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Cartagena - Lee Miles tours vs Dora's tours

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Which Tour company would you recommend for a tour of the town, including old town.

Any other suggestions...

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We just got back Dec. 6th and we arranged our tour through Lee Miles and we had Claudia as our guide, and she was truly remarkable! She is very knowledgeable and knows her history and loves her city! We saw a lot of the city and finished with a wonderful lunch at Olla Cartegena and had the best coconut rice and coconut shrimp!

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We returned from our Panama Canal Christmas cruise on the Jewel on Dec. 29. We also arranged a tour through Lee Miles and had Claudia as our guide. She was awesome. Born, raised, and educated in Colombia, there was not a question she couldn't answer. Even better, she got to know us and learned about our interests, so was able to answer most questions before they were asked. We had a great day with her and really enjoyed learning all about Cartagena.

I also really enjoyed meeting Lee Miles and talking with him a bit at the end of the tour. We went to his emerald shop by choice. Although I loved looking at his beautiful emeralds, they were not in my budget and I felt no pressure to buy. Lee and I visited afterwards and he wanted to know all about our tour. It truly was a great day all around for me and my family. :)

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On our December 14, 2008 Panama cruise my daughter and I went with JJ (Jacinto-200@hotmail.com). That is Jacinto-2-zero-zero, not oh-oh. We arranged the tour through Lee Miles, Mr. Emerald (leland@misteremerald.com) and it was the best city tour we have ever taken. Lee picked a great guide and he was waiting on the pier with JJ and his van with our name pasted on the windshield. Lee and JJ delivered everything they promised. Lee does a great job of selecting the sites – he has a questionnaire that you fill out then he recommends the sites to see. JJ was most flexible and made several adjustments to the itinerary still getting us back to the ship with plenty of time to spare. JJ had a wealth of information and kept us feeling save the whole time. Our last stop was at Lee’s store but there was absolutely no pressure to buy anything. He was genuinely happy to be of service. You couldn’t ask for more. Columbia gets a bad rap but we felt completely save in the city.

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I can tell you that I just set up a tour through Lee Miles for our trip in April. He is exceptionally prompt, informative and very nice to deal with. He answered all of my questions and gave me a wealth of information in which I could choose what would interest me. Of course, I haven't toured yet but at this point, he is great.

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Just back from a tour arranged by Lee Miles. It was fantastic, tailored exactly to what I really wanted to see. Dency was a knowledgable guide who answered all our questions. We had 7 people in a 12 passenger van very comfortable and personal. It seems Lee will deliver whatever you want.

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Cruise Orlando, we have booked a tour with Lee for Feb. but have not finalized the itinerary. Can you give me some input on what you saw and what you think is interesting to see in Cartagena. Also, any restaurant recommendations for a good Columbia lunch? TIA

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Cruise Orlando, we have booked a tour with Lee for Feb. but have not finalized the itinerary. Can you give me some input on what you saw and what you think is interesting to see in Cartagena. Also, any restaurant recommendations for a good Columbia lunch? TIA

We did the tour with Claudia, Lee Miles of course arranged it! We LOVED old town and the dungeons, even enjoyed the VERY aggressive vendors, you just have to say NO if you don't want what they have to sell! By the way, I got a very nice tablecloth, for 12, and it was $17.00. We had lunch at Olla Cartgena. Both my husband and myself ordered the coconut shrimp and the rice was to DIE for. We should have split it. Our friends had Paella and it was also VERY good! Enjoy! Nancie

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Just booked a tour with Mr Emerald for our trip to Cartegena on April 22nd, 2009. I'll be sure to post when we return on how it goes. So far he has been awesome with communication and with setting up the details.:D

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Which Tour company would you recommend for a tour of the town, including old town.

Any other suggestions...

We have just returned from a very successful tour of Cartagena arranged through Lee Miles. Our guide (Nicholas) and driver could not have been better, even encouraging us to see places that we had not arranged to see but they felt we had to see them while we were there. A great experience. Lots of information, a nice pace for the day and every question was handled very well. We would highly recommend booking through Lee.

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We have just returned from a very successful tour of Cartagena arranged through Lee Miles. Our guide (Nicholas) and driver could not have been better, even encouraging us to see places that we had not arranged to see but they felt we had to see them while we were there. A great experience. Lots of information, a nice pace for the day and every question was handled very well. We would highly recommend booking through Lee.

 

Thank you Keri...we are booked with them for April 22nd and have been very impressed with the excellent communication.

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Just back off the Island Princess last week. We booked with Lee Miles and had Claudia as our guide. You'll be in excellent hands with her as a guide. She really loves the area and knows it inside out. I have no qualms about recommending Lee Miles or Claudia. Enjoy Cartagena and just say "No" to the vendors. There are a "few" of them there. You''ll also probably meet "Juan Valdez", of coffee ad fame.

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Don and Keri

 

A couple of questions if you don't mind....

 

Where all did you go on the tour?

 

What was your favorite part?

 

What shouldn't we miss for sure?

 

Was it a lot of walking? (I have some limited activity guests)

 

Did you find any great buys?

 

Thank you!

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Does he (Lee) or his people make up the itinerary or did you have certain ideas on where and what you wanted to do? :confused: I was looking on my cruise line website (RCI) and wasn't very impressed with the tours. Anybody have any suggestions of what to do/where to go?:o Any problems with getting back to your ship on time?

 

Thanks,

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I would just like to put in a plug for Dora's tour - we just took it last week and had a wonderful tour. We almost missed it - we didn't realize that they were going to be right at the gangway, and we walked all the way to the cruise terminal where you get the taxis, etc. Wandered around there for awhile and we were about to give up when we saw someone with a sign with the name of the person who organized our tour. We ran up to her, and she said that the tour had already left, but she found a taxi to take us to them (which was a challenge in itself, because none of them wanted to go that short of a distance). She stayed with us in the taxi and got us reunited with our group. We went to La Popa, the Fortress (awesome views at both) the Dungeons and the old city. They then took us (at our request) to a restaurant for a late lunch, which was very tasty, although slow service. We then had time for a very quick bit of emerald shopping, and then back to the boat. Our tour guide was excellent, and Dora called several times when we were on the tour to make sure that all was going well. I was very impressed with the day and the tour!

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Does he (Lee) or his people make up the itinerary or did you have certain ideas on where and what you wanted to do? :confused: I was looking on my cruise line website (RCI) and wasn't very impressed with the tours. Anybody have any suggestions of what to do/where to go?:o Any problems with getting back to your ship on time?

 

Thanks,

 

I sent him a list of things we wanted to do and told him the date and the hours we would be there. He responded back with a customzied suggestion with some minor changes to accomdate our schedule because I had more on my list then we had time for. He's been awesome!

 

Here was my original post:

 

Cartagena

 

Ok folks...I'm rustling up a tour of the city. So far, I have an 8 passenger van but I can upgrade to a 16 passenger mini bus if more folks want to go along...so if you are interested...holler!

 

I found a very reputable guy that arranges tours all ran by class act guides. Given that our ship sails at 3pm on the 22nd out of Cartagena, we may have to be selective on what we see. I'm still working out the exact details...but this is what it looks like.

 

(In no particular order)

Full tour of the Palace of Inquisition (torture dungeon!)

http://www.cartagenatravel.com/engli...tionpalace.htm

Full tour of the Gold Museum

http://www.cartagenatravel.com/engli...goldmuseum.htm

Full tour of the Fortress

http://www.cartagenatravel.com/engli...pefortress.htm

Photo stop at La Popa Hill (amazing view by the monastery)

http://www.cartagenatravel.com/engli...opaconvent.htm

Drink a Club Columbia Beer and have lunch where the locals eat

Shopping at Pierino Gallo (handicrafts center)

Photo stop at the Cathedral

Photo stops/drive thru the old town districts of El Centro and San Diego

 

Looks like it would be $50-$60 per person for the day (not including lunch) depending on how many go.

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Does he (Lee) or his people make up the itinerary or did you have certain ideas on where and what you wanted to do? :confused: I was looking on my cruise line website (RCI) and wasn't very impressed with the tours. Anybody have any suggestions of what to do/where to go?:o Any problems with getting back to your ship on time?

 

Thanks,

 

 

Here is the link for his tours:

http://www.destinationcartagena.com/privatetours

 

(In case that gets cut: destinationcartagena dot com slash privatetours

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I would just like to put in a plug for Dora's tour - we just took it last week and had a wonderful tour. We almost missed it - we didn't realize that they were going to be right at the gangway, and we walked all the way to the cruise terminal where you get the taxis, etc. Wandered around there for awhile and we were about to give up when we saw someone with a sign with the name of the person who organized our tour. We ran up to her, and she said that the tour had already left, but she found a taxi to take us to them (which was a challenge in itself, because none of them wanted to go that short of a distance). She stayed with us in the taxi and got us reunited with our group. We went to La Popa, the Fortress (awesome views at both) the Dungeons and the old city. They then took us (at our request) to a restaurant for a late lunch, which was very tasty, although slow service. We then had time for a very quick bit of emerald shopping, and then back to the boat. Our tour guide was excellent, and Dora called several times when we were on the tour to make sure that all was going well. I was very impressed with the day and the tour!

 

 

Can you tell me the name of the restaurant that you stopped at that had such slow service - with our extremely limited time, I'd had to be rushing my food down jus to make sure we get back to the ship on time.

 

Terri

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Hi! Are you on the Mercury out of Fort Lauderdale? Came across you whilst researching Cartagena. We leave home (UK) for the airport today and in Fort Lauderdale pre-cruise for 5 days

Sue & Martin

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I too would just like to put in a plug for Dora's tour - we are just back from the Island Princess and took the tour arranged with 5 other Cruise Critic folks and had a wonderful tour. Dora was waiting for us at the gangway, and was our guide along with Elvis our driver for the entire 6 hour tour. We went to La Popa, the Fortress (with awesome views at both stops) and the Dungeons. Then Dora took us on a one hour walking tour of the Old City pointing out things that many on the ship's tour didn't get to see. We were always one step ahead of the ship sponsored tours as we crossed paths though-out the day We then had time for a very quick bit of emerald shopping, and then it was back to the ship. Dora's narration was excellent, and we all were very impressed with our day, and her excellent tour! Enjoy Cartagena and remember to just say "No" to the street vendors. There are a "lot" of them there. But they are just trying to make a dollar, we felt sorry for them in a way.

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We took Lee Miles tour. Claudia was our guide. Great guide and exceptionally good with kids. Highly recommended. Lee is upfront with various options and pricing.

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Wow!!!! What an incredible day in Cartagena.

 

Lee and Claudia met us literally right at the end of the gangway. They had a sign with my name on it, and my name was on our bus. And by bus, I mean a very nice fully air conditioned bus with nice big seats. Lee personally greeted us all and escorted us to the bus. There Claudia the guide and William the driver took over. Claudia is AMAZING and a wealth of information. She truly enjoys her country and likes to share stories about it. She is also a lot of fun!!

 

She took the time to explain the things we were really interested in, and then glossed over the things we were not. This was our itinerary: San Felipe Fortress; La Popa Monastary; Plaza Bolivar; The Cathedral; Palace of Inquisition; shopping at Pierino Gallo Center; and an amazing lunch at La Olla (order the fish of the day with the head on!)

 

We were a group of 14 and Claudia and Lee made us feel like family. Claudia even showed us where she lived!

 

You will not go wrong with touring with them in Cartagena. Any questions, let me know!:D

 

Be sure to tell them the BEADBABE says hello!

Edited by BeadBabe

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I am booked for next Jan. I picked out a photo stop plus 3 visits and shopping. He seems to like the restuarant as all his tours go there. his prices are fair for a city tour.

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