Our guide was William, an 83-year old veteran of the Cartagen touring scene. We boarded the tour agency car with Simon, the driver and travelled to San Felipe de Barajas Fortress. William showed us the tunnels built under the fortress to confound invaders just in case they overpowered the fortress. He also impressed on us the genius of the fortress design. Then we drove to the highest point in the city, Candelaria Convent at La Popa hill. We did the peninsula and the Bocagrande beach with the high-rise hotels and condos. Then to the walled city for the Santo Domingo square with the church and the Botero and the Simon Bolivar square with the Inquisition building and museum of gold. The only thing in the itinerary we missed was the Claver Church but William did go into an explanation of Claver so that was sufficient.
There were a number of things William wanted to show us that werent really in the published itinerary, like the UNESCO heritage-tagged private homeson Manga island. the street art inside the walled city, the inside of the Heredia Theater, and the Claustro dela Merced where Gabriel Garcia Marquez ashes are buried.
William was very quick to volunteer taking our pictures. Not only that, he knew what angles were best and would often do three to four shots of us at different angles at the same site. But his hands were a bit shaky after all, he was already 83. He seemed to know everyone in the city. For example, the theater was officially closed but he talked to the guard, slipped him a small note, and we were allowed in. Not only that but the guard even put up the lights inside the theater so we could enjoy its magnificence. He was quick to help us in negotiating for a good price whether it was t-shirts, local art-handicraft, fruits.
I mentioned to William that my wife wanted to check out emeralds and William promptly had the driver bring us to the Joyeria Caribe emerald museum. It was an interesting place with arguably the widest selection of emeralds. It took an hour before she could buy her earrings and William patiently waited for us which meant adding another hour to the total tour time. But William didnt mind.
We loved William and his grandfatherly style. But he could climb up and down and walk with the best of them. His English was occasionally hard to understand but it didnt detract from our positive experience with him. Hats off!
Harvie Hopkins United States of ...
William was an awesome tour guide, with an impressive knowledge of the city's 500 years of history. He started the tour with an excellent and succinct overview of how our day would progress, and then proceeded to guide me through every sector of the city. Don't let his age fool you, he's full of energy and has the stamina to persevere through 4 hours of nonstop walking, climbing, and talking.
This was the best day of our vacation. This private tour included an old man who had a great knowledge of Cartagena. We spend around 6 hours walking and talking at all the different historical sites in town.
We enjoy the one on one conversations with him we had. In a large group tour, you do not get this type of interaction. I would highly recommend this tour.
Billy was an amazing tour guide. My wife and I were on our honeymoon to Cartagena. We were kept entertained the whole time and got to see everything from international sites to local neighborhood art. We could tell how much pride Billy had in his city. Would highly recommend!
Absolutely amazing! We had the best tour guide ever. Bert was extremely knowledgeable, pleasant, courteous and funny. We started by going to the fort, bright and early is the best time. We learned a lot about the history of Cartagena. It was the highlight of our trip.
Karl S. Venezuela
My personal experience with Mr. Garcia was Second-to-None. This gentleman truly defines the meaning of Quality and Service. He knows how to show a Great Time to visitors in Cartagena, and how to cater for his customers. If necessary, he would go out of his way to make any one person feel his/her absolute best while visiting the city. My wife and I booked a few tours with his company: Playa Blanca, Cartagena City Tour, and the Emerald Tour. Without any hesitation, I would recommend Guianza Express to any one person wanting to visit Cartagena.
Pretty nice tour covering all the main points that I wanted to see. Kinda was shortened to about 4.5 hours from 6, but it was fine with us
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