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Freyward_Cruiser

6 hours in Cartagena...

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Posted (edited)

We knew we didn't have much time in this large city so we decided to explore the Old Town. We were on the Norwegian Star and arrived in Cartagena on February 18, 2019. We did book a cruise excursion called "TRANSFER TO OLD TOWN BY CATAMARAN" and it basically took us to Old Town via an open air ferry boat and dropped us off with the understanding we could take any return boat of theirs when we were ready to come back. It was worth it (especially with our $25 discount). Approaching the city from the water was beautiful. Our boat out did not give us any info, but the return boat did narrate what we were seeing. I guess it depended on the boat/captain whether you heard information?

 

Once docked, it is a short walk across the street and under a wall and you are in the Old Town. We had signed up for a free walking tour in Old Town, separate from the cruise, and we showed up and waited and waited... it ended up being an hour late and then we didn't move through the city much so we walked off and explored on our own. The free tour would have been great and informative if we were in town for a few days but not ideal for someone with only 6 hours to experience a slice of Colombia.

 

We absolutely loved walking through the Old Town of Cartagena, Colombia! It was hot and muggy but we still enjoyed every minute. The ornate wooden balconies overhanging the narrow streets with vines and flowers are so full of charm. Great photo opportunities around every corner. We even found a small restaurant where we got to sit out on one of those balconies and watch the street life go by below. 

 

So, if you ever find yourself in Cartagena, Colombia and you are short on time... and don't want to do a planned excursion... definitely walk the Old Town! It is beautiful and full of life.

 

We don't speak Spanish, but not once did we feel unsafe or lost. We ordered food and beer without too much difficulty. We bought a painting, and haggled, no problem. The Old Town is also fairly easy to navigate as it is walled in and also has some tall churches to orient yourself with. The streets/sidewalks can be uneven at times and are not ideal for those who have difficulty on uneven ground. But they are manageable for most. Go explore!

 

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Edited by Freyward_Cruiser

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Thanks for this trip report -- this is absolutely what we're planning to do in Cartegena this winter, and your pictures are gorgeous!

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