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Home > Member Reviews > Beyond the Sunrise's Port Reviews of Santiago (Valparaiso), Colon (Cristobal), Cartagena (Colombia), Lima

Beyond the Sunrise's Port Reviews of Santiago (Valparaiso), Colon (Cristobal), Cartagena (Colombia), Lima
Celebrity Infinity cruise in March 2012
Member Name: Beyond the Sunrise
Cruise Date: March 2012
Embarkation: other
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: Beyond the Sunrise's Celebrity Infinity Review
Santiago (Valparaiso)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Santiago is an urban center with good historical areas and great food. They even say you drink the water and eat the salad. (We remained cautious). You need only a day to see the historical sights. The Holiday Inn airport was a good location for us. Valparaiso and Vino are two hours away. Both are beautiful seaside cities.

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Colon (Cristobal)
Port Rating: 1.0 out of 5+
The travel books are correct. There is not much in Colon. Immediately upon exciting the boat there are several good souvenir stores, restaurants, a grocery store, pharmacy, car rental places and a horde of eager drivers wanting to take you back along the Canal. We were pestered so often that when we returned to the terminal I initially thought the local security guy was another taxi driver and firmly told him "No Gracias". This was not an acceptable answer. :)

Several of the restaurants have wifi in exchange for a drink or snack.

We walked over to the school but began to feel unsafe before we reached the McDonalds you can see from the ship. We walked into the large wholesale free trade area but the heat soon drove us back to the ship.

Table mates did not highly recommend the tours to the locks we had just passed through. They also expressed some doubt at the authenticity of the touted Embera villages on the tour.

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Cartagena (Colombia)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Cartagena, Columbia is a great port. Additional information is under the Port review area. It is a ten minute walk off the port to a beautiful terminal area. They have a small zoo with parrots, monkeys, rabbits, and peacocks. The gift shop is large and well equipped with great staff. (Prices are a good bit higher than town though). Wifi is $3 for one hour and $5 for two hours. Buy your access code in the Port Store (Before you come to the gift shop). The wifi zone is outdoors in a covered garden area. Clean toilets too. There is the usual barrage of taxi drivers seeking to give tours. Ceveat emptor. We chose the hop-on hop-off cruise tour beginning right there. Note IT IS NOT the traditional format you expect. For $20 they take everyone on a 4 hour tour that has only three stops( to ensure return in time to the ship). The electronic commentary is great and in multiple languages. We saw everything we wanted to see. The first stop is the fort, but the 15 minute stop is not enough to explore it, the second stop is old town. A guide (English/Spanish only) does a very good 90 minute walking tour through the old city. Then back to the bus for the third stop at a craft market for an hour. We recommend it. Note to passengers, these are not assigned seats. It is first-come first-served each time you exit the bus. Bring sunscreen and a hat.

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Lima
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
Lima is a huge city with the incumbent traffic, noise and pollution. There is a bus from the ship for the 60 minute trip to the Miraflores shopping mall. It cost $12.50 roundtrip and I understand it filled up. There is a free shuttle to the gate but the advice to not independently wander around Callao seems legitimate. There is a large first-world supermarket near the gate. Taxi service is provided as you exit the ship. There also is a smaller version of the famed Indian market right at the ship and an additional row of shops. Again prices were surprisingly good. We bought a Christmas ornament for $3, a table cloth for $8, and saw good quality t-shirts for $10. Table mates were pleased with their jewelry purchases. There is free Wifi at starbucks and TGI Fridays about 10 minutes away by car. Table mates who swam with the sea lions enjoyed the trip but said the water was very cold. WARNING, as we get closer to the equator sunburn is fast and severe.

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