Excursions Recap

11 Mar

Here is a recap of our excursion plans, updated to include our latest plans for Isla Culebra.

Puerto Rico – For all the time we are spending in the tropics, this cruise does not have a lot of good beach opportunities. So we decided to make some time for this in Puerto Rico. One of the best beaches in the world is Flamenco Beach on the island of Culebra. This island also has some of the best snorkeling in Puerto Rico. While reading one of my favorite Puerto Rico web sites, I came across this write up on a kayaking and snorkeling expedition offered by Kayaking Puerto Rico. This tour involves kayaking and snorkeling at a very isolated beach. In addition to the tour, we will make some extra time at Flamenco Beach.

Cartagena – We are going to explore the Historic Old Town and Castillo San Felipe (fort) on our own. I first considered taking a tour, but later decided that it’s an easy area to explore on your own. We will take a taxi to the fort, first thing in the morning, and then spend our remaining time exploring the Old Town.

Colón Panama – Our excursion plans for Colón took some time to settle out. I thought I had everything arranged when I booked the Gatun Lake Safari “houseboat” tour through Celebrity. Then I got an email from Celebrity indicating that the tour operator had changed and was now a “Sounds of Silence” tour.   I tracked down the original operator of the “houseboat” tour, Carl Davis, at JunglelandPanama.com. There is a review of this tour on Cruise Critic and an article on Newsroom Panama. I went ahead and made a reservation for our cruise in April.

Puntarenas Costa Rica – I booked the “Jewels of Monte Verde Cloud Forest” through Celebrity. This is a trip to Selvatura Park in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. I figure after several days of tropical heat, it will be nice to go into the mountains to experience the cooler weather of the cloud forest. I booked this trip through the cruise line for two reasons: 1) the independent tour operator was the same price as Celebrity, and 2) most Costa Rica excursions, including this one, take you far away from the cruise ship. I like the peace of mind being on a cruise ship operated tour, knowing the ship will wait for a late tour.

Puerto Quetzal Guatemala – I booked the tour “Lake Atitlan From Another Angle” through Celebrity. I explain the reasons for my interest in Lake Atitlan on my Puerto Quetzal itinerary page. If we didn’t go to Lake Atitlan, then I would pick  Antigua Guatemala (Antigua – Self Guided via Celebrity). We didn’t pick Antigua because my wife thinks she will be tired of Spanish colonial cites by the time we get to Guatemala (after seeing San Juan and Cartagena).

Acapulco – We visited Acapulco on our 2006 Celebrity Mercury cruise. We went on a tour with Rosie Diaz Hernandez (see my Acapulco itinerary page for more information). I would really recommend Rosie if you want a guided tour. This time we are going explore on our own, visiting the Old Acapulco Zócalo, and Isla Roqueta.

Cabo San Lucas – We have visited Cabo on two previous cruises. This time, we plan to visit the town of San Jose del Cabo, located to the east of Cabo San Lucas. We will take a taxi. If this is your first time in Cabo, then I would recommend visiting El Arco and Lover’s Beach. There is no need to book this ahead of time. Just get a water taxi in the marina. 

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