Going for a boat ride, watching a beautiful Caribbean sunset, they are both top activities in Cartagena. But they are even better combined! Read on for my review of enjoying the sunset cruise on the Catamaran San Juan in Cartagena, a terrific way to do so.
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San Juan Bahía Sunset Cruise Review
Why do a sunset cruise on the Catamaran San Juan?
Two of the funnest things to do in Cartagena are undoubtedly doing a boat day in the Rosario Islands or in party spot Cholón and enjoying the sunset over the Caribbean. There’s a number of good sunset watching spots in Cartagena, but why not combine a fun boat ride and an amazing view of the sunset?
You can do that on a sunset cruise in Cartagena’s bay. There are a number of sunset boat tours in Cartagena’s bay, some on bigger boats, some on smaller ones. The newest, and dare I say one of the best sunset cruises in Cartagena is on the San Juan Catamaran.
They were nice enough to invite Susana and I to join one of their first trips in exchange for sharing our experience. Full disclosure, we were given free admission, but did pay for our food, and well, we really enjoyed it and are already talking about happily paying and going back with friends!
Read on to learn what to expect and what we loved about the San Juan Catamaran sunset cruise in Cartagena.
San Juan Catamaran Sunset Cruise – What to Expect
The boat is a long and skinny catamaran, different from many catamarans you see. The main covered deck has several large booths along each side with a bar in the central back area, an open area that can double as a dance floor in the middle, and a great front deck where you can hang out and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
During the approximately 2 hour ride, the boat heads out from Cartagena’s central bay just across from the Clocktower and San Pedro Claver Church to the outer part of Cartagena’s bay, where you can see the sun set over the Bocagrande entrance. It always goes at a nice relaxed speed and is large enough you’ll never feel any waves.
You get some great views of the historic buildings of Getsemaní on one side and the more modern skyscrapers of Bocagrande and Castillogrande with the sun starting to descent behind them on the other. Once reaching the outer bay, you get to watch the sun finish its descent over the Caribbean beyond the island of Tierra Bomba. It’s one of the prettiest sunsets you can see in Cartagena.
During the tour, there is an open bar for mojitos, rum punches, and Cuba libres. There are also finger food style appetizers available to snack on during the trip. The return trip after the sun goes down is an especially good time to enjoy them. Of course, it’s also a good chance to do a bit of dancing, and the view of the historic city lit up as you approach it from the water is gorgeous.
What We Liked
We really loved the set up of the boat. We did another sunset cruise on the Sibarita Express a while back that was similar and also had an open bar. It was nice, but San Juan Catamaran just felt nicer and, in particular, less crowded.
The booths feel private and are really comfortable with sofa style 3 side wrap around seating along with a bench. While you could probably seat up to 12 or maybe even more people in a group here, all the groups on our boat were relatively small.
The drinks were also ver good. It’s rare you get a mojito as part of an open bar. We liked the rum punch a bit more though, and well, we didn’t try to Cuba libre but I’m sure it was good.
Also, it’s worth noting that even though it has an open bar, I’d consider this to have felt very family friendly. With the exception of like 3 songs on the way back where they turned the music up a just bit and encouraged people to dance, it was mostly a pretty relaxed atmosphere.
We also were impressed with the food. We had the BBQ chicken nachos, which were tasty came with some solid guac and sour cream, and the calamari, which were well seasoned and came with some really tasty roasted garlic sauce. I also thought the food prices were very reasonable. They make for a great pre-dinner snack to go with the sunset.
Overall, we really had a nice time, and I would highly recommend the Catamaran San Juan for your own Cartagena sunset cruise.
Ready to enjoy the San Juan Catamaran yourself?
If you do go, I hope you found this review helpful and even more importantly, you have a great time!
Cheers and Happy