Eight Amazing Shore Excursions To Do In The Caribbean

Eight Amazing Shore Excursions To Do In The Caribbean

Are you dreaming of idyllic white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and unforgettable adventures? A Caribbean cruise offers all this and more, with a multitude of Caribbean shore excursions that cater to every taste.

Whether you’re a history buff, a thrill-seeker, or someone who loves to bask in the natural beauty of the tropics, shore excursions for cruises in the Caribbean have something to offer everyone. 

In this guide to the best Caribbean shore excursions, we’ll explore some of the most amazing opportunities available when on your cruise to this region. Choose your favourites and you’ll be sure to enjoy some wonderfully memorable experiences.

What Excursions Are Available on a Caribbean Cruise?

From snorkelling in pristine waters to exploring historical sites, the Caribbean is brimming with incredible shore excursions. Whether you’re looking for the best things to do in St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Puerto Rico, or one of the other captivating Caribbean islands, we’ve got some inspiration for you.

1) Snorkelling and Scuba Diving in Bonaire National Marine Park

Bonaire National Marine Park is a must-visit for underwater enthusiasts and is regarded as one of the best Caribbean shore excursions. Known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, it’s one of the ultimate places in the Caribbean for snorkelling and scuba diving. 

You’ll have the chance to swim among colourful fish and sea turtles and perhaps even spot a friendly dolphin or two. This underwater paradise is protected, ensuring its natural beauty remains unspoiled for generations to come.

What’s included: This excursion typically includes a guided snorkelling or scuba diving tour, equipment rental, pick up from your cruise and sometimes refreshments.

How to get there: The marine park is a short drive from the cruise port in Kralendijk, Bonaire. Most tours provide transportation.

Duration: Tours usually last between 3 to 4 hours, including travel time.

2) Exploring Mayan Ruins in Cozumel

While Cozumel offers cruise shore excursions to several impressive Mayan ruins, such as Tulum and Coba, a visit to Chichén Itza stands out as a truly formidable experience. If you are a history enthusiast or interested in ancient cultures, this Caribbean tour is definitely for you.

Chichén Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll explore the iconic El Castillo pyramid, the Temple of the Warriors, and the Great Ball Court. With a knowledgeable guide, you’ll gain fascinating insights into the history, culture, and significance of these ancient structures.

What’s included: This cruise shore excursion includes a guided tour of Chichén Itza, transportation to and from the site, and often a stop at a local restaurant or cenote.

How to get there: From Cozumel, you’ll take a ferry to Playa del Carmen, followed by a bus ride to Chichén Itza. Most tours handle all transportation logistics, ensuring a smooth journey.

Duration: Expect this excursion to take up to 12-13 hours due to travel time and the extensive tour of the archaeological site.

3) Interacting with Stingrays at Stingray City in Grand Cayman

Visiting Stingray City in Grand Cayman is a unique and thrilling experience and, in our book, one of the best Caribbean shore excursions. This shallow sandbar, surrounded by barrier reefs, is home to dozens of friendly southern stingrays that you can feed, touch, and even kiss (which is said to bring seven years of good luck)! The clear, shallow waters make it easy for everyone, including children, to enjoy this unforgettable experience.

What’s included: These shore excursions for cruises typically include a boat ride to the sandbar, snorkel equipment, and interaction time with the stingrays.

How to get there: Boats depart from various points on Grand Cayman, often only a few minutes’ walk from the cruise ship tender pier.

Duration: The boat journey is usually around 25 minutes from the beach, with the entire cruise shore excursion lasting around 2 to 3 hours.

4) Climbing Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

A visit to Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, is a must-do for any adventure seeker. This iconic waterfall cascades down 600 feet of terraced rock, creating natural pools perfect for a refreshing dip. 

Caribbean shore excursions that include guided climbs are available for those who want to safely experience the falls up close. With plenty of spots to relax and take in the stunning scenery, it’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Jamaica’s natural beauty.

What’s included: This cruise shore excursion includes guided climbs, entrance fees to the falls, and sometimes transportation to and from the site.

How to get there: Dunn’s River Falls is a short drive from the cruise port in Ocho Rios. Many tours provide transportation.

Duration: Plan for about 3 to 4 hours to fully enjoy the experience.

5) Hiking the Pitons in St Lucia

The Pitons are two dramatic volcanic spires located in St Lucia. These peaks are a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and stand at a mighty 2,619 feet above sea level. 

If you love hiking and breathtaking views, a trek up Gros Piton or Petit Piton is a spectacular adventure. The climb can be challenging, but the panoramic views from the top are well worth the effort. If hiking isn’t your thing, when looking for things to do in St. Lucia, in the Caribbean, you can also enjoy the Pitons from the sea on a boat tour or while relaxing on one of the island’s beautiful beaches.

What’s included: These Caribbean shore excursions include guided hikes, entrance fees, and sometimes refreshments. Various levels of hiking difficulty are available.

How to get there: The Pitons are accessible from Soufrière, a short drive from the cruise port in Castries. Tours typically include transportation.

Duration: The hike and return journey usually take 4 to 6 hours, depending on the trail and pace.

6) Visiting Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua

When looking for things to do in Antigua, in the Caribbean, a visit to Nelson’s Dockyard is a fascinating way to uncover the island’s history. At this historical naval dockyard and marina in English Harbour, you can explore beautifully restored 18th- and 19th-century buildings, learn about the dockyard’s significant role in Antigua’s maritime history and discover its connection to Admiral Horatio Nelson.

In addition to its rich heritage, the area offers stunning views of English Harbour.

What’s included: Cruise shore excursions to Nelson’s Dockyard include a guided tour of this remarkable naval dockyard and marina, entrance fees, and often time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy local cuisine.

How to get there: Nelson’s Dockyard is about a 30-minute drive from St. John’s cruise port. Many tours provide transportation, making it easy to reach the site.

Duration: You’ll need at least 3 to 4 hours to fully experience the area.

7) Discovering Belmont Estate in Grenada

Grenada, known as the “Spice Island,” is famous for its lush landscapes and aromatic spices. So, for foodies and nature lovers alike, when looking for things to do in Grenada in the Caribbean, a visit to the Belmont Estate has to be on your list.

This Caribbean tour provides a fascinating insight into Grenada’s agricultural heritage. At this 17th-century plantation, you’ll see how cocoa, nutmeg, and other spices are grown and processed. You can also enjoy a delicious meal made with fresh local ingredients and explore the beautiful estate grounds.

What’s included: Caribbean shore excursions to Belmont Estate typically include a guided tour of the plantation, demonstrations of spice processing, and a meal featuring local cuisine. Some tours also include the opportunity to participate in chocolate-making workshops.

How to get there: Belmont Estate is about an hour’s drive from the cruise port in St. George’s. Most tours include transportation, making it convenient to reach the estate.

Duration: Plan for at least 4 to 5 hours to participate in all the tour activities.

8) Walking in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico

A visit to El Yunque National Forest is one of the top cruise shore excursions when looking for what to do in Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. El Yunque is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System and offers a lush, green landscape teeming with diverse wildlife and plant species.

You’ll hike along well-maintained trails, experience the beauty of cascading waterfalls, and have the chance to swim in natural pools. The forest’s rich biodiversity and tranquil environment make it a perfect escape into nature.

What’s included: These shore excursions for cruises include guided hikes through El Yunque National Forest, entrance fees, and transportation to and from the forest. Some Caribbean tours also offer opportunities to swim in natural pools or visit waterfalls.

How to get there: El Yunque is about a 45-minute drive from San Juan. Most tours include transportation, ensuring a hassle-free journey from the cruise port.

Duration: The cruise shore excursion can last up to 7 hours, allowing ample time to explore the forest, enjoy the natural scenery, and possibly take a refreshing dip in one of the forest’s pools.

Are Shore Excursions Worth It?

Absolutely! Cruise shore excursions offer a fantastic way to explore each port’s unique attractions and activities. They allow you to experience the local culture, history, and natural beauty in a way that you simply can’t from the deck of a ship.

Whether climbing waterfalls, exploring ancient ruins, or snorkelling in a marine park, Caribbean shore excursions can turn a good cruise into an extraordinary adventure.

How Do I Find The Best Cruise Excursions?

To find the best Caribbean shore excursions, start by checking options offered by your cruise line to see which cater to your interests and activity levels. Also, consider reputable third-party tour operators for a wider variety of experiences. Remember to read reviews from other cruise guests for honest feedback. 

Embarking on a Caribbean cruise is a wonderful way to discover the beauty and diversity of this enchanting region. By taking advantage of these amazing Caribbean shore excursions, you’ll enhance your cruise holiday and enjoy some incredible adventures.

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