If you're up for a unique experience, put on your comfortable clothes and shoes you don't mind getting wet, and hop on board for a Mangrove Eco Canoe Journey – see Cartagena in a fun and different way!
Very unique experience. Short bus tour through city, followed by steered canoe through natural tunneled mangroves. The tour guide is pleasant, friendly, and ensures everyone is safe an comfortable. Interesting perspective of native life.
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Excursion began with a bus ride through the old city to the "Las Americas" hotel and resort complex adjacent to the airport. Behind the loading dock for the hotel's convention and banquet facility is a giant mangrove swamp. From here, we left the buses and boarded dugout canoes, each seating four or five passengers. The "boatman" uses a pole to push the canoe through channels between the mangrove trees that are barely wider than the canoe itself. The environment is spectacularly weird and enchanting.
At one point, returning canoes encountered our out-bound canoes, and it took a little while to squeeze the boats past each other.
Upon returning to the put-in location, we were provided ice cold coconuts where the top had just been cut off, allowing us to drink the slightly sweet water inside.
It was at this point that my family asked to use a restroom. One of the tour operators and a Columbian National Police officer escorted us to the conference center's facilities. Upon returning to the parking lot, we discovered our bus had left without us. There were a few anxious minutes while our escorts called the bus to find out where they'd gone. It turns out they'd simply pulled around to the entrance to the conference facility so everyone else could use the restroom, but for five minutes, we were stranded in a foreign country! I'm glad I insisted that we never leave the ship without our passports, as they would have come in handy had we indeed needed to find our own way back to the ship.
Provider: Disney Cruise Line