Juan Ballena Travel Experiences in Cartagena

Juan Ballena Travel Experiences in Cartagena

Juan Ballena Travel Experiences in Cartagena
4.5
Cultural ToursBike ToursWalking ToursEco ToursPrivate Tours
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Juan Ballena is a trusted online travel agency focused on showing you the local and authentic side of Cartagena,giving you a full picture of our culture and lifestyle throughout our professional travel experiences. If Cartagena is on your travel wish list, we make it simple for you. You can find and book online activities with us. There are amazing things to see and do out here. Let’s go exploring
Cartagena, Colombia

Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Travellers talk about
(8 reviews)
(7 reviews)
(2 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles136 reviews
Excellent
107
Very good
12
Average
4
Poor
3
Terrible
10

louisa m
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Booked a bus through this company and after a last minute change of plans beyond my control, this company cancelled and refunded me accordingly, thank you - good customer service
Written 30 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

johnpU4044XS
Rapid City, SD3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
My family and I visited Cartagena and used Juan Ballena street food tour after it was recommended by a friend. After have a little trouble spotting our guide Inri he found me after searching the crowd calling my name :). Inri was amazing. He guided us through sections of Cartagena taking us to a wonderful selection of street vendor, small food shops, coffee shops, and into getsansmi where we were treat to more delights. Inri knew everyone and even spotted some guests from previous days that he helped with food suggestions.
At one point he led us to a small spot off the street where a women he knew invited us try some hand made ice cream…. Seriously? We are from NYC- CT area… this doesn’t happen.
Oh and as a last hurrah, he led us into the city park to find sloths and families of monkeys in the trees. Not joking.
USE THIS TOUR GROUP and make sure to tip INRI if your lucky enough to get him.
This made our trip.
Written 16 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stela Z
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
When deciding to visit an island beach off Cartagena, I wanted a quiet beach, no parties, no crowds. The Coralita beach was exactly that. Small, little and secluded, about 45 minutes boat ride from the Cartagena port. The staff was so nice, the included lunch was amazing, I had ceviche, my daughter had pasta, which she liked better than the ones in Rome)!, my husband had seafood casserole. Water was nice, we swam, used the paddle boards, and snorkel masks, and really enjoyed ourselves. There were about 20 people on our day, a few coupes, a few families. We had a wonderful time !
Written 17 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tanya R
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We had an absolutely amazing, truly Colombian experience on the mangrove crab fishing tour. Luis Rafael was our guide and he was beyond excellent! He guided our boat through the mangrove swamps, pointed out many features of the local ecosystem, many species of birds, and was so fun and friendly. We were shown how to throw the fishing net, bait the crab traps, and then retrieve them. The tour then went on to a lovely local family’s home for preparation of our lunch which included our crab catch from the morning, and an incredible traditional Colombian dish of fried plantain, rice, salad, and mojarra fish, all prepared over wood fire. Helena and her family showed us much kindness and hospitality. I’d highly recommend this trip if you’d like an authentic Colombian nature experience.
Written 15 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chaena M
19 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
This review is specifically for the Isla Palma beach day trip experience. The day on Isla Palma itself was beautiful and relaxing. The weather was perfect, the ocean is clear & blue, and there’s plenty of lounge chairs w/ umbrellas to be able to spend a relaxing day at the beach. I loved that we got a refreshing cocktail upon arrival and that it wasn’t super crowded like Isla Baru. The lunch was also decent which included fried fish, chicharron, rice, salad, small slice of cake, & fresh juice. The reason I gave this experience 3 stars was due to the speedboat experience coming back from Isla Palma to Cartagena. I’m pretty sure it was just our boat, but there was little regard for safety besides having us wear life vests. On our way back from Isla Palma the ocean was as a little choppy, however the captain drove the boat carelessly. There were multiple times where it felt like we were riding a roller coaster. People on the boat screamed through out the ride back due to the speed and bumps along the way back. We flew off of our seats multiple times through out the ride back and the next day I had a headache and neck pain due to turbulence on the boat. I’ve been on plenty of speedboats to know that the captain was not driving the boat safely. We were going so fast that we even passed a boat that left 20 minutes before us.
Written 11 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Russell S
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
If you are visiting Cartagena I HIGHLY recommend booking your experiences through Juan Ballena. Estefi was incredibly helpful in making my entire trip absolutely perfect. I booked a catamaran daytrip which was truly a luxury experience sailing along the beautiful coast. Exploring the city with the help of the local touch from Juan Ballena is what will make all the difference in your time in Cartagena and I can't recommend them enough.
Written 27 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Felix C
3 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
Booked two engagements with Juan Ballena. One was an airport transfer, which went smoothly.

The other was a trip to Palenque. I don't like to leave bad reviews because we like to support local businesses, but this was a terrible experience. We paid for a private tour, but the local tour guide made us wait 40 minutes for another, bigger group to show up and then combined our two groups. He then spent the entire day taking care of them and frequently ignored us.

We traveled with two kids, and it was really hot. At the end of the tour, the local guide said he would take a motorcycle to the restaurant for lunch, leaving us to walk the entire way back -- until we complained.

Palenque is so culturally rich, but the tour didn't do the place justice.
Written 2 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TOYAFROMCHICAGO
Crystal Lake, IL20 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
I booked a few tours with Juan Ballena svc. One my Boat tour was canceled along with a mix up for my bus transportation going to Santa Marta from Cartagena .

A lot of back and forth . But the Volcano Tour was nice that worked out well.
I would say with any tours do your research on cost and ratings of the company.
I booked way in advance but still issues came up. The transportation I could have waited until I arrived do to rate being lower. All and all I had a great time in Colombia .
Written 4 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark P
Wynnewood, PA345 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Amaury, our driver was excellent. Not an easy drive and the driver has to wait at Palenque while you have your tour. He did not speak much English but used Google translate on his cell phone to convey information to us. Our local guide, Germin, was very enthusiastic, very informative, and spoke good English. He is a very good representative of his town, its history, and its culture. We enjoyed participating in the music and dancing, traditional herbal healer, and other sights and activities. A fascinating place and history. The lunch was also plentiful and delicious. The tour was also very reasonably priced considering there were just the 2 of us.
As for Juan Ballena Travel it appears that overall they do a very good job with their tours. The only issue was that the office does not seem to pay full attention to information on its own web site. We chose a Saturday tour because the web site stated pickup in Cartagena was 10:00 a.m. Fortunately I got up a bit earlier and turned on my phone, only to find out that pickup was at 8:30. We negotiated 9:00 but missed some of our breakfast. Web site also states water is provided but also bring plenty of water for the hot weather. Water was not provided so only the latter is true. The office kept asking for our pickup location and lunch preference from 5 choices. Pickup location was part of the online reservation procedure. When we got to the restaurant there was really no choice that we heard. Not a problem because it was a plentiful and delicious fish meal. But the office people should maybe look at the web site and conform it to the actual tour.
Written 1 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erika B
Fort Myers, FL51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
We used Juan Ballena for a day trip to Coralina Island (Islas del Rosario). We were a group of nine adults.
The communication with this company was straighforward and professional, above expectations compared to other experiences we had in coordinating activities, hotels, and transportation on the coast of Colombia. Our group was picked up at 7:50 a.m., precisely as scheduled, and we fitted into the vehicles comfortably.
Upon arrival, the lines outside the entry door were chaotic. Be sure you inquire with the officials wearing a vest for directions and be specific about the destination and tour company you are there with; otherwise, you risk making the wrong and possibly long line. Once we were informed where to head, we found a representative that escorted us to the marina's waiting area. We started boarding a small craft and took off at 9 a.m. We arrived around 9:50 a.m.
The staff at Coralina was very friendly and accomodating. They do their best to ensure you have a great experience, and we did. Good drinks, and while the food was not the best we had during our stay in Cartagena, we still enjoyed it. We loved that the island feels semi-private and it was quiet. Even though there are people lodging there, since they limit the number of day-pass guests that can visit, there is still a sense of privacy. There was no loud music, nor was it crowded. Another perk is that we did not have to worry about vendors. This is a great option for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful water and scenic views.
The only unpleasant event we had was related to the third-party boating company. It was a small craft with about 16-18 small benches that moved whenever we hit a wave. Upon returning to Cartagena, one of the motors stalled. The motor was malfunctioning before departing, and they decided to risk it instead of switching to a working vessel. The motor was fixed, but it was an unpleasant time.
For future reference, we will make sure to have Juan Ballena's telephone number handy.
We reported this to Juan Ballena afterward, and they have taken the necessary steps to address this and prevent it from happening again.
We appreciate their post-actions and that they have taken our concerns very seriously. This is the second time we have used Juan Ballena, and we trust that the boat mishap will not be an issue in future trips.
Written 5 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 70

Juan Ballena Travel Experiences in Cartagena - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

All Cartagena HotelsCartagena Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Cartagena
All things to do in Cartagena
Day Trips in Cartagena
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday homesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire