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Cartagena columbia old town


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We are sailing from LAX on Sept.20 thru the Panama canal. Can anyone tell us about the port of Cartagena Columbia?

We are thinking of going into the old town, not on a ship's tour. How far is it from the dock & what is the best way to get there? Anyone know the costs for taxis or shuttles ?

Thank you for any info,

Steve & Pete

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Every time we where there the cruise line highly recommended that you don't travel by yourself in Cartagena . They recommended travel with an organized group. Also nothing our then passports and money , leave onboard.

the government is very strict about enforcing the no drug law. Even my DW inhalers ( for asthma) where not recommended to take ashore , even to go to the little cruise terminal.

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A big hiya to our friends in BC. We spent 18 days there & Banff in 1981 with a friend who is now in Ucluelet. I was hoping that things had gotten more peaceful in Cartagena

because the Princess tours didn't look very interesting.

Thanx, Steve

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I have to be honest with you. Visited Cartagena three times. Last time in January. First two times very nervous. Then we went out on our own. It was fantastic as is the old town area.

 

When you leave the terminal you will be confronted by lots of tour guides. Politely ignore them.

 

Once outside there was one person who speaks very good English and we negotiated with him. We negotiated where we wanted to go and that included old town, how long and at what price. The cab driver spoke limited english but enough and everything was perfect. He stayed close by wherever we went and I would highly recommend this.

 

Like any city just be careful.

 

But it was perfectly fine and I can't tell you enough how cautious my wife and I are.

 

If it wasn't fine I would not recommend this.

 

Old Town was a charm.

 

Keith

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We stopped there February 2011. There were plenty of taxi drivers offering tours for $15 per person. I was around the terminal when people were returning and heard no complaints about the drivers or tours.

 

The only complaint I did hear, and I heard plenty of it, was how impossible the street vendors were. According to the tales I listened to, they were on you like flies on honey and wouldn't take a polite No for an answer.

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Outside the terminal we negotiated for a vehicle to take six of us to the old fort with time to climb and explore, a drive-by tour of the old town, then leave us in the town to do our own thing with pick up return to ship several hours later. $US20 per person. Driver would have taken us to new city as well for that price.

We were insistent that we would not join a larger group. There were several touts determined to use us fill their mini-buses which then went on a programmed tour. This we didn't want.

The old city is delightful and we wandered very happily from one patch of shade to the next. Lots of restaurants in some streets. In late March it was very hot. Some pasengers, without a keen interest in Colombian history, found the organised walking tours rather hot and tiring.

We saw people on Segways, looked like great fun. Other friends took a cab to town and walked back to the ship. They had a good map.

The vendors and touts in the city were determined but no worse than other ports. We felt quite safe.

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We were in Cartagena in January 2012. They had just started a ferry service from the cruise pier to the old city for $5 round trip. It was a delightful boat ride with a great view of the city. The ferry stop is right at the old city. We walked around the old city (had downloaded maps and tourist information from the internet), went into some of the museums, and then got a taxi to the fort. Friends of ours who also went hired a walking tour guide - we were glad we strolled along ourselves so we could do things at our own pace. It's an easy area to get around in and we felt completely safe. There were tons of tourists everywhere. When we were done at the fort, we could have taken a taxi back to the ferry and used our return ticket. We opted to forgo the ferry ride and took the taxi back to the cruise ship pier. Cartagena was one of our favorite stops; a beautiful city rich in history.

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Excellent point about the Ferry service. We were there in both December of last year and January of this year and saw there is now ferry service and while we did the taxi in January we plan to do the ferry this coming January.

 

Keith

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Gotta tell everyone how much help you all have been. We think we'll take the ferry to Old Town, as this is the type of thing we'd enjoy most.

Gracias,

Pedro y Esteban

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Gotta tell everyone how much help you all have been. We think we'll take the ferry to Old Town, as this is the type of thing we'd enjoy most.

Gracias,

Pedro y Esteban

 

:D Hey, I thought you were Pete and Steve....LOL

 

Thanks to everyone that posted information, we are going in April 2013, also stopping here. I am lurking around Panama threads to soak up all the information I can. :D

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Hola, we were practicing our Spanish.

 

We would like to ask our amigos in Cruise Critic about the ferry to Old Town. We were looking elsewhere online but are unable to find out where it sails from at the port area.

Anyone know how often it runs?

Thanx in advance...

Steve (a.k.a. Esteban)

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Hola, we were practicing our Spanish.

 

We would like to ask our amigos in Cruise Critic about the ferry to Old Town. We were looking elsewhere online but are unable to find out where it sails from at the port area.

Anyone know how often it runs?

Thanx in advance...

Steve (a.k.a. Esteban)

 

The same questions we have. Hopefully someone will give us more details.

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Hola, we were practicing our Spanish.

 

We would like to ask our amigos in Cruise Critic about the ferry to Old Town. We were looking elsewhere online but are unable to find out where it sails from at the port area.

Anyone know how often it runs?

Thanx in advance...

Steve (a.k.a. Esteban)

We were there in January 2012; the ferry ran from a small pier at the cruise terminal. You had to walk past the ticket office and the place where the ferry left on your way out of the terminal area for taxis. I forget how often the ferry ran, but it was fairly frequent and VERY convenient. The pursers staff or travel desk staff should have information about it.

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This service sounds great. Celbrity Infinity excursion staff did not mention it last March. I do hope users will report back with a name of operator and website. Cruise Critic is so good for port information.

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  • 3 weeks later...
We took a lovely long stroll along the waters edge back from the Old City to the ship. It was very hot but interesting to walk through all the small neighborhoods.

 

This is one of the options we are considering. A lot depends on how much tme we have to return to the ship. How long did your "stroll" take?

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We took a lovely long stroll along the waters edge back from the Old City to the ship. It was very hot but interesting to walk through all the small neighborhoods.

 

We have been to Cartagena a few times but have not tried to walk it.

 

When you say waters edge did you exit the pier or do you say inside and literally walk by the waters edge.

 

If not, how did you do the walk and how long did it take on foot to reach the old town area?

 

Keith

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This is one of the options we are considering. A lot depends on how much tme we have to return to the ship. How long did your "stroll" take?

 

 

It is about 3 to 4 kms. We walked out of the walled old town across an open plaza with the water to our right and through some small shops and onto Calle 25. Check it out on Google earth. It was a lovely walk and we sat for a while under palm trees and watched fishermen with their nets. Took us about 2 hours but that included all our stops. No bad locations along the way at all.

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If I remember correctly, the fort is up high and you must climb up a "ramp" type walk and stairs. The humidity is high and so are the temperatures. No shade that I can remember anywhere on that part of the excursion. If like me, you do not handle the heat/humidity well there was not a place to "bail out to coolness of AC". Go as early in day as you can.

 

Yes, Cartagenea Columbia was one of the places I got red in the face and sweat poured down and all tried to take me to hospital but I survived well once I cooled down. Wish I didn't become a spectacle of hottness -- and not in the "hottie" sort of way:o Still well worth going but be prepared with hat, water, and plan for getting out of sun. The torture museum was where I overheated. Too many folks in too small a space and I almost fainted -- so just a warning.

 

I believe the folks who say that you should do this stop in a group. Several government groups (that various people I know work for) give this advice. I try very hard NOT to become an international incident. There is not many things your government can do for you if things go wrong in this area and the local government is not completely in control either. You do not know all the problems that Americans have gotten into in Cartagenea. Anyway go in safety and have a great cruise.

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If I remember correctly, the fort is up high and you must climb up a "ramp" type walk and stairs. The humidity is high and so are the temperatures. No shade that I can remember anywhere on that part of the excursion. If like me, you do not handle the heat/humidity well there was not a place to "bail out to coolness of AC". Go as early in day as you can.

 

Yes, Cartagenea Columbia was one of the places I got red in the face and sweat poured down and all tried to take me to hospital but I survived well once I cooled down. Wish I didn't become a spectacle of hottness -- and not in the "hottie" sort of way:o Still well worth going but be prepared with hat, water, and plan for getting out of sun. The torture museum was where I overheated. Too many folks in too small a space and I almost fainted -- so just a warning.

 

I believe the folks who say that you should do this stop in a group. Several government groups (that various people I know work for) give this advice. I try very hard NOT to become an international incident. There is not many things your government can do for you if things go wrong in this area and the local government is not completely in control either. You do not know all the problems that Americans have gotten into in Cartagenea. Anyway go in safety and have a great cruise.

This was a very good description, thank you so much. Besides the hat I think that I will bring an umbrella for an extra source of shade . . . I am a humidity/heat wimp, so I needed your advice!

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My wife and I were there in December 2009. We avoided the official excursions and took a cab directly from the port to the old town. Walked around the old town for the entire day and saw many things "off the beaten path." It was fantastic because we had never been to South America before. Be sure to take one-dollar bills for tips. Some boys painted to look like sculptures will want money if you take their photo. Likewise for the woman balancing the fruit plate on her head.

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