Home to so much ancient history and tradition, South and Central America offers something for everyone. From the ancient Incas and the rainforests of the Amazon through to the amazing engineering feat that is the Panama Canal, this region is incredibly rich in culture and a great option for those that really love exploring. Combined with the contrasting tableaus offered by some of the biggest cities in this region, it is no wonder that the cruise options to this region and many and varied.
Explore a continent of vastly different landscapes from mountains and rivers to waterfalls, jungles and astounding beaches; South America has it all in abundance.
These diverse landscapes open up a world of adventures for you to try like surfing some of the world’s best waves in Arica, going on a 4WD tour of the Andes, zip lining over dense jungle canopies or white water rafting on the Macaé river near Rio.
The colourful cultures found in the cities and their surrounding areas will fascinate you and you’ll be enticed by exotic cuisine packed with new and exciting flavours.
Discover a myriad of thought-provoking points of interest like the mysterious Machu Picchu whilst in Lima, the historic colonial old town during a visit to Santiago and the awe-inspiring statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. Any itinerary in South America is full of wondrous sights and seeing them each for the first time is sure to be an unforgettable moment.
Here at WOWCruise we have a wide choice of cruise deals available for South America with Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America and more. We can also customise your holiday with pre or post cruise stays in unforgettable cities such as Miami or Santiago Take a look at our offers below or get in touch with any questions you have on 0800 888 6787.
Known for its tuna fishing industry, Manta is a city located on Ecuador’s central coast. You’ll find miles upon miles of spectacular urban beaches with an abundance of watersports on offer including sailing and scuba diving. Three hours from Manta is Guayaquil, another port city which is known for being the gateway to Pacific beaches and the enchanting Galapagos Islands. Within a shorter, 20 minute drive from Manta is the 17th century town of Montecristi where you’ll find superb examples of colonial architecture. Montecristi is known for its crafts, especially wickerwork and is home of the original Panama hat.
Rio is a colourful and vibrant city, jam-packed with culture and points of interest. It’s instantly recognisable for its unique landscape of mountains, beaches and of course the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue which stands 38 metres tall, looking over the city. Rio is known for its casual lifestyle and fantastic beaches, Copacabana perhaps being the most famous. Whilst visiting the city one of the most impressive experiences is the cable car ride to Sugarloaf Mountains whilst one of the most culturally immersive is a walking tour of Rocinha Favela which is the largest of hundreds of favelas (Brazilian term for slum or shantytown) in Rio. A resident guide will take you on a non-intrusive tour where you can see the real-life challenges that some of the communities here face.
The capital and largest city of Chile, Santiago sits surrounded by the awe-inspiring Andes mountain range. Santiago has an exploding food scene and visitors should take full opportunity to make the most of it during their time here. Visit Plaza de Armas, which is the heart of the city’s colonial core or walk up San Cristóbal hill which awards spectacular views over the city. Santiago Metropolitan Park is also a great spot offering botanical gardens, a winery museum and a historical funicular railway originally opened in 1925. If you’re interested in exploring the Andes then consider a day trip to Cajon Del Maipo which is a deep gorge offering sweeping panoramic vistas of the mountains. It’s also home to an array of birdlife including the Andean Condor.
We couldn’t talk about South America and not mention Machu Picchu and Lima is the nearest cruise port that will enable you to take a day trip out to see it. Lima is the capital of Peru and has a population of almost 8 million and the ethnic heritage here is an eclectic mix of ancient Indian, Spanish conquerors and a large Chinese population. The Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro founded Lima in 1535, 2 years after taking down the Inca Empire and today the historic district is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a diverse range of architecture reflecting traditional colonial as well as Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo inspired style. Machu Picchu is a scenic 3 hour train journey from Lima and it’s well worth the trip if your time in port allows. This ancient Incan citadel is set high in the Andes above the Urubamba River valley. Built in the 15th century it’s renowned for its architecture that plays on astronomical alignments and even today its exact use or purpose still remains a mystery.
Lush tropical forests, mysterious Mayan ruins, looming volcanoes and a diverse sense of culture make Central America an intriguing choice for a cruise holiday.
Exotic destinations such as Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and Belize are just some of those you could find yourself visiting, each of them a bucket list destination in its own right with different experiences to offer from jungle treks and whitewater rafting to cruising the impressive Panama Canal.
Those with a passion for nature will be compelled by the diverse range of wildlife, flora and fauna - both on land and underwater, as these locations offer some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling spots in the world.
Many Central America cruises will embark in Buenos Aires and there’s a wealth of points of interest in this city alone. Visit the brightly painted zinc shacks of La Boca, a traditional working-class area which is great for understanding the raw culture of the city, or sight see at one of the many historic colonial buildings like Buenos Aires Cabildo.
Make your journey the best it can be by travelling with the expertise of Cunard, Celebrity Cruises or Cruise and Maritime and enjoy the refined comfort of their ships whilst you relax and revive in between your port explorations and adventures.
Here at WOWCruise we offer a wide choice of cruise holidays travelling to Central America. Take a look at our offers below or get in touch with any questions you have on 0800 888 6787.
Bordered by Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean sea, Belize has a diverse society made up of many cultures and languages. Some of the most mesmerising points of interest in Belize include the World Heritage listed Belize Barrier Reef, where you’ll find atolls, sand cays, mangrove forest and an underwater marine paradise. Divers will also appreciate a visit to the iconic Great Blue Hole while history and architecture enthusiasts will find the ancient archaeological sites of Xunantunich and Lamanai fascinating.
Whilst not exactly a port of call, the Panama Canal is a highlight of any cruise in Central America. This historic waterway is a marvel of engineering and has in fact been named one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the Americans Society of Civil Engineers. The canal stretches for 82km connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It takes around 11 ½ hours to travel the length of canal and at either end is a 34m wide lock which is capable of lifting up even today’s mega-sized cargo and cruise ships.
Costa Rica is a pioneer of ecotourism and it has some of the most incredible outdoors pursuits you can experience from relaxing in volcanic hot springs to white water rafting or zip lining over dense jungle canopies. National parks make up nearly a quarter of the landmass in Costa Rica, housing over 8000 plants and 10% of the worlds butterfly species; it’s a paradise for nature lovers.