Cartagena Cruises, Colombia
- Prepare to see a completely different side of Cartagena in Bocagrande, the city’s new town. Jewellery-lovers should head for the Caribe Emerald Factory, where you can watch stones being cut, polished and set. You can even create your own design.
- Pay a visit to the Convento de la Popa. It’s a 400-year-old monastery that sits at the top of a hill, overlooking the whole city. Inside, it’s filled with lavish décor, paintings and sculptures.
SHORE EXCURSIONS View all excursions
You’ll come face-to-face with some of Cartagena’s showpieces on this tour and see why it’s old town is a UNESCO World heritage site, Things kick off with a photo stop visit to the San Felipe de Barajas. The construction of this huge fort began in 1536, and lasted for over a hundred years. But the star attraction is inside the chunky walls of the old city. Explore the Dungeons - originally built to store provisions for the troops. Now-a-days they are home to a handicraft market selling brightly decorated cloth, woodwork & woven bags made by some of the locals. Next, tour the winding streets to see the Colonial buildings, ancient churches and pretty squares. To top off your visit, head to the beautiful San Pedro Claver Church, moving on from here there'll be an opportunity to take photographs of San Francisco Javier Bastion, one of the city’s many fortifications.
With its amazingly well-preserved colonial architecture, Cartagena is a bit like an open-air museum – which explains why it’s been given UNESCO World Heritage status. This tour begins with a trip to San Felipe de Barajas, an imposing fortress set just outside the old city walls. There’ll be time here to take photos, before you move on to the heart of the city. Nine miles of stone walls cocoon the town, and they took 194 years to build. Delve inside, and you’re greeted by beautiful churches, quaint squares and cafés that look like they were frozen in time back in the 16th century. You’ll have a guide with you as you wander down the cobbled streets, and they’ll give you the lowdown on Cartagena’s history. Finally, you’ll head over to Bocagrande, where you’ll see another side of the city. Gone are the medieval courtyards and old churches, and in their place stand sleek shopping malls and high-rise apartment blocks. Your destination is the Pierino Gallo shopping centre, which is known for its great selection of jewellery stores featuring pieces with the Colombian Emerald. There’ll be time to browse the shops, before you head back to the coach.
This tour mixes sightseeing with a party on wheels. It takes place on a chiva, a colourfully decorated open-sided bus that has become a symbol of Colombian culture. While onboard, you’ll dance in your seat to traditional Afro-Colombian music and enjoy an open bar. The tour takes you through Cartagena’s Old City, which is overlooked by a hilltop fortress. You’ll stop here for photos, before carrying on the party through the city’s old gates. Along the way, you’ll catch a glimpse of landmarks like the iconic yellow clock tower, and the bronze statue of an indigenous woman who helped the Spanish conquest of Colombia. In the tourist area of El Laguito, you’ll stop for a dance to vallenato – a Colombian folk music that’s accompanied by an accordion. Before heading back to the ship, there’ll also be the chance to grab some souvenirs at a former dungeon that’s now a marketplace.