Heyyy Heyy Hey!
I'm so excited to finally share the deets of my trip to Cartagena, Colombia! I had such an amazing time going on adventures throughout the bustling streets of Cartagena from Getsemaní to Boca Grande. Cartagena was filled with colorful colonial buildings, tropical fruits, and fresh seafood, everything you need for an incredible vacation. Below are some tips+tricks for navigating your way through Cartagena.
Where to stay:
Bocagrande is the place to stay if you want to be near the water (Think: Miami beach)
·The hotel that I decided to stay at was Hotel Or in Bocagrande which included daily breakfast!
Hotels that have good reviews:
· Hyatt Regency Cartagena
· Hampton by Hilton Cartagena
· Intercontinental Cartagena
· Hotel Almirante Cartagena- Colombia
The walled city also has a lot of boutique type hotels but can be very pricey.
· Movich Cartagena de Indias is one of the options (you can also get a day pass for $60 to check out their swimming pool that everyone raves about you! I believe it includes one free drink)
Airbnb is also a good option for the walled city and Bocagrande.
Get $40 off your home booking and $15 towards experience when you use Airbnb.
Exchanging money IMO is better at their local bank. Go in the morning because it can get pretty busy.
UBER, UBER, UBER. The taxis will try to rip you off and tbh I trust uber more because at least it has a tracker lol. From the airport to hotel(s) in bocagrande should roughly be about (12,000COP=$4USD)
Signature local meal (coconut rice, sierra fish, platanos, and salad) sooo yummy!
Try their signature drink: Cocoloco right on the beach or at a restaurant.
I went to a lot of local restaurants on the strip in bocagrande and they all tasted good.
Top restaurants that you should visit:
For drinks: El Arsenal (go here for the finger food options + drinks) and Café del Mar (only go here for drinks and the beautiful view. The food is overpriced and not that good lol) .
For food and ambiance: Alma Cartagena (nice at night and food is BOMB).
Best seafood: La Cevicheria (get here early lines tend to be long).
Romantic dinner: Club de Pesca (make a reservation beforehand on the app Restorando).
Desserts: Portal de Los Dulces. (bring cash)
Touristy things: There are different tour guides walking around just go with the one that you find that fits your needs best! BUT ALWAYS NEGOTIATE!!!! They will try to charge you ridiculous prices. The company that I used for all my tours was: Cuadrado Travel (Eduardo is the owner ask for him)
· Volcan de totumo Cartagena (inexpensive tour but be prepared to pay for someone to give you a massage, watch your shoes, take pictures of you, and bathe you. They don’t charge you a base amount, they work based off tips) If you aren’t comfortable with people touching you, I wouldn’t do this lol.
· Rumba en Chiva: a party bus that takes you around the city there’s like 2-3 stops really fun! You end up at a bar at the end of the night. I would recommend this!
· Walled City: you can do a guided tour or just explore solo.
· Playa blanca (day trip) really fun and relaxing not a lot of people. I went by bus. Also, Important to negotiate here.
· Go to Baru island for the day or spend a night: there are very few hotels and airbnbs here so plan ahead!
· A lot of vendors so be aware!!! Just say no if you don’t wish to purchase anything but if you do, negotiate your price and stick to it!
· ALWAYS ASK THE PRICE BEFORE AGREEING TO ANY SERVICE! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!
· Bring headphones to bocagrande beach if you want to relax because the vendors will harass you lol.
If you take photos with the fruit ladies (Palenquera) in the Walled City be prepared to tip because the photos aren't free.
As always feel free to message us if you have any questions or need additional recs. :)