14 Days - Tour Dates: April 16 - 29, 2024
Day 1 - Tuesday, 4/16/2024 - San Jose (Puntarenas), Costa Rica
Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Representatives from American Queen Voyages and our local port/city partner will be available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.
Day 2 - Wednesday, 4/17/2024 - Embark
Puerto Caldera and Puntarenas are two different cruise ports approximately 17 miles (20 km) away from each other, but in both cases, Puntarenas is the nearest town of interest. Our ship docks at a commercial port in Puerto Caldera. The only way to get from your ship to anywhere is to take transportation as port authorities have a strict “no walking in port” policy. Along the coast is a public city beach lined with bars and restaurants (although its water is a little murky).
Inland attractions include lush national parks and protected nature reserves, encompassing the islands Negritos, Los Pajaros and Guayabo. Monteverde, located just 20 miles (30 km) south of Puerto Caldera, is famous for the Santa Elena Rain Forest and two reserves: Carara Biological Reserve, best known for their diverse populations of birds, and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Another popular destination is the Arenal Volcano, which is approximately 56 miles (90 km) northwest of San Jose. Most American Queen Voyages guests will explore Costa Rica’s capital, San José, located in the Central Valley. It’s an extensive plain, guarded by majestic volcanoes and green hills, honoring the natural richness that exists throughout the national territory. Founded in the first half of the 18th century, San José is today a city with world-class museums, parks, hotels, theaters, and historic buildings. Its architecture is diverse, as are the people walking its streets. - Dinner
Day 3 - Thursday, 4/18/2024 - Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
Although Playas del Coco is one of the oldest beach communities in Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province, it's better known for its beautiful beaches and dreamy sunsets. The blissful beach towns that line the coastal areas are commonly referred to as "El Coco" by locals and "Coco Beach" by travelers. But regardless of what you know it as, it doesn't change the 20 miles of pure beauty that includes an abundance of activities on every corner.
Embark on the adventure of a lifetime with an exhilarating ziplining experience. Soar to new heights as you move through the dense rainforest. At each stop, enjoy the best view in town. Back on land, embark on a jungle safari that takes you into the Palo Verde National Park. Get up close to native Costa Rican wildlife as you head towards the Tempiaque River for a boat ride.
Join us on the Rincon de la Vieja expedition and immerse yourself in the local culture. Begin the journey with a guided exploration through the Costa Rican jungle and the hillsides of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcana. Listen to the "Corner of the Old Woman" legend and discover how the volcano got its name. Venture on a cultural tour, then embrace adventure with zip lining. Round out the experience with a dip in the hot springs, a cooling mud bath, and a traditional lunch.
Take to the cool waters with a class III-IV white-water rafting journey. Jump into the inflatable raft, grab your paddle, and prepare for the rough waves to bring you down the river. With each bend of the river, enjoy stops for fresh fruit, cookies, and an array of beverages. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Friday, 4/19/2024 - Scenic Ocean Cruising
Enjoy your day at Sea – a day to rise with the sun and meet with friends in the restaurant of your choosing over breakfast...or sleep in and order room service. Gather in for snacks and games in one of many intimate venues or take in the view from the Observation deck with your favorite cocktail in hand. This day is yours to craft as you desire. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Saturday, 4/20/2024 - Puerto Chiapas, Mexico
Chiapas is Mexico’s most southern and – according to legend – most mysterious state. The port in Chiapas is a small fishing and agricultural transport center, opened in 1975. Updates carried out by the government regularly since 2005 have added facilities and conveniences for cruise and cargo ships. There is little of interest to cruise guests in the immediate vicinity of the port. There is a craft market as one leaves the dock, but the nearest town, Tapachula, is a few miles inland.
Here, it’s possible to taste some Chiapas fare and get a cold drink, but not much else. The surrounding communities are home to a mix of indigenous cultures. Most visitors to Puerto Chiapas come to explore Izapa, on the Izapa River near the base of the Tacaná volcano – the sixth tallest peak in Mexico. The site – located on hilly, volcanic soil – is very hot and wet. The surrounding area, known as the Soconusco region, was used by the Aztecs to cultivate cacao, from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made. Izapa is also home to a very large, pre-Columbian archaeological site. Several archaeologists have theorized that Izapa may have been settled as early as 1500 BCE, making it as old as the Olmec sites of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán and La Venta. Izapa remained occupied until approximately 1200 CE. Due to the abundance of carved Maya stelae and monuments at Izapa, the term “Izapan style” is used to describe similar works throughout the Pacific foothills and highlands, including some at Takalik Abaj and Kaminaljuyu. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Sunday, 4/21/2024 - Huatulco, Mexico
Known for its nine bays and 36 miles of beautiful beaches, Huatulco (wah-tool-ko) offers an ideal mix of culture and relaxation. Named for the nearby national park, Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca, southeast of Mexico City on the Pacific coast, half-way between Acapulco and Guatamala. Oaxaca is seeped in indigenous culture and pride; over 350,000 Zapotec and 240,000 Mexitec people call the state home, and over 16 other indigenous groups are registered there. In addition to Spanish, at least half of the population speaks indigenous languages, and they each have distinct food, clothing, traditions, and dance. You could visit one area of Oaxaca and then visit another and experience something totally unique.
Not as well-known as Cabo, Cancún, and Puerto Vallarta, the area has been popular with Mexicans for years and there is a sizeable community of Canadian retirees. Regrettably, many who travel to Mexico never experience this beautiful coastal city. And while Huatulco offers fun-in-sun beach vibes, there is more to see. Here American Queen Voyages guests encounter Oaxaca’s rich heritage and gain access to a little-known, nature-lovers utopia. Ecotourism is gaining in popularity, so river rafting or a hike through the jungle may be available. Optionally, you can venture to La Crucecita, billed as “a new town with old-fashioned sensibilities.” The tourist development complex has an interesting Arts and Crafts Museum managed by the artisans themselves. Here visitors can sample and purchase various regional products such as chocolate, mole, mescal and even grasshoppers – if you dare. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Monday, 4/22/2024 - Scenic Ocean Cruising
Enjoy a day at sea. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Tuesday, 4/23/2024 - Mazanillo, Mexico
Mexico’s busiest seaport lies on the Pacific Ocean between Manzanillo Bay and Cuyutlán Lagoon. In pre-Columbian times the site was called Tzalahua and ships were built there for Hernán Cortés’ 1533 expedition to the Gulf of California. The city’s commercial and manufacturing activities are based on products made from the farmlands, forests, and waters of the Colima and neighboring Jalisco states. The chief exports include corn, bananas, lemons, fish, minerals, lumber, wine, canned goods, and copra – dried sections of the meat of the coconut.
The beaches along Manzanillo Bay and Santiago Bay, north of the seaport, are beautiful, and many international resorts contribute to the local economy. Lush, verdant hillsides lead to sandy beaches in a balmy, tropical setting. This magical, historic, cultural, and intimate destination is Manzanillo. It offers all the old-world charm of Mexico with every 21-century creature comfort. The crashing Pacific is surely a siren’s call for many visitors. You can go swimming or surfing. Join a deep-sea, sportfishing, snorkeling or SCUBA diving excursion. Or rent a kayak or small sailboat. Visitors to the area between December and April may get to see whales in Manzanillo Bay. Landlubbers need not despair. Explore Manzanillo’s quaint, old-town plaza, Miramar Flea Market or join an eco-tour to a volcano or waterfall. This enchanting resort is also a popular backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters as you will see on the included city tour. Optionally, you can visit a turtle sanctuary in Cuyutlán or Salt Flats to learn how top-quality salts are made. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 9 - Wednesday, 4/24/2024 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta is a special tourist destination on the west coast of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The modern town dates from the mid-1800s and its port from 1885. Puerto Vallarta grew organically from being a fishing village, into a world-class tourist destination. Tourism is a major economic activity because of the climate, scenery, tropical beaches, and rich culture. Mexican city dwellers discovered the clear sandy beaches, spectacular sunsets, and clear emerald-blue waters in the 1950s. Hollywood and the jet-set fell in love with the place in the early 1960s; John Huston frequently brought Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ava Gardner with him for long holiday weekends.
Little by little, with part luck and lots of local effort and promotion, Puerto Vallarta evolved into a welcoming and modern resort area with lots to do, gourmet restaurants, and top hotels. With so many natural and cultural delights, visitors can stroll the picturesque boardwalk, go horseback riding, snorkel, shop for local handicrafts or enjoy a blissful beach day. Your included tour visits the main square, Our Lady of Guadalupe church, and Playa Grande, where it feels like time has stood still. You will also learn how tequila is made at Rio Bendito. Optional tours let you go to market with a local chef then learn to cook a traditional Mexican lunch at a rustic, country kitchen. Or join a 45-ft cutter for a 4-hour sail on the Bay of Banderas. Look for sea turtles, dolphins, and even a humpback whale, or two. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 10 - Thursday, 4/25/2024 - Scenic Ocean Cruising
Enjoy a day at sea. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 11 - Friday, 4/26/2024 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Sailors from Manila have long known the coast of Baja California in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. They hunted wild animals at an estuary next to the mouth of a river and stored up on water and food supplies. Their galleons loaded with silks, pearls, and spices. They then continued their trip until Acapulco, from where the load was sent overland to Mexico City and from there to Veracruz, where it was finally embarked on ships headed to Spain. Since Francisco de Ulloa discovered it in 1537, Cabo San Lucas was a point of nautical reference. Nevertheless, when pirates found out about it, it became a closely watched point by both parties, and in 1730, the government of New Spain ordered Father Nicholas Tamaral to found a fort and a Jesuit mission in San Jose. Cabo San Lucas, or simply Cabo, together with San José del Cabo form a metropolitan area known as Los Cabos.
The Los Cabos Corridor has become a heavily trafficked vacation destination. Rated as one of Mexico’s top 5 tourist destinations, Cabo is known for its beaches, scuba diving locations, and the Arco de Cabo San Lucas. The arch, locally known as “El Arco,” is a distinctive rock formation. The waters around Cabo are home to marine wildlife including rays, sharks, mahi-mahi (dorado) and striped marlin. In the winter, pods of whales can be observed. They bear their calves in the warm local waters after traveling up to 6,000 miles from Alaska and Siberia. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 12 - Saturday, 4/27/2024 - Scenic Ocean Cruising
Enjoy a day at sea. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 13 - Sunday, 4/28/2024 - Scenic Ocean Cruising
Enjoy another day at sea. - Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 14 - Monday, 4/29/2024 - San Diego, CA
As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home -- your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you. - Breakfast
Experience an innovative design that brings a new level of responsible travel. Built for exploration in earth’s most fragile places, our ships use the cleanest available fuel, offer unique access to wilderness waters, and provide an unparalleled platform for discovery.
Each day presents a new array of regional specialties to tantalize your tastebuds. From your choice of breakfast options to mouthwatering five-course dinners, you’ll eagerly anticipate every bite. Whether it’s a perfectly grilled salmon or a freshly baked pastry to enjoy with your morning coffee, the tastes are ideally suited to the environment.
Enjoy Expedition decks that make it easy to step into a Zodiac for up-close exploring or launching your kayak and sliding overwater viewing platform to observe nature and marine life intimately.
After a day of exploring, you’ll find a place to relax that puts you in the center of 360-degree panoramas. Every public space, every private nook is designed for your comfort, and the view is always center stage.