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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 18th, 2001, 07:48 AM
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Default Tours in Cartagena and Limon

Can anybody recommend tours in these two ports?
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Old August 18th, 2001, 04:56 PM
Carole Dunham
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Default Re: Tours in Cartagena and Limon

I've never been to Cartagena on a cruise but absolutely adore the place. Take any tour that takes you into the old city and fort. Absolutely fascinating.

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Old August 18th, 2001, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Tours in Cartagena and Limon


The tour options in Cartagena are pretty limited.

>> There's the city tour with a visit to the fort (officially called Tour CTG-A, "Best of Cartagena and Fortress"). On this tour, you actually get off the bus and go into the fort.

>> There's the city tour with a drive by the fort (officially called Tour CTG-C, "Scenes of Cartagena"). On this tour, the bus drives past the fort but you don't get off to go inside.

>> There's the city tour without the fort (officially called Tour CTG-D, "Cartagena Shopping and La Popa Monastery"). This tour skips the fort completely, and it appears that it also skips the Church of San Pedro Claver (St. Peter Claver) -- which does have spectacular artwork in addition to the relics of the saint (that is, full skelaton) in one of its side altars.

Unless there's a new tour this year, that's it.

I recommend the first tour. There difference in price is pretty negligible.

As to shopping, the major attraction is emeralds from Columbia's famous mines. I skipped the emeralds, but I did bring back some fresh Columbian coffee.

Most of Costa Rica's major attractions are in the central valley (around San Jose) so expect that many of the tours will have a significant bus ride each way on narrow (2-lane) winding mountain roads. OTOH, the Costa Rican countryside is mostly lush rain forest and plantations (coffee and sugar cane are major agricultural products), and it is quite beautiful. Also, Costa Rica does have a lot more variety of excursions than what you will find at Cartagena.

I was aboard a ship called at Puntarenas (on the Pacific Coast) rather than at Puerto Limon (on the Caribbean coast) last year, so I opted for the tour of Sarchi primarily because it was closer to the port than most of the other destinations. It was an interesting tour, but I did find the bus ride to be rather long.

Coffee is also a major product of Costa Rica, and they produce several varieties that are not readily available here in the States. Their dark roast, for example, is much more popular in Europe, so that's where most of it goes. Nonetheless, it is a nice souvenir for coffee drinkers.

Have a great cruise!

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Old August 19th, 2001, 01:04 AM
Carole Dunham
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Default Re: Tours in Cartagena and Limon

Another excellent buy in Cartagena is leathergoods.

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Old August 20th, 2001, 11:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 41
Default Re: Tours in Cartagena and Limon

Hi, We took the tour in Puerto Limon that included the ride though the rain forest aboard the pontoon boat and stopped at the Banana plantation. It was great and we saw lots of animals, bats, butterflys, birds, and crocidile. Others who took the rainforest tour that went to San Jose said that it was a VERY long bus ride and they didn't see as much. Our tour was only about 4 or 5 hours.

In Columbia we opted for the tour that went to the Monestary and the shopping in the old and new areas. It was fine for a few hours to get a taste of the area.

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