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Colombia Part 2 W/ Jetblue And LAN SMR-BOG-FLL-SFO  
User currently offlinemikeology From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 143 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8816 times:


Welcome to part 2 of my trip report to Colombia. This segment will start with our bus ride from Cartagena to Santa Marta. Along with the flight from SMR to BOG and then the flight home.

Flight map for Part 2


So after spending 3 days in Cartagena it was time to head to Santa Marta. They are many bus services offered but we went with Marsol. Marsol uses Mercedes vans for the 4 hour trip. They seat about 15. They have TV and AC. Not bad at all. And for $42,000 pesos well worth the 4 hour journey. And as a bonus you don't have to meet them they pick you up directly from your hotel or hostel

The van. Nothing glamorous but comfy for the 4 hour journey. TV was left off


Legroom on the Mercedes Van. Not good


River Crossing


A lot of poverty along the way to Santa Marta




Just arrived at our hostel in Santa Marta. Glad to be off the van. On a side note all though not too far away the weather in Santa Marta is much more bearable than Cartagena


Taking a stroll around the big new mall in Santa Marta. AC is good. They have a movie theater too. Tempting to check out the new Batman flick but who wants to see a movie on vacation right?


After that we decide to catch a cab down to the waterfront for some dinner. Cab had to stop and get gas


Busy streets in Santa Marta


Finally at the waterfront. Warm with a nice breeze


More Arroz and ceviche for me


Day 2 we decided to get away from the heat. They offered a tour of coffee factory in the small town of Minca up in the mountains. It was a good change of pace and very cool to tour

Our ride up the mountain


The town of Minca


Donkey/Mini Horse looking thing


Coffee factory Lavictoria



Old willy's jeep




San Francisco!



After the tour was over we were able to buy some coffee and learn about the family. Apparently its owned by a German couple that we passed on the drive up.

Following the tour we were taken on a hike through the jungle to a waterfall. Not sure why but this felt more like Colombia to me than Cartagena. I guess growing up and always seeing green and mountainous terrain was what i expected. Once reaching the waterfall thunder and rain came out of nowhere. An awesome experience





The waterfall just before the rain storm


Our van awaiting our return


We were taken back to Minca for a small lunch.


Small store


After 3 days in Santa Marta it was time to head to Bogota.





View from the rooftop



LAN 3143
Boeing 737-700
Seat 10A

SMR is a very small airport. Everything is open. Only a few check in counters and 1 food court. Thats it! However it is literally right on the beach which makes for some nice views.

Check in hall


LAN Counter


Very close to water


Upstairs Terminal


Waiting area. They had AC which made it all better. Good spotting area too


Gate and Runway



Avianca from BOG?


Our LAN flight landing. Sorry awful pic




Honestyl I thought it would be a stairs boarding here. Couldn't believe they used jetways


Our 737 Cabin


View out the window. Winglet


In flight service is same as the inbound. Drink service followed by Juan Valdez snack box.

Landed in BOG. Huge weather change


El Dorado Intl


New Terminal should be nice


Some pics of Bogota





Last night in Bogota I decided to live it up. Found a good deal on travelocity for Embassy suites $99 for the night wasn't too bad.



My last meal



B6 1558
Airbus A320
Seat 9D

Check in hall


Security was strick. "did you own these bags?" "did you pack them yourself?" Yikes. Even though they grilled me I was through fairly quickly. Time to grab some fuel.

Crepes and Waffles



Waiting area


Any activity?


After clearing security it was on to the gate. Lots of shopping to pass through. I though about blowing the last of the pesos I had but nothing caught my eye or was too expensive



Before boarding a security team came and went through everyones bags. Didn't bother me but did slow down the boarding process. I guess this is normal for international departures in South America?

On the plane. Legroom is still good.



Again in flight service is the same. Drink service followed by a sncak. I actually had some social seatmates this time. A fellow who works and commutes between Florida and Colombia and a lady also with a connecting flight in Florida to New York.

After clearing customs it was on to baggage claim.

Last shot of my plane from Bogota


FLL. Not my favorite place. Yes I may be spoiled to have such nice local airports as SFO or SJC but this place is a dump. Low ceilings. Weird green carpet. Hot and smelly. People here dont seem to know the differnce between a walkway and a waiting area. I understand that there were a lot of delayed flights to New York but something could be done to round up all the confused people

Check in



Security cleared and on to gate


See what I mean



B6 1558
Airbus A320
Seat 5A

Cabin shot. Newer style seats


My view for the flight home


Being a Saturday the programming on tv was better. I decided to watch Forgetting Sarah Marshall


Service again was a drink and a snack. Coke and pop chips for me


Over Texas


Crossing into California with the setting sun


Thats San Jose, CA below. Bad pic I know


Pulling up to the gate


With B6 you walk back the same way you came. So its a long trek through international A down to baggage claim




Down the stairs and i'm home free. No not my driver.


And that concludes the report. I had a great time in Colombia. I would definitely go back just not during the heat. Cartagena is a great city with lots to see. I think 3 days was too much in Santa Marta. Its small and dirty. Unless you plan each day with a tour to minca or tayrona national park there just isn't that much. Bogota was a huge weather shock. Felt even colder than my home of San Francisco. Wish I had spent more than 2 days there but i'm sure ill be back.

Can't say enough good things about JetBlue. Price for my trip was good. The seats and entertainment were awesome. For the night flight to FLL a snack was just fine. I think they could have more food offerings only because in FLL comign home they isn't a whole lot to eat. They have little counters with grab and go stuff that all looked awful. But besides that its a big thumbs up for B6. Best LCC in my opinion/

LAN was great too. For such small short flights I thought the service was great. The 737 from SMR was a bit snug. Maybe they can change that route and use the A320?  

My other trip reports

Colombia Part 1 W/ JetBlue And LAN SFO-FLL-BOG-CTG (by mikeology Jul 31 2012 in Trip Reports)

SFO - ICN Round Trip On UA Business Pics (by mikeology Mar 12 2012 in Trip Reports)

6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 8398 times:


interesting report, thanks for sharing.
I'm glad you had a better expecience on B6 than I.
I flew them a few times and was left with a rather average expercience.
You can read the full review here:
Jetting The Blue Way To New York! (by MSS658 Feb 4 2012 in Trip Reports)


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinemikeology From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8144 times:

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 1):
interesting report, thanks for sharing.
I'm glad you had a better expecience on B6 than I.
I flew them a few times and was left with a rather average expercience.
You can read the full review here:
Jetting The Blue Way To New York! (by MSS658 Feb 4 2012 in Trip Reports)

Thanks. I recall reading this a few weeks back in preperation for my trip. Sorry you experience wasn't as good as mine. Think you will give them a 3rd chance?

User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5158 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8025 times:

Thanks for the report. I believe this is the first B6 report out of Colombia. All security on flights ex-Latin America (and especially Colombia) is strict.


PS: FLL airports carpets are hideous!

Live, and let live.
User currently offlinemikeology From United States of America, joined Mar 2012, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7819 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
Thanks for the report. I believe this is the first B6 report out of Colombia. All security on flights ex-Latin America (and especially Colombia) is strict.

Thanks. And yeah im surprised there wasn't one this route before. Glad I was able to report it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 3):
PS: FLL airports carpets are hideous!

Yeah it was pretty bad. Hopefully they do something about it

User currently offlinefshplns From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6507 times:

Have taken several trips to the tropics (Costa Rica), and I have personally found that there is only 2 seasons down there, WET and DRY, and always hot and muggy around the coasts. Same with Columbia.


User currently offlinecotparampguy From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 237 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6451 times:

Quoting fshplns (Reply 5):

They're swapping it all out for a terrazzo floor. Also a new food court with 3 new options and everything foodwise will be beyond security. Jetblue is investing quite a bit of money into the terminal. Shame we can't tear it down and build it like terminal one.

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