Puerto Chiapas is a relatively new port of call. The culturally diverse Chiapas port of call is located near the border of Guatemala and has one of the highest gross domestic products per capita in all of Mexico. Puerto Chiapas has a hot and humid tropical climate. The rainy season goes from June through October, making things even balmier. The pier offers local vendors, a restaurant and entertainment upon the ship’s arrival. View more
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Journey into the heart of rural Chiapas for a deeper understanding of the local people, the landscapes and discover the culture that blends ancient traditions with modern necessity during this half-day tour that provides you the opportunity to 'Give Back' to the community.
Depart from the Cruise Terminal and proceed on a 30-minute drive through the Chiapas countryside to the wide, green fields of the Ejido Miguel Aleman banana plantation. Here, meet your plantation guide who will take you on a walking tour of the plantation, during which time you learn about the history of the region, its people and traditions, as well as the banana growing and harvesting process.
Re-boarding your transportation, drive into the nearby town that owns and operates the banana cooperative. You'll visit a local community centre and have the opportunity to meet with the children, their teachers and several social workers.
The community centre is dedicated to improving the lives and lot of the local residents. It has instituted programs to improve the literacy of the adult population, and has also established internet facilities to help the local children and adults learn about the world and improve their computer literacy. A portion of the proceeds of this tour will go to the community centre to assist in their efforts. You'll also be given a school kit, containing several of the basic day-to-day needs of the children that you can donate to the children at the community centre.
Your tour continues as you visit a local church to meet the priest, who will provide information on the local customs of his parishioners and their way of life.
Your last visit will be to the banana packing plant. Here the entire community works to pack the bananas that they have cultivated before being shipped to buyers throughout the country. All the proceeds from the sales of the bananas are distributed among each of the community members.
Your return trip to the port and your ship will take you through the picturesque countryside providing you a last glimpse at life in rural Chiapas.
Please note: This tour involves minimal walking and is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as they are able to embark and disembark the coach with minimal assistance and negotiate a few stairs. Guests should wear comfortable clothing, flat-soled shoes, sun protection and bring insect repellent from the ship.
Discover the origin of one of the world's finest coffees during this full-day journey into the Sierra Madre Mountains, and a visit to the Argovia Plantation.
Depart the pier for the scenic, 1.5-hour drive to Argovia, one of the oldest coffee plantations in the region, and growers of the desirable Mexican Arabica bean. A Swiss family founded the plantation and estate in 1880; in 1897, it was acquired by a German, Adolf Giesemann, and tended by 4 generations of his descendents ever since. En route to the plantation, pass a wide array of natural and man-made landscapes that reflect the cultural and architectural diversity of the Chiapas Sierra Madre.
Upon arrival at Argovia, take a guided tour of the beautiful buildings and spectacular landscapes that comprise this unique plantation, including the original house and coffee production plant. Along the way, your guide will inform you about the coffee production process, and the plantation's humble beginnings in near-complete isolation when it took three days just to get to Tapachula.
Next, continue on for a tour of Argovia's picturesque flower plantation. Here, view some of the 125 species of crops, ornamental flowers and plants that were cultivated as a result of volatile coffee prices in the late-1970s. During your visit, earn about the techniques incorporated to sustain the plantation in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. Central to these efforts is Mexico's first water-treatment plant, which recycles residual water and waste, thereby producing excellent organic fertilizer.
Your tour concludes with a Mexican-style buffet lunch consisting of mole, tortilla soup, tamales, fried bananas, fruit salad, guacamole, and regional deserts accompanied by freshly-brewed Argovia coffee. Following your tour, rejoin your van for the 1.5-hour return drive to the pier and ship.
Please note: This tour involves moderate walking with some inclines and steps to negotiate. The drive from the ship to the plantation is 1.5 hours in each direction and may be bumpy in areas depending on recent rainfall. Wear comfortable clothing, flat, walking shoes and sun protection.
Experience Mexico past and present during this scenic tour of the ancient Mayan archaeological site of Izapa, Archaeological Museum and Tapachula.
Depart the pier for the 45-minute drive aboard an air-conditioned coach to the ancient ruins of Izapa. From its humble beginnings as a small village around 1500 B.C., Izapa eventually grew into the region's most influential cultural and commercial center. At the height of its influence between 60 B.C. and 100 A.D., Izapa's population numbered up to 10,000 people. Once renowned in the region for its production of highly-valued cacao, Izapa brought together many of Meso-America's ancient cultures, and was believed to have been the site of origin of the sacred Mayan Calendar.
Tapachula and Museum
Next, travel by bus to the culturally-diverse city of Tapachula, whose history and heritage has been influenced by the Mayans, Mestizo's and Spanish, as well as German, Chinese, Japanese and French immigrants. Upon arrival, proceed for a visit to the Archaeological Museum. Here you have an opportunity to view Mayan artifacts found in the region, many of them from Izapa.
From here, take a guided walking tour around the colorful streets of the town square to explore some of the city's highlights. Some free time will also be made for you to browse the local artisan shops for leather goods, ceramics and more, or simply relax at one of the area's cafes and take in your surroundings.
Following your tour, transfer back to the pier and ship.
Please note: This tour involves minimal walking and is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as they are able to embark and disembark the coach with minimal assistance and negotiate a few stairs. Guests should wear comfortable clothing, flat-soled shoes, sun protection and bring insect repellent from the ship. A minimum number of guests per guide is required for operation of this tour.
Visit the Mayan ruins of Izapa and learn the sweet secrets of the cacao bean during this half-day tour.
From the pier, journey approximately 45 minutes aboard an air-conditioned bus to the ancient ruins of Izapa. From its beginnings as a small village sometime around 1500 BCE, Izapa grew into the region's most influential cultural and commercial centre with a population of possibly up to 10,000 people at the height of its influence sometime between 60 BCE and 100 ACE.
Once foremost in the region for the production of highly valued cacao, Izapa brought together many of mesoamerica's ancient cultures and many believe it may be the site of origin of the sacred Mayan Calendar although much study remains to be done in order to unlock these secrets.
Next, travel by bus to Tuxtla Chico 'Chocolate City', where a demonstration on how the cocoa beans are transformed in to chocolate is performed for you right at the main square (plaza); you may also be able to see and sample the local cuisine, as well as see a variety of local handicrafts and exotic flowers of the region.
Local dancers and marimba players will be sharing their skills with lively performances. After a stop at the local historic church, you are on your way back to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves minimal walking and is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as they are able to embark and disembark the coach with minimal assistance and negotiate a few stairs. Guests are advised to wear light-weight seasonal clothing, flat walking shoes, sun protection and insect repellent. The order of sites may be reversed.
Immerse yourself in the magic of Chiapas's natural environments as you head off the beaten path in a 14-person boat and explore natural mangrove streams and lagoons populated by wildlife and birds.
After the bus ride from the pier, arrive at the water's edge where you meet your captain and board your boat. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views that surround you as a guide navigates your boat through the waterways. Experience nature and all her glory as wildlife, and especially the regions diverse array of birds, appear along the way.
Your guide will share information about the area's eco-system and point out various species of flora and fauna. You may see pelicans, herons, ospreys, cormorants, hummingbirds, egrets, spoonbills, storks, turtles and much more. This nature reserve also provides a way of life to the local fishermen who use the same tried and true methods of catching shrimp, crab and more that their fathers did before them. You might have the opportunity to watch them at work as you float toward the sea and the end of your exotic journey.
At the conclusion of your mangrove boat ride, rejoin your transfer for the return drive to the pier.
Please note: This tour involves minimal activity and is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as they can embark and disembark the boats with minimal assistance. There may be a high step based on current tide levels. Guests should wear light-weight comfortable clothing, sun protection and insect repellent. Guests are required to wear a lifejacket while in the boat. Although wildlife sightings are frequent, they can never be guaranteed. Participants must be at least 6 years of age.
Experience the sounds, flavors and culture of Mexico and take a little bit of her spirit home with you.
Depart the pier for the approximately 45-minute drive to a local Resort up on a hill, overlooking the city of Tapachula. On the way to the resort, your guide will share information about the history, culture and customs of Mexico.
Once at the Resort, you are welcomed with a freshly made margarita. A local chef will be there to greet and escort you to the preparation area where he will explain the secrets of creating some of the most popular local dishes. In fact, an entire meal will be created and served to you at the end of the class for you to enjoy, while marimba players enhance this Mexican experience.
At the end of the class and lunch, you are presented with the recipes for the meal you helped to prepare; so you may re-create the dishes for your friends back home at your next Mexican-themed dinner party.
Please note: This tour involves minimal walking and is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as they are able to embark and disembark the coach with minimal assistance and negotiate a few stairs. Guests are requested to wear short-sleeved shirts and no hand or wrist jewellery.
Pull up a chair and take part in one of Mexico's most valued traditions as you taste a variety of Mexico's famous Tequilas and Mezcals.
From your ship's pier, travel by air-conditioned van to an historic local house that has been transformed into a boutique hotel. This charming setting boasts a collection of local folk art and exotic plant arrangements from the region. The owner will show you around the grounds before gathering the group in the dining room.
Learn about the tequila and mescal making processes as well as the different properties that make each unique. Following the brief tequila history lesson, you have the opportunity to taste some of Mexico's best tequilas and Mezcals. Afterwards, enjoy a demonstration on how to mix tequila into the perfect margarita.
Continue your tour as you travel by van to the culturally diverse city of Tapachula whose history and heritage has been influenced not only by the Mayans, Mestizo's and Spanish but by German, Chinese, Japanese and French immigrants as well. Take the opportunity to visit the town square where you find an historic church, the city hall building as well as vendors and small stores. You may choose to walk, sit in a café, shop or explore the archeological museum (entrance fee not included). When your free time is up, you will be escorted back to your ship's pier.
Please note, This tour involves minimal walking and is suitable for guests with limited mobility as long as they are able to embark and disembark the coach with minimal assistance and negotiate a few stairs. Participants must be at least 21 years of age to be served alcohol.