Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Pevil4

Cartagena; Just Back

Recommended Posts

We were on the Coral Princess and stopped on Dec. 4th. Do not like taking the ship tours so we got a taxi at the port gate. Posted prices were $60.00 per taxi for a three hour city/shopping tour. Plenty of taxis at the gate with english speaking drivers. There is an english speaking tour person at the gate who will direct you to a taxi. The taxis are small compact cars so 2 persons per taxi is comfortable (4 persons would be a tight squeeze). Our taxi driver spoke very good english. There is not a set tour, you can request the taxi driver to go where ever you want. We did not know were to go so asked the driver to take us on a tour of the highlights.

Started at the monastery. Great view of the city. Vendors very aggresive at the monastery - but if you keep walking and say no gracias they will back off. We have travelled quite a bit, so the aggresiveness of the vendors did not bother us. If this is your first vendor experience it may be a shock to the system but is manageable.

Next toured the old city, which was the highlight of the tour. The taxi parked on the outskirts of the city and then our driver took us on a walking tour commenting on the various buildings, parks, etc. There were some vendors in the old city but they were not aggressive.

Then took a driving tour through the rest of the city. Stopped at an emerald store. Very laid back, store clerks allowed you to browse without any pressure to purchase. The store even supplied free beer for the husbands while the wives shopped.

Definitely recommend taking a tour that includes the old city. Would recommend the private tour with the taxi - then you can decide were to go and not follow along with a large group. Was a hot day and the old city requires some walking so may not be suitable for the mobility impaired.

No safety concerns at all during any part of the tour. I am glad we did go ashore as Cartagena turned out to be our favourite port of the cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pevil4, Thanks for the feedback. We will be stopping in Cartagena in February and are really looking forward to seeing the City.

 

Deb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pevil4, Thanks for the feedback. We will be stopping in Cartagena in February and are really looking forward to seeing the City.

 

Deb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is AWESOME info!

DH and I will be in Catagenga on Jan 2 and were not able to book a Lee Miles tour - but he drew up an itinerary for us - I think we're going to take that itinerary and hire a taxi to do the same tour we would have received from Lee Miles!

We were wondering about the safety of taking a taxi, but after reading all of the info here it puts my mind at ease! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us!!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing this information. We'll be in Cartagena in February and I was a little nervous about taking a taxi, but you calmed my fears. We have four people in our party - were there any cabs that could seat four, or will we need to split up for the ride?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved Cartagena, if you get the chance try to eat lunch at La Vitrola, it's been rated one of the best in Cartagena and the food is excellent. Lunch is the best time as I hear it's packed in the evenings. It's in the Old Walled city.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Loved Cartagena, if you get the chance try to eat lunch at La Vitrola, it's been rated one of the best in Cartagena and the food is excellent. Lunch is the best time as I hear it's packed in the evenings. It's in the Old Walled city.

Olla Cargegena is also wonderful! The coconut rice and shrimp are to die for!!!!!!! N.:cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we were on the Coral and docked into Cartagena on Dec 13th. I loved the old city. We arranged a tour with Leland Miles Although our tour guide did not speak English very well, we did things of the cuff, like stopping and shopping at a supermarket. Bought lots of coffee and other stuff....much cheaper than at the dock stores. Did the usual stuff....loved the old city, loved the convent and the monastery. Would go back in a minute....I have been in Columbia several times and always enjoyed it. The vendors are persistent but no is no....just mean it, but say it politely.....por favor....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was there in February 2008....ended up taking a cab from the pier with an English speaking guide. Never felt unsafe and loved the old city. Would be a huge shame not to see it. The guide stayed with us throughout the walking part of the old city and was very informative. On a couple of occasions we saw the much larger groups, presumeably from the cruise ship. It was nice to be in a small group (just four of us) and agree that while some were persistant, firm No Thanks dealt with the vendors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the info! We do not like big tours so now we know what we will do. Again Thans for the update.

Bonnie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review, very helpful.

 

[=Pevil4;12632096]We were on the Coral Princess and stopped on Dec. 4th. Do not like taking the ship tours so we got a taxi at the port gate. Posted prices were $60.00 per taxi for a three hour city/shopping tour. Plenty of taxis at the gate with english speaking drivers. There is an english speaking tour person at the gate who will direct you to a taxi. The taxis are small compact cars so 2 persons per taxi is comfortable (4 persons would be a tight squeeze). Our taxi driver spoke very good english. There is not a set tour, you can request the taxi driver to go where ever you want. We did not know were to go so asked the driver to take us on a tour of the highlights.

Started at the monastery. Great view of the city. Vendors very aggresive at the monastery - but if you keep walking and say no gracias they will back off. We have travelled quite a bit, so the aggresiveness of the vendors did not bother us. If this is your first vendor experience it may be a shock to the system but is manageable.

Next toured the old city, which was the highlight of the tour. The taxi parked on the outskirts of the city and then our driver took us on a walking tour commenting on the various buildings, parks, etc. There were some vendors in the old city but they were not aggressive.

Then took a driving tour through the rest of the city. Stopped at an emerald store. Very laid back, store clerks allowed you to browse without any pressure to purchase. The store even supplied free beer for the husbands while the wives shopped.

Definitely recommend taking a tour that includes the old city. Would recommend the private tour with the taxi - then you can decide were to go and not follow along with a large group. Was a hot day and the old city requires some walking so may not be suitable for the mobility impaired.

No safety concerns at all during any part of the tour. I am glad we did go ashore as Cartagena turned out to be our favourite port of the cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there larger taxi's that can handle 4 people comfortably, or is it best to plan on 2 taxi's at $60/taxi?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the delay in responding...didn't see any beaches but to be honest we didn't look as our time was limited.I've heard that the Rosario Islands are beauiful with gorgeous beaches but I've only heard of one cruise line offering a ships tour here.

 

We were in a small minivan that held four of us, plus a driver and an english speaking guide with ease. Can't recall how much we paid now, but we got the minivan just outside the small port shop which is on the way to the main gates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

Definitely recommend taking a tour that includes the old city. Would recommend the private tour with the taxi - then you can decide were to go and not follow along with a large group. Was a hot day and the old city requires some walking so may not be suitable for the mobility impaired.

No safety concerns at all during any part of the tour. I am glad we did go ashore as Cartagena turned out to be our favourite port of the cruise.

 

Glad it worked out for you. We stayed in Cartagena for a couple of days and really enjoyed the time. To me it seems that many are overly paranoid about Cartagena and Columbia in general and may have a dated perspective of the country. I really enjoyed walking around in old town and the cabs make it really easy to get around the area. That short visit makes me want to return to Columbia again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...I've heard that the Rosario Islands are beauiful with gorgeous beaches but I've only heard of one cruise line offering a ships tour here...

 

Yes, lots of day cruises are available if you are in the city. Some are tied with resorts. With a little advanced planning it is likely to be possible but you'll have to be careful with time.

 

Here is a link to the main tourist info site: http://www.turismocartagenadeindias.com/ingles/es/general.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, I am wondering if there is any sand at all in the port area. I collect a bit from each port.

 

The cruise port is in a industrial location and is also in a highly protected lagoon. You may be able to scoop out some muck if you're lucky but sand seems a bit doubtful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like most, we are looking forward to our visit to Cartegena this year. Since we are only in port for 6 hours, we opted to taking a ship's tour Walking Old Town which will allow us a couple of hours at the end to grab a bite and do some additional shopping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like most, we are looking forward to our visit to Cartegena this year. Since we are only in port for 6 hours, we opted to taking a ship's tour Walking Old Town which will allow us a couple of hours at the end to grab a bite and do some additional shopping.

If you only have 6 hours, I would suggest spending most of the time in the old city. Walking is better than using a cab within the walls. The streets ave very narrow. Be prepeared for high temperatures and humidity.

 

Also be prepared to encounter much nicer people than in most of the Caribbean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you only have 6 hours, I would suggest spending most of the time in the old city. Walking is better than using a cab within the walls. The streets ave very narrow. Be prepeared for high temperatures and humidity.

 

Also be prepared to encounter much nicer people than in most of the Caribbean.

 

That's kinda how we look at this as well. We both are very avid photographers and we are hoping that a walking tour will give us a chance to grab that great shot on foot rather than a scratched up window in a bus.

 

We will enjoy the heat as a change from the 0 to -20 degree weather we have been having.

 

Thanks for the input on Cartagena.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI

There are several videos on You Tube about the mudbaths in Cartagena.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...