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Tours with Marelvy Peña-Hall

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Has anyone used MarIvy for a Cartagena tour? I see she gets top billing on TripAdvisor, but I didn't find anything that told me how to contact her for more information.

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Tripadvisor lists her website:

 

http://tourincartagena.com/

 

From her website:

 

Marelvy Peña-Hall is completely fluent in English, French and Spanish. In her work as a tour guide she combines the intimate knowledge of a native of Cartagena who is steeped in the city’s centuries-old traditions with an easy familiarity with North American and European people, society and culture, having traveled and lived in both the U.S. and France.

After completing her studies in languages at the Colegio Mayor de Bolívar, Marelvy polished her skills in French by working and studying in France for a period of two years. Marelvy’s chief interests along with the study of languages are in the arts – in particular, dance – and in education. At the age of 13 she began a career spanning two decades of performing the folkloric dances of Colombia, especially those of the Caribbean coast. Upon returning to Cartagena from France she began teaching French at the university level and at this time married the North American-born painter, John Timothy Hall, so that for the past twenty years her study of English has been constant as well. They and their two children, Sheila and Theo, live by the sea just outside of the Old Walled City.

After ten years Marelvy retired from teaching and went into guidework while at the same time dedicating herself to the homeschooling of her bilingual children and, in collaboration with her husband, to the writing of an extensive and innovative bilingual dictionary. A look at the preliminary edition of this recently completed work will be coming soon here. The final edition will be published later this year.

 

 

Cartagena de Indias in Colombia, is the second oldest city established by Europeans in South America (after Santa Marta which lies 300 kilometeres further up the coast). For centuries it was known as the gateway to South America and certainly, in terms of tasting the Latin American sensibility, it still is. What was to become Spain’s most important port on the Caribbean Sea was founded 476 years ago by Pedro de Heredia on the site of a village called Calamarí (which meant 'crab') whose inhabitants, the Mocanaes, were part of the Carib tribe. Today Cartagena is a major modern port and an increasingly popularly venue for international tourism. The Old City was declared world heritage by the United Nations in 1984.

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Has anyone used Marelvy recently? Although this is the #1 tour on another site, there aren't many reviews on Cruise Critic. Is there someone else that you would recommend?

 

Thanks, Kathy

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Has anyone used Marelvy recently? Although this is the #1 tour on another site, there aren't many reviews on Cruise Critic. Is there someone else that you would recommend?

 

Thanks, Kathy

 

I doubt anyone can afford her. We sent an email and she replied promptly, but she priced her tour out of my price range.

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I doubt anyone can afford her. We sent an email and she replied promptly, but she priced her tour out of my price range.

I didn't think the price we were quoted (for 4 people) was bad at all, and it will go down more if we get more people. As was pointed out, her replies were very prompt. She also seems to have a good sense of humor. We don't tour Cartagena until New Year's Day, so I can't tell you how it went until after then.

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I didn't think the price we were quoted (for 4 people) was bad at all, and it will go down more if we get more people. As was pointed out, her replies were very prompt. She also seems to have a good sense of humor. We don't tour Cartagena until New Year's Day, so I can't tell you how it went until after then.

 

What was the price she quoted you.

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Has anyone used Marelvy recently? Although this is the #1 tour on another site, there aren't many reviews on Cruise Critic. Is there someone else that you would recommend?

 

Thanks, Kathy

 

We booked with Dora for our April tour this year. (There are three women guides so you don't always get Dora.....that day she took a large group so assume it was a financial deal for her but perhaps just experience with large group....we knew way beforehand that Dora would not be with us.)

Our guide that day was Dency but forgot the driver's name. However, he did a marvelous job with that hectic traffic! At times he would drop the three of us where we needed if he couldn't park and then pick us up later. We asked for a little adjustment to the schedule that was posted on Dora's site and they accommodated us so we could do another stop and skip one we didn't care about.

Cartagena is not a place I'd want to be on my own but perhaps that's just my caution. I felt we got to see much more of the real city than we would have otherwise.

Yes, the private tours are more expensive but it was very nice to just have the two of us with a guide and driver so we did things more at our own pace and could do more of what we wanted. They are excellent on timing and drove us up to the pier exactly on time.

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On our recent Panama Canal cruise, we chose “Tour in Cartagena with Marelvy Pena-Hall” based on a recommendation on Cruise Critic and after reading reviews on Trip Advisor. We contacted her by e-mail to arrange a tour from our cruise ship and she quickly responded, answering all of our questions, so we booked our tour. During the months between booking and sailing, any time I contacted her, she responded promptly. As promised, she was waiting for us at the foot of the gangway as soon as the ship docked in Cartagena. In all, there were 10 of us from the ship on the tour. We chose the “Highpoints of the City” tour which included visits to La Popa, and the Fortress of San Felipe, and a walk around the Old City. She also took us to a shopping area for souvenirs and offered assistance with bartering with some of the shopkeepers. We felt completely safe during our tour – her driver was a lovely lady who was amazing at navigating the crazy traffic of the city! Marelvy speaks impeccable English and is passionate and knowledgeable about her city and country. Her style is very relaxed and conversational, so it is like touring with a friend. She has a wonderful sense of humour and our group shared lots of laughs along the way! At the end of the tour, she presented each couple with a print of a painting which her husband had done for the Bicentennial of the independence of Cartagena de Indias, which is a wonderful souvenir of our visit and tour! We would highly recommend booking a tour with Marelvy to anyone travelling to Cartagena!

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Just used Tours in Cartagena with Marelvy. Cannot say enough good things about her and her tour. Do not hesitate to book her. It will be a highlight of your cruise. It was for us.:)

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What was the price she quoted you.

 

 

I'm bumping this since I would like to know what Marelvy charges for her tours.

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I'm bumping this since I would like to know what Marelvy charges for her tours.

 

I was quoted $85 pp for 4 down to $53 pp for 8 people, for a custom tour this December. Quoted this past January. She was initially very good writing back, but hasn't been lately. Last thing she said was she had been ill but is better now. I know she did a tour for a cc group on the Sun this past Feb 6 and they enjoyed it. Would like to know if you have good responses when you email her!

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We paid her $85 p/p last December for four people. Tour was worth every cent. If you can hire her, do so!:)

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I was quoted $85 pp for 4 down to $53 pp for 8 people, for a custom tour this December. Quoted this past January. She was initially very good writing back, but hasn't been lately. Last thing she said was she had been ill but is better now. I know she did a tour for a cc group on the Sun this past Feb 6 and they enjoyed it. Would like to know if you have good responses when you email her!

 

I e-mailed her yesterday and got a quick reply. I am looking forward to touring with her next April!

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I e-mailed her yesterday and got a quick reply. I am looking forward to touring with her next April!

 

Thanks for the update! Will let you know how we make out in December.

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We are two women looking for 2 to 4 more persons to share the cost of a tour with Marelvy on April 16, 2016. We arrive in Cartagena on the Pullmantur Monarch at 11 am.

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