Jan & Dec 2025
Central America is a wondrous little stretch of land sandwiched between the Pacific and the Atlantic, and comprising seven beautiful countries, each with a picture-perfect coastline. A cruise to Central America offers an incredible variety of experiences, despite the region's comparatively small size, partly because of the contrast between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, both of which you can see on a longer cruise. There is a world of natural wonders to explore, including dense pristine jungles, mighty rivers, rugged mountains, caves and volcanoes, as well as ancient ruins and exciting port cities.
The seven small countries that make up Central America are Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, and Central America cruises usually take in Mexico and Cuba as well. The peak season runs from November to April, with November, after the rainy season, often considered the best time. Because of the shorter distances involved, cruise ship options can often include luxury yachts and tall sailing ships, as well as the traditional cruise liner.
There are many exciting ports to call at, including Puerto Limon and Puntarenas in Costa Rica, where you can take aerial tram rides through the lush forest canopy. Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala is the gateway to the country's rich Mayan heritage, and to beautiful scenic areas like Lake Atitlan, in the crater of a collapsed volcano. On the coast of Nicaragua, the scenic fishing village of San Juan del Sur offers the chance of a trip to the nearby historic town of Granada, founded by conquistadores in 1524.
Your cruise ship may also anchor at Roatan, the most popular port in the Honduras Bay Islands, surrounded on all sides by rich coral reefs -- the bay is a paradise for divers with under-water caverns, caves and shipwrecks to explore. Alternatively the new cruise terminal for Honduras is Trujillo on the Banana Coast, the spot where Columbus first landed in the Americas -- it has splendid Spanish colonial buildings and a spectacular castle. Neighbouring Belize is sheltered by a 150-mile barrier reef, the second largest in the world, and also has more Mayan ruins than any other country.
Central America is home to some of the planet's most amazing natural wonders, pristine coastlines and phenomenal biodiversity. Few regions of the world encompass so many attractions within such a small area. And surely there is no better way to enjoy all these splendours than from the deck of a cruise ship.