Bus tour of the city which was suppose to include going into the fort. Upon arrival to the bus we learned "something" happened at the fort and we could not do that portion of the trip. No fault of the tour group who tried to compensate with a longer but tour. Most of the scenery during the tour is actually blocked by the wall that surrounds Cartagena, so not much to see. When we did get off the bus, we were warned not to look directly or speak to street venders, who swarmed you when got off the bus. Really did not like that. Not terribly impressed with Cartagena. Unless it was included in a trip where other ports I want to see are included, I would choose not to return to Cartagena.
Provider:tourincartagena.com with Marelvy Pena-Hall
Too much walking, not rest spots, no water, no shade.... way too hot and HUMID. DONT GO IN April/May. Oh and your guide only spoke to the six or eight people close to him, the rest of us rarely heard anything he said.
We stopped at the old fort for cultural pictures with a donkey decorated in a flower straw hat and women balancing baskets of fruit on their heads. After this, did a walking tour of the old city and cathedral (which was amazing).We finalized the tour with the Columbia Folkloric show in a beautiful and ornate auditorium complete with murals on the ceiling. The show was thoroughly entertaining and the guide spoke slowly to enuniciate his words so we could understand.
We were approached by people wanting us to buy souvineres. I said, "We have no money" in Spanish and most of them backed off. The guide took us in an air conditioned car, the seven of us, but had us walk around the town in the heat. He took us to shops to look at Emeralds and tee shirts. We saw a couple of churches. We were not taken to see the monastery because the road was washed out, which annoyed people in our party. Instead we were taken to a different church/monastery. I was disappointed that we only looked at the big fort, and did not go in it. It was probably too hot to walk up there, as there are no easy ways to get there, except to walk.
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.
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