- Central America
- Cruise for AFS Water Babies
- Exotic & Unique Adventures
- Water Baby
- Water Lovers
Luxury Sailing Up the Central American Coast
Time for some Vitamin Sea! Chalk white beaches, rainbow-hued coral reefs, emerald rainforests and mystical Mayan ruins beckon in each port as we sail the crystal waters of the less-explored western Caribbean in the Gulf of Honduras. 5 countries you ask? Yes, you can add Colombia, Panama, Honduras, Belize and Mexico to your passport now on this One Time Cruise nearly sold out and never to be offered again.
Ship Tease! AFSers beg us for cruises on Windstar, 180 degrees from ordinary. Our timeless 4-masted Wind Surf is the sexiest sailing yacht at sea with only 310 guests. Stem to stern, she’s elegant with a spa, pool, award winning water sports platform and scrumptious cuisines created by 5-star chefs onboard. Highlights are the ‘Sail Aways’ as you depart each port at night. The sails unfurl to the gentle breezes and sounds of classical music – a tradition which brings chills and goosebumps to all. The Wind Surf is small enough to go into scattered cays, where the mega ships can’t go, so you feel like you’re on your own private cruise.
Ahoy Wanderlust Sailors! This itinerary raises the bar with Mayan Treasures of the Yucatan, where pre-Colombian civilizations blend into stunning nature and dreamy beaches. It’s loaded with thrilling opportunities from exploring Tulum to diving the Great Blue Hole of Belize. We go off the grid to tiny unspoiled islands in the uncommon Caribbean. It’s all about culture, history, beaches and adventure. All this from $2299.
Escape to tiny secluded archipelago of Bocas del Toro, snorkel among a kaleidoscope of tropical fish and sea turtles in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Colombia’s Isla San Andres, marvel at the verdant jungles that envelope Roatan’s Big French Key Beach in Honduras and watch the howler monkeys swing between trees in their sanctuary near Belize City. We’ll sail the Costa Maya to seek out the legacy of Chacchoben. Hidden in the rainforests, these ancient pyramids are among the most significant archaeological finds of the Yucatan. Grab your snorkel mask or go diving in waters teaming with colorful fish, stingrays, eels and sharks along the Barrier Reef or the Chankanaab Eco Park of Cozumel La
Included Just you as part of AFS:
$100 Shipboard Credit to spend as you like! A fine bottle of wine in your cabin, AFS Cocktail party, Meet & Greet Happy Hours, Spectacular BBQ deck party.
Our Glorious AFS Itinerary
Feb 10 – Colon, Panama. 4PM
It’s always wise to fly in a day prior and Panama has so much to offer! All details on air and land will come in our Trip Tips. We have arranged a great affordable pre-cruise package for you which includes airport pick up, great hotel, a tour of the Panama Canal and transfer one hour to our pier in Colon $298. (See bottom for detailas)
Our grand sailing adventure officially begins today in the historic port of Colon (Cristobal) on the Atlantic Ocean side of Panama. You may want to consider arriving a day or two early to take in the local sites. Colon was the historic gateway to crossing the isthmus. You could do a canal immersion, visiting the Miraflores Locks or even take the train to the Pacific side of the canal, passing massive Gatun Lake where the cargo ships cross. Also, take in Portobelo-San Lorenzo, a UNESCO-designated cluster of Spanish forts that once guarded the Caribbean side of the Isthmus.
Sailing time is designated for 1pm, so please be aboard the Wind Surf at least an hour prior to that departure. You’ll want to be topside for thefirst of many spectacular “Sail Away” parties. Goose bumps galore are assured as Classical music fills the air, the sails unfurl and wind billows them out to push us forward to glide out of port.
Overnight: Wind Surf
With its colonial grandeur in decay and its neighborhoods marginalized, Colón is the city that Panama forgot, in spite of vigorous encouragement to attract Caribbean cruise ships. Before 1869 the railroad connecting Panama City and Colón was the only rapid transit across the continental western hemisphere. A last wheeze of prosperity was heard during the construction of the Panama Canal. – Lonely Planet
VIATOR TOURS (They offer fabulous affordable tours at each port.)
Feb 11 – Day 2 – Bastimentos Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama 10AM-4PM
The quixotic island of Bastimentos island in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro exudes the relaxed vibe of the Caribbean. First visited by Christopher Columbus in 1502, this small chain of islands now offers a lively kaleidoscope of West Indies, Latino, and Extraneros (the resident gringos) cultures. Bastimentos is known for its vibrant community with friendly locals and colorful, Caribbean-style clapboard houses built by the United Fruit Company a century ago. Soak up the culture or soak up the sun here. We will anchor at Red Frog Marina, considered to have the finest beaches of Panama.Take a hike through jungle trails for a chance to see animals like caymans, wild goats, and the red dart frog in which the beach is named after. Not far from town is the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, as well as two national parks, La Amistad and many banana plantations.
Overnight: Wind Surf
Colorful and full of Caribbean-style clapboard houses, Bocas del Toro (better known simply as Bocas town) was built by the United Fruit Company in the early 20th century. Today it is a relaxed community of West Indians, Latinos and resident gringos, with a friendly atmosphere that is contagious. It’s an easy place to adapt to and even easier to linger in.
Bocas serves as a convenient base for exploring the archipelago; taxis marinos (water taxis) can whisk you away to remote beaches and snorkeling sites for just a few dollars. The real allure here, though, is simply to be able to slow down and soak up the Caribbean vibes. – Lonely Planet
Feb 12 – Day 3 Isla San Andrés, Colombia 1PM-7PM
The tiny seahorse-shaped island of Isla San Andres is considered a rare Caribbean jewel and coming ashore here is a rare privilege that very few experience. Because our Wind Surf ship is small, we can take this unique opportunity. The island is known as the “Land of Happy People,” and you’ll hear the strains beat of reggae, reggaeton, raga, soca, calypso, merengue, salsa and vallenato throughout the lively community.
But this is also a snorkeling and diving paradise! As part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Preserve, the island is in the Caribbean’s second largest coral reserve with more than 50 species on display amid crystal clear waters teaming with puffer fish, angel fish, sea turtles and eels. Explore Pirate Captain Henry Morgan’s treasure cave and peruse the countless shops. Fun things to do here like Semi Submarine, glass bottom boats and amazing snorkel spots.
Overnight: Wind Surf
Just 150km east of Nicaragua and some 800km northwest of mainland Colombia, the seahorse-shaped island of San Andrés is best known as Colombia’s favorite weekend getaway, where mainlanders love to come to drink, tax-free shop, sunbathe and party. San Andrés Town, the focus of the action, won’t be splashed across postcards any time soon, though it does boast an attractive beach promenade and has in recent years begun to address what might be charitably termed its beauty gap.
Indeed, San Andrés is best appreciated outside the downtown hubbub. Whether you take a boat trip to one of the idyllic offshore cays, check out the excellent scuba-diving and snorkeling opportunities or head down the scenic 30km road encircling the rest of the island, this quirky place – where Anglo-Caribbean Raizal culture grinds up against the far more recently imported Colombian one – often manages to charm visitors in the end. – Lonely Planet
Feb 13-14 – Days 4 & 5 At Sea
You can relax on one of the six decks and stare at the sapphire seas, enjoy the pool or the fitness center, book some spa time or even hang out with the captain on the bridge and see how this spectacular sailing vessel works.
Overnight: Wind Surf
Feb. 15 – Day 6 – Roatan, Honduras 9AM-7PM
Roatan is a rich ocean playground. Surrounded by part of the huge Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, it offers both powdery white-sand beaches and dense emerald green jungle. These protected waters provide excellent snorkeling, kayaking, swimming with dolphins or stingrays and other marine life. The laid-back island lifestyle is welcoming, so take time to sample traditional local cuisine. Savor some conch, baleadas or pastilles in one of the many excellent cafes accompanied by delicious Honduran coffee.
So many great tours here!.. Daniel Johnson’s Sloth & Monkey Sanctuary (5-stars), Chocolate & Rum Factory, horses on the beach and the new “Zip & Dip” tour.
Overnight: Wind Surf
Roatán is the largest and most developed of the Bay Islands. Long and thin (50km long, but only 2km to 4km wide), the island is (like neighboring Utila) a diving and snorkeling paradise – virtually its entire coastline is fringed by an astonishingly diverse coral reef teeming with tropical fish. On land, exquisite white-sand beaches like West Bay, a mountainous interior of pine-forested hills and the remote wild east of the island (once a pirate hangout) beg to be explored- Lonely Planet
Feb 16 – Day 7 – Belize City, Belize 9AM-7PM
There’s so much to do in and around Belize City, it’s the reason I chose this cruise! Originating as a logging camp and exporter of mahogany, this is a hopping place with many shops and cafes to explore. But for nature lovers, escaping to the beaches or jungle may be in order. The adventurous may choose the Cave Branch River for a float through ancient ceremonial Mayan caves and perhaps a zipline through rainforests. Get up close and personal with howler monkeys at the Community Baboon Sanctuary or go deep into the rainforest the expansive Lamanai Mayan Ruins. And of course, there are Belize’s famous beaches and wonders of the Barrier Reef. So much to try and pack in a lot with this visit ashore! Two fabulous tours to consider Shark Alley & Hol Chan or Cave Tubing pur past groups loved.
Overnight: Wind Surf
Belize City is the historical (if no longer the actual) capital of the nation, making it an interesting place to spend a day or two. Its ramshackle streets are alive with colorful characters who represent every facet of Belize’s ethnic makeup, especially the Creoles. And while the urban scenery may involve the occasional fetid canal or run-down neighborhood, it also features handsome colonial houses, seaside parks, bustling shopping areas and sailboats that bob at the mouth of Haulover Creek- Lonely Planet
Two must do tours to consider; Cave Tubibg or Shark Alley Hol Chan at VIATOR TOURS
Feb 17 – Day 8 – Costa Maya, Mexico 8AM-5PM
The ancient Mayans revered these lands and soon you will, too. Costa Maya is the closest gateway to the mystical Chaccoben Mayan Ruins. Located in the heart of the jungle, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to learn about the legendary culture. Pyramids tower above the jungle canopy, some of which you can climb to get an amazing view. Costa Maya is part of the massive Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, home to sharks, dolphins and turtles. The port itself offers unique shopping opportunities with crafts by local artisan
Overnight: Wind Surf
The Southern Caribbean Coast, or the Costa Maya as the tourist brochures call it, is the latest region to be hit by the development boom. But if you’re looking for a quiet escape on the Mexican Caribbean, it’s still the best place to be. With a coast stretching about 100km south of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve down to the small community of Xcalak, you’ll find many surprises along the way, including the tranquil fishing town of Mahahual, which offers great diving, beach-bumming and bird-watching opportunities – residents there put a premium on sustainable development, and it shows. In the interior, you’ll be blown away by the mesmerizing Laguna Bacalar, aka the ‘lagoon of seven colors,’ while the seldom-visited ruins of Dzibanché and Kohunlich seem all the more mysterious without the tour vans. For both the ruins and trips down south to Belize, Quintana Roo’s capital Chetumal makes a great jumping-off point. – Lonely Planet
Feb 18 – Day 9 Cozumel, Mexico 8 AM
Today marks the official end to our tour and we bid farewell to the Windsurf and head back to the US – or not. Our final port is the exotic island of Cozumel and although this is where we say goodbye to the Wind Surf, you should consider staying on for a day or more so that you can take in all some of the countless activities and sites available in this uniquely diverse area.
For starters, experience the wonders of the spectacular Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. This multi-colored reef spans 14 miles around the island and offers eye-popping snorkeling and diving opportunities to see mind-boggling amount of marine diversity. Venture into the underwater caverns of Chankanaab, which are home to dolphins, manatees and sea turtles. Or, you may want to take the time to ferry over to the mainland to explore the world-class beaches of Playa del Carmen.
Fascinating for its dual personality, Cozumel offers an odd mix – quietly authentic neighborhoods existing alongside tourist-friendly playgrounds. Leaving the tourist area behind, you’ll find garages that still have shrines to the Virgin and spirited Caribbean energy in the air. And, of course, there are epic experiences to be had, such as diving at some of the best reefs in the world.
The entire Yucatan Penisula is a playground of fun. You may want to add a day or two at a beach resort like Xcaret Resort! Swim the ceynote caves, swim with turtles of Akumal, Whale Sharks at Isla Holbox. Nearby you can explore Chichen Itza, Tulum, Isla Mujeres and Cancun.
While diving and snorkeling are the main draws, the town square is a pleasant place to spend the afternoon, and it’s highly gratifying to explore the less-visited parts of the island on a rented scooter or in a convertible car. The coastal road leads to small Maya ruins, a marine park and cliffside bars, passing captivating scenery along the unforgettable windswept shore. And while the nightlife has nothing on Playa del Carmen’s or Cancún’s, there’s plenty to do after the sun goes down. – Lonely Planet
Check out new expoeriences nearby – Xcacel Beach Turtle Sanctuary, Laguna Colombia Eco Park, Aktun Chen NP for cool caves and monkies. Kantuin Chi Ceynote Park to swim crystal blue underground rivers. Xenses Sensorial Partk for 15 differenrt realirty bending experiences and Vidanta Jungala – lux aduklt waterpark. There’s 5 new Glampoing Tented Resorts just opened. Google all.
Optional Pre-Trip Hotel and Ship Transfer Package
Feb 9 – Limited to just 26
Pick up at Int’l Airport at Noon and transfer to Novotel Hotel, located in El Cangrejo within 1 mi (2 km) of Via Espana and only few steps from the Metro Station. Novotel Calle José Isaac Fábrega, Panamá, Panama
8:00 departure from our Hotel to visit Miraflores Visitor Center by The Panama Canal, where visitors have the opportunity to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn first hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed.
If time permits, we’ll do a quick stop at the Causeway of Amador, which was built in 1913, with rocks from the excavation of the Culebra Cut during construction of the Panama Canal.
The Causeway joins Panama City with four islands: Naos, Perico, Culebra and Flamenco.
The site was part of a US military complex called Fort Amador that had established to protect the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal.