Hi Everyone. My husband(54)and I(43) are leaving 5 April 2009 on HAL Westerdam from Port Everglades to spend 2 weeks in the Southern and Eastern Caribbean before heading through the Panama and up to Vancouver Canada (35 days total http://bestsmileys.com/thumbs/7.gif). We have sailed with HAL on the Ryndam(Mexico) and Zaandam(Hawaii) so are very familiar with the cruise line. I have been gathering lots of port info on many of the ports of call in the Caribbean and Mexico but can't seem to find any info on the following ports: Santa Marta, Columbia; and Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to do at either of these ports. Shore excursions through the ship at Santa Marta are limited to 1 tour which is a "highlights and folklore" tour. In Puerto Caldera there are many more options which include many tours into the jungle but I have not been able to find any reviews on these type of excursions. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also if you are traveling on the Westerdam any time during this period I would love to hear from you and perhaps meet for a drink while on board.
I have been to Costa Rica several times, but only on Princess and only to Puntarenas. But since Puerto Caldera is just slightly south of Puntarenas, I would assume that the tours offered would be quite similar.
Last trip we took what was called a "Mangrove Nature Cruise;" It was kind of like the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland, except for real. Very enjoyable. We saw many varities of birds, monkeys, iguanas and even crocodiles.
On previous trips we took the tour to San Jose, the Capital; and another time to the village of Sarchi. Both were wonderful, and a great way to see the beautiful Costa Rican countryside--although a bit long. But the local guides were very knowledgable and made the tours interesting and informative.
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