We will be in Cartagena from mid March 2013 and Sailing up to transit the canal by the 20th April. I am hoping to have my in-laws out to stay with us for a week during this period. Can anyone recommend the best place for us to meet with them.
They are not sailors and will not be up for a long sea passage to get anywhere. They are also quite nervous travellers and have already messed up my first plan of getting them out to the San Blas via Panama / colon. They were fed stories of armed robberies and the San Blas inhabitant being unfriendly to cruisers.
I am in Cartagena now - my 83 year old mother has joined us for Christmas and we put her up in a great little apartment in the walled city - VERY safe here. When my mom told her friends she was traveling to Colombia, she got a lot of gasps and "is it safe there?" comments. From Cartagena you could take your in-laws out for a day sail to the Islas del Rosario.
No published cruising guide yet for this area, but a few cruisers have shared a lot of good info - look for their reports on noonsite.com. We haven't been to Rosario yet - there is also a bay that some of the cruiser reports mention, Cholon, that we've heard might also be good stop.