On our cruise through the Panama Canal in March we will be stopping at the port of Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. We are considering an excursion titled "The Best of Colonial Antigua". It's a ship sponsored excursion. (We will be on the RCCL Legend of the Seas).
Has anyone done this excursion or a similar one? It is 8.5 hours long, so we are hoping it's worth the trip!
3 hours of it involves the drive to and from the tour location, which can be interesting because you see the countryside (and the poverty) but it is still a third of the tour time. The 90 minute drive back to the ship will likely seem endless, so just be prepared.
I think the longest tour we took in Central America was 5 hours and was to a pineapple plantation. It was fun and I don't regret it.
For Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and other nearby ports (Colombia for instance) I do strongly urge using a ship's tour so you've got that base covered.
Doing a two week cruise with a full transit of the Panama Canal is still high on my bucket list. I had one booked for last year but had to cancel it (also on the Legend OTS). I don't want to settle for the partial transits some do, so I hope to see those Pacific ports in Central America some day.
When we decided to splurge on the March cruise, we had several itineraries in mind; but a full transit of the Canal was at the top of Don's bucket list. We booked it last March, so it's neat to be down to the final weeks.
I'm sorry you had to cancel your cruise last year. Maybe 2014 or 2015 will be your Panama Canal cruise year!
We took a taxi tour from the dock to Antigua
The driver walked us around the city took us to the main highlights there explaining the history
We stopped in a small town on the way to see the very old church but there was a service going on so did not see the inside
some shopping at the jade factory
We went to the hotel there for lunch which was very good (it was an old convent)
You could do a tour of the grounds but it was hot so we just made our way back to the port
It was about $150 for 3 of us ..if you could find other to share a van it was cheaper
It was well worth the drive
We have done 3 full transits & enjoyed them all
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress