I made plans to meet with Dora's group the day our cruise Jewel of the Seas arrived. We got in later than expected because of an emergency stop the ship had to make in Haiti but Dora was outside waiting for the group around 10 a.m. It was a beautiful new air conditioned van and she took us all around for 3 hours, loved the Old City walk and would recommend the tour to all. It left a memorable experience of Cartagena.....
Mary Ann from Fl. 
“Cartagena tour with Dora the Explorer”

I booked a private tour with Dora for the day our cruise ship docked in Cartagena. She met the 3 of us promptly at the agreed on time with a car and driver. They took us for a pleasant day tour around Cartagena which is a charming and pleasant town with beautiful colonial architecture. We went at our own pace, never rushed, and had plenty of time to take photos, linger to enjoy the views, etc. She brought us back to the dock on time to board before our ship sailed. Dora's English is excellent and she knows the history and other interesting stories about Cartagena, so we learned a lot as we toured around town. We all had a wonderful day and would go back to spend more time in Cartagena and take another tour with Dora.
“Terrific Tour of Cartagena, Colombia! Saw A Lot!”
Four couples sailing on the RCI Jewel of the Sea 1/24/11 Southern Caribbean cruise (who met on the Cruise Critic boards) pre-arranged a tour of Cartagena, Colombia with Dora De Zubiria's Company. Very personal emails and phone calls from Dora, she's a real pleasure to talk to, you could tell she loves to show off her city!.
We all decided that we wanted to spend quality time in the Old Town and opted not to do the 1/2 hour shopping at a mall (I personally need more thatn a 1/2 hour to shop!)
We arrived in Cartagena on 1/29 and were immediately greeted by our English speaking guide Fernado Lopez Prens and our driver Pilar. We had an air-conditioned bus - which was fortunate as it was very hot & humid. Each time we came back to the bus Pilar had it nice & cool!
Our first stop was to La Popa Hill, which was up a very winding road. The 440 year old monastery is built on a 500 ft hill, the highest point in the city - so from there you could see both Old Town and the New City. Great photo op! There was a serene courtyard with beautiful flowers and a small museum with history of La Popa and the Virgin de la Candelaria.
It was extremely busy, as their annual Patron Saint's Day (La Virgin de la Candelaria) is on February 2. Many people were making pilgramages, they would walk up the hill to thank the Virgin for a favor that had been granted during the previous year. We actually saw one man who was crawling up the hill on his hands & knees over cobbled stones.
Next we were off to Fort de San Felipe. Our entrance fee was paid by Fernando and we spend about an hour touring the whole fort, actually walking the historic tunnels and turrets. Fernando described the battles that had been fought here over the centuries.
Next we went to the Old Town and walked narrow streets with beautiful balconies and ornate wood residential doors. Walked through Plaza Bolivar with Simon Bolivar's statue and a fountain under a grove of trees and many benches for sitting in the shade. Also passed by the statue of Christoper Columbus as we walked to the Church of San Pedro Claver, he was the "slave to the slaves" and the first South American saint. There was a beautiful cloister courtyard with trees, walkways and two parrots. The church was serene and had large stained glass windows.
After a short bus ride we arrived at Las Bovedas in El Centro, which is a series of 23 shops that were originally dungeons. A few of us decided to go to the Bullfighters bar where we purchased two Eagle beers from owner Juan for $5.00. All of Juan's bullfighting mementos are on the walls (including several bull heads!)
On our trip back to the cruise ship we passed by the Walled City and the Clock Tower.
The amazing thing was Dora doesn't ask for a deposit and we paid at the end $65.00 per person (for a party of 8) for the 4.5 hour tour. A tip was definitely earned by Fernando & Pilar. Dora and her team want to make sure you are totally satisfied. And we were! 
We booked with Dora and were very happy. She was our tour guide and the driver was great too. Smaller vehicles can get to La Popa Monastery which was very nice. The old city walking portion was excellent and we saw the fort as well. Stopped for coffee at Juan Valdes which was excellent while our companions shopped for emeralds. There were four of us in the van.

Dora was excellent with substantial knowledge and passion for her home.
I would just like to put in a plug for Dora's tour - we just took it last week and had a wonderful tour. We almost missed it - we didn't realize that they were going to be right at the gangway, and we walked all the way to the cruise terminal where you get the taxis, etc. Wandered around there for awhile and we were about to give up when we saw someone with a sign with the name of the person who organized our tour. We ran up to her, and she said that the tour had already left, but she found a taxi to take us to them (which was a challenge in itself, because none of them wanted to go that short of a distance). She stayed with us in the taxi and got us reunited with our group. We went to La Popa, the Fortress (awesome views at both) the Dungeons and the old city. They then took us (at our request) to a restaurant for a late lunch, which was very tasty, although slow service. We then had time for a very quick bit of emerald shopping, and then back to the boat. Our tour guide was excellent, and Dora called several times when we were on the tour to make sure that all was going well. I was very impressed with the day and the tour! 

Cartagena tour with Dora

 In December of 2009, my elderly mother, sister and I booked a tour with Dora at www.cartagenatour.com We thoroughly enjoyed the attention to detail our tour guide "Dency" showed us. As we disembarked, Dency was waiting for us with a sign indicating our group name. We left promptly at 9AM and did not return to the ship until 2PM. The private, air conditioned van held the three of us, our female driver (great navigator) and our guide Dency. Our first stop at La Popa, was my favorite. What a view!!! Dency explained the surrounding sights, the monastery and even kept the peddlars at a distance. We toured the fort, the walled city, the Dungeons (handicraft shops) and even stopped at a local bakery where Dency bought us pastries. We drove around the city as she pointed out the highlights of Cartagena. I highly recommend this tour group. We paid $90 each and tipped at the end of the fabulous tour. 

We just used Dora for the October 26th tour to the Panama Canal. Everyone in our group of 8 loved the tour which Dora suggested in her extremely prompt emails during the planning stage. We had Dora lead our tour and everything that everyone else said above was true. We all had fun and found Cartagena interesting. I highly recommend her. 

cartagena tour

Dec 18 Tour with Dora

On Dec 18, 2010 my group of 6 and took a 4 hour city tour of Cartagena with Dora. We were cruising on Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas, our first cruise. I had used Cruise critic to find a reputable tour guide and was delighted to discover that every praise for Dora was true. 

She met us promptly at 8:30 AM with a smile and handshake. Two of our members walk with canes and Dora made sure they were accommodated throughout the tour. They did not miss a thing.

Our first stop was the Hill of La Popa to see the views of the city. She timed our arrival so we beat out all the other tours, giving us a quiet and peaceful visit. 

Our next stop was San Felipe de Barajas Fort for great photo ops. Then on to a walk of the beautiful old city. Dora was extremely accommodating of our 2 cane walking members, insuring they had places to rest and sit. 
We visited the Dungeons, now a shopping mall. For those not seeking souvenirs, I suggest talking a short walk around outside the mall where you will see marvelous architecture and the colorful streets of the old city. 

Next stop was a walk of the beautiful old city and San Predo Claver Church. We chose not to go to Pierino Gallo Mall as we are not shoppers. Instead, Dora gave us an extended tour of the city.

Dora is very knowledgable and a thoroughly professional guide. She is personable and accomodating. 

The cost per person was $55 each and included a private van, and tickets to La Popa and San Pedro Claver Church.

Tour with Dora

Returned 2-18-11 from cruise aboard Island Princess. Toured Cartagena with Dora. She met us promptly with a very comfortable van. Our tour included the major sites and lasted approx. 5 hours and was $85 pp (for four; the price decreased with additional passengers). Dora was knowledgeable and very accommodating with our special requests. I would tour with Dora again!


Adding a Recommendation

We just returned from a cruise on the Equinox and used Dora's company to take a private tour of Cartagena. We were lucky enough to have Dency as our guide also and of all the tours we took on the cruise, I found our tour of Cartagena the most enjoyable and the most informative.

We also opted out of the mall, and Dency and our driver Pilar spent the extra time showing us the newer portions of the city near the waterfront. I think you will particularly love the old walled city -- there is very little modern construction, just the old restored Spanish colonial buildings, filled with boutique shops (great window shopping, which was all we could afford), museums, beautiful hotels, cafes, and restaurants.

I'm so glad we avoided the big-bus tour groups offered by the ship and saw Cartagena this way! 



Another raving review for Dora

We toured with Dora last month. Beforehand she was prompt in replying to my emails. She was waiting there when we disembarked and we had a very comfortable bus.

The tour was excellent and Dora was the best tour guide many of us have ever had. She is friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and funny. We had a great day. 

Highly recommend Dora to anyone who is looking for a tour in Cartagena. Thanks Dora!!



I could not have said it better myself. We just returned from the Coral Princess 3/15-3/25 cruise. Dora is fabulous; we all learned a great deal and had fun doing so. Gail




Thank you so much for the great tour of Cartagena. It was a pleasure meeting you and the knowledge you shared provided me great insight to the history of Cartagena. You are truly fortunate to call Cartagena home. Carolyn and I both really enjoyed our visit to Colombia and hope to return one day in the not too far distant future. And of course...if I have any friends heading your way, I will be sure to pass along your contact info. 



Tour with Dora

The walled city of Cartagena is rich in history and very pretty. This was the last port on our Panama Canal cruise and at first we were a bit concerned about visiting Columbia. The reviews on the internet mainly provided a positive view but we still had a few reservations. After our tour of the city, we agreed that it was not only beautiful but that we felt safe during our tour of the city and would love to visit there again in the future. Wanting to make sure that we would not have to worry about finding a knowledgeable guide once we were in port we reserved a tour with Dora De Zubiria, a tour guide we found reference of on www.CruiseCritic.com. She not only met us promptly as promised at the end of our ship's gangway but was very knowledgeable of Cartagena. We started out by going to the hill of La Popa, which not only has a wonderful view of the city but also a monastery with a beautiful chapel and an interesting history. Dora explained the history of the monastery and also provided us with information about her country, Columbia. We then went for a photo stop to the San Felipe de Barajas Fort and Dora shared information regarding the fort and its role in Cartagena's history. We also took in sites of the new part of the city of Cartagena but found the walking tour around the walled city the most beautiful part of Cartagena. Since we visited on Good Friday and had expressed the desire to visit not only the monastery of La Popa but other churches of Cartagena, Dora took us to the Cathedral, the Santo Domingo Church, and the church of Saint Peter Claver within the old city. These were not only beautiful churches but the Columbian people who were in the churches praying that day were an inspiration. While just walking around the old city of Cartagena would have been a beautiful experience, being guided by Dora and listening to her share the history of the city made it very special. Attached are some pictures that we took of the walled city but they cannot capture the true beauty of the city. You must experience it for yourself.


Thank you for the wonderful day and tour in Cartagena. We all enjoyed the tour, your city and you very much. I have posted a very positive comment on Cruise Critic for you. Many in our group thought you were the best tour guide they have ever had and trust me some of them have done lots of cruise tours!!

Hope all is well and thanks again,


Dora the Tour Guide is Fabulous!!

Just back from Cartagena, Columbia. I booked Dora De Zubiria for our private tour (there were four of us). I would highly recommend Dora. She is very responsive (great on email) and very professional. She has a few other guides in her group so you may not get her personally, but our guide Denzi was very good as well. We actually ran into Dora at one of the stops; she is very nice and it was a pleasure to meet her. The air conditioned, clean, van was parked right outside the Celebrity Infinity gangway. It was cool to walk a few feet and there was our guide to meet us with my name displayed loud and clear. We then walked to the van which once again had my name posted in the front windshield (this is great to have as you tour around as there are LOTS of other similar vans and this way you return to the right one). Our guide was very informative and we were shown all of the city highlights. The driver was great as well; it was nice to have a driver as the guide sat with us to give us a narrative as we toured around. We never felt rushed and we were all extremely happy with our tour. You can reach dora dora@cartagenatour.com



Isn't she fantastic!!?? 

We became very close to Dora and still hear from her frequently through email!! Do not miss the fort or La Popa. It was beautiful. 
You will NOT be disappointed with a tour with Dora.