We were in port for a very short time. It was a brief walk from the ship to the dock to the boat that would take us to a private island in the Rosario Archipelago. The boat ride there took 1:15 as we were given safety instructions and stopped several times along the way for various sites including the fortresses. At the fortresses a canoe pulled up along side us that contained several young boys. One of the boys tried to climb aboard our boat. Don't think to rob us but to beg for money. Our hosts didn't see or say anything to these boys until we were getting ready to speed away with the boy still clinging to the side. Passengers shouted to our guide who yelled at the boy. We could hear him fall into the water as we sped away. Not fun. Once on the island it was beautiful though not enough chairs in the shade. The pool didn't look like it was filtered but the sea water was warm and clear. There were clean bathrooms and plenty of soda and bottled water. Local beer was $3.00 per can. Snorkeling equipment and kayaks were available at no additional charge. Lunch consisted of cerviche, broiled fish, coconut rice w/raisins, fried plantains. There was chicken for those who didn't want fish. Because the ship was leaving early we didn't stay long. Would have been nice to have been able to stay at least another hour. Return trip was only 45 minutes. There was a shuttle bus to take you back to the ship so you didn't have to walk in the heat and humidity.
We did go on the Rosario Island Beach tour which was a 55 minute speedboat ride to the island, a great natural aquarium visit, and a relaxing few hours at an island resort.
Cartegena itself is full of very agressive peddlers hawking all kinds of cheap souveniers. Avoid the tours of Cartegena as they all stop at a shopping area called The Dungeons and Emerald City jewelry store. Tourist rip-offs.
The Rosario Island excursion for Cartagena was nice, but not worth 140.00. They take you on a long boat ride, show you and open Oceanarium( Interesting), then take you to a very modest resort, where you have to pay if you want to snorkel. Drinks are limited and expensive. The lunch is VERY authentic, and i don't recommend the fish. They are even chincy with the drinks for lunch.
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