I am off to spend my last 3 weeks of my travels before flying home back to reality in Cartgena. Yes I am going to be soaking up the sun and relaxing and enjoying the beautiful Caribbean coast.
I do know the dangers of going to Colombia alone but I have heard so much about it and the one place I would love to go.
I would like to know if anyone has stayed in Cartgena and could do me the favour and recommend a hostal somewhere?
I have stayed in Cartagena for a while and personal safety won't be a problem, but I would advise you to exercise your general travel precautions and you will be fine. I remember walking down the street in the old city somewhere at 3am and bumped into a policeman and asked him if I was safe. He assured me i was. I never encountered trouble.
I stayed in a hotel and at my girlfriends house in the outer suburbs, but there are hostels in the old city I am sure. Just have a look at some hostel websites on the net.
Thanks for the travel advice mate. but the hostal... well a bit vague but nevertheless. I will for sure find out one way or another.
Check out rough guide & lonely planet if you can...they normally have some hostels listed.
Let me know how you enjoy it. I am heading there myself :-)
When are you heading to Colombia?
ok so I spent 2 weeks in Colombia and probably the best country that I have been too. In CArtegena there are loads of hostels but the one everyone goes to is the Casa Vienna but it was full when I went there.
Around the corner there are plenty of hostals but I think the best one is Casa Viena, but if you like Japanese food there is a really good hostal which serves good sushi for lunch for about $3.
I went to Santa Marta and then to Taganga to learn to dive. It's an awesome place to do it and if you are going go to Centro de Buceo Tayrona. The guys are awesome and so freindly. They all are in colombia. If are going to Taganga then go to Parque National Tayrona and check out the white sandy beaches. Stay at El Cabo as the water is much calmer and better for swimming.
anywho hope it is enough info anymore then just mail me.
Footprint Guidebooks also an excellent resource. When you arrive in Cartagena you need a least an address to give the taxi driver, otherwise you'll probably be taken to a pricey hotel. Get a couple of up to date print guidebooks and a good map of Cartegana and Colombia if possible. Go to the forums on http://poorbuthappy.com/colombia and talk to the residents and seasoned travelers. A lot of the "Hostels" in Latin America are but budget hotels.
Also another good tip for those traveling to Colombia is to make sure they have brushed up on their understanding of spanish numbers in the 100's, 1000's and 10,000's. Many unsuspecting tourists who are not sure how to tell the difference between numbers in the 100's and 1000's in Spanish get caught out when quoted prices in Colombian pesos which are in denominations of 100's, 1000's and 10,000's.
Understand how to say 15250 (for example) in Spanish and you will be sure not be ripped off.
Take the tip.... know thy large numbers in Spanish if traveling through Colombia
p.s. glad to hear you enjoyed Colombia advelina and that you stayed safe and had no problems finding hostel accommodation in Cartagena. Am a bit jealous that you got to see Parque Nacional Tayronna, nonetheless I shall hopefully be heading back in November, fingers crossed.
I just spent a month in Colombia. It is an incredible place.
The people are amazing.
Regarding Hostels in Cartegena...Casa Vienna is more expensive and not as comunally orientated as Hotel Holiday around the corner (across the road from pizza place). I stayed at both and Holiday was definately the better option it has a lovely open courtyard with rooms lining the outter edge. Locals use the place as well.
Santa Marta and Taganga were really good (Casa Phillipe was a lovely hostal in beutiful surroundings). Be very aware in Taganga if you are diving...check your equipment carefully to ensure it is in adequate condition to dive. The national park Tyrona (near Taganga) is worth stopping over for a few days - accomodation is a hammock on the beach. The 6 day Lost City trek is also well worth the effort (the first day is really hard)...very Indiana Jones.
I also went to Tolu and Coveñas on Pacific Coast where I had an incredibly warm welcome by the locals. I was the only gringa in both villages and had offers of food and accomodation just for being there I think!
Manizales is also nice (and safe)- a bit cold but it is high!
I spent a few days in Medellin and many days in Bogata ...in neither city did I feel unsafe. I would recomend Colombia highly to anyone. Learning some Spanish is essential if you want to explore off the beaten track.
Happy Colombian adventures to all who venture there.
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