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lakim

Taxi and safety questions in Cartagena

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Our plan is to take a taxi from the pier to the walled city in Cartagena and spend two or three hours walking around.

 

Here are my concerns. I'd love to hear from anyone with experience!

 

  1. I assume the taxis we could find inside the pier area will be screened and therefore safe. Is this correct? How much should we expect to pay? (I'm talking one way transportation only; not a tour.)
  2. Will the 3 of us feel safe walking around the city without a tour? (I will be with my son and daughter who are in their early 20's)
  3. How safe will hailing a cab off the street for the return to the ship be (my real concern)?

Thanks in advance for any and all opinions.

 

Lisa

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Lisa - We paid $25 pp plus tip for about 3 hours with our taxi driver. He walked with us the entire time we were on foot doing shopping and exploring. It was nice to have someone answer questions and give advice on where to go. There are tourism police everywhere you look to make sure tourist have a safe and enjoyable time in Cartagena. I'll stick with using one taxi driver from the port if we return. That worked out well for us.

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Lisa - We paid $25 pp plus tip for about 3 hours with our taxi driver. He walked with us the entire time we were on foot doing shopping and exploring. It was nice to have someone answer questions and give advice on where to go. There are tourism police everywhere you look to make sure tourist have a safe and enjoyable time in Cartagena. I'll stick with using one taxi driver from the port if we return. That worked out well for us.

 

Great info! Thanks, Grannycb!

 

Lisa

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Anyone have any experience with having a taxi drop you and then having to hail a taxi to take you back to the ship?

 

Lisa

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I was in Cartegena in early December. You don't have to take the taxi tour; we like being on our own without a stranger guiding us around. but I digress....

 

There are a ton of taxis around old town all the time while ships are in dock. Some drivers will drop you and agree to pick you up at a designated time -- and they will be there! But, if you want more freedom, no worries as taxis are everywhere and will take you back to the port.

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We took the tour in Cartagena last time we were there, but didn't get to the Gold Museum, which dh wants to see. I would think taxis at the port would want people taking them for several hours. Has anyone found a way to take one just to one place? Thanks. Nancy

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Has anyone found a way to take one just to one place?

 

The taxis will take you where ever you want to go, just like anywhere else. I hate it when I hear someone ends up with the "city-tour-by-cab" when that's not what they wanted.

 

Just tell the cabbie where you want to go, determine a price before getting in, and you're on your way. Some drivers will ask if you want them to pick you up again, and if agreed to, most will arrive on time. Don't feel locked into that option though if you don't know how much time you'll want to spend. You could end up wishing you had more time or waiting around because you were quickier than you thought you'd be. On the off chance you are in an area where taxis aren't driving around looking for fares - go to a hotel and ask them to call you one.

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The taxis will take you where ever you want to go, just like anywhere else. I hate it when I hear someone ends up with the "city-tour-by-cab" when that's not what they wanted.

 

Just tell the cabbie where you want to go, determine a price before getting in, and you're on your way. Some drivers will ask if you want them to pick you up again, and if agreed to, most will arrive on time. Don't feel locked into that option though if you don't know how much time you'll want to spend. You could end up wishing you had more time or waiting around because you were quickier than you thought you'd be. On the off chance you are in an area where taxis aren't driving around looking for fares - go to a hotel and ask them to call you one.

Thanks. Just what I was hoping.:D

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The taxi operator asked $50 for 2 hours, but ended up at $40. We were glad to have the taxi driver, as he walked us through the old city to where we wanted to go. Dh was hoping for coins at the Gold Museum, but it was mostly jewelry (very clean bathrooms, and it's free to get in).

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We felt safe enough in the Cartagena but I recall Brian, the Coral tour manager, saying don't get loured down a lonely side street. He also recommend taking a post card of the ship in the event you got a cab driver on the way back who didn't speak English...you could just point to the post card. I would also keep my money and ID in a pouch around my neck or in a front pocket. I would also remove any expensive jewelry in the way of necklaces or bracelets just as a precaution.

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Hi,

We just got back from our Panama cruise and really enjoyed getting a taxi at the dock....but it was WILD. When you walk out, someone comes up and points to a sign that says $20 a piece for a taxi. We went by them and got one for $15 a piece for 3 hours. He couldn't speak much English but could he drive! We got 4 people into one little taxi and were packed in like sardines. Three people would have been better. If you're frightened of close, fast driving....just close your eyes. They get within a few inches of each other...but all the taxis I saw had no dings in them at all. We got by with our high school Spanish and really enjoyed trying to talk to our driver. We kept him with us most of the time and he helped us out a lot. It was HOT! We felt very safe the whole time we were there and felt that Cartagena was a "happy town". The people all knew each other and smiled and waved all the time. I did have a poor sloth pushed into my arms at the monastery for a $1 picture, but just say "no gracious" and keep walking. Have fun!

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Thnx Baxley for the above info. We'll be there in a matter of days!!

 

Question - did you also see vans available for hire or mainly small taxi's?

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We could have hired a taxi OR van OR bigger bus tour. They really rush you and almost push you in a vehicle...so you have to have a clear idea of what you want before they start screaming at you.

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Yellow taxis are everywhere and it's no problem getting one to take you back to the ship. They are very safe. I felt safer in Cartegena than in any city in Europe. As others have said, though, English is not widely spoken. You can get by with a few words of high school Spanish, or just write down your destination and show it to them. You should negotiate the price before you go anywhere. We were able to get lower rates by requesting them, as there are so many cabs just sitting around. There is an official government price listing for different destinations that I found online, but right now I don't remember where.

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Thnx Baxley for the above info. We'll be there in a matter of days!!

 

Question - did you also see vans available for hire or mainly small taxi's?

 

Taxis are comfortable up to 3 passengers.

Vans up to 10-12 passengers.

Mini bus over that to 26.

 

You can easily get taxi and vans at the port. Mini buses need prior arrangements to be sure.

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