Your exploration of the magnificent city of Cartagena de Indias starts with a visit to La Popa Monastery, previously known as the 'stern of a galleon'. This ancient monastery located a top of a hill can be seen from any point in Cartagena and offers a privileged view of the city. Built at the beginning of the 17th century and still inhabited by monks, it was used several times as a fortress because of its strategic location. It houses a chapel dedicated to Virgen de la Candelaria, patron saint of Cartagena and a Colonial museum. Continue to San Felipe de Barajas situated outside the walled city, for a panoramic view of this monumental fort considered to be the most outstanding feat of Spanish military engineering in the New World. Its construction began in 1536 and lasted for 121 years. Your tour continues to the walled city, where construction took 194 years to be completed and which enabled Cartagena to defend itself from English attacks. The ramparts, the narrow streets, Colonial balconies and the main squares are marvelous tourist attractions today. A visit to San Pedro Claver cloister and monastery, built in homage to the protector of slaves, constitutes another point of interest within the walled city. Next, continue to Bocagrande, which in complete contrast with the old city is modern with high rise apartment complexes, hotels and restaurants. Here, you'll have the opportunity to shop at Pierino Gallo and las Bovedas.
Note: Guests must walk approximately 5 blocks in the Colonial part of the city.
(7 Reviews) 7
Rating Snapshot(7 reviews)
5 of 7(71%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Exploring Magnificent Cartagena
I have to agree with other reviewers here. The young man who took us on the tour knew his history pretty well and he was very friendly, as was the bus driver. We too were surprised there was no quick lunch break but they did supplied water 2/3 the way threw the tour. So bring your own water and snacks. The tour guide had us stop for about 10 minutes to watch a street person painting on mirrored glass. He also had us stop for several minutes to watch a number of young boys perform a street dance for us - They were very good street dancers, but of course we were expected to tip them. I wouldn't get a taxi driver to run you about the city, the traffic was crazy and busy and I hate the thought of being late back to the bus.
January 2013. Cartagena is a beautiful city with lots of history and contemporary sites. Too bad such a short time that we were at this city where it is so much to see. It would be wonderful if this tour had entrance to Fort San Felipe de Barajas, very interesting place to see inside and not just see it from the outside for a few minutes. The walk through the streets of Cartagena was very interesting with beautiful colonial balconies full of flowers. Very beautiful city and one of the best attractions of the trip to the Caribbean.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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Review 4 for Exploring Magnificent Cartagena
I traveled with:Family
Cruise Date Month:January
Date:January 28, 2013
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Part of walking tour in old Cartagena
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Nico, our tour guide, and friend.
We had a great tour and a fantastic tour guide. Nico was very informative, gave great information, and was easy to understand. It was hot and required a moderate amount of walking. I suggest cool clothes and comfortable shoes. My only complaint was we made 3 shopping stops that placed us right at the Diamonds Direct International shops on 2 of the stops. I think that is a bit of over-kill. I would still recommend this excursion for a good overview of Cartagena.
Too much shopping!! I can shop at home! We had a good tour guide who did a good job but we made two stops just to shop. Whereas, we stopped at an enormous, interesting, historical fort and rather than go inside all we did was briefly take a photo from a distance and then move on to....shopping!
As others have pointed out, it is WAY hot and humid; take it seriously.
This tour was an excellent way to get a well-rounded excursion of Cartagena with the safety of being on a ship run tour. Our guide was very informative. He spoke excellent English with a wonderful accent. He kept everyone organized so there weren't any lolly-gaggers. And we got to see a variety of historical locations around town giving us an adequate taste of this nice town. Great tour for "first-timers". Worth the price due to all the entrance fees & transportations that were covered.
Similar to the other comments on this tour. I was really surprised that they would organize a tour from 11 - 4 without a planned lunch or bathroom break. We were starved by the time we got back and had to ask the guide where we could find a bathroom. We were offered water about halfway through the tour. I also really hate being taken to shops where the tour guide is obviously getting a take. Our tour guide had us stop longer to watch a street person painting on mirrored glass than at the cruise line recommended shopping area. He also had a number of young boys perform a street dance for us - which of course we were expected to tip them. We also found that while the tour guide was very knowledgeable about his country and really trying to let us know that Columbia is now open for tourists, he spent way too much time informing us about politics and the socio-econmic issues of Columbia than the history. I think grabbing a English speaking cab driver who would take you where you want to go and allow you to spend as much time as you want would have been a better way to go.