hop on/Hop off bus. Walled old city was cool, but $50 USD for one fort tour, plus $5 for every church and museum, was more than we paid for the entire tour! Beggars are like fleas and will not leave you along to the point of hostility.
Wasted a significant amount of time waiting for the tour to be called. Felt there was way too many people, felt rushed the whole time, and spent way too much time looking at "local artisans" crafts. Truly amazing these local artisans can make thousands of exactly the same "hand made" items that look exactly the same and provide inventory for so many "local artisan" stores. These Columbian artisans are evidently busy folk. Also more expensive than some of the private tours we took on other ports.
The tour guide spent too much time talking about a map in one of the churches. She walked too fast. We could not stop if we saw something we were interested in; it was full speed ahead! She took us to 2 emerald jewelry stores. We were not interested in buying emeralds.
The tour was enjoyable and included time at the old fort and a walking tour of the old city. I wish we would have had time to go into the fort. Don’t miss the animal zoo/area at the Cartagena cruise terminal.
We enjoyed Dora and the tour a lot. We went to La Popa on the hill and got an overview of the land as well as a tour of the monastery. Then we drove to the fort but did not get to walk up. The walking tour of the walled city was excellent (she even bought us all fresh fruit cups from a street vender half way through- very refreshing!). When we did the obligatory "Now here's where you have some time to shop" she always had an alternative for us non shoppers...we could walk up onto the wall and explore it and the beautiful views. I was a little disappointed that we did not go into the Inquisition Museum, but I really liked the art museum and church we did go to.
We did the tour to see Cartagena by land and sea. A bus took us to the fort that overlooks the entire city. You were able to see the new high rise area and the old walled city. The walled city was full of houses, shops and restaurants. The architecture was similar to San Juan. We took a boat to see the walled city form the water as well as the new island where the high rise buildings were located as well as the forts that guarded the entrance to the harbor.
City walking tour, guide was terrible. It was set up to take our group to certain vendor, we stopped at a break dancing group, a street painter and a specific stall in the market. The guide had little information about the city itself or the sights. We tried to split from the tour, but the guide would not tell us where or what time to meet the bus. In hind sight, we should have left the tour and taken taxis back.
Port stop was a short 8am to 2pm. Several couples from our Cruise Critic roll call booked the City Tour with Dora De Zubiria. With three ships in port she booked up early and we were in a "Group Two" with Veronica, Dora's niece. Dora's team was waiting for our group of 12 with signs right at the pier. We had a clean, large van with PA so everyone could hear. We enjoyed the time at La Popa, Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas and in the walled city, but could have spent less time in the Dungeons (tourist shops) and Emerald Museum (jewelry store).
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