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Home > Member Reviews > hvbaskey's Port Reviews of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Colon (Cristobal), Cartagena (Colombia)

hvbaskey's Port Reviews of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Colon (Cristobal), Cartagena (Colombia)
Celebrity Century cruise in December 2013
Member Name: hvbaskey
Cruise Date: December 2013
Embarkation: San Diego
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Member Review: hvbaskey's Celebrity Century Review
Cabo San Lucas
Port Rating: Not Rated

Booked an independent tour with Maria Elena Muriel of "Birding Los Cabos", Mexico. Maria waited patiently as our boat tendered (it took over an hour to get off the ship). She immediately identified a few shore birds, before we were taken to a lovely park in Cabo San Lucas for "birding". She is very knowledgeable and knows the area quite well. After a couple of stops in Cabo San Lucas, she drove us to San Jose to visit the Estuary. A lovely drive and a lovely park to view birds and different scenery, other than Cabo. We were so happy to have done this excursion. Although Maria will take up to 10 people on her tours, it was just my husband & I - so a lovely private tour with a great guide. Maria had us back in plenty of time for the ship's departure.

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Puerto Vallarta
Walking Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Booked a private tour with Alejandro Martinez (Conservationalist, Naturalist from P.V.) Alex took us to the Sierra Madre Occidentalis (Mountain Range) for Birding. He was very knowledgeable of the area and we viewed many beautiful birds!!! We ended our day at the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, before going back to the ship, whereby we had plenty of time before the ship left.

We were very thankful for Alex who guided us privately on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is the night that Mexicans celebrate over the Holidays (big night), so it was very very kind of him to take time on this special day to guide us through PV's beautiful mountain range. An excellent experience.

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Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
Rainforest Tour Rating: Not Rated

Another private, independent trip! this time with Berny Sanchez, a Costa Rican native who had amazing knowledge of the area and what we could find. We first went to Carara National Park where we spent 5 glorious hours on a leisurely stroll on the Meandrica Lagoon Trail. An excellent time, saw so much and Berny was awesome!!! After Carara, we ventured to Playa Hermosa (South of Jaco Beach) where we encountered more beauty and spectacular birding. Berny then treated us to a Late Lunch where we saw many buses from the Cruise Ships. We returned to port in plenty of time to catch our ship. This was undoubtedly one of the best experiences (tours) I have ever had in my life. Berny was absolutely fantastic.

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Colon (Cristobal)
Gatun Locks Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Our final private tour (ie., just my husband and myself). Gonzalez Horna of Birding Pal picked us up promptly at 6:30 am in Colon, Panama. We were the first ones off the ship! He immediately drove us to the Gatun Locks whereby we were hoping to cross before any traffic. Unfortunately, a silly bus rushed the planks - bumped into a wall and had a flat tire, being stuck on the car path that crossed the locks. Our guide did not waste any time waiting in line though, we successfully birded the area around the locks and saw beautiful Toucans, amongst other gorgeous birds. Finally, we crossed the Dam and headed towards the Gatun Spillway (Dam) where we spotted additional birds. After the Dam, we headed towards our Target destination - San Lorenzo National Forest - Achiote Town/Road. SPECTACULAR scenery and birding! The people of Panama are very friendly and we were happy to have a private guide who lives in Colon, knows the area and knows the people.

I know many people have said stay away from Colon, be careful in Colon - but do your homework as it can be a great visit, if you hire the right person. Gonzalo grew up in Colon and we always felt safe with him. He was a great guide and I recommend him and his team of friends to anyone wanting a great excursion from the Colon port of call.

Gonzalo had us back in plenty of time for the ship. Cannot say the same for an "Official Celebrity Excursion" who were left behind and had to be flown to our next port of call, Cartagena. The ship did wait and we were an hour late arriving in Columbia - but, yes! they left behind a Celebrity Excursion!

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Cartagena (Colombia)
City Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

We booked this tour with "Marelvy" - a native of Columbia. What a super nice lady and very knowledgeable of her city. We were a small group in a small van - all from the Celebrity Century. I would recommend Marelvy to anyone looking to book a small group excursion for Cartagena - she was GREAT!!!!

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