Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
South America

Cartagena Shore Excursion Walking Tours

Cartagena Old Town
Cartagena Old Town. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

City tours dominate Cartagena shore excursions in this historical Caribbean city on the coast of Columbia.

Cartagena is so far south in the Caribbean that it is not a common port of call for most six-night, seven-day cruises. Instead, it is an occasional port of call for longer southern Caribbean cruises that last 10 to 14 nights. It also has some visitors from Panama Canal cruises.

This city of 1 million people named after Cartagena, Spain, has a history that dates back to the Spanish conquest of South America in the 16th century. It has much of the Old World / New World history and culture that cruise visitors will find in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. As a result, city tours are popular shore excursions.

What to Expect on Cartagena Walking Tour

Cartagena City Map

One of the least expensive shore excursions in the entire Caribbean is a hop-on, hop-off bus that tours the city. Prices start at $18 per person for a 90-minute tour that includes 14 stops and 10 points of interest.

High points include Old Town Cartagena, San Felipe de Barajas Castle, Las Bóvedas and Museo de la Esmeralda.

Old Town is the historical center of the city. San Felipe de Barajas Castle built by the Spanish during the colonial era dominates the land and sea approach to the city.

Las Bóvedas (The Vaults) is a highly photographic historical building that the Spanish built as dungeons. Museo de la Esmeralda or Museum of Emeralds showcases emerald mining in the area.

Most city tours cost at least $40 or more. This one is a bargain, although it’s a fast tour.

Anyone who wants more time and detail will likely take a walking tour. They can last up to four hours with a local guide, go to many of the same attractions and allow more time to explore them.

Visitors can walk through the historical part of the city on their own. But a guide will offer historical and cultural details that may not be readily known by tourists.

San Felipe de Barajas Castle
San Felipe de Barajas Castle. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Tour prices depend in part on how long they last.

One example has prices starting at $85 and lasts four hours. Another one is a bicycle city tour for two and a half hours with prices starting at $30 depending on the sail date and other factors. Yet another one is a $55 private tour that lasts two and a half hours.

These tours and others are available from the cruise lines that visit Cartagena, websites of local tour operators and websites of national tour companies that market the local operators.

Which walking tour in Cartagena should cruise visitors choose? It depends on budget and transportation. Visitors can judge the budget value of each tour by dividing the price by the number of hours to get an average hourly rate.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 08, 2022

Best Times to Visit Argentina

Buenos Aires plaza
For most people, the best time to visit Buenos Aires and most other places in Argentina is in spring.

Cartagena Cruise Port Guide

Explore several one-day itineraries for traveling to Cartegena via cruise or otherwise.

South American Cruise Tips

Christ the Redeemer
A South American cruise can last from three days to 66 days. The most common is seven days.

Santos Brazil Cruise Port Tips

Falkland Islands Cruise Port Guide

Best Cartagena Beaches

Cartagena Cruise Port Attractions

Great Beaches in Argentina