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Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

calif
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14 posts
19 reviews
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Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

I searched these forums for months figuring out the most professional and reliable ground transportation to get from Cartagena to Santa Marta and found no common answer. I let my travel agent plan that leg for us without knowing the company and wouldn't you know it, they chose mar sol. My heart dropped when I saw where they brought me from the airport. Sure enough, the ride was terrible. They promised we would get to our hotel in plenty of time; didn't happen. What should have been a 4 hours drive turned into 6 hours, dropping off countless people and picking up others. Stopping for vendors to sell us food. Also, the van was supposed to leave at 4 and it left at 4:45 (keep in mind our plane arrived at 1:30 and we had a reservation, which we paid a premium for. We had to walk to their office from the airport. The drive was very rude. I could go on and on. Do not use Mar Sol.

Oakland, California
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723 posts
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1. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

Mar Sol: Two hour tour of Barranquilla - no extra charge!!!

Niagara Falls...
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4 posts
68 reviews
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2. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

I guess you are accustomed to travel in North America. To me, the stops and the dropping off and picking and slow moving attitude is part of the charm of Colombia. I personally love it. We cannot expect North American culture to follow us around the world.

Edited: 7:37 pm, January 09, 2013
Oakland, California
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723 posts
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3. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

Save the condescending lecture. I love latin culture, but would prefer not to waste half a day of very limited vacation time touring Barranquilla in the back of van. Particularly when Mar Sol sells it as a direct service.

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
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4. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

Mar Sol operates a multi person door/door shuttle service. They have done business this way for years; Colombians make up the bulk of their client base. Size wise Barranquilla’s population is much larger than Cartagena and Santa Marta combined, based on these statistics I would say they know who butters their bread.

You could opt for a bus, which may also stop in Barranquilla. If you need a more personalized service hire a taxi or a private car/driver.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

I like the bus ride for its stops and varied ridership more than the marsol service...except when i have extra stuff to tug along to taganga & need the door to door service from getsemeni...it cuts out the getsemeni to bus terminal connection & van from santa marta to taganga segment.

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24 posts
20 reviews
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6. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

I had the same experience in Cancun, we landed at 1:30 and got to the hotel at 5 pm, tired, and missed a whole afternoon of quality tourist time. In Colombia it is way easy to travel using public transportation, and that will give a close look of the everyday life better, than the van, I did it once and it took me 2 hours from Barranquilla to Santa Marta. I agree with you

Edited: 2:37 am, January 15, 2013
calif
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14 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

Forgot to add that when we arrived in Cartagena, we had already traveled 20 hours, so this type of service was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I don't have the same expectations as in the US, but this is ridiculous.

Telluride, Colorado
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3 posts
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8. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

Fly into Santa Marta next time, chill out you were on a vacation. It's my 4th trip & have taken Marsol many times, it can be a pain but thats how it is there are more expensive services if you had desired, you get what you pay for in life. they are not direct, they always stop in Baranquilla, blame your travel agent!!!

Telluride, Colorado
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9. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

take a private taxi, get real!!!!

Telluride, Colorado
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3 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Cartagena to Santa Marta shuttle - Mar Sol

so funny, also dont travel during rush hour