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klo

Private tours in Cartegena

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I've been to Cartegena before and seen La Popa Monastery and some of the city's sites. Does anyone have other ideas on places to see and if there is someone reputable that you could recommend for a private tour? Thank you.

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Check out Christian Martinez Cantillo at www.tourcartagena.info/index.html. I am using him on my Princess cruise of 2/15/08 to 2/25/08. I have corresponded with him on the internet. I got references from him for USA citizens who have used his services and did background checks of them:) as to criminal records, etc since I could not check him out and they were all negative (common citizens), and then called the references. They all said he did a remarkable job. Also, someone on a Cruise Critic thread just recently said they used him and he was extremely good, which reinforces my background checks of his previous clients. He is a college graduate and uses all college graduates between 24 to 28 years old, and, it appears to me, he is a smart kid that has latched onto a saleable product seeing that more and more cruise lines are coming back to Cartagena.

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Four of us are using Cristian for his half day walking tour in January. He was certainly quick with his responses and seems very flexible. It is a walking tour so not sure if that sways your decision?

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If the walking tour option does not suit, check out Lee Miles (leland@misteremerald.com). He can arrange van or bus tours with a driver and guide. There was a very good review by a recent cruiser and you'll find some past reviews as well. We are using Lee for a tour in December for 16 persons. He's been terrific in responding. We'll post on return with a review as well.

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If the walking tour option does not suit, check out Lee Miles (leland@misteremerald.com). He can arrange van or bus tours with a driver and guide. There was a very good review by a recent cruiser and you'll find some past reviews as well. We are using Lee for a tour in December for 16 persons. He's been terrific in responding. We'll post on return with a review as well.

 

We are also going to use Lee in April. Let us know how your tour went:)

 

We have him booked for March and will look forward to any and all reviews.:D

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I Am Having A Hard Time Figuring Where To Make This Post So I Will Do So In A Few Areas.

 

I Had A Diff. Time Planning Cartagena Prior To My Cruise , But My Choice Was Perfect. Please Contact Lee Mles { " Mr Emerald" } And He Will Advise U And Set Something Up. We { Group Of 10 , 4 Of Which Were Still Too Afraid To Venture Out On Own .. Their Loss } Set Up A Tour W/him & Had Doris As Our Guide . She Was Very Nice And Informative. It Was All Inclusive As Far As I Researched . The Tour Was Great And There Were Never Any Safety Issues .

 

We Esp. Loved Old City And Could Have Spent More Time Just Walking Thru Here But As Our Ship Left Around 130pm We Were Limited. I Also Was Hoping To Find And Emerald To Add To My Jewlery Collection But Alas ................. The Prices For Such Beauty Were Above My Means However, I Did Leave W/ A Cute Pendant {$100.00 } And Will Treasure It !

 

Please Do Not Discount This Port And Enjoy The Beauty And History It Affords. {it Reminds Me Alittle Of Italy ALBEIT A SPANISH CULTURE } ! ºÜº

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We're looking to book Christian for our December stop in Cartagena. For those of you who toured with him, can you clarify his price - is it $85 pp (up to four people) or $85 total for a maximum of four people.

 

Thanks.

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We have just booked Cristian for a 4 hr walking tour - $120 for up to 4 people in a group and a 3 hr tour is $85 for up to a group of 4.

 

 

 

We're looking to book Christian for our December stop in Cartagena. For those of you who toured with him, can you clarify his price - is it $85 pp (up to four people) or $85 total for a maximum of four people.

 

Thanks.

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Thanks, littlebrowneyed girl. We extended from 3 to 4 hours as well at $120 and are happy with what we're getting for the money - especially since it will be a private tour.

 

I've written him about payment terms - i.e., US dollars OK? do we need local currency, etc. Waiting for his response. Has he confirmed those kinds of details with you?

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Thanks, littlebrowneyed girl. We extended from 3 to 4 hours as well at $120 and are happy with what we're getting for the money - especially since it will be a private tour.

 

I've written him about payment terms - i.e., US dollars OK? do we need local currency, etc. Waiting for his response. Has he confirmed those kinds of details with you?

 

 

We are paying in US dollars - had seen that somewhere else (escapes me at the moment where!). As far as I have been able to find out US is widely accepted so we are not bothering with local currency at any of our ports.

We will have to compare tour experiences when we get back!:)

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Thanks - we're not going to bother with local currency either as I also read USD is widely accepted.

 

I'll be sure to post our experience when we return.

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We sailed the Celebrity Constellation and arranged a tour with Mr. Miles. The port is industrial and Mr Miles, our guide and driver and vehicels picked us up right at the ship.

 

It was wonderful!

 

We had originally arranged to have a car and driver for our party of 4--but while in route we met a couple who chose to join us if possible. We contacted Mr Miles via email--and Mr. Miles was able to make the vehicle and driver/guide adjustments! So we had a comfortable air conditioned van for our party of 6 plus a driver and english speaking guide.

 

It was 90 degrees and sunny--and so it was nice to have a cooled vehicle ready when we were ready to move on to the next place or be picked up at the other end of the walled city after our walk through etc

 

Our guide was very very knowledgable about not only the sites we saw but also the culture and political questions etc we had. We loved Cartagena and always felt safe and welcome.

 

We specifically asked for a historical tour--La Popa, the fort, the Gold Museum etc and really enjoyed seeing some of the real Cartagena. It is a charming town and reminds us of Charleston in that the architecture has been preserved.

 

We would higly recommend Mr Miles' tour accomodations. He was very charming, persoanable and his associates are very professional.

 

We hope to see more of Cartagena when we go back again and we definitely use Mr Miles' tour associates again!:D

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We sailed the Celebrity Constellation and arranged a tour with Mr. Miles. The port is industrial and Mr Miles, our guide and driver and vehicels picked us up right at the ship.

 

It was wonderful!

 

We had originally arranged to have a car and driver for our party of 4--but while in route we met a couple who chose to join us if possible. We contacted Mr Miles via email--and Mr. Miles was able to make the vehicle and driver/guide adjustments! So we had a comfortable air conditioned van for our party of 6 plus a driver and english speaking guide.

 

It was 90 degrees and sunny--and so it was nice to have a cooled vehicle ready when we were ready to move on to the next place or be picked up at the other end of the walled city after our walk through etc

 

Our guide was very very knowledgable about not only the sites we saw but also the culture and political questions etc we had. We loved Cartagena and always felt safe and welcome.

 

We specifically asked for a historical tour--La Popa, the fort, the Gold Museum etc and really enjoyed seeing some of the real Cartagena. It is a charming town and reminds us of Charleston in that the architecture has been preserved.

 

We would higly recommend Mr Miles' tour accomodations. He was very charming, persoanable and his associates are very professional.

 

We hope to see more of Cartagena when we go back again and we definitely use Mr Miles' tour associates again!:D

 

Thanks for the review. I have Mr. Miles reserved for our trip in March unfortunately we will be there on a Sunday so we won't be able to see the Gold Museum. Lee really likes that place. Like you we prefer a historical tour so hopefully there still is enough to see on a Sunday.

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We're on the Constellation Feb. 18. I have tried to go to his website, but cannot find the link to get information to arrange a tour. How did you contact him?

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We are also on the Constellation and will be in Cartagena on Feb 24th. We are using Lee Miles for our excursion. So far there are 5 of us, but we could add on 3-4 more people. Please e-mail me if you are interested in joining us. I will give you the itinerary and you could see if that suits you.

 

Joyce

jncsmithers@triad.rr.com

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We are booked through Mr. Miles for the 26th of Feb. I also found him via CC boards. In case anyone wants his email address the one I have is leland@misteremerald.com

 

Lorinda

 

Wrong date - s/b the 3rd of March

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After four months of communicating back and forth to make arrangements for a tour of Cartagena with Lee Miles AKA Mr. Emerald, he has just canceled on us! We are disappointed and angry!!

 

We will be cruising on Grandeur of the Seas on its repositioning from Baltimore to Tampa. We were really looking forward to our port stop in Cartagena, and tour with Lee Miles AKA Mr. Emerald. We contacted Lee back in March 2008 to set up this tour, and had over 40 people from our roll call committed to taking the tour. I had been communicating with Lee over the past week or so about specific places we wanted to visit and so forth, and suddenly this morning I got an email from him canceling our tour. Seems he put our group down for the wrong date in his datebook, and is now unable to accomodate us!! Anyone have any suggestions for reputable tour guides in Cartagena????

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I am sorry this happened to you. But, sometimes tour operators have to cancel. You are lucky that you found out months in advance rather than hours or days in advance as has happened to us. My advice would be to do what I did when it has happened to us, ask the person cancelling to recommend a replacement. Keep in mind that they work in the business and know almost everyone else that works there, so they are the best qualified to make a recommendation. Also, having set up a private tour with Lee myself earlier this year, I can tell you that he does not escort tours himself, he just sets up schedules and assigns tour guides/drivers. So, it is not like you have a relationship with him that would continue through your visit to Cartagena (unless you visit his store, which we didn't!). He did meet our ship on the dock but that was only because he was responsible for all tours for our ship that day. So, anyway, if you haven't all ready, I would email Lee back and express your regrets that he will be unable to continue working with you and ask him to recommend someone who can take over with your group. Good luck, Debbie

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I did ask Lee to recommend someone, and he wrote back saying he was unable to. A poster on our roll call got some information about another tour guide, Jacinto AKA J.J. I have emailed him and am awaiting a reply.

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How about taking one of the ship's tours? May cost more, but probably goes to the same sites and you'll have the security of the ship waiting for you. I have also booked Lee for our cruise in Dec. 2008, but the ship tours list the same sites we're going to see.

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Because this is a repositioning cruise (?) RCCL has not released any excursions for this cruise yet. I did look at the list of excursions RCCL usually does for Cartagena and was not impressed. Most of them involve riding in buses for extended periods of time and being herded from place to place on someone else's schedule, which is not what we want. We wanted to spend more time at some places to tour them more in depth, and we want to stop for lunch. We have done a few ship excursions, but prefer to do our own thing in a smaller group that is more flexible (and less expensive). We always plan to be back at the ship at least an hour and a half before sailing.

 

But thanks, anyway, for the suggestion....

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