Personal Evaluation of Overseas Adventure Travel -- Post-Trip: Colonial Cartagena, Colombia: The Emerald of the Caribbean
Overall, we enjoyed these 5 days. OAT put us on Avianca Airlines from Panama City to Bogota and then to Cartagena. With delays, etc. the connection was close to 8 hours.
There is a direct flight from Panama City to Cartagena on Copa that is 65 minutes. What is OAT doing?
Our hotel in Cartagena was situated in a perfect location. Old Town. But the hotel had some problems, ceiling leak in our bathroom, breakfast buffet was minimal and sparse. The staff was superb.
Our Tour Director David was excellent – David went out of his way to show us his city and surrounding country side. On Christmas Eve day he took us on a walking tour of the different areas of the city, taking the time explain the historical, social, political and religious aspects that made each different.
David made a point of helping us feel comfortable, knowing which restaurants to visit, taking care of problems as they arose, even taking us when we asked about a place, even though it was after he was supposed to leave us.
The two in Colombia were very over priced and nominal. Carriage ride was poor and dinner was OK. Way over priced compared to the super dinners we had on our own around the Old Town.
Rosario Island was a questionable experience. Speed boat to the island was packed, 50 passengers – they had to remove a passenger before the boat could leave.
Lunch was OK, but to snorkel one had to pay $15. To see an Aquarium it was $30. The only thing to do on this small island was to sit in the sun. Compared to other OAT trips, these were the least value for the money.
Departure from Colombia to the USA was a new experience. We went through 5 security checks, with one of our suitcase being taken completely apart. We were forewarned but it still was an experience.
Colombia may be a new travel location for OAT and we hope that they are given a chance.