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Yates Alcatraz

#278 of 466 Tours in Cartagena
Cartagena, Colombia
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About Yates Alcatraz
A day tour aboard the yacht Alcatraz crossing the archipelago of Islas del Rosario with a stop at St. Martin de Pajarales island to visit the Aquarium and then visiting Playa Blanca in the island of Baru where's offers a typical lunch. Departure 8:00 am Return 5:30 pm
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Yates Alcatraz
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smirkingman wrote a review Jul 2019
Geneva15 contributions9 helpful votes
The Alcatraz, aptly named, is a boat of pensionable vintage which could kindly be described as scruffy. Don’t believe the ticket salesman, water is double the price of on shore, the only free drink is an infant’s portion of lemonade with lunch. It starts nicely with a speech about the environment and lovely things you will see (assuming you speak fluent Spanish). Then the DJ sets about lathering the pleb into a shrieking sing-along of popular songs (think « La Macarena ») assisted by a sound system that leaves your mind numb and your ears whistling. Meanwhile, on the foredeck, the local guides are gulping whiskey at a frightening rate and after the 1st bottle they communicate solely by shouting. After 2H30 of aural water boarding, we were dumped on an island, where hundreds of tourists vie for shade in an area barely larger than my sitting room, with a jacuzzi-sized beach that hasn’t enough water to wet your kneecaps. Hawkers galore pester you incessantly to buy their plastic beads which they portray as pearls, at prices that would relieve the national debt. Back to the floating prison for another 90 minutes of torture, then to stop 2, a beautiful white beach where everyone fights to get served a piece of dry fish at a shanty restaurant designed to seat a quarter of the boat’s capacity. Every square inch of sand is for rent, hassling is a permanent fixture; if they could, even the seagulls would try and rip you off. Thanks to google maps we realized that we in fact on the mainland and after fobbing off half a dozen con artists we finally made the half hour slog to the car park and paid 75000 COP for a taxi back to Cartagena. Probably a rip-off too, but we were prepared to pay ANY price not to reboard the boat. 50 years of travelling, the worst experience I’ve ever suffered.
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Date of experience: July 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Ana Elisa L wrote a review Jan 2019
Chapel Hill, North Carolina6 contributions1 helpful vote
Loud, obnoxious DJ makes trip unbearable. Save your hearing! No tomen este tour! El volumen es inaguantable.
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Date of experience: January 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Thomas H wrote a review Sep 2018
Guernsey, United Kingdom10 contributions13 helpful votes
Short version: If you want to spend 6 hours on a painfully slow boat, 1 hour trapped in a small box on an island (unless you want to pay extra to see captive dolphins in small pens) and 2 hours on a beach with a very dodgy lunch, people harassing to flog you things you don’t want and jet skis threatening to crash into you if you go in the sea, this is for you! If not, please stay away and get a speed boat to the other islands. Long version: We were told it would leave at 8am - it leaves at 8.45. We were then sold snorkelling gear for rent for 30mil pesos, even though we weren’t going to a place where you can snorkel. They did give us our money back for this when we complained. The boat is painfully slow and takes about 3 hours to get to the first island. The first island is an aquarium and a tourist trap. If you choose not to pay extra to see dolphins in small pens, you are stuck in a tiny area with nowhere to go (I can see why they call it Alcatraz). Then you go to Baru which takes another two hours to get there. There you have a very dodgy lunch and will then be harassed non-stop by people trying to sell you things for the next hour or so. If you go in the water, there is a realistic chance you’ll be hit by someone trying to sell jet ski tours and speeding around feet from people swimming. Then you finally go back. The entire 6 hours on the boat you will have a man trying to create a party vibe that quickly becomes irritating and really tedious. At the end he does a performance which, to his credit, is entertaining and he clearly works hard for a living. Overall, it’s a massive waste of a day. The majority is spent on a boat and the bits that aren’t you will probably be wishing you were anywhere else. Please don’t make the same mistake we did!
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Date of experience: September 2018
2 Helpful votes
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Matt K wrote a review May 2018
2 contributions6 helpful votes
Do not waste your time with this company! 2 and a half hour journey on old noisy boat, to a crappy little island the felt like the real Alcatraz... We were entrapped there for 1 hour, no beach and no where to visit without having to pay extra. Boat then travels for another 1 and half hours to player blanca (mainland) for a terrible meal that made some of us sick. 2 hours on this crappy beach that is not fun for swimming nor snorkeling. Harassed by local massage lady's wanting 120mil COP for a 10min massage. Another 1 and a half hour journey home. Complete waste of a day.
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Date of experience: May 2018
2 Helpful votes
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bung5 wrote a review May 2018
Zahara de los Atunes, Spain92 contributions31 helpful votes
Boat takes 3.5 hours to get to the beach playa Blanca after spending 40mins at the aquarium which costs extra 30mil. Only get about 2 hours at the beach then return back . Average lunch where I saw them adding back uneaten rice to the main pot.
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Date of experience: May 2018
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