MAYAN LEGACIES

From $ 1,599 pp Shipboard Credit Offer
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Mayan Legacies

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From $ 1,599* pp, Shipboard Credit Offer

Colón to Cozumel

Mayan Legacies
West of the well-traveled Caribbean, even further west than the Cayman Islands and ABC Islands, lies a handful of scattered cays and mainland ports that combine Caribbean charm with Latin appeal. This is where you’ll find the Mayan legacy of Chacchoben. Where you’ll see chalk-white beaches and rainbow-hued corals, shimmering underground waterfalls and howler monkeys swinging through the rainforest canopy. And where only small ships like Wind Surf give you access to tiny unspoiled islands like Isla San Andres.
Jesus’ favorite SCUBA sites are off Cozumel, which he calls, “The diving paradise of the Mexican Caribbean.”
Our Storyteller: Jesus Sanchez
Marine Operations Manager
The thousands of adventurers who travel with Windstar each year have Jesus Sanchez to thank for their safe passage. He oversees the nautical and safety operations across the entire fleet, handling the maintenance and quickly resolving any technical glitches to ensure smooth sailing all the way. A real-life Aquaman born and raised in the Caribbean, Jesus majored in marine biology and taught diving professionally in Cozumel before joining our team. He also is a trained watercraft driver and the natural choice to oversee the Watersport Platform program.
Asked to sum up this uncommon Caribbean adventure, Jesus Sanchez laughs: “The Watersports Platform gets plenty of use!” Jesus hails from the region, so he knows of which he speaks — and he raves about the “paradisiacal” waters of Costa Maya, ideal for snorkeling and sailing; as well as his favorite SCUBA sites off Cozumel, which he calls “the diving paradise of the Mexican Caribbean.” Windstar guests can troll for prize marlin and tuna on a catch-and-release deep-sea fishing trip off Roatan, and make fast friends with pufferfish and sea turtles on tiny Isla San Andres, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that is only accessible by small ships like Wind Surf.
 
Yet there is more to this 8-day cruise than chalk-white beaches and rainbow-hued corals of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second in size only to Australia’s Great Barrier. You also will uncover Mayan temples hidden within the rainforest at Chaccoben and Lamanai; see shimmering waterfalls while floating the Cave Branch River in Belize; and travel through the jungle to meet the Ngobe-Buglé people in Bocas del Toro and Embera Indians near Colón, two of Panama’s many indigenous communities that Jesus says are “as warm and welcoming as the Caribbean sun.”
IF I WERE THERE...
  • Go spelunking through the Nivida Bat Cave in Bocas del Toro — “You ride a cayuco (traditional boat) along Bahia Honda River before a short hike to this subterranean cave, home to hundreds of tiny fruit bats”
  • Hear the whooping of thousands of black howler monkeys at a sanctuary outside Belize City — “It’s fun to watch them swinging through the rainforest canopy, then come down to receive a treat from the guide”
  • Explore wrecks in the warm waters off Costa Maya, where a plethora of corals, multicolored fish, rays, turtles, and dolphins create “an Eden for divers”
  • Take a day on Roatan’s Big French Key Beach before returning via the “Iguana Hideaway,” where hundreds of giant iguanas roam freely — “They are very gentle, though,” says Jesus, “and you can even feed them”
  • Spend a few extra days on Cozumel to visit the San Gervasio ruins and dive a plethora of excellent sites — Jesus’ favorites include Chankanaab with its balloon coral (“a spectacle!”) and Punta Tunich (“the formations explode in color, but you must have experience”)

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