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moosa

Cartagena shuttle????

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does anyone know if Celebrity or somewhere on the dock offers shuttles into the main square by the clock? can we get there any other way other than a tour or taxi???? :confused:

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The shuttles from the ship just take you to the cruise port terminal. From there you need to be on a tour or take a cab. Cabs right outside the port gate charge less than $5 for the ride to old town and you can fit up to four people in the cab.

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No shuttle downtown I am afraid.

 

You can either take the shuttle from the ship to the terminal or just walk it as it is only about a five minute walk.

 

Keith

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If you're not a part of a tour sold by the ship, it's best to get the free shuttle that goes from on the pier to the port terminal (takes 2 minutes or you can walk it in 5) After you go through the port terminal (a beautiful old wood house that is now the store) you can either get a guided tour or behind the tour guides you will see the signs for taxis. The sign says that a taxi for 4 people one way to the Old Town, where the clock tower is, costs $15.

 

Pick up a free map or magizine explaining the sights at the toruism kiosk. Check out the beautiful birds and other animals at the port terminal. Soon the port will be offering a catamarn ferry that will go directly from the port to the Old Town.

 

Enjoy your visit!

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If you're not a part of a tour sold by the ship, it's best to get the free shuttle that goes from on the pier to the port terminal (takes 2 minutes or you can walk it in 5) After you go through the port terminal (a beautiful old wood house that is now the store) you can either get a guided tour or behind the tour guides you will see the signs for taxis. The sign says that a taxi for 4 people one way to the Old Town, where the clock tower is, costs $15.

 

Pick up a free map or magizine explaining the sights at the toruism kiosk. Check out the beautiful birds and other animals at the port terminal. Soon the port will be offering a catamarn ferry that will go directly from the port to the Old Town.

 

Enjoy your visit!

 

Or you can keep walking a bit to the main street....about 100 meters more and you can get a taxi to take up to four people to the old town for less than $5.

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If you're not a part of a tour sold by the ship, it's best to get the free shuttle that goes from on the pier to the port terminal (takes 2 minutes or you can walk it in 5) After you go through the port terminal (a beautiful old wood house that is now the store) you can either get a guided tour or behind the tour guides you will see the signs for taxis. The sign says that a taxi for 4 people one way to the Old Town, where the clock tower is, costs $15.

 

Pick up a free map or magizine explaining the sights at the toruism kiosk. Check out the beautiful birds and other animals at the port terminal. Soon the port will be offering a catamarn ferry that will go directly from the port to the Old Town.

 

Enjoy your visit!

 

When will the ferry be up and running. What is the approximate cost expected to be? Would this be like in St. Maarten where you have a bracelet and you can use the ferry for the day at one cost? Thanks.:)

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There is now a catamaran service that takes passengers from the cruise port to the docks by the Old Town. You buy a bracelet at the port store for $5 and it allows you to go to the Old Town and back for one price. The trip takes about 15 minutes each way and run every 30 minutes. There are 2 catamarans and they each hold about 120 passengers. During the trip you get a good view of Bocagrande as well as the old town and Convention Center. There are restrooms on board as well as refreshments and a guide to provide maps and other information.

 

Independent tour guides and taxis are still available in front of the port store for those who want to see more of the city. The port store and surrounding grounds are also a very interesting and beautiful place to visit. Look for the parrots, flamingos and other birds, iguanas, miniature deer and monkeys.

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thank you, dwick, that is great info! we have been to Cartagena before and saw the fortress, La Popa and the shopping area. is old town where the colonial homes and church are located? will we be able to walk easily around the area? and can you recommend a good and safe place for us to eat?

thanks so much :D

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The price of the shuttle has now changed since it started operation. It is now $10 for the roundtrip. Take the shuttle bus from the pier to the port terminal (2 minutes or 10 minute walk). By wristbands for the catamaran in the port store or the yellow store.

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thank you, dwick, that is great info! we have been to Cartagena before and saw the fortress, La Popa and the shopping area. is old town where the colonial homes and church are located? will we be able to walk easily around the area? and can you recommend a good and safe place for us to eat?

thanks so much :D

Yes, the Old Town, or also called Centro, is where the old colonial houses and churches are located. It's very easy to walk around and many things to see. Pick up a tourist map at the different tourism kiosk in the Old Town. Don't worry about getting lost as sooner or later you will come to a wall. As with all tourist places watch your personal belongings. Take a bottle of water with you or it's a good excuse to stop at the many places to try a fruit drink since it's very hot and humid.

 

I previously posted a recommendation for La Mulata as a great place to eat. See posting under Colombia titled "Cartagena Walled City Where to Eat" Another great place is a Colombian chain called Crepes and Waffles.

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thanks for the great info! I will be checking the post you mentioned as well. our cruise is about a month away and I can't wait!

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The catamaran shuttle service between the port and the Old Town has been suspended for 2 months. There is a dispute between the independent tour guides and the port so the guides are to present an alternative proposal in the next 2 months.

 

As we get more news we'll port it.

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:eek: so other than a taxi there's no other way of getting to Old Town? bummer. :(

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Does anyone have any idea how much we should pay if we pick up a taxi (4 people) outside the port and ask for a 5-10 minute stop at the San Felipe fort on the way to being dropped off at the Clock Tower gate?

 

I don't want to be cheap, but I don't want to be ripped off either! Thanks.

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Inside the port the taxis are posted to cost $15 one way for 4 people. The normal fare outside is about $4-5 for a trip to Old Town. Depending on the day and number of ships in port they may be charging a little more. Also with the short stop at San Felipe you may be asked to pay additional.

 

Have a great visit and let us know if we can answer anything else.

 

Dwick

Friends for Colombia

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It appears for only two of us (mid-April), one of the private tours will cost about $ 230-$250 for four hours. That seems a bit steep in comparison to other private tours we have had for the two of us. We wish to see La Popa, San Pedro Claver Church and some other sites in Old town during our short stay. We would prefer not the ship excursion. Is there a chance of a private tour that can be arranged in the port building after we go ashore ? Certainly if another couple were to come along at the last minute that would be fine.

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It appears for only two of us (mid-April), one of the private tours will cost about $ 230-$250 for four hours. That seems a bit steep in comparison to other private tours we have had for the two of us. We wish to see La Popa, San Pedro Claver Church and some other sites in Old town during our short stay. We would prefer not the ship excursion. Is there a chance of a private tour that can be arranged in the port building after we go ashore ? Certainly if another couple were to come along at the last minute that would be fine.

 

 

why don't you try the tours that everyone uses on CC? I don't know their names but if you do a search a lot of people use these tour guides and like them. I know for a fact you can arrange private tours for about $60-90 a person. I was just in Cartagena for the second time last week on a Caribbean cruise with Celebrity and it was awesome. we did a walking tour in downtown and the fortress. we had seen the monastery on a previous cruise so we wanted to see the colonial city by walking it. I highly recommend that tour even though we took it from the ship. I can tell you that there's no shuttle anywhere and taxis are extremely expensive on the inside but also not cheap outside. the taxi drivers know by now that tourists will pay to go places. why are you so against the ship's tours? on our cruise a couple took a taxi and the driver got "lost" and then had engine problems. the couple had to wait 1 hour before another taxi came to their rescue. they made it back to the ship barely on time and were not happy about the day's events. when is your cruise? the weather in Cartagena was nice and breezy but humid.

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The catamaran service between the port and Old Town is to be restarted on Monday, March 12th. It had been suspended 2 month ago. It goes from the port near the crusie ships to near the Convention Center at Old Town. It takes about 15 minutes each way, runs every 30 minutes and previously cost $10 roundtrip. Wristbands could be purchased in the port store. There are 2 new catamarans each holding about 120 passengers.

 

Independent tour guides and taxis are still available in front of the port store.

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Good news on the catamaran starting up again. Sounds like the best option for Old Town. In answer to the question, I have nothing against ship excursions, that is usually what we do, however this time I wanted a more personal tour - and yes I have checked with the independent tour guides discussed here on CC. As I mentioned their rate for two of us is in the ballpark of $230-$250. Agreed with more people the cheaper it is. Will be there third week of April & looking forward to it regardless of what we do.

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It appears for only two of us (mid-April), one of the private tours will cost about $ 230-$250 for four hours.

I was quoted $260 ($130 per person) for the 2 of us as well. Another 4 people are now booked on the excursion, so the price dropped to $65 per person. Don't give up hope that there will be later bookings; just be prepared if it is just the 2 of you.

Edited by Quasar1011

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Moosa, I am hoping that you can give me some advice. My husband and I will be in Cartagena on a Celebrity cruise in November (on a Sunday). We are trying to decide between 2 ship tours. One goes to La Popa, followed by a photo stop at the Fortress, Las Bovedas Artisan Center, and a drive by Bocagrande, ending with shopping (ugh) at Pierino Gallo. I do not think it includes much (if any) walking through the old town. The other tour that we are considering starts with a photo stop at the Fortress, followed by a visit to the Inquisition Palace, a walk through the walled city to San Pedro Claver and then the same 2 shopping venues as the first tour. I am disappointed that we cannot do all of these things, but must make a choice.

Since you have experienced both La Popa and a walk through the town, which tour do you think would be more interesting? I realize that "interesting" is in the eyes of the beholder, but I would like to hear from someone who has done these on ship tours. Thank you.

Cheryl

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Moosa, I am hoping that you can give me some advice. My husband and I will be in Cartagena on a Celebrity cruise in November (on a Sunday). We are trying to decide between 2 ship tours. One goes to La Popa, followed by a photo stop at the Fortress, Las Bovedas Artisan Center, and a drive by Bocagrande, ending with shopping (ugh) at Pierino Gallo. I do not think it includes much (if any) walking through the old town. The other tour that we are considering starts with a photo stop at the Fortress, followed by a visit to the Inquisition Palace, a walk through the walled city to San Pedro Claver and then the same 2 shopping venues as the first tour. I am disappointed that we cannot do all of these things, but must make a choice.

Since you have experienced both La Popa and a walk through the town, which tour do you think would be more interesting? I realize that "interesting" is in the eyes of the beholder, but I would like to hear from someone who has done these on ship tours. Thank you.

Cheryl

 

 

glad to help. I still have my old tour planner with codes and descriptions. we sailed on the Equinox by the way...

 

first time in Cartagena we did the Panama Canal cruise on Princess so we visited La Popa Monastery for 30 minutes which was more than enough time for us. the views are amazing since you're really up high and can see the whole city and ocean. we even saw our ship. the monastery is beautiful and old but also plain and the drive up there was a bit rough. this was in 2009.

 

the Fortress is a fun stop because you get to walk through the cave like tunnels but the walk up the hill is brutal because not only is it hot as hell and humid the black wall around the fortress is actually boiling hot and heat follows you until you reach the tunnels. it's extremely crowed and we did not stay there long at all. I do recommend it because I've never seen anything like it.

 

we walked a bit at Plaza de Bolivar through the colonial streets but it was not enough time to truly savor that moment. then you visit the inquisition palace for a minute and lastly stopped at the church of San Pedro Claver which in my opinion is prettier inside since it has a small garden. it's almost museum like but it's cool inside with a clean bathroom and toilet paper.

 

the very last stop for us was the dungeons for shopping which was a waste of time in my opinion. most of the shops are the same and are expensive plus they don't really bargain. we found the same things with street vendors for much cheaper. they did, however, have nice art which was original and hand made as well as Botero paintings and replicas which were nice.

 

Celebrity does not offer this tour with all these places combines so if you want to do it I recommend an outside the ship tour which will run you about $65 p/p but you should book it in advance and find a group to join you. I'm sure someone on the board already has. Nov. and Dec. is very hot there so it depends on how much walking you want to do.

 

Pierino Gallo has nice shops but it's mainly emeralds when we were there in 2009. we had an 8 hour tour so we saw just about everything. the street vendors there seemed better for us for souvenirs.

 

I would personally go for the second tour which includes the walled city. you have to walk to the inquisition palace as well as the church since cars cannot enter those small narrow streets. if you find the CA11 Historic Cartagena Old City Tour that's the one that I would do in a second again. it's mainly a walking tour but you are first driven to the main fortress area for a photo so you don't have to walk up the hill but you do miss the tunnels. then the bus will drive you to the other side of the fortress which is pretty much deserted and has beautiful views of the ocean, beach, city and has cannons all around. you're basically on top street level so the buildings are under you. great views of the colonial streets as well. this is where the walking begins and you basically go on a large circle that takes you to the inquisition palace, the main streets with colonial homes, another church and if you need to go to the restroom they will take you to the San Pedro Claver church since it's a public bathroom. you really need like 15 minutes there and the women's bathroom is always full with a line so you will have time to explore it just make sure the tour waits for you. :p after that you will board the bus again and they will take you to the dungeons for shopping.

 

if you love history, colonial buildings, the center city life of this amazing place I recommend this tour 100%. we were there in Feb. and it was hot and humid with a little breeze. once I got over the fact that I was sweaty wet and gross I truly enjoyed myself and was sad when the tour ended.

 

I hope this helps you decide. Cartagena was my favorite stop in 2009 and again this time around. feel free to ask me anything. I'm still going through my photos so it's all fresh in my mind.

 

Anna:D

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Anna, thank you very much for your input. I think we will give up visiting La Popa and concentrate on the attractions of the old city itself. The walking tour sounds like something we would love to do.

Cheryl

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The catamaran service between the port and Old Town is to be restarted on Monday, March 12th. It had been suspended 2 month ago. It goes from the port near the crusie ships to near the Convention Center at Old Town. It takes about 15 minutes each way, runs every 30 minutes and previously cost $10 roundtrip. Wristbands could be purchased in the port store. There are 2 new catamarans each holding about 120 passengers.

 

Independent tour guides and taxis are still available in front of the port store.

Dwick,

that is great news as we are just planning a wander around (2nd visit)I don't suppose they have a website? after leaving the ship do you turn right or left to get to the port? or do you have an address.

kind regards

Rosalyn

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