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Cartegena, Is it safe?

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We are doing a southern Caribbean cruise in April and will be stopping at Cartegena Colombia.  Generally we don't purchase tours but get off the ship and get a tour on shore from locals or take a taxi into town.  We understand the Old Town there is interesting.  Is doing it on your own safe here? Any suggestions about this port would be really appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

The old town in Cartagena is easily walkable and safe. There's also a very good Hoho that includes a free guided walking tour. I think it picks up at the port. It's a wonderful destination. Enjoy!

Edited by sailco

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We walked out of the cruise port and ventured in town with no guide,  stopped and had a beer with the locals.  We never felt unsafe , most were friendly,  thou we did get some strange looks.  We have always done this in the Caribbean.  However,  I am ex Military and would not recommend for everyone.  Cheers!

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I know you said you like to do your own thing, but if you like birds we highly recommend taking a tour to the National Aviary. They have over 1300 different species of birds and it is definitely an awesome adventure.

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We found the crowds and vendors a little overwhelming. Not unpleasant or rude just very keen to sell you something. We had decided to book a horse and carriage ride through Celebrity and are very pleased we did. We saw the old town without the push and shove, it was a warm day for walking too. For us this worked well.

 

Celebrity only used horse and carriage companies with a good reputation for animal welfare. If you choose to do this privately check on trip advisor.

 

Just a word of warning, probably owing to the busy streets pick pocketing can be an issue so watch your valuables. One guest we chatted to the evening after the tour had her phone taken and another the watch off their wrist....neither had felt them go. It wouldn’t put me off visiting, European Ports also have issues, but just carry the minimum with you and be careful.

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agree with Chemmo - the vendor crowd is almost overwhelming. They will chase you down the street.  The city should actually do something about it - it is not 'charming", and will only get incrementally worse

 

the Old City is beautiful (similar to Old Town San Juan) and worth a walk through

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2019 at 10:00 AM, tfred said:

agree with Chemmo - the vendor crowd is almost overwhelming. They will chase you down the street.  The city should actually do something about it - it is not 'charming", and will only get incrementally worse

 

the Old City is beautiful (similar to Old Town San Juan) and worth a walk through

 

On 3/29/2019 at 10:00 AM, tfred said:

agree with Chemmo - the vendor crowd is almost overwhelming. They will chase you down the street.  The city should actually do something about it - it is not 'charming", and will only get incrementally worse

 

the Old City is beautiful (similar to Old Town San Juan) and worth a walk through

 

This will be our fourth time to Cartagena and am looking forward to again touring the Walled City.  Yes the vendors are persistent but just tell them no and keep walking.  The last time we were there one of the first vendors had lace tablecloths at a price of $25.  Because I showed an interest in them he followed us around for the couple of hours we were there.  Each time we say him the price of the tablecloth went down to finally when we were ready to leave I purchased it from him for under $10.  Honestly that was all it was worth but it still looks nice on my dining room table.  We took a taxi from the port all the times we have been there.  You just have to be aware of all your surroundings!

 

Edited by Momma Mojito

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