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Cartagena local tours?


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We've seen the ship's excursions and have contacted some local vendors

online, but they seem very similar and about the same rates. Are there reliable and less costly options at the pier, as in many island ports? We just don't want to find ourselves stranded when we dock.

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We've seen the ship's excursions and have contacted some local vendors

online, but they seem very similar and about the same rates. Are there reliable and less costly options at the pier, as in many island ports? We just don't want to find ourselves stranded when we dock.

We toured with Martin Rosales, Cartagena Tour Guide, when we were in Cartagena in March 2015. The price was about $90 for a full day tour. We booked him through Trip Advisor but he has a website: cartagenatourguide.com He has lots of good reviews on Trip Advisor. There were only four of us on the tour so it was very personalized and he will take you into the Fort - Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, which most of the other tour guides will not. You really do not want to venture out on your own in Cartagena. The vendors there are some of the most aggressive we have ever encountered anywhere! As you exit the port area, there are lots of "tour guides" and taxis who will take you anywhere you want. We were extremely happy to have a tour arranged in advance!

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  • 2 years later...

I found Dora the Explorer (Cartagena Tours dot com) on the web as a result of some posts on Cruise Critic. I can't recommend her highly enough. We saw about everything you could possibly see in the time the ship was docked. Our tour guide was Dora herself, a Cartagena native daughter and the most excellent tour guide! We loved everything we saw, learned, and experienced. Dora knows everything about that area and had history, cultural, and social anecdotes. We got to see La Popa (the church Pope JP II visited in 1986, and itself a historical treasure). We saw a fort, and drove through Manga, and then had a great walking tour of the walled city, enjoying the stories, architecture, and ambiance. We even had a bit of free time at the end, where we bought a lovely cup of coffee and shopped for some souvenirs. As Ryan&Ronnie posted, I have never seen such aggressive street vendors - they got up in our faces and followed us down the street. A ship friend who went on another tour injured her ankle badly because the vendor was so up in her face that she didn't see a curb. She was in a boot thing for the rest of the cruise. Dora had warned us about those people and said to ignore them. As much as I wanted to help them out, I followed her advice and it was the best way to handle it. Cartagena is very beautiful and having someone from the area show us around was the best way to see it. Our bus held about 14 people. It took special skill to show us as much as we were able to experience in the short time the ship was in port, and yet not feel rushed. For the duration of our cruise, I asked people how their Cartagena tours were; nobody saw as much and learned as much as we did. I was expecting it to be really muggy and hot. It wasn't bad at all, between the air-conditioned bus and the breezes on land. Dora touched base with us a couple of times right before our tour and also afterward. She is just great and I felt a real kinship with her.

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Dora is great, and Lee Miles - Mr Emerald - is also recommended.

 

Recommend you check the Colombia port of call board, there is lots of information there.

 

While possible, it is not as easy to hop off the ship and find a good driver here as it is on some of the islands.

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