We did not book an excursion. We came off of the ship and there was a tour company offering $2 bus rides into down town. We jumped on board and while we're taking the 5 minute drive into town they tell us about their $20 tour to "the blowhole" and give us a $5 off coupon. So we decide to do that. For $15 each we get on a bus with a really nice English speaking guide and 15 other people. We take the 30 minute drive to the Blowhole all the while the guide is pointing out things of interest and telling us about the area.
We got off the bus and she leads us through the market area, stopping to show us the restaurant that will give us a free margarita for coming on the tour and the signs to look for to make sure you're buying real silver, etc. We get to the blow hole, which is not all that exciting, and she gives us all little stickers and sets us loose in the market area telling us to meet her back at the bus in an hour and 15 minutes. We wander the shops where people are fairly aggressive, but fairly easy to ignore. Bargaining gets kind of fun and we end up buying most things for 1/2 of the 1st price they gave us. We learned that when you walk away, if they follow you, it means the price will go lower, if they don't then that was their true minimum.
After that we get back on the bus where they will take you back to the ship or back to downtown. We opt to go back to downtown where we have lunch in a restaurant with chickens cooking in the window (not that great) and then have drinks at Papas & Beer. Crazy times to be had. We mostly observed. Sometimes it was disturbing how they manhandled the drunk girls, but even the drunk girls seemed to enjoy it. We were super annoyed by the people were constantly asking you to buy things, even really little children, but this seems to be normal.
After that we had the same tour company drive us back to the boat for $1 each.