Travel Best Bets Package Includes
- 19 night cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles aboard Island Princess
- Airfare from Vancouver to Los Angeles and return
- Transfers from pier to airport
- Travel Best Bets exclusive: $60 USD on board credit per cabin.
- Deposit 100% non-refundable
December 21, 2017 – January 9, 2018
|Outside||Balcony||Taxes & Fees|
Please call to inquire for flights from other departure cities.
|Los Angeles, California||21DEC17||THU||DEPART 4:00PM|
|Huatulco, Mexico||25DEC17||MON||ARRIVE 12:00PM DEPART 7:00PM|
|Puerto Chiapas, Mexico||26DEC17||TUE||ARRIVE 9:00AM DEPART 6:00PM|
|Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala||27DEC17||WED||ARRIVE 7:00AM DEPART 6:00PM|
|Panama Canal (Scenic Cruising) Pana||30DEC17||SAT||ARRIVE 6:00AM|
|SCENIC CRUISING OVERNIGHT|
|Panama Canal (Scenic Cruising) Pana||31DEC17||SUN||DEPART 2:00PM|
|Puntarenas, Costa Rica||02JAN18||TUE||ARRIVE 7:00AM DEPART 7:00PM|
|San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua||03JAN18||WED||ARRIVE 7:00AM DEPART 6:00PM|
|Manzanillo, Mexico||06JAN18||SAT||ARRIVE 8:00AM DEPART 5:00PM|
|Los Angeles, California||09JAN18||TUE||ARRIVE 6:15AM|
The City of Angels always hovers between dream and reality. Once a near-forgotten colonial outpost, the pueblo metamorphosed into an agrarian paradise before reinventing itself as a movie colony. Perhaps no other city owes so much to the technological innovations of the 20th century, from the automobile to the airplane. Little wonder that LA is oft described as the “dream machine.” In LA, reinvention is a way of life. Yet this talent for change has created a city with a rich ethnic diversity and a sizzling culture. LA is the source for trends that migrate across the country and then the world. Where else can you enjoy a Thai taco or munch on a kosher burrito? Or travel from downtown’s high rises to the beaches of Malibu, shopping in Beverly Hills along the way?
Nine bays bordered by 36 golden-sand beaches form the beautiful Las Bahias de Huatulco in the state of Oaxaca. Welcome to Mexico’s newest resort on the Pacific Riviera. Huatulco is a tropical Eden with crystalline waters, coral reefs, and uncrowded beaches. Inland, the rugged coast range is thickly carpeted with rainforest and coffee plantations. While Huatulco is still in its early stages of development, travelers may note that the resort has a different feel from other destinations on the Mexican Riviera. That’s because large areas of Huatulco have been designated as an ecological reserve. Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca where the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean.
Puerto Chiapas is the entry port to the southernmost part of Mexico and the town of Tapachula. The original name of this city was Tapacholatl, which in the Nahuatl language means “flooded land.” According to tradition it was founded in 1486 by Tiltolotl, the leader of the Aztec army sent by Ahuizotl to conquer the region. In 1813 the Courts of Cadiz (first constitutional congress in Spain) officially recognized it as a town. They authorized maritime commerce with the rest of Mexico, Guatemala and Peru via the port of San Benito later known as Puerto Madero and today bears the name Puerto Chiapas. In 1920 the Soconusco Coffee Union was established, and in 1929, airplane service was introduced. It was not until the 1950s, however, that Tapachula became modernized. The city of Tapachula is characterized by its warm climate and traditional architecture. It is the region where the mango variety named Ataulfo was first grown. The vegetation is exuberant and extremely varied; the most representative flowers are the heliconias, hawaianas, anturios and orchids, which grow in the highest points of the region. Archaeological evidence shows that somewhere around 1750 BC the inhabitants of the region had developed a hierarchical village society, with larger, more elaborate houses presumably reserved for chieftains. A few decades before the Spanish arrived, the Aztecs conquered Soconusco. The region had been relatively isolated before that, protected from the rest of Mesoamerica by the mountains of the continental divide (Sierra Madre del Sur).
Guatemala is located in the northern-most part of Central America and is one of the largest countries in this region. It boasts 37 volcanoes, a rich Mayan heritage, Lake Atitlan, and one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Antigua. Once the center of the impressive ancient Mayan civilization, Guatemala was conquered by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524. During the second half of the 20th century, it experienced a variety of military and civilian governments as well as a 36-year guerrilla war. These issues have now faded into the past and today Guatemala is a thriving democracy with many varying landscapes, activities and historical venues waiting to be discovered. Enjoy an African safari in the hot and tropical Pacific Coast or explore the cool Mayan highlands where Lake Atitlan and the colonial city of Antigua are located. There is something for every traveler’s interest in Guatemala.
The narrow isthmus separating the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean had a colorful and turbulent history long before Ferdinand de Lesseps first dreamed of building a transcontinental canal. Spanish conquistadors hauled Incan gold through the dense rainforest to ports on the Atlantic. English freebooters sought to ransack those ports and attack the treasure ships that sailed from Portobelo. And 49ers braved mosquitoes and yellow fever to get to the California gold fields. While the Panama Canal remains one of the great American engineering feats of the 20th century, visitors to Panama will discover a whole range of scenic wonders. Hike into the dense rainforest, home to over 1,000 species of animals. Or pay a visit to an Embera Indian village in the heart of Chagres National Park.
To Spanish explorers, the rumors of gold and vast riches could only mean that this section of Central America was the costa rica – the “Rich Coast.” Hailed as the Switzerland of the Americas, Costa Rica occupies a unique position, lying between two oceans and two continents. On both coasts, tropical rainforests rise to the mountains of the interior, many of which soar over 13,000 feet above sea level. In the west, a seemingly endless succession of brown-sand beaches forms the nation’s Pacific coast. Puntarenas is your gateway to Costa Rica’s wonders – and to its capital city of San Jose.
SAN JUAN DEL SUR
Nicaragua is the largest Central American nation and has stunning landscapes, vast cultural treasures, and an intriguing history. Until recent times Nicaragua was unfortunately known for the civil war (Sandinistas and Contras) that raged from the late 70s through much of the 80s. Today, the soldiers and guerrillas have given way sightseeing in a beautiful country. From strolling the cobblestone streets of colonial Granada on Lake Nicaragua, to exploring one of the many volcanoes, Nicaragua has something for even the most seasoned traveler.
Manzanillo’s history as a resort on the Mexican Riviera is brief. But the port’s history is as old as the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Cortes first espied the harbour in 1522, when he chose the bay as the site for a shipyard. The city’s maritime heritage continues to this day: Manzanillo is the largest commercial port on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. What draws travellers, however, is the bay’s scenic beauty: jungle-laden mountains rise above rocky coves and golden-sand beaches. The offshore waters offer superb diving – and some of the finest fishing in the world. For decades, Manzanillo has been a secret destination for fishermen. The offshore waters teem with 70 species of game fish. One can fish for sailfish and dorado year-round.
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