1810, but there's plenty about its fifth-largest city that evokes old Spain, including the impressive fort of Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, and the wall that encloses the old town, one of the few intact structures of its kind in the Americas. Both were considered important enough to inscribe on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1984. They may be historical artifacts, but the fortress and wall aren't merely tourist attractions; they are central to daily life here. Take a stroll and you'll see couples sitting atop the wall, locked in passionate embraces; parents watching their children walk it like a balance beam; and friends chatting while enjoying the Caribbean breeze. Along with history, there's cultural and culinary intrigue here, too. This colorful city was a muse of the late Nobel Prize–winning writer Gabriel García Márquez, and is increasingly being recognized outside Colombia for its cuisine, which takes many cues from Caribbean ingredients. (Don't leave without trying the coconut rice.)
Day 5 - Enter Panama Canal at Cristobal
Day 5 - Cruising Panama Canal
Day 5 - Exit Panama Canal Balboa
Day 6 - At Sea
Day 7 - Puerto Caldera One of the stops along the Panama Canal Zone route, Puerto Caldera on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast isn't your ordinary port of call, positioned as it is within easy day-trip distance of the country's multiple national parks. The town itself is small, but makes for an ideal base from which travelers can venture out to explore the variety of this Central American country's outdoor attractions and activities. These include snapping photos of gushing waterfalls (and swimming at the base of one, if you bring your swimsuit!), sightseeing near active volcanoes, bird-watching in nature reserves and sanctuaries and horseback riding on Pacific beaches . . . and that's just for starters. Visitors to Puerto Caldera and the surrounding region also enjoy shopping for handicrafts that local artists sell at their cooperatives, as well as sampling traditional Tico cuisine, especially gallo pinto—a combination of rice and beans eaten at any time of the day or night. Puerto Caldera is the perfect reminder that adventure often awaits just around the bend.
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - Puerto Quetzal In the cultured little country of Guatemala modern Maya still weave their stories on backstrap looms, and the great stone temples of Tikal stand in silent testament to ancient Mayan ingenuity. Sample shore excursions: Casa Santa Domingo & Antigua; Lake Atitlan & Highlands; Finca Coffee Plantation Tour; Tikal Expedition by Air.
Day 10 - Puerto Chiapas The southernmost port on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Chiapas is named for the state in which it is located. It is relatively new, built in 1975, and is the primary hub from which the region’s agricultural goods, including coffee, are sent abroad. For travelers arriving by cruise ship, the town of Puerto Chiapas is a jumping-off point to explore surrounding areas, including Tapachula, the second-largest city in the state of Chiapas. In addition to visiting the coffee estates and banana and cacao plantations of the area, day trips include excursions to Maya sites such as Izapa. Although not as well known as some of the Maya sites of southern and eastern Mexico, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site Chichén Itzá, Izapa is impressive nonetheless. In addition to its interesting location—it sits along a river and is aligned with a volcano (the sixth-tallest mountain in Mexico)—archaeologists have found numerous stelae and evidence that it was the largest Maya site in Chiapas. While in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the cuisine of Chiapas, which is influenced heavily by the Maya. One typical dish is tasajo, a thinly sliced beef steak marinated in a sauce made with achiote (also known as annatto) and chili.
Day 11 - Huatulco Everything you ever wanted in a seaside resort: warm sun, sandy beaches and nine beautiful bays rimmed in every shade of blue. Nearby: low-growth caducifolia jungles teeming with birdlife and the nesting grounds of endangered sea turtles. Sample shore excursions: Five Bays by Catamaran; Horseback Riding; Bird-watching Eco Tour; ATV Jungle Adventure.
Day 12 - At Sea
Day 13 - Puerto Vallarta Unique compared to Acapulco, Cancún, Zihuatanejo and several other coastal resort towns in Mexico—many of which were created by the government as planned communities—Puerto Vallarta ("PV" to locals), on the Pacific Ocean, retains quite a bit of its colonial-era charm. Its town square, Plaza de Armas, and the gorgeous parish church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, topped with an ornate crown and overlooking the port, serve as the loveliest representations of bygone ages. While on your Puerto Vallarta cruise, we take you alongside these echoes of the past are more modern attractions, including an ambitious public art project along the seaside walkway (the malecón) and trendy restaurants such as La Leche, serving contemporary Mexican cuisine. Round these out with plenty of fun-in-the-sun outdoor activities on and along Banderas Bay (whale-watching! snorkeling! jet-skiing!), excursions that reveal the best of Puerto Vallarta's flora and fauna, and a side trip to one of Mexico's pueblos mágicos (magical towns, a designation conferred by the government to recognize smaller towns that possess historical and cultural value), and you'd be hard-pressed to find a more pleasant place to spend part of your cruise to Puerto Vallarta.
Day 14 - Cabo San Lucas Los Cabos doesn't exude the same kind of charm as many other areas of inland Mexico do, but its twin towns—San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas—don't seem to mind, and neither do visitors who take a cruise to Cabo, who are more or less drawn here less for traditional Mexican culture than for the sun, the sand and the opportunity to just slow down and relax. Los Cabos—or the Capes—sits at the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula, a narrow strip of land whose varied geography, both above and underwater, makes for plenty of interesting activities and some unusual ones, too. Did you ever think you'd ride a camel in Mexico? You can do that here, or enjoy more predictable pursuits including fishing, golfing and whale-watching. Want something still more laid-back? On your Cabo cruise you can visit picture-perfect El Arco, an arch that may look familiar thanks to its cameo on postcards and tourism advertisements. North of the capes, you can drop by the famed Hotel California. And if you've worked up an appetite on your Cabo cruise, you won't be disappointed: Los Cabos offers plenty to enjoy at the table as well, with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and, of course, seafood being the mainstays here. Regardless, Holland America Line makes sure that our Cabo cruises have plenty of new and traditional things for our guest to enjoy and experience.
Day 15 - At Sea
Day 16 - San Diego, California Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. Cruise to San Diego and hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). Cruise from San Diego and explore the sixth-largest city in the United States. Discover San Diego’s distinctive neighborhoods on a San Diego shore excursion. Visit Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance. And while there are lots of things to do for everyone on a San Diego Cruise—from visiting the country’s largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolley—definitely don’t pass up the chance to investigate San Diego’s quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored.
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