We were on Island Princess last April, Pacific Panama Canal Cruise. The only two places which 'match up' are Puntarenas and Puerto Quetzal. In Puntarenas we did the Train Ride & Mangrove Nature Reserve (half day excursion) which was quite interesting. Although we did not see very much wild life in the mangroves (I suppose with that, it is the luck of the draw), we did see lots of monkeys in the rain forest on the journey there. The train, which is very old, took us through the Costa Rican countryside which gave us an insight into living conditions there. From Puerto Quetzel we did the Lake Atitlan and Mayan Highlands. Approximately 2 hour coach journey each way, then a boat trip across the lake and lunch in a local hotel. Lots of Mayan Indians selling trinkets and, although they are very pleasant, they do not leave you alone. But it is all very good humoured. The lake is beautiful, but it is a long coach journey and very expensive for a trip across a lake and lunch.
We have not been to all of the Ports mentioned in you question but hope the following may be of help.
Cartagena;Visit to Castle oK but beware not to stray to far off the Tourist Track and avoid showing wallet etc in Public places.Interesting shop near Port and sometimes local entertainment.Be prepared to hassled in the town area.
We berthed in Limon in Costa Rica and went on a tour thro the Canals/Rain Forest Very good but be prepared for rain .
San Juan Del Sur.Very Poor very little to do very big expanse of Beach.Remember people returning off tour saying how awful the roads were .So much so that it took ages for the shortest of journeys.Not a place to recommend.Pretty cheap though.
Is the beach in San Juan del Sur worth spending time on?
I would think not.It was being used a football pitch by locals during the SHORT time we spent ashore.It really is a poor area saw evidence of people sleeping rough in cardboard boxes.Very little to do few shops and bars .There were some market traders on the road back selling allsorts
remember my wife buying a pair of 'snakeskin shoes'for $25 .Come to think of it I don't think she has ever worn them.
Costa rica went with Okey Dokey tours Charlie Soto took us zip lining out for lunch visit to supermarket and trip to see and feed wild monkeys whole day tour for $95 - excellent. Nicaragua went on colonial tour and went to see the active volcano, also visited a market, very long coach trip for this. So fed up of travelling we visited the local markets just on the quayside in 'Guatemala.