Trip Operator:

One of VACAYA’s missions is to take you to exciting new destinations – fabulous places on our planet that have never been or are rarely visited by other LGBT+ travel companies. Using that mission as our guide, The Vacayans have created this luxury cruise around Central and South America just for you.

Our journey starts in uber gay-friendly Costa Rica, where its rainforests and friendly citizens await. We sail from Puerto Caldera and have 3 more incredible stops in Costa Rica, 5 in Panama, and an overnight in thrilling Cartagena, Colombia! We also transit one of the world’s modern wonders – the Panama Canal – as we sail from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. PONANT’s 5-star Le Bellot will be our home-away-from-home for 10 adventure-filled nights.

Trip Highlights 

  • DISCOVER 3 INCREDIBLE COUNTRIES (COSTA RICA, PANAMA & COLOMBIA)
  • UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES
  • DEEP EXPLORATION OF THE RAINFORESTS
  • THE GREATEST BIODIVERSITY ON EARTH
  • 5-STAR LUXURY ON LE BELLOT

Day 1 | MAR 7 | PUERTO CALDERA, COSTA RICA | Board 3pm | Depart 6pm

Day 2 | MAR 8 | CURÚ WILDLIFE REFUGE, COSTA RICA

Day 3 | MAR 9 | CASA ORQUIDEAS & GOLFITO, COSTA RICA

Day 4 | MAR 10 | CÉBACO, PANAMA

Day 5 | MAR 11 | PLAYA MUERTO, DARIEN NATIONAL PARK, PANAMA

Day 6 | MAR 12 | TRANSITING THE PANAMA CANAL

Day 7 | MAR 13 | PORTOBELO, PANAMA

Day 8 | MAR 14 | CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Day 9 | MAR 15 | CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Day 10 | MAR 16 | HOLANDES CAYES, PANAMA

Day 11 | MAR 17 | COLÓN, PANAMA | Disembark by 9am

Incomparable Luxury on the 5-Star Le Bellot

Le Bellot Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review | CruiseMapper

AFT MARINA PLATFORM (Deck 2)
– The aft marina platform serves as a launch for tenders and water sports activities.
BLUE EYE (Deck 0)
– Located below the waterline, Blue Eye is the first ever multisensorial lounge, offering a unique experience: the opportunity to enjoy undersea views and the sounds of the marine world while sharing a drink together.
MAIN RESTAURANT (Deck 4)
– Located aft, prepare to indulge in delicious cuisine with a decidedly French flair.
GRILL RESTAURANT (Deck 3)
– An exterior grill restaurant offers a relaxed ambiance and atmosphere.
PANORAMIC LOUNGE (Deck 6)
– Located high atop the ship, this lounge offers 180-degree views overlooking the ship’s bow.
MAIN LOUNGE (Deck 3)
– A perfect place to relax during the day and join VACAYA Piano Bar Sing-Alongs at night.
EXCURSION DESK (Deck 3)
– Find information and book optional excursions and activities here once onboard.
THEATER (Deck 3)
– Both PONANT and VACAYA entertainers bring this beautiful venue roaring to life.
GYM (Deck 7)
– The ship features a well-equipped gym with panoramic ocean views.
L’ESPACE BIEN ENTRE SPA & HAMMAM (Deck 7)
– Relax those muscles with a massage or in the thermal sauna with friends.
POOL (Deck 3)
– The heated swimming pool offers panoramic views and is equipped with an exterior bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas.

There are currently no extensions for this trip.

THE VALUE OF LUXURY

WHEN CRUISING PONANT WITH VACAYA, YOU’RE CHOOSING COMFORT, REFINEMENT, & DISCOVERY…

VACAYA’s 2023 Central America Cruise continues our already-robust tradition of redefining all that’s possible in the world of LGBT+ luxury travel. Of course savvy travelers recognize “value” rarely means “low price.” Instead, value is defined as getting something extraordinary for a great price. And that is exactly what VACAYA’s 2023 Central America Cruise delivers.

The Vacayans are dedicated to providing you with the very best. That’s what drives us, journey after journey. And it’s amazing what’s included:

  • 10 Nights aboard the stunning Le Bellot
  • All Meals, featuring subtle and audacious flavors inspired by our ports of call
  • Complimentary unlimited Open Bar throughout your cruise (premium alcohol extra)
  • Complimentary unlimited Open Mini-Bar in your Stateroom/Suite (premium alcohol extra)
  • Complimentary WiFi/Internet
  • Daily Afternoon Tea and Pastries
  • 24-Hour Room Service
  • 5-Star Service
  • 24×7 Stateroom Service
  • 24×7 Reception Desk
  • Lecturers, Guides, Naturalists, and Expedition Leaders
  • Zodiac Landings
  • Fitness Classes

The following services are available for an additional charge:

EXPEDITION CRUISE

What does it mean for a cruise to be designated an “Expedition Cruise”? Made up of captivating and enthusiastic expedition leaders, naturalist guides, and experts, the PONANT expedition team will unlock the doors to pristine natural spots. During the outings on Zodiac® boats and onboard talks, the team will give you the key to discover points of interest and wildlife sightings, understand the traditions and ways of life of locals, and get up close and personal with this region.

 

SMALL BOAT LANDINGS*

Each day, based on water and weather conditions, the Captain and the Expedition Leader will suggest Zodiac® outings and shore visits with a team of experienced naturalist guides to discover the infinite riches of National Parks, biodiversity, UNESCO sites, and tribes of Central America. The sturdy inflatable  boats enable both water-based exploration and safe landings in otherwise inaccessible areas. You’ll need to be fairly agile to board these, but there’s otherwise no need to worry about traveling in them. Landing operations depend on favorable conditions. Since you may get wet on the Zodiacs®, we suggest waterproof pants or swimsuits. Closed-toe shoes are required on the Zodiacs® and for your comfort should be waterproof.

PRESTIGIOUS PARTNERS

Finally, the French Touch is also evident in our choice of partners, whose expertise and passion for their work is in line with our own quest for excellence: interior design by Jean Philippe Nuel, fabrics by Pierre Frey, delicate flavours from Le Palais des ThésHermès bath products in all staterooms and suites, spa care products by Sothy’s, and signature perfumes from Fragonard.

 

The following services are available for an additional charge:

  • Optional Shore Excursions (like kayak adventures)
  • Optional Pre- and Post-Cruise Excursions
  • Spa Treatments/Massages
  • Salon Services
  • Laundry
  • Satellite Telephone Services
  • Medical Services
  • Commemorative voyage DVD that retraces the entire story of the trip, complete with interviews with lecturers, naturalists, and the Captain, and a stunning photographic montage from the staff photographers.
*A note about small boat landings:

As privileged guests in these uncharted lands, we’re at the mercy of weather and sea conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed; they vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions of local officials.

The port of Puerto Caldera lies on the Pacific coast in the Puntarenas region at the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya. Areas of wilderness stretch along the coast. Further inland, you’ll find countless natural wonders in the generous rainforests of Costa Rica’s national parks. In addition, Poas and Arena volcanoes majestically tower over this region. In this abundant natural setting, Costa Rica protects one of the planet’s richest biodiversities: monkeys, sloths, tropical birds, iguanas, crocodiles, waterfalls, canyons, and more than ten thousand species of tropical plants.

On the southern part of the Nicoya Peninsula, the small Curú Wildlife Refuge is the oldest protected park in Costa Rica. This refuge is an exemplary site in terms of ecotourism. It’s also a research center for scientists from all over the world. It’s been at the heart of an original conservation and sustainable development project since the 1930s. After a short Zodiac trip, you’ll discover, via the paths that criss-cross the tropical forest and lead to magnificent beaches, the most emblematic species of Costa Rica: monkeys, iguanas and over 200 bird species. Since their recent reintroduction, the scarlet macaw and the spider monkey have thrived in this preserved environment.

Le Bellot will sail across the gulf of Dulce in the direction of the splendid botanical garden of Casa Orquideas, which you’ll reach by Zodiac. Golfo Dulce is one of the most intense rainforest landscapes in the world, unfolding and exposing what has been described by National Geographic as “the most biologically intense place on earth.” More than 400 species of tropical birds, over 500 species of vascular plants, 140 species of tropical mammals, hundreds of butterfly species, and many more tropical organisms call this place home.

Off the Pacific coast of Panama, at the entrance to the Gulf of Montijo, Cebaco Island conjures visions of paradise lost. Covered in tropical rainforest edged by white sandy beaches, it’s home to exceptionally rich plant and wildlife. The island offers a number of hiking routes that give you the chance to discover its pristine natural environment. Its magnificent coral reefs, located in the outlying regions of the Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are the refuge for many marine species and offer stunning underwater landscapes.

The most remote and least developed region of Panama, the province of Darien is an unspoilt land with an extremely rich variety of flora and fauna. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Darien National Park offers its extraordinary scenery of rocky coastlines, mountain ranges, mangroves, rivers, and creeks. Discover Playa Muerto, a tiny coastal village home to the Emberas Amerindian community. You’ll visit the village, attend traditional songs and dances of the locals, and admire beautiful local craft.

Aboard Le Bellot, experience something wholly unique that’s inspired the imagination of numerous adventurers in the 20th century: sailing the Panama Canal. Its construction started in 1880 under the direction of Ferdinand de Lesseps. Abandoned then resumed, this marvel of engineering was completed by the United States in 1887 and opened in 1914. The canal crosses the Isthmus of Panama and links the Pacific to the Atlantic. This modern marvel allows ships to avoid having to round Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America.

In the province of Colón, along the magnificent Caribbean coast of Panama, Portobelo is located not far from the famous canal. Given its name of “beautiful port” by Christopher Columbus, who landed here in 1502, this charming and peaceful bay was one of the most important ports for the shipping of precious metals from the New World to Spain. Don’t miss a visit to its fortifications, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town has preserved the strong religious and cultural traditions of its colonial past, such as the veneration of the Black Christ and a strongly-rooted Afro-Caribbean culture.

A splendid harbor city in the north of Columbia and a source of inspiration for the Columbian writer Gabriel García Márquez, Cartagena will win you over with its well-preserved colonial architecture and warm friendly atmosphere. You can visit the sumptuous UNESCO World Heritage fortified historical center, whose churches and houses have magnificent multi-colored façades. A witness of Spanish domination, the San Felipe de Barajas fortress stands on top of a hill from where you can admire views over the whole city. The Las Bóvedas neighborhood will charm you with its arcades, used as prison cells during the 19th century civil wars. We’ll overnight here, giving you the chance to melt into this exciting city.

Have you lived out your Romancing the Stone dreams yet? If not, you’ve got the entire morning to do so!

Beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters await you on this perfect day in Panama. After all your prior adventures, this beach day gives you the perfect break before our cruise comes to an end.

Colón is the second largest city in Panama, at the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal. Colón is an important port, and the free trade zone created in 1953 contributed greatly to the development of the city. Colón was founded in 1850 by Americans working on the Panama railroad connecting the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the isthmus of Panama; the city rapidly overshadowed the older Caribbean ports of Panama when the canal opened. From here, you’ll fly home or on to other adventures in the region. The airport code for Colón is ONX.

Prices for this luxury cruise range from $5,997 Deluxe Staterooms to $19,997 Owner Suites – all rooms are limited in availability. Please contact us directly at kim@conciergetravel.cc or +17132530041 for real-time availability of spaces.

Exciting Excursions Kim and Alan go to great lengths to ensure that anything and everything you need is available for you. The locations are stunning, luxe accommodations, world class entertainment, and exciting excursions at every destination.  Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does!  In Puerto Vallarta that means international cabaret stars performing for us, poolside and unplugged.  With Concierge Travel I know I will have an amazing experience full of laughter... Read More »

Corey Colfer

Corey Colfer