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eandj

hints for doing old town on our own?

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We have done a myriad of old forts and hundreds of churches/monasteries etc on past vacations. Wanting to keep things simple and relaxed here on our cruise this month. No tour planning. So...

 

We are interested in just walking Cartegena's old town for a few hours taking in the atmosphere and whatever we come across. ;)

 

Taking a cab to the walled city will cost us what?

Do we catch a cab at the pier or is there some special area to walk to, to avoid the ubiquitous cruise passenger cab "upcharges".

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I'm the original poster now returned from Cartagena. :) We had a great time. Took a cab shared with another couple. Paid 8.00 per couple..one way. Picked up the cab right at the port. We asked to be dropped off at the clock tower entrance in the wall and just walked and walked. Beautiful city. I had picked up a map from somewhere just so I knew we'd find Bolivar Sq where the Inquisition museum was and the church. Other than that, we just roamed. Fantastic old Spanish architecture. Felt safe as there are police stationed around, plus many cruisers roaming. Had a small lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants in some plaza we stumbled upon. Many people took the carriage ride thru town and seemd to enjoy that. We covered more teritory I think.

 

Going back to the ship I think we paid 10.00 for the two of us via cab from the clock tower entrance.

 

We didn't have enough time to even put a dent in the old city. Would do the same thing next time too.

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I'm the original poster now returned from Cartagena. :) We had a great time. Took a cab shared with another couple. Paid 8.00 per couple..one way. Picked up the cab right at the port. We asked to be dropped off at the clock tower entrance in the wall and just walked and walked. Beautiful city. I had picked up a map from somewhere just so I knew we'd find Bolivar Sq where the Inquisition museum was and the church. Other than that, we just roamed. Fantastic old Spanish architecture. Felt safe as there are police stationed around, plus many cruisers roaming. Had a small lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants in some plaza we stumbled upon. Many people took the carriage ride thru town and seemd to enjoy that. We covered more teritory I think.

 

Going back to the ship I think we paid 10.00 for the two of us via cab from the clock tower entrance.

 

We didn't have enough time to even put a dent in the old city. Would do the same thing next time too.

 

 

Thanks for reporting back. We're planning on doing something similar, but not sure how much we will be able to walk as we're older and the heat bothers some of us (me;)). Was the clock tower a good starting point or should we go to the museum first? The carriage ride might be a good idea, too. Thanks again.

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Thanks for reporting back. We're planning on doing something similar, but not sure how much we will be able to walk as we're older and the heat bothers some of us (me;)). Was the clock tower a good starting point or should we go to the museum first? The carriage ride might be a good idea, too. Thanks again.

 

Bolivar Square is only a few blocks from the clock tower, which is the main entrance to the old city. Many of the streets have very little traffic, so I'm not sure a taxi could let you off at Bolivar Square.

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This info is correct. I think we walked maybe 5 min or so and found the Bolivar square once we entered the old city at the clock tower. The tower is the most centralized entrance and is a pretty spot too. When you are ready to leave, there are lots of cabs waiting there.

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Good information. We are planning on walking and looking for photo ops and this helps. I found a couple of maps on the web that will help as well.

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A few bits of info on taking a cab (some of which have been mentioned in other threads)...

 

There seem to be two types of taxis. The ones driven by the guys wearing the shirts that have "taxi" written all over them are part of the local "tourist taxi mafia". They don't seem to bargain and have fixed rates to and from the port.

If you can grab a regular taxi, you can probably pay half the price. ie ~$5 vs ~$10.

To grab a regular taxi at the port, you'll have to walk outside the gates (where you'll likely be accosted by a flood of taxi touts).

 

Be aware of taxi touts. All these guys do is negotiate a fare with you, take a cut, and flag down a taxi on your behalf. It can be handy though because a lot of the cab drivers don't speak English.

 

Note: You can also negotiate with a driver/tout to have a taxi drive you around all day and to the key sites (Popa, Fort, & Old Town) for a fixed price which ends up being cheaper than a formal guided tour.

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A few bits of info on taking a cab (some of which have been mentioned in other threads)...

 

There seem to be two types of taxis. The ones driven by the guys wearing the shirts that have "taxi" written all over them are part of the local "tourist taxi mafia". They don't seem to bargain and have fixed rates to and from the port.

If you can grab a regular taxi, you can probably pay half the price. ie ~$5 vs ~$10.

To grab a regular taxi at the port, you'll have to walk outside the gates (where you'll likely be accosted by a flood of taxi touts).

 

Be aware of taxi touts. All these guys do is negotiate a fare with you, take a cut, and flag down a taxi on your behalf. It can be handy though because a lot of the cab drivers don't speak English.

 

Note: You can also negotiate with a driver/tout to have a taxi drive you around all day and to the key sites (Popa, Fort, & Old Town) for a fixed price which ends up being cheaper than a formal guided tour.

 

Yes we walked outside the gate walking past those people who say they are tour guides. We did talk with one man who spoke english but this was very helpful. We thought the agreed upon price was very reasonable.

 

The next time we go though which is this January we will take the ferry over to the old town area and you get this right in the area near that cruise ship terminal.

 

Keith

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Yes we walked outside the gate walking past those people who say they are tour guides. We did talk with one man who spoke english but this was very helpful. We thought the agreed upon price was very reasonable.

 

The next time we go though which is this January we will take the ferry over to the old town area and you get this right in the area near that cruise ship terminal.

 

Keith

 

Interesting idea to take the ferry across. Anyone have any experience with the ferry?

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Interesting idea to take the ferry across. Anyone have any experience with the ferry?

I believe it is a large catamaran and is located right at the port. I have not heard if it is still running....perhaps someone could let us know. The rate was $10 return per person and tickets were available at the kiosk. Would be a nice way to get to the walled city.

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I believe it is a large catamaran and is located right at the port. I have not heard if it is still running....perhaps someone could let us know. The rate was $10 return per person and tickets were available at the kiosk. Would be a nice way to get to the walled city.

 

Thanks to you and Keith for the information. I will search the web for more information.

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Hi Everyone

 

Is the ferry signposted at the pier? (would welcome any guidance) and is the walled city some thing you can navigate stress free on your own?

 

Thanks

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Anyone???????:rolleyes:

 

The last I heard was that there were labor dispute issues (I think with the independent tour operators) and that it would start running in October. We shall see, as it was supposed to start up in March! I asked for a status on the link titled ' Cartagena Shuttle???'

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Hi Everyone

 

Is the ferry signposted at the pier? (would welcome any guidance) and is the walled city some thing you can navigate stress free on your own?

 

Thanks

 

When we were there this past January the ferry was running.

 

If not, you can take a taxi.

 

Keith

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I'm the original poster now returned from Cartagena. :) We had a great time. Took a cab shared with another couple. Paid 8.00 per couple..one way. Picked up the cab right at the port. We asked to be dropped off at the clock tower entrance in the wall and just walked and walked. Beautiful city. I had picked up a map from somewhere just so I knew we'd find Bolivar Sq where the Inquisition museum was and the church. Other than that, we just roamed. Fantastic old Spanish architecture. Felt safe as there are police stationed around, plus many cruisers roaming. Had a small lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants in some plaza we stumbled upon. Many people took the carriage ride thru town and seemd to enjoy that. We covered more teritory I think.

 

Going back to the ship I think we paid 10.00 for the two of us via cab from the clock tower entrance.

 

We didn't have enough time to even put a dent in the old city. Would do the same thing next time too.

 

Great information. I don't like big bus tours like you get through the cruise line. This sounds like a great idea!

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