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Cartagena de Indias Colombia Cruise Port
Location:

The Port of Cartagena de Indias is located just five minutes from the old city and near the major tourist attractions and main shopping areas. It offers: 6 docking sites.

At the Cruise Ship Terminal, visitors are received with typical music and landscaped gardens. They may visit the duty and tax free store, the cafeteria, Juan Valdez coffee store, or the shopping area. Here they can find handycrafts, emerald gem stones, jewelry, pre-Columbian items, souvenirs, leather goods, cigars and more.

There is a free shuttle bus from the ship's pier to the cruise terminal where you can get taxis to the Old City. You can easily walk to all of the different sites in the Old City. From one end to the other is about 30 minutes but half the fun is all of the sites and people along the way.

Inside the port the taxis are posted to cost $20 one way for 4 people. The normal fare outside is about $10 for a trip to Old Town.

There is now a catamaran service that takes passengers from the cruise port to the docks by the Old Town. You buy a bracelet at the port store for $10 and it allows you to go to the Old Town and back for one price. The trip takes about 15 minutes each way and run every 30 minutes. There are 2 catamarans and they each hold about 120 passengers. During the trip you get a good view of Bocagrande as well as the old town and Convention Center. There are restrooms on board as well as refreshments and a guide to provide maps and other information.

Printable map to take along.

Hotels near the Cruise Terminal

Cruise calendar for this port.

Watch a destination video.

Live Nautical Chart with Wikipedia Markers

Ship's Location in Cruise Port:

Sightseeing:

Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Considered by many as one of the world's most beautiful, fascinating and magical cities, Cartagena was founded by Spanish conquerors as a main port to bring Europeans and their goods into South America, and transport gold, silver and all sorts of plants, animals, minerals and handicrafts from all over the continent across the Caribbean and on to the Old World.

Cartagena’s old city is its principal attraction, particularly the inner walled town consisting of the historical districts of El Centro and San Diego. It is a real gem of colonial architecture, packed with churches, monasteries, plazas, palaces and mansions with their overhanging balconies and shady patios.

Today the city hosts intellectuals and plenty of beautiful restored homes among exotic, highly attractive and dynamic plazas, waterfronts and other public spaces. One of the most hospitable venues for any tourist looking for a good rest, Caribbean and Colombian magical realism and tropical ambiance or natural wonders. The city hosts many conventions but the two of major interest to Europeans and americans are without doubt the classical Music Festival held in the first two weeks of January and the South american version of the (UK) Hay Literary Festival towards the end of january. Both are particularly imaginative with world class performers, writers and critics.

Tours/Excursions/Transportation:

Hop on/off tours.

Maps with walking tours are available at the cruise terminal.

Be sure to stop by the Santa Clara Hotel to see the terrific central courtyard. The former convent on the site has been converted into a wonderful place to stay if you want a more I depth experience. Wander the area and discover the charms of this delightful city.

Taxis are generally easy to find, although in the old town you may have to walk a few blocks away from the center, toward the wider road close to wall.

About 10.00 USD per cab from the pier the clock tower entrance should do it.

It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.

Nearby Places:

Islas del Rosario.
This archipelago, about 35km southwest of Cartagena, consists of 27 small coral islands, including some tiny islets only big enough for a single house. The archipelago is surrounded by coral reefs, where the color of the sea ranges from turquoise to purple. The whole area has been decreed a national park, the Parque Nacional Natural (PNN) Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo.

Tours depart yearround from the Muelle Turístico de la Bodeguita in Cartagena. Boats leave between 8am and 9am daily and return about 4pm to 6pm.

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Shopping and Food:

The Colombian textile industry is well-recognized and reputable around South America and Europe. Clothing and lingerie are particularly regarded as high quality and very affordable. Cartagena has a wide range of shops selling crafts and souvenirs, and the quality of the goods is usually high. Most stores are open 7 days a week.

The water is drinkable right from the tap in most of the major cities, but be prepared to buy some bottles if you go to the countryside. Agua Manantial Bottled water is recommended, it comes from a natural spring near Bogotá. An advice make sure you do not use ice cubes, or drink any beverage that might contain non distilled water, ask if the beverage is made with tap or bottled/boiled water.

Currency:

The peso is the currency of the Republic of Colombia. 2000 Peso = 1 USD

DO NOT, under any circumstances, exchange your dollars for Colombian pesos with anyone offering to do so on the streets of Cartagena. You will be robbed.

Currency Converter

Communication:

Spanish spoken

WiFi is available at the cruise port terminal so you can bring your laptop to access the internet. The cost is $3 - 5 an hour and tickets can be bought at the cash registers.

The cyber cafes in Cartagena are centered in the Centro (Old Town) district, cheap but slow times.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

Reinado Nacional de Belleza (Nov) The national beauty pageant celebrates Cartagena’s independence day. Miss Colombia, the beauty queen, is elected on November 11, the high point of the event. The fiesta, which includes street dancing, music and fancy-dress parades, strikes up several days before the pageant and the city goes wild. The event, also known as the Carnaval de Cartagena or Fiestas del 11 de Noviembre, is the city’s most important annual bash.

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