Welcome to Cartagena - a colonial gem and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three main neighborhoods make up this coastline city: San Pedro, San Diego, and Gethsemani. Explore the beautiful architecture in the cathedrals and palaces, and the famous "old walled city". Enjoy a divine mud bath at the Totumo Volcano, just outside of Cartagena City. Explore the Rosario Islands with a private guide.
In order to confirm your trip you must submit copies of your passports for Colombia bookings.
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Includes airport transfer with private vehicle, professional driver and local guide from Airport to Hotel or within city and vice versa
Alfiz Boutique Hotel is located in Cartagena´s historical Old Town, only a short walk to most of the city's attractions. Alfiz hotel offers eight stylish suites in the elegant ambiance of a restored XVII’s heritage building. Whether you are visiting the city on business or travelling for pleasure, this beautifully restored residence provides a warm welcome.This hotel is part of the collection of the “Cartagena Boutique Hotels”, the group of outstanding properties chosen for their intimate size, personalized service and attractive surroundings. Since the 17th century, the hotel has sheltered secrets, anecdotes and adventures. After three centuries, it continues to make history.
You will be met by your Bilingual guide and walked to your vehicle to commence your tour of the principal sights around Cartagena. Castillo San Felipe and El Convento de La Popa are two of Cartagena’s most spectacular sites. After your pick up from your hotel you will set off first to the Castillo San Felipe. This fort is the largest Spanish fortification in the Americas and dominates the old town. The first fortification on the site was started in 1536 and further extended over the following 200 years mostly by African slave labour. Underneath this amazing structure you will find a labyrinth of tunnels. The sun soaked fortification seeps tales of old for every traveller and the tunnels (some of which are lit and accessible to visitors) and ramparts are a living breathing history book. The fortress possesses intriguing tales of failed invasion by the British and other would be attackers. One very famous defence of the city was by Blas de Lazos against Edward Vernon and his fleet of 186 ships and 23,600 men. Blas with only one eye, one leg and one hand fought off Vernon with his modest band of 6 ships and 3,600 soldiers. From the fort you will continue on in your private vehicle to the Convento La Popa. The hill is the highest point in the city and commands excellent views of the bay, old town and Caribbean Sea beyond. Started initially as a humble wooden chapel but later replaced by a more solid construction that was fortified two centuries later. Enjoy the flower filled patio and the views that stretch all over the city and wander through the cool patio and interior of the convent. Throughout your trip your guide will make the sites come to life as he explains not only their history but also their relevance and importance to the Cartagena of today.
You will be met by your guide and walked to your vehicle to commence your tour of the Volcan de Lodo Totumo (mud volcano). You will begin by heading an hour and a half along the costal highway to reach the site. Legend has it that the volcano was once the home of the devil and spewed hot lava; a local holy man doused the volcano in holy water vanquishing the devil and turning the hot lava in to rich mud. It’s not cold, it’s warm! It does not seem to have a bottom, and it’s impossible to sink. This is truly one of the strangest experiences you will have along the Caribbean coastline. The Volcano is 20 metres high with basic wooden steps up to its crater at the top. Slipping in to the mud may be one of the strangest things that you have done but none the less an experience to be cherished. In fits and giggles you will wallow in the grey goo and maybe even take the opportunity for a massage from one of the local masseurs. The mud is said to have exfoliation properties cleansing the skin as you have fun! From one experience to another you slither out of the mud and gingerly make your way down the other side of the Volcano. From this point there will be someone on hand to take you to the water’s edge of the Ceínega (spring) where you will be washed down in this natural lagoon. The facilities here are basic but the experience makes it well worth while.
Take a fun full day excursion out to the Rosario islands on a shared boat. The Rosario Islands are formed by 23 separate coral Islands. It´s one of the 46 Natural National Parks of Colombia, created to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Caribbean Colombian Coast. Its marine habitats create one of Colombia's most diverse and richest marine ecosystems in Colombia. The Park has an extension of 120.000 marine and land hectares, and is associated with marine pastures, mangroves and the numerous species of algae and animals that have their habitats in the area. The Rosario Islands are an about an hour ride from Cartagena by motor boat. The route takes you through the Bahia de Cartagena and into the open sea through the Bocachica strait, and passing between the Bateria de San Jose and Fuerte de San Fernando. The boat will take you on a panoramic cruise through the Islands and then onto the Aquarium where you can pay an additional entrance fee to walk around the Island of San Marin de Pajarales and learn about the many varieties of marine life and species in the area. There will be a simple lunch included on Playa Blanca where you will have about 2 hours at leisure, before heading back to the mainland.
Note: Private transport with bilingual guide only to the pier in Cartagena, does not include bilingual guide on boat or at beach.
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and wanted to tell you we had the time of our lives! Everything turned out perfectly. Guides were fun, on time and informative. The excursions were great for an active family and, of course, amazing.
I can't tell you what was our favorite. The boys enjoyed exploring the mountains in El Chalten (they called it Mountain running) while Mohan and I relaxed in the beautiful hotel. I thought after the glacier trek it can't get any better - but it kept surprising me and amazing me. My personal favorite was the horseback riding. I thought afterwards after everything we have seen the bike tour would have to be a let down - NOPE - it also was so exciting and our guide was a hoot! We had great weather for each activity (I know there is a bit of luck involved with that one).
Meals were amazing and after so many active excursions no guilt in pigging out.
I am so happy we took a little risk and went out of the way with our vacation this year. We will have this with us for a life time.
Thank you again,
Laura, Mohan, Ryan, and Nathan
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
Happy New Year!
GREAT trip! The brochure you sent to us the week before we set off was marvelous -- the pages are marked and worn with us referring to it so often! We were very pleased with every aspect that you set up for us including the airport pick-up and drop off and the tour of Quito and environs on Friday. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. The transfer to the Eclipse team was super easy and the flight to Guayaquil and trip to the boat went off without a hitch.
We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took, but I promise to send a few to you in the next week or so. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands. Gave them a 10 on their feedback form and would recommend Eclipse very highly.
Mark Dornfeld ,
November 11, 2013
"My wife and I had a wonderful trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. All the accommodations that you booked for us were exceptional and our drivers and guides were lovely. We had great weather the whole trip and only lost one activity due to high winds. As you know this is a beautiful part of the world so my camera was snapping all the time. We would definitely use your services in the future for this type of travel. Thanks for all you help and expertise........be well.....m.d."
Jack Gregory ,
November 11, 2013
I wanted to give you a little feedback on our recent trip to Peru.
In a word – EXCELLENT – especially the high quality people you work with in Peru. We have taken tours all over the world, S. Africa, France, England, Vietnam, China to name just a few, and the service we received in Peru was far beyond and of the other experiences we have had. The attention to detail was very much appreciated, picking us up at the airport, taking us back to the airport and complete, hassle free, handling of all our details truly made this a stress free experience.
Special thanks to:
-The entire reservation system and the people I came in contact with that process...every detail accounted for
-The people that looked after us in Lima
-Andre, the young man in Cusco who faithfully phoned every night just to make sure the day went well, my wife was well and that we knew what we had to do the next day.
-The Sumaq hotel in Aquas Calientes...you can tell the level of service by the details...I watched a waitress hold a high stool for a lady to prevent her from tipping backwards as she got on the stool, the lady didn’t even know the waitress did it....that’s client care.
-Especially Mariela, the tour guide in Cusco...highly knowledgeable, passionate, personable and shows great care for the people she guides.
Hainsworth Sherry ,
November 05, 2013
Clients were very impressed. Guides were amazing and accommodation was beyond expectations. They will definitely travel with you again and they have highly recommended Kensington Tours.
Hope I can work with you again the in the near future.
Scott Parks ,
November 05, 2013
Sandy and I are back from Peru and had a wonderful time. Kensington seems to have the best contacts in each country and Peru was no exception. I wanted to take the time to give you some specific feedback on each segment of out trip.
The “Hotel B” in Lima is fantastic. It’s an old house that has been turned into a small Hotel. The people are great and the location in Barranco is just what we like.
The Inkaterra Amazonica is probably the best place place to stay in the Amazon region. The rooms give a real feel of the sounds of the rain forest.
The hotels in both Cusco and Aquas Calientes were perfect with great locations. We added an additional day in Aquas Calientes which gave us three days in Machu Picchu. For us, this was well worth it and gave us the time we wanted to see all aspects of Machu Picchu. Pictures did not do justice to the site, although we got some great pictures.
The trip to see the Nasca Lines was, also, worth the time. Our guide added some side trips including lunch at a local winery which we really enjoyed. The Hotel Paracas was an unexpectedly high quality resort and a great way to end our trip.
Thanks for your help we look forward to next year
June Murray ,
August 20, 2013
"Buenas Noches Brandi-
I filled out the survey but I wanted to send you a note to say thank you. Our trip was the stuff lifelong memories are made of and I mean every part of it. From our time spent in Quito, to the Safari Camp and Isla Isabela. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the staff at our accommodations and the expertise of all our guides (most especially Tanya Helmig at the Safari Camp). We hope to go back for an extended stay.
I have attached 2 photos for you of Bart and I. I think the joy is clearly evident- thank you for making it possible.
Barbara Mackey ,
July 22, 2013
"We just completed a family trip to Costa Rica, with three families traveling from different locations. All the coordination efforts were made easily and efficiently by our Kensington representative, Brandi Merchant, who was wonderful; an absolute delight to work with. All the accommodations were first class and the guides knowledgeable and very punctual. We will be using Kensington again!
Cindy Thoene ,
July 22, 2013
What an AMAZING trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously…the trip of a lifetime!
We returned late on Thursday and had out of town visitors through the weekend and we are just now unpacking and getting back to non-vacation reality.
I will share my feedback and get pictures sent to you soon.
Thanks for everything….truly a perfect trip!
July 24, 2013
Our trip was wonderful, we had a great time, wish we could have spent more time. In fact, I now know I would have spent more time in Cuzco and the Machu Picchu area.
Machu Picchu was fabulous.
Margot, our guide, and the driver, were absolutely wonderful, low key, very personable, very accommodating, really good. We didn't end up with enough time on the last morning in Cusco to finish the tour, but got a feel- of Sacsayhuman, Qengo, Koricancha. We saw Ollayantatambo, and went to Moray and Maras, and Wayra ranch which was also outstanding, on the next day, but did not do Pisac and the market. We got tired and ran out of time so cut a couple things. Louis the coordinator was good as well.
Would love to go back and learn more some time.
The coordinator in Lima was extremely nice too, and very helpful.
In fact, we loved the food, the people and everything. The Libertador Palacio , the Tambo del Inka and the Sanctuary were indeed outstanding hotels. LAN was all on time, great service.
Thank you again for all your help.
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