Welcome to the Cartagena – Colombia cruise port guide. On the north coast of Colombia we find the magnificent city of Cartagena. The city is home to over 900.000 inhabitants. When your cruise ships visits Cartagena you have to make sure to visit the old town. This is an absolute must see! It is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site because of the its educational value and beauty. In 1553 Pedro de Heredia established this city and named it after his hometown in Spain: Cartagena. It would soon become one of the wealthiest cities on the Caribbean Sea. It developed itself into the greatest Spanish gold and slave trade centre of the new world. This gruesome industry brought in so much wealth and gold that Cartagena would become the next target of many ambitious pirates. Therefore in the early 17th century the city walls were created to defend it from an attack. Many of the these walls still stand today. Protecting its historical buildings and heritge. This is what makes Cartagena a wonderful cruise destination! The city is best to explore by foot, on your own or with a guide. Find out your options on how to visit Cartagena old town from the Cartagena cruise port guide underneath.
Cruise Port Guide Cartagena – Colombia
Your cruise ship will dock at the Cartagena cruise ship terminal in the neighbourhood Manga. The cruise port is approximately 3,5 km / 2 miles from the old city centre of Cartagena. It is a big industrial port catering to the in- and export of Colombia.. The Cartagena cruise dock is right in between the container docks. From the cruise dock you will see a white striped path that will lead to the Cartagena cruise terminal. This is a few minutes or approximately 600 yards/meter walk from the dock. Usually the port provides a small shuttle bus to take you from the pier over to the Cartagena cruise terminal.
Cartagena cruise terminal
The Cartagena cruise terminal is an amazing place to kick off your trip to the city. To get to the exit of the port you will have to walk through a beautiful aviary. Inside you will meet many exotic bird like flamingos, black swans, parrots and red howler monkeys. In between the aviary’s you will find small outdoor cafe’s with wi-fi, great souvenirs shops and small kiosk. The must see of cruise destination Cartagena is the old colonial city. The best way to visit is by shore excursion or by taxi. Many people want to know if you can walk from the cruise terminal to the old town. Yes, you could, although we wouldn’t recommend it. Your walk will take between 25-40 minutes through a suburb of Cartagena and remember that is it hot and humid! We highly recommend transportation like a shore excursion or taxi.
Taxis in Cartagena
Taxis will be waiting for you at the exit of the Cartagena cruise terminal. Expect a flood of taxi drivers and guides trying to sell you their tours when you exit the cruise premises. You will see men and women in white shirts who are licensed guides that speak good English. The men in light blue shirts are port-authorized taxi drivers who often speak basic English. The men in red shirts are independent taxi drivers. The taxi prices are on display. Make sure to always agree upon the price before you step into the taxi. Prices should be as follows: One way taxi ride to Cartagena old town: $20 Taxi per hour: $25 4 hour VAN service: $120 To avoid misunderstanding you should always agree upon your price before you step into the vehicle. A ride from the Cartagena cruise terminal to the old town will take approximately 10 minutes. A ride to the new town will take approximately 15 minutes.
Sometimes there is also a catamaran tour offered in the port. It costs 30 dollars and it gives you a quick tour of the town. Find the catamaran right next to the flamingo garden at the cruise terminal.
Sailing in and out of Cartagena
Keep your eyes open and camera ready when sailing in and out of Cartagena. Especially the first hour after departure and last hour before arrival are very scenic. You will see lots of islands, villages, old fortifications and beautiful beaches along the way.