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View Full Version : Getting a Cartagena Tour in Port


tip
January 13th, 2011, 02:44 AM
I have found the ship's tours of Cartagena to be very expensive and the same with private tours recommended on these boards. Ports will often have tour operators as you get off of the ship and we have had good luck before. Has anyone had any such experiences in Cartagena?

blueyesdm
January 29th, 2011, 01:34 PM
I am wondering the same thing. I'm not trying to spend a lot of money in this port so I would like to just find a pretty inexpensive tour just to take us to the city and let us walk around a bit. How are the taxi drivers there?

Mercruiser
January 29th, 2011, 02:18 PM
I am planning to just take a taxi to the Fort and Old Town area and explore on my own. I don't really feel like being herded around in a tour group. The Fort and Old Town area are best explored on foot. I have some information on walking maps, taxi rates, at what to see here: http://mercruiser.wordpress.com/itinerary/cartagena/

CruisinGerman
January 30th, 2011, 05:57 AM
The taxi drivers who camp out at the port in Cartagena are extremely aggressive. They even fight among themselves over who will get the passenger.

Also be very careful about the prices. Don't take the taxis from drivers who are inside the port area. Walk outside of the port area and onto the street, so you pay the regulated fares and not the hogwash they try to charge tourists inside the port area.

The drivers will try to tell you that it costs $20 or $25 to go to old town. That is a lie and a complete rip-off.

The regulated fare to old town from the port area is about 8,000 pesos for the whole care. Do the math.

Kind regards,

Gunther and Uta

tarjudy
January 31st, 2011, 08:15 AM
We returned 1/24 from the Coral and visited Cartengia. It was my least favorite port. Go thru the terminal and exit the gate, you will see the cab drivers with their blue shirts and taxi written all over it. The cruise told us it should only cost $10 to go into town. They wanted $60.00 to take us both ways and stay with us. We were able to get them down to $50.00 probably should have been much cheaper, but the heat and humidity is extreme and my husband is disabled and in a scooter, so the driver also had to disassemble and assemble the scooter several times. He stayed with us and it did not take long to find out it was very beneficial to him. We weren't interested in shopping, but he kept insisting we stop at a shopping "village" and go through the shoppes. We did a little but the aggressiveness is outragious. We noticed that if he got us into a shop, he would go up to the owner and it appeared that he got a little kickback for bringing us in. When we went to the walled city, we walked all around, the archetecture is fabulous, but the venders are everywhere and they DO NOT LEAVE you alone. It just was not enjoyable, instead of being able to enjoy the city we were constantly saying "no thank you" and they do not take just one you have to say it over and over. So I am sorry I am going on and on. Bottom line we spent $50 for the cab and gave him a $60 tip.

patseacruiser
January 31st, 2011, 09:13 AM
Is there a group you can make on your roll call to go with Claudia? She was very good when we were there in January and I think it cost us about $45 per person. We had a good tour, walked through the old city and while I can do it on my own I don't get the narration of having a local tour guide. The narration and being able to ask questions and the learning aspect are what I take the tour for.

caneable
February 9th, 2011, 01:28 PM
Patseacruiser,
How did you find Claudia? Did she just arrange the walking tour or did she put together transport for the party too? I've just joined a Roll Call for later this year and it's extremely quiet. In the past I've found out that they often liven up after people have got something to say about organising alternate tours. Don't know if I'm brave enough or even appropriate to the task as I don't know Spanish, but it might shake a few new members out of the trees!

rummell95
February 18th, 2011, 07:28 PM
Here is her address. She will pick you up right at the ship. It was a wonderful tour ( last week on the Jewel.)
claudia@toursclaudiavidal.com

eandj
February 19th, 2011, 05:52 PM
Just last month, Dh and I split a cab with another couple. We picked it up at the port and had the cabbie drop us at the clock tower at the walled city entrance. Cost....$4.00 each. Well worth it to us. The ride back to the pier for us alone was $8.00. So no, you won't necessarily get ripped off. Just get the price up front and offer to share a cab with someone going the same place.
We did not find any aggressive drivers or shop owners approaching us and we LOVED the walled city. Very Spanish and beautiful.

Mapu
March 25th, 2011, 05:12 PM
We returned 1/24 from the Coral and visited Cartengia. It was my least favorite port. Go thru the terminal and exit the gate, you will see the cab drivers with their blue shirts and taxi written all over it. The cruise told us it should only cost $10 to go into town. They wanted $60.00 to take us both ways and stay with us. We were able to get them down to $50.00 probably should have been much cheaper, but the heat and humidity is extreme and my husband is disabled and in a scooter, so the driver also had to disassemble and assemble the scooter several times. He stayed with us and it did not take long to find out it was very beneficial to him. We weren't interested in shopping, but he kept insisting we stop at a shopping "village" and go through the shoppes. We did a little but the aggressiveness is outragious. We noticed that if he got us into a shop, he would go up to the owner and it appeared that he got a little kickback for bringing us in. When we went to the walled city, we walked all around, the archetecture is fabulous, but the venders are everywhere and they DO NOT LEAVE you alone. It just was not enjoyable, instead of being able to enjoy the city we were constantly saying "no thank you" and they do not take just one you have to say it over and over. So I am sorry I am going on and on. Bottom line we spent $50 for the cab and gave him a $60 tip.

We just returned home from our Panama Canal cruise. I had arranged a tour for 10 of us with Dora de Zubiria. We had the best day on tour with her. She was very informative and fun to be with. We traveled around in a great air conditioned van. We spent the same amount of money that you did but were able to arrange a custom tour that everyone enjoyed. I would not want to get there and find a guide and driver. Dora has excellent recommendations for a reason; she is the best! Gail

Mercruiser
March 31st, 2011, 12:00 AM
Just last month, Dh and I split a cab with another couple. We picked it up at the port and had the cabbie drop us at the clock tower at the walled city entrance. Cost....$4.00 each. Well worth it to us. The ride back to the pier for us alone was $8.00. So no, you won't necessarily get ripped off. Just get the price up front and offer to share a cab with someone going the same place.
We did not find any aggressive drivers or shop owners approaching us and we LOVED the walled city. Very Spanish and beautiful.

This sure makes the $55 to $100 guided tours (PER PERSON) look very expensive in comparison to exploring on your own. This is the range quoted on my cruise's roll call, depending on how many people go. I wonder why Cartagena tours are so expensive relative to the extremely low cost of living. You can get a New York City tour for this kind of money. I guess they figure Americans will pay it.

eandj
April 4th, 2011, 04:52 PM
A tour WILL take you to more stops. And of course comes with narration.
However we were only interested in a leisurely day in the walled city. We had a book to help. We thought we might head to the fort, been in many but the city was too interesting for us to leave. And we've been thru many forts on our travels. We spent 5 hours and needed more time. It was hot and we stopped a couple times a outdoor spots for a cold drink. Very nice day. Wish we would have known the city offerend so much in history and beauty. Gotta just soak it all in.;)

One thing... English speakers need to know is the Inquisition Museum has only Spanish written explanations of the displays. That's one place where you want to pick up a guide speaking English. You can ask at the front desk when you buy your tickets.

LondonTowner
July 10th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Cartagena was one of our ports of call on a cruise we did about two years ago. On exiting hte cruise terminal we saw a number of coaches and taxi drivers. There were also touts trying to get people into the coaches.

About 12 to 15 of us ended up in a mini bus with guide and driver. We had a good city tour for around 15USD each, which I thought was a reasonable price to pay. Loved Cartagena, one of the most interesting places on our itinerary.

dotshub
July 29th, 2011, 12:00 PM
We are using cartagenatour.com tours. They come highly recommended on cruisecritic and trip advisor.
You might want to check them out. there are 8 of us on an all day custom tour and it is $60.00 each. Dora is our tour guide. She has been very professional in our communication as we have added people to our tour and gets back to us right away. She is worth a look at. Hope you have a great time. Dot