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Top 5 reasons to cruise to Central America

Next January Spirit of Discovery will set off on an exciting 49-night transatlantic crossing, calling at a succession of tropical Caribbean islands before arriving on the coast of Central America to visit some of the region’s top destinations.

Costa Rica, Central America’s wild side

Discover the tropical birdlife of Costa Rica

Cruise to Costa Rica and discover the country’s rugged landscape, golden beaches, lush rainforests, volcanoes and jungles. It’s the perfect place to get close to nature with the abundance of wildlife living here, from howler monkeys and sloths to sea turtles and technicoloured toucans. An aerial tram tour through the rainforest canopy is a great way to see some of the tropical flora and fauna and to experience the call of the wild.

Fact: Costa Rica is home to over 500,000 species of wildlife.

Mexico, a contrast of ancient ruins and dense jungles

Chichen Itza in Mexico

Central America has a rich history, influenced by Spanish, African, and indigenous populations, while much of the Mexican population has Aztec and Maya ancestry. There are over 200 Mayan ruins across Mexico, the most famous of which is El Castillo, which dominates the UNESCO-listed Chichen Itza complex in Yucatan. It’s believed that the city is well over 1500 years old. This heartland of Mayan Civilization is nestled amid Mexico’s largest tropical rainforest, which offers a haven for a great variety of wildlife, including five species of big cats.

Fact: Mexico is known for its conservation efforts against deforestation and has over 64 million hectares of jungle.

The Big Easy, New Orleans

New Orleans

On our cruise to New Orleans you journey along the mighty Mississippi River, one of the greatest water highways on Earth and the setting for Mark Twain’s famous book, ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’.

The city of New Orleans is renowned for its Creole cuisine, Mardi Gras and musical heritage. At the heart of the city is the French Quarter, which showcases French and Spanish Creole architecture and is home to historic Jackson Square and 18th-century St Louis Cathedral, as well as infamous Bourbon Street, known for its bars and clubs. Nearby, steamboats, which have operated in New Orleans for over 200 years, offer trips along the Mississippi accompanied by the soulful sound of live jazz. This musical city is also famous for its lively night life and party culture. It’s rumoured that New Orleans celebrates over 200 festivals every year.

Fact: The city’s motto is ‘laissez les bon temps rouler’, which loosely translates as ‘let the good times roll’.

Miami, playground for the rich and famous

Miami, Florida

Vast beaches, a favourable climate and exquisite real estate… it’s no wonder Miami is a hub for the rich and famous. One of its most popular strips, Ocean Drive, runs the entire length of South Beach and is the place to see and be seen. However, it’s not all about the glitz and glamour, Miami is also a gateway to the incredible Everglades National Park. This vast grassy wetland with its coastal mangroves and marshes is best explored by airboat, when you’ll have the opportunity to spot a variety of wildlife including alligators.

Fact: There are over 30 threatened or endangered species living in the Everglades, from the Florida panther to the American alligator.

The island city of Galveston

Houston Space Centre

Set on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Galveston is connected to the mainland by bridge. It has a selection of museums, wildlife parks and ornate 19th-century buildings that line the main historic district, The Strand. It is also close to Houston and its Space Centre, where you can learn about the history of space travel, see the world’s largest collection of moon rocks and NASA space craft, and explore over 400 space artefacts, exhibits and immersive experiences.

Fact: At the Space Centre you are allowed to visit the launch site from which space shuttles regularly depart from.

Discover more about Caribbean and Central America Discovery departing in 2025, aboard Spirit of Discovery.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.