When you think of the Western Caribbean, your mind may go to Cozumel, Jamaica, Belize, Honduras or Grand Cayman – and with good reason – when you head west, your options are more limited, but not your excursions.
Here are 5 cool Western Caribbean shore excursions worth looking into:
Stingray City in Grand Cayman
You’ll jump on a boat to head out to a shallow-water sandbar with dozens of tame Atlantic Stingrays. You’ll be able to feed and pet the stingrays under the supervision of your tour guide. You can bring your own waterproof camera or have someone on the boat take your photo to purchase later. Can’t swim? The water is shallow, and no one gets into the water without a life jacket.
Mayan Ruins in Cozumel
Jump on a ferry over to the Yucatan Peninsula and take a 45-minute ride south to Tulum, home to some of the oldest preserved Mayan ruins in Cozumel. This ancient fortress is perched 40 feet above the cliffs, giving picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea, and knowledgeable tour guides will take you back 800 years.. There is some walking involved with this Mayan Ruins tour, but it is well worth the history lesson and photos!
Swim with the Sharks in Belize
Caye Caulker is a small island about an hour off the coast of Belize and home to Shark Alley. Here you’ll have the opportunity to swim with nurse sharks in their natural habitat. You’ll want to bring your waterproof camera because this is a hands-on experience and one that definitely should be documented. After you check the shark experience off your bucket list, make sure you enjoy a drink at the Lazy Lizard before heading back to your cruise ship. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, nurse sharks are one of the non-threatening sharks.
Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica
When you arrive at the falls, it may look familiar — that’s because the first James Bond film was shot at Dunn’s River in 1962. Cruise vacationers link hands under the guidance of a tour guide and slowly make their way up the 180 feet waterfall. The climb takes about an hour with stops along the way for narration, photos and video. Dunn’s River Falls is one of the only waterfalls in the world that empties right into the sea.
Diving in Roatan, Honduras
There isn’t an island in the Western Caribbean that offers a better diving experience than off the coast of Honduras. Bountiful with reefs, cliffs, drop-offs, sea wrecks and tropical fish, a dive off the coast of Honduras can offer some amazing cruise vacation photos. Experienced divers can even swim with dolphins in an open-water environment.
Western Caribbean tips:
- Booking a private tour is the best way to experience and get the most out of your shore excursion.
- Avoid looking like a lobster by bringing sunscreen. Sunscreen at an island stores are generally double in price than what you can get at home.
- Bring along a weatherproof bag and waterproof cases for your electronics and personal items.
- Research your excursions directly through the company’s website, crowd-sourced websites like CruiseCritic.com or even your own social media channels like Facebook. Ask your friends if they have ever done the excursion you’re looking at booking, you’d be surprised how many have!
- Regardless of where you go in the Western Caribbean, you’ll only have six to 10 hours in your cruise port, so you’ll want to make the most of it!