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Cartagena, it's historical centre being a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a popular destination in Colombia. It was founded by the Spanish conquerors and used for years as one of the main ports to ship goods and people between Europe and South America and the Caribbean. Cartagena has a great nightlife with several good discotheques like Babar, Joy Slava, Mr. Babilla and a myriad of hot spots to dance the night away.
There are many points of interest including historic sites, churches, and squares: Plaza Santo Domingo, Plaza Fernández de Madrid, Plaza San Diego, Plaza de La Aduana, Plaza de Bolívar, among others. There are also many restaurants, bars, and cafes. There is a string of beaches in the city, but the beautiful "Islas del Rosario' are a mere 30'-boat ride away.
Cartagena has a tropical climate with hot and humid conditions year round. Temperatures vary slightly between the different months and seaons, but rainfall is another matter. The average annual amount of precipitation is just over 1,000 mm but October alone counts for about a quarter of that alone and most rain in general falls from June to November. From December to April is the dry period with hardly any rain in February and March. Temperatures, as mentioned, vary extremely little, with just 0.7 °C between the highest and lowest average maximum temperatures which are around 31-32 °C. Lows are between 23 °C and 25 °C, with the highest lows in the wettest months, so it gets rather sticky during those times. December to April is by far the best time for a visit if you want to avoid the most sticky conditions therefore.
|Avg Max||30.5 °C||30.6 °C||30.8 °C||31.1 °C||31.3 °C||31.6 °C||31.6 °C||31.5 °C||31.3 °C||30.9 °C||30.9 °C||30.7 °C|
|Avg Min||23.6 °C||24 °C||24.5 °C||25.2 °C||25.6 °C||25.7 °C||25.3 °C||25.4 °C||25.4 °C||25.1 °C||25.1 °C||24.2 °C|
|Rainfall||4 mm||1 mm||2 mm||24 mm||115 mm||100 mm||108 mm||127 mm||135 mm||235 mm||131 mm||35 mm|
Rafael Núñez International Airport (CTG) is located near Cartagena and offers both domestic and international flights. International destinations include Cancun, Milan, Aruba, Curacao, Maracaibo, Panama City, Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Caracas, Lima and Fort Lauderdale. Domestic services go to Bogota, Medellin, San Andrés Island, Barranquilla, Pereira, Cali and Bucaramanga.
The bus terminal is 11 kilometres east of the old city. Frequent White and Green metrocar buses with air conditioner go to the old city and cost COP$ 1,700. Buses leave every hour for Barranquilla, and from there frequent buses connect to Santa Marta. The asking price for buses to Medellin is $50 USD, but it is normal to barter the price down to $30. All long distance bus tickets are expected to be bartered down. If you are coming overland from Panama your first bus will be from Turbo. Turbo to Monteria is COP$ 25,000, 4 hours, Monteria to Cartagena COP$ 35,000, 4 hours.
Cartagena is an important port for charter boats between Colombia and Panama. There are several private boats doing that trip. Fare varies between US$375 and US$500 depending on size of the boat and on-board services. The trip usually takes 4 nights and 5 days and includes a 2 or 3 day stopover in San Blas Islands. At the Panama end, the boats either leave from the Portobelo Area or from Carti Islands Kuna Yala rather than Colón. Reliable information about departure dates and captains can be found at the hotel Casa Viena, at Zulys Backpackers Hostel, Mamallena Hostel or Luna's Castle Hostel in Panama City, at Hostel Wunderbar in Puerto Lindo, Hostel Portobelo , or the Darien Gapster in Panama.
You can take taxis but try avoided driving yourself.
Buses are a good way for longer distances in the city.
The old town in particular is best explored by foot. Most places in Bocagrande which have up-market and all-inclusive hotels are also within walking distance.
|Hotel Bahia||Carrera 4' calle4' Bocagrande||Hotel||-|
|Hotel da Pietro||cr. 3 4-101 Bocagrande||Hotel||-|
|Buenos dias||Avenida 1 malecon 9-62||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Toledo||Av San martin No 6- 40 Bocagrande||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Astra Suite 427||El Cabrero Santander Av||Hotel||-|
|Hostal Arrecifes Cartagena||Carrera 4 Calle de las flores # 52-18||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Marlin||Calle de la Media Luna No. 10 - 35 Getsemani||Hotel||-|
|Media Luna Hostel||Centro, cll Media Luna||HOSTEL||74|
|Hotel Las Americas||Anillo Vial Sector Cielo Mar||HOTEL||-|
|Capilla Del Mar||Carrera 1 # 8-12||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Regatta||Carrera 1 # 5- 82||Hotel||-|
|Costa Del Sol Cartagena||Ave 1 a Calle 9 esquina||Hotel||-|
|The Chill House Backpackers hostel||Calle de la Tablada # 7 - 12 Centro||HOSTEL||75|
|Casa Sweety||Calle del Guerrero No 29B-119 Getsemani||GUESTHOUSE||76|
|Hotel Patio de San Diego||San Pedro Martir 10- 65||Hotel||-|
|El Viajero Cartagena Hostel||Calle 7 Infantes||Hostel||86|
|Casa de la Chicheria||38-34 Calle de la Chicheria Centro||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Dorado Plaza||Av. San Martin No 4-41||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Caribe||Cra 1 N 2-87||Hotel||-|
|BANTU HOTEL BOUTIQUE||Centro, Calle de la Tablada No. 7-62||Hotel||-|
|Ananda Hotel Boutique||Calle del Cuartel # 36-77||HOTEL||-|
|Makako Chill Out Hostel||Calle Quero # 9 54||HOSTEL||80|
|Casa Tatis||Calle del guerrero No 29-89||HOTEL||-|
|Cartagena Plaza||Carrera 1 6 - 154||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Villa Colonial||Getsemani cll Maravillas #30-60||Hotel||-|
|Hotel San Roque Cartagena||Calle de la Media luna # 10c 48 Centro Barrio Getsemani||HOTEL||76|
|El Candil de los Santos - Optimal Hotels Selection||Calle Campo Santo 9-36 (Barrio San Diego)||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Stil Cartagena||Calle 34 11-15||Hotel||-|
|Amber Hostel Cartagena||Calle de la Magdalena N° 10-103 Getsemani Cartagena de las Indias||HOSTEL||72|
|Casa Morales Colonial||Calle 38 5 09 Centro Historico||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel Puertas de Cartagena||Calle del Sargento Mayor 6 - 05||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Bocagrande||Avenida San Martin, 7- 159||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Casa Real||Calle Del Cuartel 36 - 122||Hotel||-|
|Casa Nativa Hostel||Calle Tumbamuertos 38 - 65 Barrio San Diego||HOSTEL||74|
|Hostal la casona de getsemani||Getsemani, Calle Tripita y media Cra 10 # 31-32||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Santa Cruz Cartagena||Centro Calle de la moneda # 7 - 54||Hotel||-|
|Akel House Hostel||Getsemani Calel San Andres 30-28 2nd floor||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Real Almirante Padilla||Centro, Calle de la Moneda No. 7 - 134||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Real||1a de la Magdalena Street, number 9-33. Getsemani||Hostel||-|
|Iguana's House||Calle de la Media Luna # 9-27||HOSTEL||74|
|Hotel Patio de La Cruz||Calle de La Cruz No 9 - 41||HOTEL||77|
|Hotel Patio de Getsemani||Calle El Pedregal 26A - 79 Getsemani||HOTEL||-|
|APARTAMENTO EDIFICIO CENTRO TURISTICO DEL CARIBE||Bocagrande calle 4 con Carrera 5||Apartment||-|
|Apartamento Santo Toribo||Centro historico, Calle 38 No. 7 - 27, sector san diego||Apartment||-|
|Hostal San Diego||San Diego Calle de las Bovedas # 39-120||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Casa Mara||Getsemaní Calle del Espiritu Santo #29-139||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Casa Villa Colonial||Media Luna Street 10-89||HOTEL||-|
|Cartagena Apartments One||Cra. 1 No. 6-130||APARTMENT||-|
|Hotel Casa Eden||Centro Histórico, Calle cochera del Hobo Número 38 – 71||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Boutique Blue House||Barrio San Diego Parque Fernandez Madrid Casa Numero 38-08||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel Mamallena||10-47 Calle Media Luna Getsemani||HOSTEL||-|
|Amazing Apartment in the heart of the old city||Conjunto Residencial Santo Domingo, fourth floor A||APARTMENT||-|
|Cartagena Real||Avenida El Malecon # 10 - 150||HOTEL||-|
|Hostal Casa Baluarte||Getsemani Calle Media Luna, 10-81||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Kohsamui Hotel De Mar||Tranv 2 No 3-51 Manzanillo del mar||HOTEL||-|
|Hostel Green House Coffee Bar||Calle de la Tablada N° 7.46||HOSTEL||75|
|Albergue Las Chancletas||Calle de las Chancletas 10B - 39 Barrio Getsemaní, Centro - Cartagena de Indias||HOSTEL||-|
|Karmairi Hotel Spa||Km 3 Via Manzanillo del Mar||Hotel||-|
|Casa Bustamante||Cabrero Callé Real #42-67||HOTEL||77|
|Casa Carmen||Getsemani Calle del Espiritu Santo # 29-117||GUESTHOUSE||77|
|Hostal 25^59||25 -59 Calle de las palmas Getsemani||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Casa Victoria||Getsemani, C/Tripita y medio No 31 - 08||HOTEL||73|
|Private Room in Cartagena||Calle 1 # 1B 19 EdIficio El mirador, El laguito.||APARTMENT||-|
|Portal De Getsemani||Calle Lomba 2801. Barrio Getsemani.||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Hotel Boutique Santo Domingo||Calle Santo Domingo N°3-47 Cartagena de Indiass - Colombia||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Hotel Galeones||Carrera 9, number 35-1011||HOTEL||-|
|Calamari Hostel Boutique||Carrera 3 Calle Ricaute No. 31 - 38 Centro Histori||HOSTEL||79|
|Hostel Mirador de Cartagena||calle 47 # 46-120 , apartmento 21B Edificio Marbella real||HOSTEL||-|
|Jamrock hostel||calle 5A 10-86||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostel The Roof||Centro, Avenida Venezuela #9-63 , apt 3||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Casa Mary||Carrera 10 29-89 Calle Media Luna #29 89||HOTEL||-|
Internet cafes are easy to find in any city or town. Expect rates to run about $1,250-2,500 (around $US 0.50-1.00) per hour, depending on how much competition there is (i.e., cheap in Bogotá, expensive in the middle of nowhere). Quality of connections varies enormous and tends to better in populated places and tourist areas. Wifi is getting more and more popular in some hotels, restaurants and bars, but don't count on it and be careful regarding your privacy.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Colombia is: 57. To make an international call from Colombia, the code is: 005.
Using your own phone and SIM card is expensive so if you are planning to do quite a few calls, buy a phone or just a SIM card. It's simple enough to get a SIM card and even an unlocked phone at the international airport in Bogotá, although there is, of course, a price hike. They're not hard to find in any city either, just ask your hotel or hostel staff where to go. Topping up is also easy, and can be done pretty much on any street corner. The carriers you'll most likely see are Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. Claro is the most expensive (by a little bit), but has the widest coverage in the country, if you expect to get off the beaten path.
4-72 is the unusual name of Colombia's postal service. They have post offices throughout the country, which are open usually from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and sometimes on Saturday mornings as well. That doesn't apply to all offices though, only the larger ones in the big cities. But for example along the Caribbean coast, offices tend to close between noon and 2:00pm. But even at the ones that are officially open all day long, it might be difficult to get anything done during those hours. For domestic services, sending letters and postcards is mostly reliable but takes days, for international services don't hold your breath. Eventually, a postcard or letter might arrive in the country of destination but it's almost not worth it. For parcels, you are better off using companies like FedEx, TNT, DHL or UPS.
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