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Central America to Centre Stage in Los Angeles

Sail from Panama City through the heart of Central America, experiencing the wild beauty of Quepos, the allure of Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo's coastal charm, culminating in California's iconic cities: San Diego and Los Angeles. A journey of diverse wonders awaits.

Cruise Only
14 nights

Luxury Holiday
San Diego
Panama City
Los Angeles

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!

EJ

Everything on this Journey moves at the speed of desire: remote coasts and romantic resorts, chic cities and cultured UNESCO sites.

We start where dreamers and builders dug a short-cut from sea to shining sea by damming a river to create Gutan Lake and grading the Continental Divide to make a 13-kilometre channel, the Galliard Cut. Next, we dive into one of the most biologically intense places on the planet, Costa Rica. An enchanting wonderland with more than 4% of the world’s biodiversity. We visit Quepos where butterflies are blue, sloths move slowly, and monkeys hang in trees in Manuel Antonio National Park (considered amongst the 12 most beautiful in the world). Otherworldly wonders include treks to the cloud forest of Monteverde to see birds, orchids and trees not found anywhere else on earth!

Our search for sanctuary continues in San Juan del Sur, a quiet beach town for surfers and sunbathers. In Puerto Quetzal, ruins of former glories dazzle us at La Democracia, where pre-Mayan statues known as “fat gods” dot the landscape. We also find Antigua, a UNESCO-protected Spanish-colonial village that has survived volcanos, earthquakes and political upheaval. With a sky and sea that are mostly flawlessly blue, the Mexican Rivera calls us to Puerto Vallarta. Hugging the cerulean Banderas Bay, the resort city is a sweet nook set against dramatic mountains, buzzing with boardwalks and unmatched sunsets. At the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, a massive outcropping of rocks — known as The Arch — welcome us to Cabo San Lucas with its world-class golf, epic marlin fishing, and diving sites with so much biodiversity that Jacques Cousteau called this “the aquarium of the world”.

With its infinite beauty, we call on sunny San Diego, then venture to Los Angeles where culture meets the coast. The second largest city in the United States and arguably its most glamorous with epic shopping in Beverly Hills, celebrity-spotting in Malibu Beach, or walking to the Griffith Observatory for a bird’s eye view of this City of Angels. Equally extraordinary are optional jaunts to Las Vegas or immersive discoveries into the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon.

EJ144 Operated by Explora Journeys

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Central America to Centre Stage in Los Angeles Itinerary

Day 1 - Panama City

Framed by two oceans connected by the singular Panama Canal (the 7th Wonder of the Modern World) this vibrant and dynamic urban centre is truly a city on the world’s stage of commerce and ecology. Sleek skyscrapers are surrounded by pristine nature. Soberanía National Park protects a bounty of flora and fauna minutes from downtown. Casco Antiguo, the cobblestoned colonial centre, is a lovely labyrinth of churches, palaces, and plazas lined with cafes and the best champagne rooftop bars in the city. A UNESCO creative hub for gastronomy, it is home to a vibrant and diverse food scene led by world-class chefs. An incredible cultural crossroads sure to connect you to the uncommon.

Day 3 - Quepos (Puerto Quepos)

A tropical inlet surrounded by rainforest on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, Quepos is one of the best places in the world to immerse yourself in waterfalls and wonders where the rainforest meets the sea. Renowned as the gateway to Manuel Antonio National Park (which recently received an Elite-level Certificate of Sustainable Tourism) where mangroves, lagoons, and virgin beaches shelter howler, white-faced and squirrel monkeys. Off-shore waters teem with whales, dolphin, blue marlin, and swordfish. In-land jungles offer hikes to Nauyaca waterfall, 360 species of brightly feathered birds, zip-lining and canyoning, or walking the Baru River to hear the quietude of nature. As prized as quaint Quepos is for eco-adventure, its beaches rank among the top 25 in the world, too.

Day 4 - San Juan del Sur

Known for its beautiful breaking waves, this laid-back port is favoured by surfers, sun-seekers, and savvy celebrities craving a low-key, tropical getaway – albeit one with nightlife that pops until dawn. The world’s second-largest statue of Jesus, Cristo de la Misericordia, Christ of Mercy, towers above the town. A stroll along the lanes of the village leads to colourful murals of native sea creatures. Nearby natural wonders abound in Lake Nicaragua: the lovely colonial Granada as well as the Island of Ometepe with its twin volcanoes, Maderas and Concepcion, and the stunningly beautiful Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve, which has one of the last cloud and dwarf forests in the world. Tranquillity in the tropics.

Day 6 - Puerto Quetzal

From time immemorial, this region has witnessed cultural, geographical, and political upheaval. Its position adjacent to fertile lowlands that run the length of the gorgeous black shoreline made it a strategic home to ancient civilisations. Pre-Olmec carved stone heads, the massive “fat gods”, are preserved nearby. Spanish conquistadors valued it as a gateway between the Americas. Just beyond, volcanoes strike boldly from the landscape where the Spanish crowned Antigua the capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. Now a UNESCO-protected village filled with breath-taking scenery – Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture, brightly-coloured colonial buildings, and a lovely central square. Positioned in pursuit of purpose.

Day 9 - Puerto Vallarta

Hugging the cerulean Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta is a stunning resort city set against the rugged Sierra Madres and the powerful Ameca River. The indigenous Aztatlan lived in this paradise when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s and chronicled the area’s natural beauty still home to birds, humpback whales, and dolphins. Now, bordered by the busiest malecón (waterfront esplanade) in all of Mexico, restaurants and nightclubs go from dusk until dawn. From there, cobblestone streets climb up the hills to reveal galleries, boutiques, and cafés. The perfect place to toast the sunset and Mexico’s natural beauty teeming with life.

Day 10 - Cabo San Lucas

At the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, a massive outcropping of volcanic rock, known as The Arch, is the beacon of welcome to this arid region of golden beaches and rugged mountains. Aboriginal inhabitants, the Pericú, flourished with the bounty of the sea. The waters still brim with so much biodiversity, Jacques Cousteau called it “the aquarium of the world”. Deep-sea fishing and scuba diving are as popular below the surface as sunbathing and celebrity sightings are above. World-class golf is set on some of the sport’s most cinematic courses whilst deep-sea fishing catches weigh-in amongst the sports more massive. Tour agave farms to taste tequila or stroll art galleries with wine, you will discover Cabo is a muse that tempts you to return again and again.

Day 12 - San Diego, California

San Diego exudes a beachy-chic, active, effortless elegance. Renowned for its idyllic climate, pristine beaches, and charming neighbourhoods. The Gas Lamp Quarter, where Wild West outlaws like Wyatt Earp once roamed, will steal your heart with theatre, art, and music. Little Italy, once home to generations of Italian seafaring families, now alive with cosy cafés and wine bars. Stunning Balboa Park, with its gorgeous gardens, impressive museums, and its richly historic El Prado District (listed on the National Registry of Historic Places), is rimmed with gardens and architectural gems from the early 1900s. Coastal La Jolla, one of the most popular beach destinations in California, is rich for kayaking, biking and wine strolls. You’ll agree with Forbes magazine that this is the “coolest city by the sea”.

Day 13 - San Diego, California

San Diego exudes a beachy-chic, active, effortless elegance. Renowned for its idyllic climate, pristine beaches, and charming neighbourhoods. The Gas Lamp Quarter, where Wild West outlaws like Wyatt Earp once roamed, will steal your heart with theatre, art, and music. Little Italy, once home to generations of Italian seafaring families, now alive with cosy cafés and wine bars. Stunning Balboa Park, with its gorgeous gardens, impressive museums, and its richly historic El Prado District (listed on the National Registry of Historic Places), is rimmed with gardens and architectural gems from the early 1900s. Coastal La Jolla, one of the most popular beach destinations in California, is rich for kayaking, biking and wine strolls. You’ll agree with Forbes magazine that this is the “coolest city by the sea”.

Day 14 - Los Angeles, California

Surrounded by ocean, mountains, forest, and desert, gilded with crystal-clear light and the rich diversity of people, LA glows with a heavenly quality. A blend of neighbourhoods each radiating with their own distinct vibe and character: Beverly Hills with its legendary shopping along Rodeo Drive; Hollywood with its movie studios; and Bel Air with its stately mansions. Relive the glory days of Tinseltown in downtown landmarks. Discover museums that hold illuminating works of Shakespeare, Thoreau and one of 12 surviving original Guttenberg Bibles. Then feel the creative firmament of mother nature at Santa Monica and Malibu Beaches. Truly, the stars have aligned to create such a legendary galaxy of sites.

Day 15 - Los Angeles, California

Surrounded by ocean, mountains, forest, and desert, gilded with crystal-clear light and the rich diversity of people, LA glows with a heavenly quality. A blend of neighbourhoods each radiating with their own distinct vibe and character: Beverly Hills with its legendary shopping along Rodeo Drive; Hollywood with its movie studios; and Bel Air with its stately mansions. Relive the glory days of Tinseltown in downtown landmarks. Discover museums that hold illuminating works of Shakespeare, Thoreau and one of 12 surviving original Guttenberg Bibles. Then feel the creative firmament of mother nature at Santa Monica and Malibu Beaches. Truly, the stars have aligned to create such a legendary galaxy of sites.

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Call us now on 01756 706500

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