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Old 29-05-2014, 18:52   #1
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Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Hi all.
which is a better place to be in for two weeks.

How slow is the clearance run?
How best to see the countys interior?
Shai

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Old 29-05-2014, 18:57   #2
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

I've only been to Bogota Colombia but I've heard There's less to do in Santa Marta. I would personally want to go to Cartagena.
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Old 29-05-2014, 19:09   #3
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
I've only been to Bogota Colombia but I've heard There's less to do in Santa Marta. I would personally want to go to Cartagena.
Many historic sites to see in Cartagena, but it's terribly hot and humid there.



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Old 30-05-2014, 05:49   #4
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Is it not better to stop in santa marta and get the bus to cartagena?
what about clearance? Anyone been there lately?

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Old 30-05-2014, 07:15   #5
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Clearance is the same everywhere in Colombia - you hire an agent, they take all your documentation for a day or so and do stuff with it. The agent then brings immigration and customs to your boat and fill out some more paper work and then you are done. It generally takes 2 days to check in and another day to check out.

There is more to see and do in Cartagena because it is a much larger city. Santa Marta is funky and nice in a different way. Santa Marta also has a large modern marina, if that is of interest to you leaving your boat. Cartagena does not have a good marina, but you can haul your boat at several yards there instead. Santa Marta is the better stop if you want to hike up the Sierra's and/or visit the Lost City. Cartagena probably has better/more flight choices out, but you will be connecting in Bogota or Medellin for anything international. The bus ride between the two cities is long ~5-6 hours and you need a taxi to get to the station. There are also shuttle services, but these too are long rides.

To make a blanket statement that Cartagena is terribly hot and humid is uninformed. Yes, if you are from coastal central California and you visit there in the summer months, it is hot and humid like all tropical Caribbean places (and pretty much everywhere else in the US also). If you are smart enough to visit in the winter months, and are experienced with tropical weather, you will find Cartagena has much more delightful, cooler, drier weather.

It is doubtful that you will see much of the interior of Colombia in 2 weeks unless you are a disciple of Chevy Chase's "vacation".

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Old 30-05-2014, 12:39   #6
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Thanks for the replays.....
Mark is it possible to enter via santa marta and then move on to cartagena?

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Old 30-05-2014, 15:33   #7
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Yes, they have full custom and immigration services and several agencies. The only warning is to make sure your zarpe from where ever you are coming from lists Santa Marta as your port of call. The port captain there has been a stickler in the past for people checking into Santa Marta while having Cartagena as their port of call on their zarpe. You will need a zarpe from Santa Marta to Cartagena when you leave, but that is very easy.

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Old 30-05-2014, 17:04   #8
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Cheers. We are leaving beautifull bonaire soon.

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Old 30-05-2014, 17:10   #9
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Sta Marta, then catch a bus to Cartagena.

What you spend on a hotel and bus you will save by keeping your antifoul away from Cartagena.
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Old 30-05-2014, 17:42   #10
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Re: Santa marta or cartagena columbia

Oh, I forgot to mention the antifoul thing. Cartagena harbor is very, very high growth. You will lose your bottom there. Best thing is to plan to need a bottom job before going there, and to do the bottom job after your visit (haul it there or later). You have maybe 3-5 days before it gets so out of hand you lost the battle.

Alternately, you can anchor in Cholon about 20nm away. There you can get water taxi's into Cartagena and even stay at hotels for more extended periods. This assumes that the boat watching service is still available in Cholon - it has been 2-3 years since we were there.

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