Sailing from Puerto Rico
Setting sail from San Juan
Founded by the Spanish in 1521, Puerto Rico's capital is the second oldest European settlement in the Americas. Modern San Juan is a bustling city, home to over a third of the island's population, but the cobbled streets of the Old Town remain the biggest tourist draw. The colonial-era fortifications have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, crowned by the imposing waterfront El Morro fortress, and the Old Town is full of attractive, brightly coloured houses. Outside of the Old Town you can find designer shopping on Avenida Ashford, and the north of the city is fringed by beautiful beaches, including fashionable Condado with its hip hotels and bars.
Here in Puerto Rico it’s all about the history and the sea – you can’t miss the fabulous beaches, and you will enjoy the historic military buildings.
Sint Maarten: Philipsburg
Philipsburg is the gateway to an intriguing little Caribbean island with a dual personality: the Dutch side, St. Maarten, is the livelier of the two, with shopping malls, casinos and more of a nightlife scene, while French-speaking St. Martin is a more refined (and more expensive) affair, with a laid-back, continental air and a host of exclusive resorts and restaurants.
Saint Lucia: Castries
Castries, Saint Lucia’s diminutive capital, is home to some interesting markets and colonial buildings. The island’s highlights are situated elsewhere, however, and we’d recommend either heading south towards Soufrière, where the iconic Piton mountains guard a beautiful bay, or north to the bars, restaurants and beaches of Rodney Bay.
There’s more to Barbados than just beaches; the delightful architecture of the old garrison in Bridgetown, the capital, is fully deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status, and the island interior is littered with old sugar plantations and natural wonders such as Harrison’s Cave.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Kingstown
Grenada: St George's
Browse the markets of charming St George’s, fragrant with the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg, and you’ll soon understand why Grenada is known as the ‘isle of spice’. This is one of the Caribbean’s most enchanting islands, fringed by gorgeous beaches and largely unsullied by mass market tourism.
The gabled houses of Willemstad lend an undeniably Dutch feel to the capital of little Curaçao, with a splash of Caribbean colour thrown in. The island itself is not your typical lush tropical paradise - the landscape is characterised instead by thorny shrubs and cacti - but there are some fantastic beaches and quaint little villages.
The tiny Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, located just off the coast of Venezuela, lies outside of the hurricane belt, meaning it enjoys a largely dry climate, and boasts some of the best beaches in the region, if not the world.
Colombia: Santa Marta
Situated on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Santa Marta is the oldest surviving Spanish colonial city in South America. The modern city lacks some of the charm of nearby Cartagena, but tourism has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, with a number of ambitious regeneration projects and a host of new restaurants and bars.
Arriving in Cartagena
Cartagena de Indias, to give the city its full name, was founded by Spanish conquistadors in 1533, and the beautifully preserved centre is a real highlight of Colombia's Caribbean coast. The walled old town, the Ciudad Amurallada, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a camera-friendly collection of cobbled streets and colourful, colonial-era buildings. It's not all about the old town though; the Bocagrande peninsula, fringed by a long stretch of beach, is where many of Cartagena's hotels are situated, and it's a trendy district that's home to chic restaurants and a thriving café culture.
Don’t even think of changing money on the street – you will find plenty of banks and exchanges in the historic centre.
Your home from home
When luxury goes exploring, you are on a Regent ship. Intimate and inviting, the comfortable Seven Seas Navigator is the perfect size.
What we love
Just 490 guests enjoy space, comfort and great value on board this, the smallest of the Regent Seven Seas ships. With spacious accommodation, a relaxed and unpretentious style and good dining choices, the most all-inclusive of all luxury cruise lines is perhaps the perfect choice for laid-back travellers.
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Regent Seven Seas offers luxury without pretensions - not too dressy, and with lots of focus on the itineraries. So - with their excellent all-inclusive offer - you might get off the ship without having to pay a single further penny!
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Puerto Rico
If you want to stay in San Juan itself, El Convento is definitely the nicest choice. For resort hotels, we love the Ritz Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach.
Explore Puerto Rico
In the El Yunque rainforest you will find the habitat of Puerto Rico's endangered wildlife - not to mention beautiful views.
Our favourite hotel in Cartagena
Casa San Agustin – authentic Colombian style, in the heart of the old town.
What to see in Cartagena
The Palace of the Inquisition - a fascinating museum you will enjoy even more with a guide to tell you the history.