WantPanama,Costa Rica and Belize shore trip recommendations
Going on the Legend to Belize, Costa Rica and Panama. Please recommend shore trips for each stop. Looking for snorkeling in Belize and seeing the locks in Panama. What should we look for and what should we avoid.
I went to Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama on the Carnival Legend back in Dec 2002 with my family and friends. We did the cave tubing tour in Belize. In Costa Rica, we took a private tour to a beach, I forgot where it is. And in Panama we took a taxi up to the Gatun Lock on the Panama Canal. I would recommend doing some shopping around the tender dock in Belize. There are a few shops that sell some great Habanero hot sauces.
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We did Carnival Liberty's canal tour and loved it. Pricey but worth it to us. We cruised 2 locks, raised twice and had lunch while cruising down the canal. My advice if you choose this excursions, show up early and be on the 1st or 2nd bus. We had over 500 ppl on the ferry and went to the top and we were lucky to have a chair in the shade. The lunch was a piece of turkey on a huge roll, 1 mustard and mayo packets, muffin, and all the water, soda and beer you wanted. Many brought food off ship, but not sure you really can do that.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
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I did the Legend cruise last April. In Belize I wanted to do Snorkling with Stingrays at Shark Ray Alley voted one of the best dive sites, but Carnival cancelled this so I did it with a company called Coral Breeze Limited. I saw tons of stingrays and a nurse shark, also beautiful fish. I highly reccomend this American owned company, you can message me for more info. They have other snokle excursions as well as cave tubing, Altun Ha ruins etc. In Costa Rica I did ships tour to the Sloth Sanctuary being an animal lover I enjoyed this the sloths are adorable and look like they are smiling. In Panama I did the Grand tour I can reccomend this one as well you get to see the Gatun locks, then go out in a boat in the Gatun lake to meet the Umbrian Indians who preform a dance. Buy your souveniers there if you do this as the money helps the indians and the prices were the best, nice hand made items also. Enjoy!
I went to Belize last year on the Glory and we went out on our own (which I am not sure is reccommended) and we walked down the street to a water taxi which took us to the tiny island of Caye Caulker. It was great! The locals we met were very nice and gracious. There wasn't much to do except beach it which was fine with us. It was nice to get off the beaten path and meet local people. ALso, I heard the cave tubing in Belize is fun but I was too chicken!
Seems like I have posted on this topic a few times but whatever. Yes in panama if you havent seen the canal that is a must see although there are also flora and fauna excursions as well.
Limon Costa Rica...uh yes snorkle in Belize. Limon is a great port city with interesting night life but I doubt the ship stops that long. There is a big national park south of there that is worth seeing as well as a turtle reserve north of there. It is interesting because to get there you hire a boatman and they whole area is jungle rivers and canals....with "street signs" and all!.
Belize city is a bit rough around the edges so to speak. The Caye Caulker idea as mentioned before is a great idea in season cheap lobster is magnificent. Some of the best snorkling in the western hemisphere is around there. Take a water taxi to Ambergris Caye it will land you in the quaint town of San Pedro and plenty of boatmen are there to take you to the fabulous reef just a few hundred yards off shore. Other recommended activities in Belize........the Altun Ha maya ruin is worth seeing as well as a number of jungle river excursions to see crocodiles, howler monkeys, manatees etc while swilling Belican Beer.....good stuff.
The boat and train in Costa Rica was very nice and worth the money. I especially liked the "green Train", which by the way is blue, and the banana plantation. We saw monkeys, baboons( howler monkey), sloths, lizzards, and plenty of birds. Some sort of tour is a necessity unless one wishes to simply buy a few souvenirs at the dock. Panama and Belize are the same way. I don't recomend doing ANY self walking tours on this cruise. I did however talk to some some who hired a taxi at each port to give them tours. They were pleased.
Panama Canal ferry trip was overpriced at 175$. It is a very interesting trip however. The free lunch is a plain turkey sandwich and muffin. We all met on the Lido deck for a real lunch afterwards. We went through 2 locks but not the whole canal as I thought we would.
In Belize I crossed the country in order to visit Xunantunich Mayan site near the border with Guatemala. It included a REAL lunch at a very cool staw hut cafe. At the Mayan site we crossed via a hand cranked ferry and I purchased some pictured hand carved by the local Mayan Indians. The El Castillo temple is well worth the climb to the top. It's huge! That trip was worth the money for sure.
That's my subjective opinion...for what it's worth.
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Cave tubing is supposed to be a lot of fun. Word of advice, though, I would definitely take a ship excursion in Belize, whatever you do. We didn't and it was a harrowing experience, to say the least. There are certain ports which really aren't safe unless you're with a group and Belize is one of them.