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Cartagena Saturday Tips, Photo Secrets?

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Am looking to do a Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco cruise through the Panama Canal in late February-early March 2017. This includes a short 9 am to 3 pm stop in Cartagena. That's a limited amount of time and it would be on Saturday, March 4. This would be our first time for Columbia, Panama Canal, Central America, etc.

 

Any special secrets, ideas, suggestions, experiences, etc., to share as to where is best to feed our interests in history, photography, sampling the people and character of this town, etc.?? Just doing too much of the usual tourist stops/shopping is not our priority and/or interest. There are several good ship excursion options that we are considering, including ones that visit Castillo San Felipe de Barajas. Assume that is a must-see, right? In looking, however, at the pictures of this fortress, it is big, but it also looks much like parts of the famed fortresses at San Juan, PR. That was very nice, but would this in Cartagena be that much better or different? Worth it to take the time and effort?

 

Given our limited time in this port, doing a private tour might not be as much of priority. Or, should be that be very important to do in order to see more, lessening the crowds, waiting for folks to unload and load on the bus, etc. On a Saturday, any special options here to consider? Looking forward to the smart sharing of any good, unique ideas. I will also be reading a number of the posts on this very helpful and in-depth thread. There seems to be a solid consensus that this is one of the most fascinating towns in South America. Right?

 

THANKS for the help! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 43,548 views for these postings.

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http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tour-details/colombia/cartagena.htm?id=174

 

It's $20.00 a person and you can Hop on and Hop off. We are going to take the whole 90 mins around and listen to the comentary, then go back to what we really want to see. We are there from 7:00 - 1:00. so not very long in port either.

 

I have noticed that there is not much posted about this port or Santa Marta Columbia. I don't know if they are new ports or that cruise lines just do not call on these 2 ports very often.

 

There is also a review that someone wrote about DIY easypeasey. We had considered that as well.

 

Enjoy whatever you decide to do. :)

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I would encourage you to visit the fortress in Cartagena. I've been to El Morro in PR as well, but I found the history in Colombia to be much more fascinating. I'd also suggest walking into the neighborhood next to the walled city called Getsemani to get a good sense of the locals. There's also a fantastic restaurant called Caffe Lunatico that serves lunch. It was by far the best meal of our 12 day Colombia trip.

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I would encourage you to visit the fortress in Cartagena. I've been to El Morro in PR as well, but I found the history in Colombia to be much more fascinating. I'd also suggest walking into the neighborhood next to the walled city called Getsemani to get a good sense of the locals. There's also a fantastic restaurant called Caffe Lunatico that serves lunch. It was by far the best meal of our 12 day Colombia trip.

 

lillulu: We are doing this.

http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tour...ena.htm?id=174

It's $20.00 a person and you can Hop on and Hop off. We are going to take the whole 90 mins around and listen to the comentary' date=' then go back to what we really want to see. We are there from 7:00 - 1:00. so not very long in port either. [/quote']

 

Appreciate these excellent suggestions and ideas. Am copying and saving in the trip files on my laptop computer. Very helpful with these potentials to consider. Keep it coming with these various tips and secrets.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 157,130 views for this posting.

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Terry, Cartagena is beautiful. Lots to see. Do a private tour:

Things to see include:

La Popa Monastery. It is located on a hill and will provide nice views of the city and has lots to see.

Fort San Felipe de Barajas. Also be sure to walk the tunnel.

Walled City.

If you have time also visit the new city. Keith

 

SOLD!! No doubt in my mind that Keith is 100% correct for there being lots of great things to see and do in Cartagena. Appreciate these wonderful pictures, suggestions and details!!

 

BUT, however, there is just one little problem/challenge. Our ship is in this port only from 9 am to 3 pm. That makes our net time there somewhat around only four hours.

 

How to make it "ALL" work or fit? What are the top, best priorities?

 

Keep sharing these excellent suggestions. Any ideas from Keith or others for which private guide might be best, especially someone who understands and appreciate my interests in getting good, creative photography?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Dozens of nice visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc. We are now at 217,764 views for this live/blog re-cap, including much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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We had the same port time as you on our Panama Canal cruise last year. We went with Marelvy Pena-Hall. There were around 12 of us in a small van. We walked through the old parts of the city and did a quick drive through the new parts. We got off several times (for walking, history, shopping, etc.). She provided lunch for us (a sandwich, muffin and water, I believe - not anything fancy, but we didn't waste time in a restaurant when we could be looking at stuff). She helped us find some good coffee to take home. We stopped at La Popa and the fortress (although we didn't go in). It was more in depth than your usual HOHO or sightseeing tour, but given the limited hours, she packed in a lot of stuff for us. She got us back to the ship on time and we even had some time to look at the little zoo that is at the port before re-boarding.

 

http://www.tourincartagena.com/

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Terry you could see all of the items on my list in a private tour with the exception of the modern city.

 

Keith

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Terry you could see all of the items on my list in a private tour with the exception of the modern city. Keith

 

AmberCascades: Marelvy Pena-Hall We had the same port time as you on our Panama Canal cruise last year. We went with Marelvy Pena-Hall. There were around 12 of us in a small van. We walked through the old parts of the city and did a quick drive through the new parts. We got off several times (for walking' date=' history, shopping, etc.). She provided lunch for us (a sandwich, muffin and water, I believe - not anything fancy, but [b']we didn't waste time in a restaurant when we could be looking at stuff[/b]). She helped us find some good coffee to take home. We stopped at La Popa and the fortress (although we didn't go in). It was more in depth than your usual HOHO or sightseeing tour, but given the limited hours, she packed in a lot of stuff for us. She got us back to the ship on time and we even had some time to look at the little zoo that is at the port before re-boarding.

 

Appreciate so much these added details and encouragement from both Keith and AmberCascades. Very helpful!! Yes, agree that there can many pluses in doing private tours and having a smaller group to save time and be more focused on your interests/travel style.

 

Will do more checking with those in our travel group as to their interests, etc. Keep up the great sharing and travel tips.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 203,822 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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From the Colombia Reports media source last week, they have this headline: "Colombia 2nd best country to visit in 2017: Lonely Planet" with these highlights: "Travel guide Lonely Planet ranked Colombia second in its list of best countries to visit in 2017. According to the Lonely Planet website, 'there are no world wonders, but the country’s mix of vibrant culture, nature and hospitality is a rich tapestry woven by welcoming arms.' "

 

Congratulations to Colombia for being on this top five list. Canada was ranked number one this year with Finland, Dominica, Nepal,. Bermuda, Mongolia, Oman, Myanmar and Ethiopia following on the list of top countries. Lonely Planet's Top 10 Regions 2017: 1. Choquequirao, Peru; 2. Taranaki, New Zealand; 3. The Azores, Portugal; 4. North Wales, UK; 5. South Australia; 6. Aysén, Chile; 7. The Tuamotus, French Polynesia; 8. Coastal Georgia, USA; 9. Perak, Malaysia and 10. The Skellig Ring, Ireland.

 

Lonely Planet's top ten cities for 2017: 1. Bordeaux, France; 2. Cape Town, South Africa; 3. Los Angeles, USA; 4. Merida, Mexico; 5. Ohrid, Macedonia; 6. Pistoia, Italy; 7. Seoul, South Korea; 8. Lisbon, Portugal; 9. Moscow, Russia and 10. Portland, Oregon.

 

Looking forward to visiting Colombia for the first time early next year. We will be in Cartagena. This attention on Colombia helps build our excitement for this upcoming visit. Here are some other key points and highlights from Lonely Planet for that famed city: "Cartagena de Indias is the undisputed queen of the Caribbean coast, a fairy-tale city of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's old town is a Unesco World Heritage site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and massive churches that cast their shadows across plazas. Cartagena is a place to drop all sightseeing routines. Instead, just stroll through the old town day and night. Soak up the sensual atmosphere, pausing to ward off the brutal heat and humidity in one of the city's many open-air cafes.”

 

More details from Lonely Planet about Colombia at:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/colombia

 

Full stories at:

http://colombiareports.com/colombia-2nd-best-country-visit-2017-lonely-planet/

http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/themes/adventure/85787457/best-in-travel-lonely-planet-names-south-australia-los-angeles-among-is-best-destinations-for-2017

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 44,967 views for these postings.

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From the CNN cable news network last week, they have this headline: "17 best places to visit in 2017" with these highlights focused on this South American country: "With Pope Francis expected to visit to Colombia this year, a peace accord has brought even more prosperity and visitors to this bustling South American nation. From the sizzling bean-to-coffee scene in Bogota to Medellin's sophisticated architecture and Cartagena's defensive fortifications dating back to the 16th century and its packed arts scene, Colombia has arrived."

 

Here are more of their highlights that might be of interest as we prepared in less than two months to do our first visit to Colombia: "Once you've explored the UNESCO site at the port of Cartagena -- an essential link in West Indies trade -- Colombia's most popular national park is less than an hour away. Diving at Rosario and San Bernardo Corals National Park is one of the best ways to spot the soft coral, sea lilies and other sea life."

 

Looking forward to learning more about Colombia and getting a small sampling there in March. Look forward to those with experiences there sharing more insights, tips and ideas.

 

Full story at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/06/travel/best-places-to-visit-in-2017/

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Lots of interesting and dramatic pictures can be seen from my latest live/blog at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Now at 25.339 views for this reporting and visual sharing that includes Cape Town, all along the South Africa coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta area.

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HI all!

 

TLC Ohio ~ we were in Cartagena in early Feb & liked it so much DH, who never wants to think about the next holiday 'til fall was happy to plan another there right when we came back! Unfortunately that didn't work out so we're going to Panama to 2 all inclusives.

 

We were on the Thomson Dream & did a a tour called "Historic Cartagena & Walking Tour" which had about a 20 minute stop at the fort, went to the dungeons for shopping for a while then we went up onto the walls. This was on a Saturday so at least 2 wedding venues were set up there & we did have the luck to see a wedding procession in the carriages coming along the street. The downtown was lovely & had a lot of different kind of statues, a park, beautiful flowers & architecture.

Where we docked was a little oasis (it was really hot there!) of a zoo/park which was nice & you shouldn't miss the sail in, it's lovely.

 

Gee, I wish I was going again & we would have gladly but the tour company didn't offer the cruise until after I already booked Panama!

I just booked a PC cruise on the new NCL Bliss for Nov 2018 so will get to see that lovely place again.

 

So looking forward to your report. I love your reviews.

 

~ Jo ~ :)

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TLC Ohio ~ we were in Cartagena in early Feb & liked it so much DH, who never wants to think about the next holiday 'til fall was happy to plan another there right when we came back. Gee, I wish I was going again & we would have gladly but the tour company didn't offer the cruise until after I already booked Panama! I just booked a PC cruise on the new NCL Bliss for Nov 2018 so will get to see that lovely place again. So looking forward to your report. I love your reviews. ~ Jo ~ :)

 

Appreciate this great follow-up from our Canada neighbor to the northeast of us in Ohio. Glad to know you're a person of such high class, great taste and wonderful judgment to make these generous comments.

 

From the Boston Globe Travel Section last week, they have this headline: "This is where you should travel in 2017" with these highlights: "Americans are horrible at taking time off. Allianz Travel published a study that found 53 percent of Americans failed to take a day off within the past 12 months. Even more shocking, 37 percent of US workers haven’t taken a vacation in two years. Let’s resolve to be more like the French, who get five weeks of vacation a year and aren’t shy about using it."

 

One top to-do location spotlighted was: "Cartagena: This South American gem is coming back into vogue thanks to an impossibly charming UNESCO World Heritage-preserved old town area. The miles of historic stone walls lead to beautiful beaches and cosmopolitan districts. There are fashionable areas, such as the hipster haven Getsemani, lush plazas, top-notch museums, fantastic street food, a restaurant scene that rivals Peru’s, and a nightclub scene that puts other small cities’ to shame."

 

Nice to get more great feed-back and ideas on Cartagena. Keep it coming!! Enjoy reading so much more as to why Cartagena will be a great port stop for us when we are there in only about a month and a half.

 

Full story at:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/travel/2017/01/05/where/Nxwgzk7RzL9glczGdUyw9M/story.html

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 166,788 views for this posting.

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Perhaps seeing pictures might help you decide what to do and see. My wife has some wonderful pictures on her website of a tour that we booked through the cruise line. She absolutely loved it since it gave her a variety of photo opportunities for different types of settings. Take a look if you have time at the link below. She has the Cartagena pictures divided into three groups as you will see.

 

Highlights of the Old City, Fortress de San Felipe de Barajas and San Pedro Claver Church, Music and dance by the Calenda Folklorico Group

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Perhaps seeing pictures might help you decide what to do and see. My wife has some wonderful pictures on her website of a tour that we booked through the cruise line. She absolutely loved it since it gave her a variety of photo opportunities for different types of settings. Take a look if you have time at the link below. She has the Cartagena pictures divided into three groups as you will see.

 

Appreciate so much your wife's super wonderful pictures. Yes, saw them several months back and have "borrowed" a few to post on our cruise Roll Call. Loved the dancing and historic area pictures. They really help to build excitement for this trip. Now just a week till we depart for this exciting "adventure". Will be doing a live/blog on the Princess CC board.

 

Love to read more tips, fun experiences that others have had in the famed Colombia costal city. Keep it coming!!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

If Venice is one of your future desires or past favorites, look at this earlier posting for many options and visual samples this city that is so great for "walking around", personally seeing its great history and architecture. This posting is now at 65,883 views.

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

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your wife's super wonderful pictures. Yes, saw them several months back and have "borrowed" a few to post on our cruise Roll Call.

 

My wife would like to see which ones you posted. Can you provide link(s)? Thanks!

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My wife would like to see which ones you posted. Can you provide link(s)? Thanks!

 

Had thought that I posted a few of your wife's wonderful pictures on Cruise Critic, but in checking, I don't find them. So I will post three of them below. I had pulled off and put some of these great pictures in my photo file to show my wife, etc. Now they are here for more to love and enjoy.

 

We are getting closer for our Tuesday 4 pm sail-away time from Fort Lauderdale. Where is our Island Princess ship today? Below is a screen shot from this ship as it sits in Colombia. Not exactly a super scenic location, but ports with their marginally ugly industrial settings are just a part of the "process" for such adventures on the high seas. Hopefully the historic areas that we will sen in Cartagena will be much better and interesting than this docking spot.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Enjoyed a 14-day, Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Sydney to Auckland adventure, getting a big sampling for the wonders of "down under” before and after this cruise. Go to:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

for more info and many pictures of these amazing sights in this great part of the world. Now at 171,624 views for this posting.

 

 

Here is one exciting dancing pictures that your wife did from Cartagena, plus two from the transit through the Panama Canal. Very good and inspiring visuals. Our excitement is building!!:

 

DecTravel2016A%20033_zps3videizy.jpg

 

 

DecTravel2016A%20034_zpsotqcznf0.jpg

 

 

DecTravel2016A%20035_zps6ml0qteh.jpg

 

 

From the Island Princess BridgeCam, here is the view this morning for this less-than-scenic docking location in Colombia.:

 

DecTravel2016A%20032_zpsmutbt5of.jpg

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Had thought that I posted a few of your wife's wonderful pictures on Cruise Critic, but in checking, I don't find them. So I will post three of them below. I had pulled off and put some of these great pictures in my photo file to show my wife, etc. Now they are here for more to love and enjoy.

 

Thanks for your reply. Needless to say, my wife was very surprised that someone had pulled some of her pictures, but glad that you enjoyed them and gave her credit for her pictures. Happy cruising!

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Thanks for your reply. Needless to say, my wife was very surprised that someone had pulled some of her pictures, but glad that you enjoyed them and gave her credit for her pictures. Happy cruising!

Appreciate your wife's wonderful pictures so much as they were a great inspiration for wanting to do a ship tour featured some of the local dancing and great costumes during our visit to Cartagena and its wonderful Old Town area. Below is the link to my full live/blog (with more pictures to be added). In this post, plus in others later, I will share some of the "results" and successes from our wonderful visit earlier this month to Cartagena. Loved the town, its people, the history, great character and architecture, etc.

 

Do these pictures and these details inspire interest for Cartagena?

 

MY POSTING DETAILS:

Did we love exploring this charming old-world city of Cartagena Saturday that was born at the height of the Spanish Empire? Here is the quick answer . . . YES!!!

 

As we walked around the Cartagena, Colombia, old town area, it allowed us to journey back to the days of the Spanish explorers and galleons. We could envision the role played by the conquistadors and padres as Spain ruled this and so many parts of the New World. It was not always a pretty period based on the uses of power by both the church and Spain, but it is history and fact.

 

Our ship tour on the morning of March 4 gave us an excellent sampling of Cartagena’s history, culture and scenery during this half-day tour from about 10 am to 2 pm. Fortunately, we got there in the morning before the heat became too bad.

 

This adventure began when we met our guide. He proudly said he was the best guide in Cartagena. And, you know, he might just have been totally correct!! Marcos really did a great job with his historic details, demographic and geographic background, Colombian pride, sense of humor, moving style and offering some good fun for our time with him in his dynamic and interesting city. It was also great that there were only 18 people in our group that made things easier and more manageable.

 

Our first stop was at historic Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. This spectacular old fortress reflected why Cartagena was among the most impenetrable cities in this part of the Spanish Empire. Lots pirates, the British, etc., were about in those days for which to worry and from whom to protect. This 17th-century construction was the largest Spanish fort in the New World, representing impressive Spanish military engineering. This fortress is much larger than the Spanish one in San Juan, P.R., that we super enjoyed exploring in early February 2015.

 

This Cartagena fortress had massive walls and parapets that connected with an extensive battery of guns and other fortifications that commanded the bay. We had a brief photo stop here that worked very well for our needs. We did not have time to climb up, UP and UP to the top, but for my aged legs with only one marginal knee, that was a super fine timing limitation. Yes, there were tons and tons of sellers of souvenirs, drinks, photo ops, etc., at this site. Quick Hint? Do not accept their first price option/offering. They will drop that price very quickly if you act uninterested. Warning! They are not shy! A bit pesky, but that is all somewhat normal about popular tourist stops.

 

Our guide made that point that the middle-class has grown significantly in Colombia. Their political and crime/drug-lord situations/challenges have improved. We felt very safe in this city and having a good guide along in our small group helped. As we were sailing in to dock, the massive number of fancy high-rises were very clear and impressive. Most of these are either condos or apartments with more being built. Much of this wall of white, shinning, tall structures reminds one of Miami and south Florida.

 

We then traveled through the heavy traffic and twisting, congested streets to the old walled city that was the top highlight of our day here in Colombia. There are about 102 narrow streets here and it has become the very popular real estate location for residences and high-end hotels. This old town area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We saw walls with various gun batteries. We very much enjoyed our main stop and tour inside the historic San Pedro Claver Church. It was built in the 17th century and has many statues and old-world furnishings honoring the life and work of missionary Saint Peter Claver. He was the patron saint of slaves and the first saint canonized by the Roman church from the Western Hemisphere.

 

As we entered this church, there was a large group of well-dressed locals departing. There had been a family baptism of a cute baby and seeing these upscale local participating residents was a nice sampling for the variety of people living in this city. We saw several interesting areas of this historic church, including a large rain-forest-like courtyard. At this location, a local man had a couple of large, colorful birds. I got some cute pictures of my wife with these birds on her arm . . . and, just for one dollar. Good value and great local color!

 

Walking around the streets and city squares of this famed Old City was a fiesta for the senses. We could marvel at the nicely-restored Spanish Colonial buildings, these old fortifications and the unique blend of church domes, clock towers, ocean views, flowering balconies, old doors, street merchants, historic structures, etc.

 

One of the locations for our next destination originally had been a monastery. Later it been used for a wide range of different purposes, but now it has been turned into high-end hotel named Charleston Santa Teresa. It is on a square named for St. Teresa and had a chapel area that we next visited.

 

Inside this wonderfully air-conditioned chapel, we enjoyed a folkloric professional show of music and dance produced by the dance director, Giovanni Barandica from the Calenda Folclorico Group. We also were able to get free wi-fit from the hotel as we sat and waited for our ship’s second group to arrive. Did I mention that we were in the front row? YES!! Great seats and the spectacular photo/video results were simply amazing. These young dancer had such great energy, skill and spirit!!

 

Why? This group of four musicians and twelve dancers did five distinct dances with great costumes and accessories from three important regions of Colombia. This includes from the Atlantic Coast area (Cumbia and Fandango), the Pacific Coast region (Currulao and Sanjuanero) and the Los Andes area (the Market Place). Our tour concluded with traveling along the busy beach areas in from the towering condos and apartments as we headed to a shopping stop at Pierino Gallo Shopping Center. Yes, they had lots of people selling emeralds there and other items. But, the electric was out during our visiting period and the selections were not that much of interest to us and others. By the way, do not forget that Colombia is the world's leading producer of quality emeralds. Yes, coffee beans were available and could be purchased during this stop.

 

As we headed back to the ship, we saw some of the Manga residential area, that has many various examples of stately "Republican" architecture with several mansions restored to their original splendor. We also drove by their City Hall, arts center and main military training location.

 

Yes, it was hot in Cartagena, but the breezes, plus air conditioning in the bus and the chapel helped to manage the heat in a good way. Plus, cold bottled water!!

 

When you see the pictures, you will better appreciate why we loved this first sampling of Colombia. Great, enjoyable visit to Cartagena!

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

 

As we approached Cartagena, here was the view from the 10th deck, front of the Island Princess. Nice and sunny and their skyline is very impressive. Much like South Florida with all of the tall condo and apartment towers.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

MarTravel2017A%20113_zps5n8rjp9y.jpg

 

Here was our first stop was at the historic Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. This huge and impressive old fortress reflected why Cartagena was among the most impenetrable cities in this part of the Spanish Empire. Lots of pesky "merchants" peddling water, jewelry, trinkets, etc. Glad our stop was short here and that my tired legs did not have to have climb all of the way up to the top of this massive structure.:

MarTravel2017A%20112_zpsgtylh353.jpg

 

In walking around Cartagena's historic Old Town, we were impressed by the interesting architecture, great balconies, church towers, restored residences, buildings upgraded to fancy hotels, various shops and dining places, etc. Yes, lots of people selling the usual tourist things! It was a feast for the eyes and senses.:

MarTravel2017A%20111_zpsf5do7bvn.jpg

 

MarTravel2017A%20110_zpsrew6pmm1.jpg

 

MarTravel2017A%20108_zpskr7bgpxh.jpg

 

MarTravel2017A%20107_zpsncrquv6x.jpg

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Here is the second phase from our exploring of Cartagena. Have lots more angles and aspects that we observed during our transiting of this historic canal. Will try to post more later. Especially, there is “demand” and interest.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Super loved so different many parts of the Caribbean!!! See more details and lots of great visual samples/examples at this link: "Barbados: Our Pix's, Experiences Feb./2015!":

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2262999

 

Here is one more picture from Cartagena’s historic Old Town with their great and colorful balconies. What is not to enjoy by walking around here?:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

MarTravel2017A%20109_zpsmynwop1l.jpg

 

Here are three views in connection with our visiting of San Pedro Claver Church in Cartagena’s Old Town area. It was built in the 17th century and has old-world furnishings honoring the life and work of missionary Saint Peter Claver. He was the patron saint of slaves and the first saint canonized by the Roman church from the Western Hemisphere. It is still used as a church and we observed one of the priests meeting with its members.:

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When visiting inside San Pedro Claver Church, there was a large courtyard with a local having birds and willing to share these colorful creatures with us as visitors. Just for a dollar donation, my wife got “up-close-and-personal” with these birds. The birds are heavy and you see that it was a little frightening for Penny. BUT, it was fun and a bit of an “adventure” to have this encounter.:

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Here is another Old Town view that involves the historic walls, newer structures, etc. Never boring or bland in this part of Cartagena.:

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Here is the third phase of visuals and added details from our Cartagena half-day visit.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For much on historic San Juan, see our “Pix's, Fun, Experiences” by checking out this posting:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2264847

 

At an old monastery that has been turned into a high-end hotel named the Charleston Santa Teresa, we visited their chapel for an enjoyable music/dance program. Not only it a wonderfully air-conditioned chapel, but we enjoyed free Wi-Fi. The top highlight was this folkloric program from the Calenda Folclorico Group. Great front row seats!! Super loved the wonderful costumes, dance and music in this historic setting. Do these visual images prove my reasons for such satisfaction?:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger!)

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Here is another view/sampling for the many fortress walls and cannons that were in and around the streets of Cartagena’s Old Town.:

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As we did our sail-away from Cartagena, here is the view of the castle structure that sat to guard at the entrance to their large harbor. Spain spent lots of guard this key location from pirate, British, etc., attacks back in the “old days”!:

MarTravel2017A%20096_zpsuacah59x.jpg

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Getting ready in six days to be departing for Lisbon and our first visit to Portugal. Then, we will be seeing NW Spain, Bordeaux and Brittany also for the first times in these charming regions. Will do a live/blog for these "adventures". Join in and feel free to ask any questions as we sail. It will be on the Silversea board. Look forward to exploring these part of Spain and Portugal given all of our recent visits in South America, Central America, Brazil, etc.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

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Getting ready in six days to be departing for Lisbon and our first visit to Portugal. Then, we will be seeing NW Spain, Bordeaux and Brittany also for the first times in these charming regions. Will do a live/blog for these "adventures". Join in and feel free to ask any questions as we sail. It will be on the Silversea board. Look forward to exploring these part of Spain and Portugal given all of our recent visits in South America, Central America, Brazil, etc.

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Panama Canal? Just completed Feb. 28-Mar. 15, 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through the Panama Canal with our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Lots of fun pictures!! Those pictures start on the second page, post #26. See more at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

 

Hi Terry,

I just want to thank you for all your information and photos from your Panama Canal cruise. I am beginning my port/excursion investigations for our upcoming Panama Canal cruise and your point of view and details are very helpful. I appreciate your time to share "the wealth"! :)

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