View of the Colombia letters at Port Oasis in Cartagena Colombia

Port Oasis Ecopark, A Cartagena Colombia Cruise Port Guide

The cruise port and terminal in Cartagena, Colombia, is a unique cruise port to visit. The Cartagena, Colombia cruise port, can accommodate five cruise ships at a time. However, most of the time there are less than five cruise ships stopping at this unique port of call at the same time. If the Cartagena, Colombia cruise port is one of the stops on your cruise, count yourself lucky to be able to visit the Port Oasis Ecopark at this unique cruise port. 

Port Oasis Ecopark  

The Port Oasis Ecopark is a conservation center at the cruise port in Cartagena, Colombia. When the cruise port was built, a nearby forest was included as part of the cruise giving rise to the Port Oasis Ecopark. This made the cruise port the perfect natural oasis for the many local species of animals found in the area. 

The Port Oasis Ecopark has over 1000 different animals and 86 different species of animals that are housed in the wildlife rescue center at the cruise port. Many of the animals you can see here were trafficked or need a place to recuperate until they can be returned into their natural habitat. A goal of the Port Oasis Ecopark is to allow the animals to recuperate in a somewhat natural habitat, with several animals having the freedom to leave. You will see many animals here, such as Sloths, Anteaters, and, if you’re lucky, Howler Monkeys and Titi Monkeys. 

As you walk towards Port Oasis you will come to the beautiful entrance welcoming you to this magnificent cruise port. The entrance to Port Oasis has a beautiful shade made of a large canopy covered with flowers. 

View of the Entrance to Port Oasis
The Entrance to Port Oasis

Things to See and Do at Port Oasis Ecopark

If Port Oasis at the Cartagena, Colombia cruise port is one of the ports of call on your cruise itinerary, consider yourself lucky.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the many things you can do and see in this unique cruise port in Cartagena, Colombia. 

Visit the Flamingos Garden

As you enter the Port Oasis Ecopark from the cruise dock, one of the first areas you will come across is the Flamingos Garden. The Flamingos Garden is quite large and a great place to see many flamingos and other types of birds. In this garden area, you will find a beautiful waterfall feature and a pond at the corner.  The pond is filled with many Koi fish. 

Flamingos in the Flamingos Garden
Flamingos in the Flamingos Garden

As you walk around the Port Oasis Ecopark, you will notice that there are many peacocks are roaming around. You will see the peacocks in many areas of the cruise port, and the Flamingos Garden is no exception. Aside from the many beautiful peacocks, you will also see ducks, black swans, and several other types of birds. If you look carefully at the trees, you may find some green iguanas hanging around.  

A peacock on the grounds at Port Oasis
A beautiful peacock

Parrot Emporium

As you make your way through Port Oasis, you will come to the Parrot Emporium. There are many beautiful and colorful species of parrots and macaws in this area. There are so many parrots and macaws that it is relatively easy to take a photo with a parrot or a macaw either beside you or relatively near you. The beautiful gardens such as the Ginger Garden in this area make for a perfect spot to take an unforgettable Instagrammable photo. 

View of two beautiful macaw birds at Port Oasis
Two beautiful Macaw birds at Port Oasis

Visit the Two Aviaries at the Port Oasis Ecopark

At the Port Oasis Ecopark, there are two aviaries that you can visit, the Birds of Prey Aviary and the Wings of Colombia Aviary. The aviaries are located towards the exit of the Port Oasis Ecopark past the Juan Valdez coffee shop going towards the taxi and bus area. Both aviaries are enclosed but there are doors for you to enter the aviaries so that you can get an up close look at the birds housed in the aviaries. 

Unlike the Macaws and other birds who frequent the area or call the Port Oasis Ecopark home, the birds in the aviaries do not leave the area. Instead, the aviary is their home. 

Grab a Bite to Eat or a Drink While Enjoying the Ecopark

The snack bar is located just before the Tropical Terrace next to the Colombian Shopping Village. You can purchase food like fries, burgers, empanadas, and arepas from the snack bar. The snack bar also sells beverages from water and sodas to beers, mixed drinks, and shots.

As it can get very hot during a visit to Cartagena, Colombia. A stop at the snack bar for a paleta, otherwise known as a popsicle in English, makes for a great treat. There are many flavors available for purchase. Of course, this will depend on the number of visitors to the snack bar. The paletas go very quickly as they are a popular treat at the snack bar. Cash and credit card payment is accepted by the snack bar at the Port Oasis Ecopark.

View of the snack shack at Port Oasis
The snack shack at Port Oasis

Stop By the Tropical Terrace and WIFI Zone

While spending time at Port Oasis Ecopark, you will have access to WiFi in the Tropical Terrace area. The Tropical Terrace is a covered area with tables and chairs. This is a great place to get out of the hot Colombian sun while spending time outdoors. 

Wifi is available here for a small fee. The cost for WiFi ranges from $3.00 for 1 hour, $5.00 for 2 hours, and $10.00 for 24 hours. Having WiFi, even for a small charge, can be very convenient especially if you do not have a Wifi plan on your cruise ship. Be aware that the WiFi connection is public and not a secured connection so you should be careful as you surf the web. 

Additionally, if you need to use the restroom, there are bathrooms conveniently located next to the Tropical Terrace, past the snack bar.

Stop By Juan Valdez Coffee Shop

If you need a pick-me-up after a day exploring Cartagena or the Ecopark, stop by the Juan Valdez Coffee Shop. The Juan Valdez Coffee Shop is located next to the Colombian Shopping Village and Flamingos Garden. At the Juan Valdez Coffee Shop, you can get both hot and iced coffee. You can also purchase bags of great-tasting, high-quality Colombian coffee. There is also instant coffee available for purchase at the coffee shop. If you are looking to purchase a mug as a souvenir to take home, you are in luck. There are many cute coffee mugs available for purchase in the coffee shop. There are a variety of mugs, such as ceramic and metal mugs.

View of the Juan Valdez coffee shop at Port Oasis
The Juan Valdez coffee shop at Port Oasis

Colombian Shopping Village

If you decide not to venture out to the city of Cartagena and would like to purchase souvenirs to take home, you are in luck. You can purchase many souvenirs in the Ecopark at the Colombian Shopping Village. The Colombian Shopping Village is a fairly large building filled with many souvenirs tempting you to take them home. Many of the souvenirs you will find in the Colombian Shopping Village are the same kind that you will find in the Old City of Cartagena.

The center section of the shopping building has jewelry for purchase. One of the main gems you will find for purchase are Emeralds. Cartagena is known for having beautiful high quality Emeralds. And luckily, you will be able to find many beautiful pieces in the Colombian Shopping Village. The jewelry section takes up the center of the store, with the rest of the souvenirs surrounding the jewelry cases.

The Colombian Shopping Village also sells hats, shirts, dresses, and other clothing. It also sells trinkets such as magnets and keychains. If you are interested in art, you can find decorative framed pieces showcasing the colorful Spanish Colonial buildings you see in Cartagena. If you are interested in pottery art, you can also find decorative pottery pieces.

The Colombia Shopping Village
The Colombia Shopping Village

Purchase a Wide Variety of Coffee and Sweets at the Colombian Shopping Village

If you are looking to take some coffee and sweet treats home, you will also find these items in the Colombian Shopping Village. There is a fairly large selection of Colombian coffee for purchase. You will want to check the labels on the bags of coffee to make sure you are choosing the type of roast you prefer. You will find the standard types of roast, such as light roast, medium roast, or dark roast. I do suggest buying some, as some of the best coffee I have had has been purchased in Colombia. While I get my coffee in town, the coffee available at the cruise port is also very good.

Near the coffee section, you will find many sweets available for purchase. Typically, when you purchase sweets when visiting a port, you can only take them on the ship if they are in packaging. So, there is a possibility (depending on the rules of your cruise line) that you will not be able to take the sweets you purchased while sight-seeing back on the ship. I haven’t had any problems with Royal Caribbean or Carnival; however, every cruise line has its own rules.

Luckily, sweets purchased at the Colombian Shopping Village are packaged. This will make it easier for you to be able to bring your sweets on board your ship and take them home to share.

Visit the Emerald Gallery

The Emerald Gallery is located behind the snack bar past the Juan Valdez Cafe. From what we were told, the Emerald Gallery has a replica Emerald mine and other information regarding the mining of Emeralds in Colombia. However, an interesting fact about the Emerald Gallery is that it is easy to miss. And sadly, we did exactly that. We captured a photo of the outside wall but didn’t realize the Emerald Galley was right in front of us. Maybe next time we will be able to venture inside and explore the gallery.

Visit the Duty-Free Store

You will find a duty-free store in port. At the duty-free store, you can purchase alcohol, cigarettes, and beauty products. The store is in the building before entering the Port Oasis Ecopark after getting off the ship.

Frequently Asked Questions

We thought of several questions that might be asked regarding a visit to Port Oasis Ecopark. We hope our answers are helpful to you if you are planning a cruise that stops at this incredible cruise port.

View of the Port Oasis direction sign
Port Oasis Direction sign

How Do You Get to the Port Oasis Ecopark?

The Port Oasis Ecopark is about a 5-minute walk from the cruise ship. As you make your way from the cruise ship, you will follow a walking path that will lead you directly to Port Oasis. The entrance has a beautiful shade made of a large canopy covered with flowers. 

Is There a Location Where I Can Exchange Currency?

Yes! There is a Currency Exchange office in Port Oasis where you can exchange money for Colombian currency. The currency exchange office is open from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on port days.

Where are the Taxis Located?

To find the parking lot where you will find taxis available, you will walk through the Port Oasis Ecopark to get to the transportation area. This is the same area where the shuttle buses drop off passengers after an excursion.

How Do I Find My Excursion Bus?

Every cruise line has its own operating procedures, so this information might be different for each cruise line. Excursion buses usually wait in the parking area located near the cruise ship. When we cruised with Royal Caribbean, the buses were right outside, and there were many cruise staff with signs pointing all passengers to the right location and the right bus. Cruise staff go out of their way to assist their passengers. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask one of the crew members, as they are always willing to help.

What is there to see in Cartagena, Colombia?

There are many things to see in Cartagena, Colombia. The cruise line will offer its cruise passengers many shore excursions that take off from the Cartagena cruise port. Cartagena is a UNESCO World Heritage site with many incredible things to do and many historical landmarks to explore. Some of the shore excursions offered are a visit to the walled city, a walking tour of Cartagena, and Hop-on Hop-off bus tours of Cartagena.

Do You Have to Walk to Port Oasis Ecopark?

You can walk if you would like. However, if you do not want to walk to Port Oasis Ecopark, you can take the shuttle bus from the cruise ship. The shuttle bus to the Ecopark is free and available all day at the port. The shuttle bus stops right at the entrance to the Port Oasis Ecopark. If you want to go back to your cruise ship, you can either walk or take the shuttle bus from the Port Oasis Ecopark back over to your cruise ship.

If you do choose to walk, the distance between the cruise ship and Port Oasis is relatively short, about a five or so minute walk. However, after a day of sightseeing in the hot sun, the walk might feel longer. 

Is There Only One Exit Out of the Port Oasis Ecopark?

No, there are two exits out of the Port Oasis Ecopark into the city of Cartagena. The exit in the back by the aviaries will take you to an area where you can easily get a taxi. There is another exit in the back. This exit is past the Colombia letters sign and is an exit from the Port directly into the city. At the second exit, you will likely see many people trying to sell tours of Cartagena. 

If you are interested in seeing Cartagena on your own, you may want to exit by the taxi area. In the taxi area, you can easily get a taxi and head out to where you want to go without being bombarded with tour offers. Also, the cruise port is in a more industrial area. So, you will need to get transportation to the part of Cartagena you would like to explore. For example, Old Town Cartagena, which is a popular tourist spot, is about a 20-minute drive from the cruise port.

Is Spending Time at the Port Oasis Ecopark Worth it?

Absolutely! Spending time at the Port Oasis Ecopark is definitely worth it. There are many wonderful things to see at Port Oasis, such as the many types of plants, flowers, and trees that are native to Colombia. Port Oasis is also a great place to see many species of animals that are found in Colombia and that are recuperating before being reintroduced into their natural habitat. It is a unique cruise port with a worthwhile and beneficial purpose for Colombian wildlife. You will enjoy visiting Port Oasis at the Cartagena, Colombia cruise port!

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