On March 20th we arrived in Cartagena for an overnight stay. Over the past several years this city and port has been cleaned up to be a very nice tourist stop. The port area has a few shops (duty free and local crafts/food items) in addition to a mini wild life area with many different species of birds and monkeys. There are well over 25 parrots and macaws in addition to lots of peacocks and flamingos among an assortment of other birds. There are some monkeys that can be seen swinging from the trees and a few iguanas roaming the grounds. At night we were amazed to see the peacocks all high up in one tree together. We are not sure whether they fly up there or jump up and walk along the branches but some of these huge peacocks were 30 feet up in the tree.
We went to the old walled city in Cartagena and walked along the beautiful streets that have bougainvillea everywhere and unique wooden balconies overlooking the streets. All along the streets you could find many food vendors selling fried plantains, ice cream, candy and a potato like pancake with cheese (queso) and butter in it. We tried one of these potato cakes and they were OK but not our favorite. There were several craft market areas under covered tents that sold many different items. Some sold clothes and shoes while other areas were dedicated to food items like a farmers market. There are several very pretty churches in the area and many buildings with unique architecture. We walked along the walls in a few areas and looked out over the ocean and saw some of the old cannons used to fight off the pirates and the British in the old days.
We had been to Cartagena only last year and had done a very nice tour and elected not to do too much on this trip. We took a few night walks outside the ship and took in some of the sites of the city at night. Our ship looked extremely colorful lit up at night.
Our next stop was Cayman Islands where we took a taxi and stayed at Calico Jacks on Seven-Mile Beach until early afternoon and took a nice walk back stopping for lunch and taking in some of the local sights before heading back on our ship. Unbelievable to view 7 cruise ships in port at one time - all tendering!
Greg and Sharon