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Last Minute Vacations To Cartagena

Cheap Vacations to Cartagena, Columbia

Quick Facts

Cartagena, Columbia is known as one of the most romantic and impressive towns in the western hemisphere. It is the Venice of Columbia and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a large Caribbean beach resort city on the northern coast of Columbia and not only has great beaches but also plenty of colonial history and charm. Cartagena is a popular cruise-ship pit stop so tourists can enjoy inside the city walls, explore cobblestone streets and dine at excellent restaurants.

Getting There & Other Transportation

Cartagena’s airport, Rafael Núñez Airport is located a mere 3 km outside of historic Old Town. After your flight arrives at the airport, your best bet is to take a taxi, however a less expensive route is by bus.

The best way to explore the contrasting modern and old parts of the city is by foot. If you plan to take a taxi, you can hail one down from the curbside. Be sure to ask how much the ride will cost before entering the taxi.

Hotels & Places to Stay

Tourists either stay within the city walls of the Old Town, outside the city walls in Getsemani, or toward the beaches. In the city walls, you can find midrange to expensive options for hotels. Getsemani is great for those on a budget or backpackers. Resorts on the beach are where you should stay if you are looking for an all-inclusive resort.

Here are some options for each type of traveler:

Historic Old Town:

El Marques

Hotel Casa La Fe

Hotel Casa del Curato


Hotel El Viajero

Hostal Baluarte

Hostal La Casona de Getsemani


Capilla del Mar

Las Americas Global Resort


Dining & Nightlife

If you want some great local cuisine, the seafood in Cartagena is a must try. There are several excellent restaurants in the city and on the beach which cater to tourists staying in Cartagena as well as those who have arrived via cruise ship. As mentioned before, Cartagena is known for its romantic atmosphere. So, it’s not surprising to hear inside the city walls you will find some of Columbia’s most atmospheric and romantic restaurants.

Outside of the city walls, there are some less than charming eateries offering cheaper dining options.

Here is a list of some excellent restaurants in Cartagena:

La Vitrola

One of Cartagena’s most traditional restaurants. Nightly live music.

San Pedro

Fusion cuisine.

Club de Pesce

Caribbean cuisine.

De Oliva

Mediterranean cuisine.

Donde Olano

French cuisine.

La Cocina de Socorro

Caribbean cuisine.

As far as nightlife goes, Cartagena has a lively scene. In the Zona Rosa area you will find many bars, taverns and discotheques. Around Avenidia del Arsenal there are many club options to choose from. Some other places are La Escollero (Latin dancing) in the Bocagrande area, and there are several bars and clubs on Avenida Pedro Herdia, in the metropolitan area.


There are many things to do in Cartagena, Columbia. Here is a list of activities to experience while in Cartagena:


The most popular beach is Bocagrande. While the beach is known to be average, it is usually lively and has an active social scene as people mingle and enjoy their time. Another popular beach is Playa Blanca which is located on the island of Baru. It is a great place for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. You can get a boat ticket or hire one of the local fishermen to take you to the island.


Guided tours are offered to help you navigate your way around the beautiful Old Town. The tours that are available are: walking tour, tour by chiva (open air bus) or horse drawn carriage.

Scuba Diving:

Isla Rosario not only has pristine beaches, but you can spend day and overnight trips to this island. Diving here is a wonderful experience and they offer night dives as well.

Currency, Culture and Language

The official language in Columbia is Spanish.

The official currency in Columbia is the Columbian Peso (COP).