|Cruising to Central America's Next "Hot Spot" Destination
If you or your clients are planning on a cruise in 2013, consider booking one that stops in Nicaragua and offers you or your clients a taste of this beautiful Central American country's pristine beaches, tropical landscape and vibrant colonial cities. Many Panama Canal and Latin American cruises stop in the Nicaraguan ports of San Juan Del Sur or Corinto on the Pacific Ocean.
San Juan del Sur, a popular beach town set on a picturesque bay in Southern Nicaragua, offers an array of lively waterfront cafes and bars where you can enjoy fresh-caught Nicaraguan shrimp and lobster, along with an icy Toña beer or a cocktail made with Nicaragua’s famous Flor de Caña rum. From San Juan del Sur, you can easily arrange to take a surfing lesson on one of the country’s best surfing beaches. You can also arrange to go rappelling down an ocean cliff or go horseback riding on the beach where CBS filmed “Survivor: Nicaragua.”
Cruise ships anchoring in San Juan del Sur offer tours to Granada, one of the most well-preserved colonial cities in all of the Americas, just 90 minutes away. In Granada you'll visit some of the oldest churches in Central America, a museum with pre-Columbian artifacts and even a chocolate factory where you can make your own chocolate. You'll enjoy a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America, a peek into the smoking crater of Masaya Volcano and a visit to the Masaya artisans' market for shopping. Your tour may also offer a stop for zip-lining over a coffee farm on the slopes of Mombacho Volcano.
Some cruise ships docking in Nicaragua stop in Corinto, on the country's pristine northern Pacific Coast. Corinto is the gateway for tours of the colonial city of León, where day-trippers can explore museums; the largest cathedral in Central America, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and the ruins of old León, yet another World Heritage site. Nearby is Cerro Negro Volcano, where thrill-seekers can try their hand at Nicaragua's unique sport - ash boarding - down the black slopes of the volcano. On the drive back to the ship, Flor de Caña distillery offers tours and rum tastings.
For cruises to Nicaragua, jump on board one of the following cruise lines that will take you there: Cruise lines with stops in Nicaragua include Holland America, Princess, Star Clipper and Windstar.