Port Highlights in Central America

There’s no shortage of attractions in these top ports

Use Central America’s port cities as a jumping off point for ecotourism – their biodiversity is an unbeatable experience.
Though small in size, Central American countries are big on activity options. Cruise passengers will have their pick of cultural and historical attractions, adventure tours, and some of the richest ecotourism offerings anywhere in the world at the following Central America ports.

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Costa Rica: The commercial port of Puerto Caldera serves the nearby coastal town of Puntarenas, which is more of a stopover than a destination for most cruise passengers. The best excursions from this port take place in Costa Rica’s lush natural environments, including ecotours and adventures such as wildlife viewing, horseback riding, hiking in the rainforest, kayaking, whitewater rafting, and ziplining.

Belize: The port in Belize City is an excellent jumping off point for excursions to the small country’s natural and historic attractions. A few great options include beach tours, snorkeling, and jungle tours. The real highlights, however, are Belize’s important Mayan sites, its many amazing caves – providing unique opportunities for adventure – and its world-renowned scuba diving, which offers the second longest barrier reef in the world and year-round warm waters.

Colon (Cristobal), Panama: This port is less than an hour’s drive from many of Panama’s most noteworthy attractions, making it an ideal destination for cruisers. The Gatun Locks are a must-see feat of engineering, where visitors can watch as ships and tankers are lifted 85 feet to the level of Lake Gatun. Other notable options include a visit to the Panama Railroad, the old Spanish fortress of Fort San Lorenzo, and bird watching in the village of Achiote.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica: The Limon province boasts pristine beaches, banana plantations, and dense tropical forests, making it a perfect place for ecotourism. One of the most popular points is the Tortuguero Canals, a national park that is home to green turtles, sloths, toucans, monkeys, crocodiles, and so many other species. Other fabulous offerings include the Aerial Tram at Rainforest, a 1,000-acre nature reserve; Cahuita National Park; Veragua Rainforest; and the Sloth Sanctuary.

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