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Shore Excursion Recommendations In Cartagena?

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A question for those of you who have been to Cartagena, Colombia with the Island or Coral Princess, or other Princess ships:

 

Is there a difference (as in which is better) between the "Best of Cartagena & Fortress" and "Scenes of Cartagena" excursions? What have your experiences been with either or both?

 

By the way, I am looking for the best tour to see the old city and overlook the harbor from the top of the hill (among all the other things there are to see there!)

 

Thanks.

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We were on the April 15th sailing of the Coral and did the Best of Cartagena & Fortress. I thought we had a wonderful sampling of everything Cartagena had to offer.

 

We wore head sets so we could all hear the narration throughout the entire tour. The first stop for our air conditioned mini-bus was the Fortress. After touring that area, we went up the mountain to the LaPopa Monastery for a wonderful view and tour of the Monastery. Next we saw some of the old city from the bus before stopping at the Dungeons for some shopping time. Then we did a walking tour of the old city and saw quite a few of the highlights. We also stopped off for a beverage and to watch some of a folkloric show before boarding our bus again. Then we went to a more modern shopping area (coffee, emeralds, etc.). Our last part of the excursion was to drive through the newer part of the city.

 

It was VERY HOT but we really enjoyed this port. The vendors are extremely aggressive but just say no and keep walking. Don't make eye contact or they will think you are interested.

 

We would highly recommend this tour.

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we visited Cartagena on Apl 30 with HAL. We took "City Tour" but Scenes of Cartagena is the other option. Both go to Monastary on top of mountain, and the old city. We found the old city very interesting. I could have done without the tunnel in the fortress. The floor was uneven and ended in a stairway that was quite steep with no handrails. Many vendors followed us around. The last stop, Gallo shopping center, was a total waste for us. I did find some handicrafts in the old city. We did enoy seeing this city and it felt safe. Best to take the earliest tour.

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mamabeac & catl331,

 

We will be on the Coral Princess in Feb 08 and unfortunately Lee Miles isn't available to do a private tour as 3 ships will be in Cartegena on the same day. We are travelling with my parents and my mom uses a cane and has difficulty with flights of stairs. Do you have to climb up to the monastery or does the bus climb the hill and is it fairly flat once you get up there? It sounds like the fortress isn't a good option for her... do you remember how long the stop at the fortress was? If it's not too long, we'd like to see it and she could sit in a cool spot.

 

Thanks

 

Pam

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mamabeac & catl331,

 

Do you have to climb up to the monastery or does the bus climb the hill and is it fairly flat once you get up there?

 

Thanks

 

Pam

 

There are three sets of six stairs each from the parking area at the top of La Popa hill to the Monastery and Chapel area where the best view is.

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