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Cartegena - Hop on/Hop off bus - review


coldweather
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We booked from the ship.  The buses picked us up directly next to the ship. You are provided with new headphones.  You plug in and select the language and listen to a recorded tour as the bus drives along. The ride without getting off is 1.5 hours. A walking tour of the old city area is included.  On the bus they will ask you if you want to purchase a ticket to see the fort. That is an extra charge.

 

When you want to return to the ship, you gather at one of the stops (I forget which one but they tell you).  At this return-to-the-ship-gathering-stop there is a covered, glass wall fenced waiting area with chairs.  This keeps away the very aggressive peddlers.  The open air bus was a nice way to see the city. 

 

One of the standard hop on /hop off bus stops is the McDonalds in the resort area.  We got off here to use the restrooms and wifi.  It is a good location if you want to walk around this area.  There are many modern shops.  It feels like a very safe area.

 

If you don’t want to book with the ship, you can also provide your own transportation to and from the old city and just book the hop on/hop off bus directly once in the city. Booking from the ship eliminates the taxi ride to and from.

 

Note – The peddlers are very aggressive. Take standard precautions and anticipate being approached at the popular stops especially the old city stop.  Once the bus was out of the old city area, the quantity of peddlers decreased a lot.

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We  are planning on the southern Caribbean cruise and starting to research the ports.   Columbia is a place I always said was going to be the place to buy an emerald….so wondering about this aspect also!   I hope more info comes along about what to do and see in our port stop.    

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On 6/24/2021 at 8:28 PM, CRUIS4ME said:

 

We  are planning on the southern Caribbean cruise and starting to research the ports.   Columbia is a place I always said was going to be the place to buy an emerald….so wondering about this aspect also!   I hope more info comes along about what to do and see in our port stop.    

 

As you can see, there's not a great deal of traffic on this board, especially now.  Here are some suggestions: start a separate thread here to ask about buying emeralds, since this thread is not about that.  You may also want to post questions in the Panama Canal forum, since Cartagena is a typical port on Canal cruises, and there are a bunch of folks who pay attention to that forum, even now. If you do so, start your post by saying you know there's a ColOmbia forum, and you've posted there, but there's so little traffic there that you are  hoping to find some folks in the Canal forum who can help, since Cartagena is often visited on Canal cruises.   Also, join your Roll Call if you haven't done so already, and discuss this port with others.

 

We've been to Cartagena twice.  The first time, we had a fabulous private tour with Dora the Explorer, who is highly recommended here on CC for good reason.  The second time, we went into town on our own so that we could visit the magnificent fortress Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.  Whatever you do, leave time at the end before boarding the ship so you can walk through the free little zoo/aviary at the cruise terminal.  It's lots of fun.

 

Hope this is helpful.

Edited by Turtles06
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