Oranjestad ("Orange City") is the capital and most important city of Aruba located on the southern coast near the western end of the island. The town was built around Fort Zoutman in 1796 and Oranjestad has been the capital of Aruba ever since. The fort is still one of the town's attractions, others being the tax-free harbor and the Willem III Tower, located near the fort. The city is named after the first King Willem van Oranje-Nassau (William of Orange-Nassau), the first heir to the Dutch House of Orange.
Small portions of the city are formed from a series of man-made expansions of land into the sea. Present-day Renaissance Marketplace as well as the adjacent Queen Wilhelmina Park, are within part of this expansion. Dutch colonial architecture is less visible than on neighboring island Curacao, but several modern recreations have emerged, including the outdoor shopping mall at Royal Plaza, and a few scattered buildings along Main Street and on the Main Square. Due to increased government interest in maintaining the island's cultural heritage, a number of old buildings and houses in the center of town have been transformed into colorfully restored landmarks, such as the lime-colored Civil Registry on Wilhelminastraat.
Cartagena, formally known as Cartagena of the Indies, is a large city seaport on the northern coast of Colombia. Founded in 1533 by Don Pedro de Heredia, and named after the port of Cartagena in Spain's Murcia region, it was a major center of early Spanish settlement in the Americas, and continues to be an economic hub as well as a popular tourist destination.
Hot, sultry, filled with the sounds of music and bright with color and tradition, Cartagena has an impressive heritage. Gold and silver left the port bound for Europe, pirates looted the city, and a walled fort grew to protect both shipping and the slave trade.
The walled old town of this fortified Spanish colonial port is a gem. It's packed with churches, monasteries, plazas, palaces and noble mansions with overhanging balconies and shady patios. It pays just to wander through the old town.
Colon (Panama City), Panama
Colón is the sea port city on the Caribbean Sea coast of Panama near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. The city is the capital of Panama's Colón Province. The city was founded in 1850 as one end of the Panama Railroad then under construction. For a number of years early in its history, the sizable United States emigré community called the town Aspinwall while the Hispanic community called it "Colón". The name "Colón" is in honor of Christopher Columbus.
Much of the city was burned during a Colombian civil war in 1885, and again in an accidental fire in 1915. In 1900 the population was some 3,000 people. It grew ten-fold with the building of the Panama Canal. In 1953 Colón was made a Free Trade Zone.
Panama Canal Transit
The Panama Canal Full Transit is an unforgettable full day experience. You will be traveling through ALL the Panama Canal Locks, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in the Caribbean in just one day. A unique experience!
Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica (Scenic Crossing)
Gulf of Dulce (Spanish: Golfo Dulce) is a inlet in Costa Rica. The inlet starts on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica and extends slightly northward before turning west. The most westward part is at the city of Rincon. The bay separates the Osa Peninsula from the mainland Costa Rica.
Quepos, Costa Rica
Puerto Caldera (return)